This little building sits next to the old Western Theological Seminary. Old Pa Pitt has not been able to discover its history with the limited research he was willing to put into the question, so he would be delighted to be enlightened in the comments. It looks as though it might have been an addition to the seminary, done in a sort of late Gothic with Art Deco overtones.
This niche at the top of the central tower of the Western Theological Seminary seems to require a statue of some saint. Since the building was a Presbyterian seminary, it probably never had one. Perhaps we could fill it with a statue of Harry Thaw, patron saint of wastrel playboy sociopaths.
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.
Originally the Western Theological Seminary (a Presbyterian seminary), this building was designed by Thomas Hannah and finished in 1912. The seminary stayed here until 1959, when it merged with the other big Presbyterian seminary in town and became part of the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in Highland Park.
Like most of the other large buildings on Ridge Avenue, this one now belongs to the Community College of Allegheny County, which calls it West Hall.
Considering the traditional link between Pittsburgh and New York—the two cities shared millionaires, department stores, and many other cultural phenomena—it’s surprising that this is Pittsburgh’s only New-York-style brownstone palace. The architect was George S. Orth, who was also responsible for the Colonial Place development in Shadyside. The house was built in 1911, shortly before the millionaires began to flee the neighborhood. Since then it has been an office building, and the commercial addition to the right is a good example of how to expand a historic building sensitively without throwing money around like a Pittsburgh millionaire.