St. Leo’s, Marshall-Shadeland

St. Leo’s

If he had known that the church would be demolished the next year, Father Pitt would have been more careful to document it. As it is, he happened to be passing in 2001 with one of his many odd old cameras, and he decided to take this quick picture before rolling on. The architect was probably John T. Comès, who gave this German congregation an Italian Romanesque church, because why not?

The church had been vacant for several years when the Sisters of Divine Providence demolished it and built a new Family Support Center. The front of that building bears a mural with a picture of St. Leo’s in it.

Allegheny General Hospital

Allegheny General Hospital

An Art Deco interpretation of the skyscraper style old Pa Pitt calls “Mausoleum-on-a-Stick,” in which the cap of the skyscraper is patterned after the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus. The architects, York & Sawyer, seem to have been taken with the style; they designed another Mausoleum-on-a-Stick building in the same year (1926) for Montreal. You can see a picture of it in one of old Pa Pitt’s earlier articles on Allegheny General Hospital.

The original skyscraper hospital was a marvel of practical hospital design. Everything radiates from a central core of elevators, and nothing is more than a few steps from the elevator. Later the hospital was expanded with new buildings in wildly mismatched styles, so that the complex has become the hopeless jungle of dead-end corridors and mismatched floors usual in big-city hospitals.

Allegheny Center

Allegheny Center

The curious urban clutter of Allegheny Center, a grand plan to build a completely new urban center for the North Side that, like most such plans from the 1960s, had at best only partial success. It destroyed almost the entire core of the old city of Allegheny, replacing it with modernist blocks and apartment warehouses. The clock tower at middle left marks the old Allegheny branch of the Carnegie Library, which stands at the end of a row of buildings preserved amidst the destruction. In the foreground, some of the millionaires’ mansions of Allegheny West.

What’s Left of the Manchester Bridge

The Manchester Bridge connected the Point with the North Side until 1969. When it was taken down, it left one looming black stone pier on the North Shore. After it had loomed for decades, architect Lou Astorino came up with the idea of transforming it into a memorial for Fred Rogers, with a colossal statue by Robert Berks framed by an oval cutout. Here we see the pier from across the river in Point Park.