In an out-of-the-way corner of Beechview is this particularly fine school by Press Dowler. The original part of the school was built in 1908 in the borough of West Liberty, because the line between the boroughs of Beechview and West Liberty ran right across the street grid of the developed section of Beechview. “Beechwood” was the name of the original community that became the borough of Beechview,(1) and the company that developed the land on both sides of the border was the Beechwood Improvement Co. In 1909 the two boroughs were both annexed by Pittsburgh, and by 1922 the school was bursting at the seams. Press C. Dowler was hired to design an expansion that more than tripled the size of the school, and he came through with a magnificently ornamented building in the Tudor Gothic style that was all the rage for schools in the 1920s. It is now on the National Register of Historic Places for its architectural merit.
The name and date inscribed over one of the entrances.
The south section is the original 1908 school,(2) but Mr. Dowler completely rebuilt the façade to match his plan for the expanded school, so that today the whole building appears to have been put up at once.
Mr. Dowler did not stint on terra-cotta decoration.
The lamp of learning.
These urns flank the entrances; old Pa Pitt suspects they were designed by the architect himself.
As a bonus for his loyal readers, old Pa Pitt includes a typically Pittsburghish cacophony of utility cables.