Father Pitt

Why should the beautiful die?

Decorations by Achille Giammartini on the German National Bank

Romanesqu apital with face

The German National Bank—now the Granite Building—is one of the most ornately Romanesque constructions ever put up in a city that was wild for Romanesque. The architect was Charles Bickel, but much of the effect of the building comes from the lavish and infinitely varied stonecarving of Achille Giammartini, Pittsburgh’s favorite decorator of Romanesque buildings.

We have sixteen more pictures in this article, and this is only a beginning. Old Pa Pitt will have to return several more times with his long lens to document Giammartini’s work on this building.

The face in the capital
Arch decorations
Capital with face
Stone face
Another capital
The face in that capital
Inside the arch
Foliage with dragon head

A very Giammartiniesque detail: lush Romanesque foliage that suddenly resolves itself into a goofy dragon face. Of course, if the client objected to cartoonish faces on his building, Giammartini could tell him the face was all in his imagination.

Different foliage
Squared capital
Foliage lintel
Capital and arches
Corner of an arch

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