Romanesque Details in Allegheny West

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Architectural historians tend to call everything Romanesque revival “Richardsonian Romanesque,” and with especially good reason in Pittsburgh: Richardson’s Allegheny County Courthouse created a mania for everything Romanesque in Pittsburgh, and many private houses were built in that style for the wealthy merchant classes—especially in Allegheny West, which in the late nineteenth century may have been the richest neighborhood per capita in the country.

UPDATE: Note the very interesting comment from “Mark”: “Much of the local stone carving as well as work across the North Side, downtown, Carnegie Mellon University, etc was done by Achille Giammartini who built the house at 1410 Page St, near Page St & Manhattan St, in Manchester (beside Allegheny West). Although this was his personal residence he used the exterior as a ‘billboard’ for his considerable skills.”

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3 thoughts on “Romanesque Details in Allegheny West

  1. I don’t know if you saw the PBS documentary “10 Buildings that Changed America” – Richardson was a HUGE influence on American architecture. It’s a great doc. Also, I love your blog. Jan

  2. Much of the local stone carving as well as work across the North Side, downtown, Carnegie Mellon University, etc was done by Achille Giammartini who built the house at 1410 Page St, near Page St & Manhattan St, in Manchester (beside Allegheny West). Although this was his personal residence he used the exterior as a “billboard” for his considerable skills. Mark

    1. Thank you,Mark. He was my great grandfather and his daughter,my grandmother,told us little about him. I remember one Christmas we got delayed going to my grandmother’s for dinner in Allegheny West because they were tearing down all the old townhouses. My grandmother said that her father had carved a lot of the mantels for the living rooms.My mother was horrified and said she wished that she had known as she would have gotten a mantel for each of us 4 children. Grandma replied,”He worked with his hands;I want to forget about him.” Mother was so enraged we got up and left dinner on the table. I now have an address and will visit his house;hope there is a lot of his work visible.

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