One of three fine Gothic churches in a row, this one is actually in Dormont—but not by much. The Mount Lebanon border runs down Scott Road to the right of the building, then jogs behind the building to take in the St. Clair Cemetery.
Every once in a while old Pa Pitt likes to introduce you to a back alley of Pittsburgh history known to few even of his most informed readers. Here is one of them. Few Pittsburghers are aware that Trinity Church (now Trinity Cathedral) produced a boy soprano whose talent made him a brief national sensation. We hear few boy sopranos these days, but in 1915 Master William Pickels made a few records for Victor, the most prestigious recording company, that show off his technical ability. A short notice in Pacific Coast Musical Review:
The first adequate records of a boy soprano are contributed by Master William Pickels, of Trinity Church, Pittsburgh, and two well known and popular airs are used for his Victor debut—Arditi’s “Love in Springtime” and “The Musetta Waltz” from Boheme. This young soprano is a most unusual singer. His voice lends itself admirably to reproduction, and the purity and freshness of his voice and its remarkable flexibility mark him as one of the best boy sopranos ever heard in America.
This record has been given the usual audio restoration for our sister site The Lateral Cut, which brings out a more natural bass and reduces the surface noise.
Patterned after York Minster, this English Gothic church sits on the peak of the ridge, so that its outsized towers are visible for miles.
Harry Darlington built this house in 1908 for his son, Harry Darlington Junior. The son’s house was two doors down from the father’s (separated by the widow Holmes’ house), but the two houses could hardly be more different in style. Where the father’s is tall, narrow, and massive, this is (comparatively) low and spreading. The architect was George S. Orth, who also designed the William Penn Snyder house a block away on Ridge Avenue.
Here is another wooden Gothic church whose details have been obscured by modern siding, and old Pa Pitt suspects the job was done by the same contractor who pasted siding over the First Presbyterian Church in Castle Shannon. The tower has been obscured beyond recognition—but note the railing on top, which suggests that it may be a fine place for a bird’s-eye view of the borough. This was the Castle Shannon United Methodist Church, but now it belongs to a lively congregation of immigrants from Myanmar.
A more than usually lush growth of utility cables is also prominent in this picture.