Earlier this month Preservation Pittsburgh nominated the Oliver Bath House to become a City Historic Landmark. This effort, supported by many individuals and community partners in the South Side, is the culmination of a months-long research effort, which uncovered the original blue prints for the building.
The Bath House had its beginnings on March 9, 1903 when a letter from Henry W. Oliver was presented to the Select Council of the City of Pittsburgh calling for the creation of a bath house (to which he would provide a gift of $80,000 and deeded land). To achieve this Henry W. Oliver requested "... the only stipulation being that the bath shall be free for the use of the people forever."
When construction began on the bath house in 1914 the Oliver Iron & Steel Company sat across 10th Street and the bath would serve its workers and other workers of the South Side. Upon its completion, the bath house joined four other prominent public baths in the City, the People's Bath House (Strip District), the Public Wash House and Baths (Lawrenceville), the Soho Bath House (South Oakland), and the Phipps Baths and Gymnasium (Allegheny City). Of these, three remain today as well as Oliver Bath House although none are currently recognized as Pittsburgh Historic Landmarks.
Should the Oliver Bath House be granted landmark status it would be the City's first, and to date only, historic bath house.
For more information on the Oliver Bath House or to view the submitted nomination, please see our Resources Section. A special thanks to Dr. Matthew Conboy for his assistance and research in completing this nomination.
If you would like to lend your support for the designation, please email the City's Historic Preservation Planner, Sarah Quinn at firstname.lastname@example.org or come to the Historic Review Commission's first hearing on Wednesday, March 1st at 1pm, 200 Ross Street.
If you'd like to help our landmarking efforts, please consider donating to our Landmarking Fund.