Uptown Mount Lebanon has one of the best collections of Art Deco architecture in the area. These two buildings sit side by side on Washington Road at the corner of Alfred Street. With some confidence, old Pa Pitt identifies the Gothic fantasy on the right as an old movie theater, although he would be happy to be corrected.
Art Deco Buildings on Washington Road, Mount Lebanon
Fountain at Clearview Common, Mount Lebanon
Clearview Common is a little parklet at the corner of Washington Road and Alfred Street in the middle of the Uptown Mount Lebanon business district. It makes an urban oasis out of a vacant lot, and this fountain is one of its distinctive features.
Pittsburgh natives are probably not aware that, to outsiders, one of the most surprising things about the city and its inner suburbs is the ubiquity of shoe-repair shops.
Mount Lebanon Station
A southbound Red Line car leaves the Mount Lebanon subway station, as seen from the Alfred Street crossing.
Tower of St. Bernard’s, Mount Lebanon
Reflections in 650 Washington Road
Clouds reflected in the windows of a modernist office building (built in 1965) in uptown Mount Lebanon.
Mount Lebanon Subway Entrance
The entrance to the Mount Lebanon station on the Red Line. The station is at the end of a winding subway tunnel cut through the rock (although Pittsburghers never call it a “subway,” reserving that epithet for the downtown section of the system). To get to the station from the Washington Road business district, you have to enter here, go down a flight of stairs (or an elevator), cross an alley, and go down another flight of stairs (or another elevator). Below we see the alley crossing and the station beyond it.
This entrance was built in the fashionable postmodernist style of the 1980s, when the streetcars were moved from Washington Road into the subway. Old Pa Pitt is impressed by the architect’s forethought in providing for the entrance to be tightened with a giant screwdriver if it should ever start to come loose from the ground.
A Walk in the Park
The Bird Park Drive end of Bird Park, Mount Lebanon.
A Walk in the April Woods
Bird Park, a stream-valley park in Mount Lebanon, is a good place to look for spring flowers, and a fine place to take a little healthy outdoor exercise.
Back of the Denis Theatre
Sometimes the back of a theater bears no resemblance at all to the front of it. That is certainly true of the Denis in Mount Lebanon. The main entrance is on Washington Road, and it looks like a small storefront. Walk around the corner and down Alfred Street, and you will find this massive wall, which the architect has identified as a theater by adding Art Deco stripes in the bricks.
One way to deal with a vacant lot in a business district is to make a tiny park out of it. Seldom are these tiny parks made to such a high standard as Clearview Common, a grand name for a single vacant lot. But not many jurisdictions have as much money as Mount Lebanon has to work with. The little park is at the corner of Alfred Street and Washington Road, Uptown Mount Lebanon, and it is a very pleasant place to sit and enjoy take-out from one of the many nearby restaurants.