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Help save history in your community by restoring and reusing historic buildings.

1703 East Carson Street

The Bead Mine

“The best way to save our history is to care about what we have.” —student quote

Formerly, The Bead Mine

1703 East Carson Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15203

Date and Style
Built in the 1880s
—Victorian (Italianate) style

Erected during the reign of Queen Victoria of England (1837-1901), this Victorian Italianate building is based on the style of Italian Renaissance villas. Notice the projecting eave, or overhanging roof edge, with carved wooden brackets, and the slightly arched window openings decorated with stone window hoods.

Facade improvements funded through the Urban Redevelopment Authority's Streetface Program
Click here to play the game for this building.
Facts and Stories Worth Knowing
  • In 1916, the building was owned by H. E. Miller and S. Arnold.
  • In 1963, Anthony F. Petraglia bought Wagner Shoe Store, located at 1703 East Carson Street (see advertisement below). The storewhich remained open until his retirement in 1991, catered mostly toSouth Side families and many Polish immigrants.
  • The Bead Mine was located here from 1997 until 2011. When the building was being remodeled for The Bead Mine, the owner discovered old letters underneath the floor boards and cases of beer from the Duquesne Brewery, once on the South Side. The owner speculates that a “speak easy” may have been located on one of the upper floors. A “speak easy” was a bar that served alcohol during Prohibition in the 1920s and 1930s, when it was illegal to do so.


  • Famous visitors to The Bead Mine included Weird Al Yankovic and Dave Matthews.
  • The upper stories of the building were once apartments, and the basement served as a storage space for The Bead Mine.
  • As of February 2011, 1703 East Carson Street is vacant. The new owners are looking for a long term lease agreement. Their original plan was to renovate the building and open a Thai restaurant, but they could not pull together the funding.

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Additional Images