Pittsburg’s Luna Park
Note: In 1891, the United States Board on Geographic Names effectively changed the name of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. On July 19, 1911, this decision was reversed and the “H” was restored. Luna Park existed in this 20 year time frame, hence why it is Pittsburg’s Luna Park rather than Pittsburgh’s Luna Park.
Pittsburg’s Luna Park was a world’s fair type amusement park that was constructed in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh and operated from 1905 to 1909. The park had several areas themed for places such as Japan. There were also premature baby incubators on display to help support the costs of the incubators. There was a roller coaster and a chute-the-chutes boat ride.
The park was built by Frederick Ingersoll, who based it off of Luna Park in Coney Island New York. Except that he originally had a partnership with the gentlemen who owned Luna Park – and when that partnership collapsed, Ingersoll moved ahead with the project on his own.
Luna Park ultimately failed due to it’s reputation and nearby competition. In June 1909, Forbes Field opened, the then-new home of the Pittsburgh Pirates. After games, an event called the Hippodrome would take place in the stadium, which drew large attendance – many people stopped going to Luna Park.
The park closed in 1909, and the space remained vacant with some hope of the park coming back in the following few years. The park did not come back, and today, the area has been redeveloped.