These are Baltimore-style rowhouses, where the whole block was built at once as more or less one subdivided building. They are much less common in Pittsburgh, but we do find them occasionally, and these rows in Garfield preserve many of their original details. They were built in the 1880s(1), probably as rental properties, since the 1890 map shows them as all owned by Brown, Donnell & Verner. Intact rows from this era are rare in Pittsburgh, and we should take care to preserve these two rows. Above, the 5100 block of Penn Avenue. Below, houses in the 5200 block.
Terra-cotta owls decorate every house. One wonders whether they had special significance for Brown, Donnell, or Verner.
- To judge by the Pittsburgh Historic Maps site, where they first appear on the 1890 layer. (↩)