Sunset on Polish Hill

Sunset behind the domes of Immaculate Heart of Mary

The domes of Immaculate Heart of Mary Church. The picture was taken more than twenty years ago, but the view would be the same today if we could arrange the same sunset.

Filling a Gap on Polish Hill

Gap filler

This odd little improvised structure has a strange charm for old Pa Pitt. It sits on Brereton Street, the spine of Polish Hill, and fills a gap between buildings that may have been left by the burning or destruction of a more substantial building. Clearly this thing has been here for a while, and the owner, who can do nothing to prevent the sagging (which only adds to the charm), has chosen a cheerful and decorative paint scheme.

Immaculate Heart of Mary, Polish Hill

Immaculate Heart of Mary

William P. Ginther, an Akron-based architect who also gave us St. Mary’s in McKees Rocks, designed this magnificent church, but much of the labor was done by the Polish railroad workers who formed the congregation. The design is inspired by St. Peter’s in Rome; this church isn’t quite on that scale, but it certainly dominates the neighborhood, and it would make a fine cathedral.

Immaculate Heart of Mary

Commercial Buildings on Brereton Street, Polish Hill

Buildings on Brereton Street

A pair of nicely restored buildings in what was once the commercial heart of Polish Hill. Note that the basement of one is on the same level as the storefront in the building next to it.