This little clubhouse on a narrow back street is modest to the point of shyness: you can walk right past and never notice it, partly because of the well-grown tree in front, but mostly because it is a good citizen of the streetscape. Yet it rewards a closer look. It was built in about 1914 to an Arts-and-Craftsy Spanish Mission design by Edward B. Lang. In the Construction Record, it is credited to E. M. Lang. The address, however, is right for Edward B. Lang; and that magazine is so full of misprints that one often finds an architect’s name spelled three different ways on the same page.(1)
Edward Lang is an architect who is not much spoken of these days, but he had some significant buildings to his credit—St. Mark’s Church in the McKees Rocks Bottoms and the Passionist convent in Carrick, to name two. The firm of Edward Lang and Brother was quite productive in the southern city neighborhoods, the Brother being Herman Lang, who is credited with St. George’s Church in Allentown and St. Basil’s in Carrick, among many others.
For readers who are interested, here is an example of the kind of detective work old Pa Pitt does for you. Why would someone write “E. M. Lang” instead of “E. B. Lang”? The answer is obvious when we remember that the Linotype was by far the most popular machine for typesetting periodicals. The Linotype has its own keyboard arrangement, and the M and B are right next to each other, where a fumblefingered typesetter can easily hit one for the other.