Category: Observatory Hill

  • Riverview Park Visitor Center

    Riverview Park Visitor Center

    A modest stone building from the 1940s that successfully creates the impression of having grown up out of the native rock by natural processes.

  • Restoring the Observatory

    Allegheny Observatory

    The Allegheny Observatory, begun in 1900, is getting some restoration work. The architect was Thorsten E. Billquist, the sort of name one wishes one had invented.

    Entrance to the Allegheny Observatory
  • Observatory Hill in 2000

    Three pictures taken with a Russian Lubitel twin-lens-reflex camera in January of 2000. Very little has changed in 21 years. Above, the Byzantine Catholic Seminary, a building that is a strange mix of modernist and classical elements with an onion dome.

    The Byzantine metropolitan’s residence. In the Latin Rite, Pittsburgh is not even an archdiocese, but in the Byzantine Rite, Pittsburgh is the seat of an archeparchy covering eleven states.

    A typical Observatory Hill house on Riverview Avenue, one of the neighborhood’s most attractive streets.

  • Visitor Center, Riverview Park

    A very attractive little building put up in the 1940s, and doubtless influenced by the style of all the WPA work that had been done in local parks in the previous decade; here we see it in evening light, when the flowers for summer have just been planted.

    Camera: Konica-Minolta DiMAGE Z3.
  • Chapel Shelter, Riverview Park

    The Chapel Shelter is so named because it began life as a little Presbyterian church. It fell into disrepair, and was very nearly demolished a few years ago; but a restoration project has made this picnic shelter the gem of the park again.

    Camera: Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z3.
  • Allegheny Observatory at Twilight

    The Allegheny Observatory gives its name to the Observatory Hill neighborhood in Pittsburgh, although—oddly—the city government knows the neighborhood as Perry North, in spite of its residents’ insistence on calling it Observatory Hill.

  • The Charlotte Apartments, Observatory Hill

    A typically dignified small Pittsburgh apartment building in the neoclassical style. This particular one has an enviable location, right at the entrance to Riverview Park, with a view of the Allegheny Observatory and the Byzantine Metropolitan Archbishop’s palace. Smaller Pittsburgh apartment buildings of this era were frequently given women’s names.

    Camera: Olympus E20n.
  • Allegheny Observatory

    As seen through a gnarled tree, which is the best way to look at almost anything.

    Camera: Olympus E20n.
  • Allegheny Observatory

    The Allegheny Observatory, which gives its name to the Observatory Hill neighborhood.

  • Curves and Angles



    The dome of the Allegheny Observatory, Observatory Hill, painted gold by the declining sun.