Father Pitt

Why should the beautiful die?

The Entrance to Phipps Conservatory


For about a century, Phipps Conservatory, the gift of Andrew Carnegie’s friend Henry Phipps, belonged to the Ciry of Pittsburgh. After it was turned over to a private nonprofit group, Phipps started to grow and flourish like a tropical vine. This new entrance, opened a few years ago, is a perfect match for the splendid Victorian glasshouses behind it. Yet it is also unmistakably contemporary. This is a textbook example of architecture that is sympathetic to its surroundings without being slavishly imitative. (Not, old Pa Pitt hastens to add, that there is anything wrong with slavish imitation once in a while.)

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