A block away from the magnificent Calvary Methodist Church was another Methodist church, almost as magnificent—but Methodist Protestant, whereas Calvary was Methodist Episcopal. Calvary is exuberantly Gothic; this is a heavier Romanesque style. For some reason it has never made anyone’s landmarks list, but in Father Pitt’s opinion it deserves recognition and preservation as a fine example of the Richardsonian Romanesque style.
The building later became home to the Carter Chapel C.M.E. Church, a historic Black congregation that had previously been on the Hill in the former Congregation Kaiser Torah synagogue.
Now it is abandoned, and under sentence of condemnation since it started shedding bits of stone. According to a passing neighbor who struck up a conversation with the man with the camera, it was bought for $300,000 some time ago, but the owner seems not to have been able to do anything with it. It is just on the edge of Allegheny West, a very desirable neighborhood, but neighborhood boundaries are everything in real estate, and this church is technically in Manchester.
Since the building may vanish soon, old Pa Pitt spent some time documenting the exterior. To avoid weighing down the front page for the next week and a half, the rest of the pictures are below the metaphorical fold.
The blue sticker on the door is the sentence of condemnation. Theoretically it could be reversed if the owner took steps toward remediation, but can the owner afford it?
It is typical of the Richardsonian Romanesque style that the stone carving is varied rather than simply repeating.
Note the two different styles of capitals on these pilasters.
Like many Methodist churches, this one had a half-round auditorium in addition to the main sanctuary.
The round windows must have made a fine impression from the inside. Above, the Bidwell Street front; below, the Abdell Street side.