Category: Highland Park

  • Some Houses on Cordova Road, Highland Park

    1328 Cordova Road
    Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z3.

    We’ve already seen two of the houses on Cordova Road: the Lillian Henius house and the Mother Goose cottage designed by Theodore Eichholz. The whole neighborhood of Highland Park is a historic district, and Cordova Road, short as it is, gives us a good sampling of a wide variety of architecture. This charming cottage is modest but unique.

    Canon PowerShot SX150 IS.

    Here is a double house with Craftsman-style porch pillars decorated with a bit of Art Nouveau trim.

    1318 and 1320
    1318 and 1320 from the front

    A sophisticated little Craftsman-style cottage.


    This house stands somewhere near the intersection of Colonial, Renaissance, and modern.

  • Lillian Henius House, Highland Park

    Lillian Henius house

    Built in 1918, this very artistic house was designed for an artist by Kiehnel & Elliott, who applied everything Richard Kiehnel had learned from the German Jugendstil masters and made a kind of modernist Bavarian peasant cottage. Kiehnel & Elliott were among our most interesting early modernists; they would go on to make architectural history by introducing Art Deco to Miami.

  • Mother Goose in Highland Park

    Bendet house

    This whimsical fairy-tale cottage is even more amusing when we know its history. According to architectural historian Franklin Toker, it was built on land owned by Edgar Kaufmann’s Kaufmann Development Company, so the architect, Theodore Eichholz, decided to make a parody of the Kaufmann mansion in Fox Chapel—La Tourelle, designed by Benno Janssen and named for its exaggerated conical turret.

    In 2016, an architecture student (since graduated) named William Aldrich made a detailed model of La Tourelle in wood, which is probably the most thorough way to experience La Tourelle on line. You will see immediately what Eichholz was parodying.

    Front door
    Jumbled bricks

    The jumbled brickwork all over the front makes us suspect that Mr. Eichholz might be our Master of the Jumbled Bricks.

    Bendet house
    Bendet house
  • Baywood, Highland Park


    Baywood was the home of Alexander King, whose family married into the Mellons. Obviously Mr. King had some money himself. Old Pa Pitt does not know the architect, but Isaac Hobbs would not be an outrageous guess.

    Side of Baywood
    Front porch
  • House Turned Synagogue in Highland Park

    House turned synagogue

    Several synagogues in Pittsburgh have been adapted from private houses—one of them half a block away from here. This one seems no longer to be a synagogue, so it has gone from residential to institutional to residential again. The inscription is mostly in Hebrew, which old Pa Pitt regrets that he does not read, so perhaps a reader can inform us which congregation was here. The English part of the inscription memorializes Mr. & Mrs. Bennie Fineberg, perhaps the donors.

    We could try to imagine what the front of this house looked like before its conversion. But we needn’t put in the effort, because a nearly identical house is right next door:

    A similar house

    This one has been converted to apartments, and it has suffered some alterations, but nothing that takes very much imagination to remove in our mind’s eye and restore the original look of the house.

  • Pittsburgh Foursquare in Highland Park

    House on Negley Avenue at Jackson Street

    A particularly grand version of the Pittsburgh Foursquare house, this house on Negley Avenue at Jackson Street was one of four in a row built in the early 1900s for James Parker, who had a small real-estate empire in the nearby streets.

    From a 1910 map at Pittsburgh Historic Maps.

    All four were almost certainly designed by the same hand, and all four still stand in beautiful condition today.

  • Second United Presbyterian Church, Highland Park

    Second United Presbyterian Church

    This church has an unusually eclectic history. It began as the Second United Presbyterian Church. Father Pitt does not know the original architect, but in 1915 there was a devastating fire, and a large reconstruction project was supervised by the architect John Louis Beatty. In 1933 the Presbyterians moved out, and this became the East End Baptist Church. Now it is the Union Project (an arts venue) and the meeting-place of the Jonah’s Call Anglican congregation.

    About two and a half years ago, old Pa Pitt published some pictures of this church, but something seemed different about it. It took a moment to realize: the decorative details on the tower have been cleaned. Back in 2021, all the stone had been cleaned except for the very top of the tower:

    Tower with soot still on it

    But now the tower is clean to its very tip:

    Top of the tower cleaned
    Second U. P. Church
    Union Project
    Main entrance
    Main entrance again
    Gothic arch
    Black pinnacle

    This little pinnacle is still the color the whole church used to be.

    East End Baptist Church

    Map showing the location of the church.

  • Eaglemoor Apartments, Highland Park

    Eaglemoor Apartments

    These three attached units were originally named Howard, Delaware, and Norfolk, and you can still barely make out the ghosts of those names above the three entrances. They were built in 1901.

    Two of the three units have had their balconies filled in, apparently to make closets, judging by the floor plans on the Mozart Management page for the Eaglemoor. The third is almost certainly what all three originally looked like.

    Norfolk Apartments

    Some paint is being touched up along the side.

    Update: A correspondent with inside information mentions that the new paint job is meant to return the apartments to something like their original appearance. (We’ll have to come back soon to see the results.) The balconies did indeed turn into closets many years ago.

    Mozart Management has two tours of this building on YouTube:

    And here is a map.

  • Highland Park Reservoir in 2001

    Highland Park Reservoir

    In 2002, the Water and Sewer Authority installed a microfiltration system to purify the water while keeping the Highland Park Reservoir open. This picture from 2001 shows the previous water-purification technology.

  • Elliott–Fownes House, Highland Park

    Mansion on Highland Avenue

    Flemish Renaissance is not the most common style in Pittsburgh; this is certainly one of our most splendid examples of it. It is one of the surviving millionaires’ mansions on Highland Avenue. Father Pitt’s identification of it as the Elliott–Fownes house is based on two sources. The application for the neighborhood’s historic-district designation in the National Register of Historic Places mentions it as the home of “machine politician Robert Elliott”; a 1912 book has Henry C. Fownes, founder of the Oakmont Country Club, at this address.

    Robert Elliott house
    Henry C. Fownes house