Category: Elliott

  • Carriage House in Elliott

    Carriage house

    Old Pa Pitt is delighted to report that, since this picture was taken in the summer of 2000, this almost perfectly preserved carriage house has been restored and refurbished into a habitable building, with glass in the upper windows and other such modern conveniences (see the pictures below). Nevertheless, he reports it with a tiny bit of regret. There’s a fascination frantic in a ruin that’s romantic, and restoring the building inevitably takes it one more step away from its origin. Certainly it was good to restore it; the only alternative would have been to let it continue to decay and eventually vanish. But Father Pitt is happy that he was able to preserve this picture from the time when it had never been anything other than a carriage house.

    An update: According to old maps, this seems to have been built in the 1880s; it appears in 1890 but not in 1882.

    Carriage house
    Carriage house

    Note the perfect little I-house to the left of the carriage house.

  • The Bandstand at West End Park


    Thomas Scott designed this elegant Arts-and-Crafts bandstand for West End Park, and it must have been a fine thing to sit out on the grass and hear a thumpy brass band on a lazy summer evening. It has probably been many years since a brass band played here, but the bandstand itself has been restored and is kept in excellent shape. Here we have similar pictures from two cameras with wildly different ideas of color balance.

  • World War I Memorial, West End Park

    War memorial

    West End Park is far off the beaten track, and few people outside its own neighborhood (which is technically Elliott, though it belongs at least as much to the West End) ever visit, or even know it exists. But it has one of our best war memorials by one of our best sculptors and one of our best architects.

    The sculptor was Frank Vittor, who was already developing the streamlined style that would make him one of Pittsburgh’s two favorite sculptors (the other being Giuseppe Moretti). The architect was William Perry, whose most famous work is St. Bernard’s in Mount Lebanon, a church more magnificent than many cathedrals. Their collaboration produced a striking monument, simple but rich. Unfortunately some restoration has left it with two radically different colors of stone and concrete, which is not how it was meant to look, as we see in this picture from twenty-two years ago:

    Memorial in 2000

    That picture shows us that the memorial has also lost some sort of bronze ornament on the bottom half of the shaft: we can see the shadow of what seems to have been a shield with double-headed axe set in a bronze band.

    Cherubim and shields
  • Walkway to the West End Overlook

    Walkway to the West End Overlook

    This winding trellised walkway works well both as a pleasant place to be in its own right and to build anticipation for the view to come.