Category: Schenley Farms

  • The Tudor Style in Schenley Farms

    Tudor house

    Schenley Farms is that quiet little enclave of grand houses in the Oakland university district. It is a museum of styles that were popular in the early twentieth century, and one of the most popular for grand houses was the Tudor style. Half-timbering (ostentatious beams with stucco between them), steep-pitched roofs, bays, and oriels (overhanging bays) are frequent marks of the style. Here’s a little gallery of Tudor houses from a short walk in the neighborhood.

    Another Tudor house
  • Spanish Mission Style in Schenley Farms

    House on Bigelow Boulevard

    Schenley Farms, the little enclave of quiet residential streets amid the bustle of the Oakland intellectual district, is an encyclopedia of housing styles from the early twentieth century. Here we have a very simple façade with elements of the Spanish Mission style: stucco (of course), an arcaded porch, tile roof, a little iron-railed balcony, and a design that turns inward, with more wall than window in front.

  • Schenley Farms Tudor

    A Tudor house in Schenley Farms recedes into the woods, looking more and more like something from a fairy tale.

  • Roots

    The base of a tree against a sidewalk in Schenley Farms.

  • Renaissance Palace in Schenley Farms

    Many styles of houses line the quiet, pleasant streets of Schenley Farms, but the neighborhood has an unusual concentration of small Italian Renaissance palaces.

  • Stairway in Schenley Farms

  • Hillside House in Schenley Farms, Cleaned

    Hillside house in Schenley Farms

    This house in Schenley Farms has had a thorough cleaning and looks just built. It has also lost a large and perhaps obstructive tree. Compare the picture above to the one below, which Father Pitt took in 2014:

  • Schenley High School

    Schenley High School

    This is the most magnificent work of an architect who specialized in magnificent schools: Edward Stotz, whose son was the noted preservationist Charles Stotz. The building occupies a triangular sloping plot, which certainly challenged the architect. Mr. Stotz responded with a triangular building that looks inevitable on its site.

    When it opened in 1916, Schenley High was a shrine of culture and art, an idealized version of what high-school education could be in an enlightened city. It closed as a school in 2008, and it has now, like every other substantial building in a desirable neighborhood, been refurbished as luxury apartments.

    Curiously, Edward Stotz was also responsible for another famously triangular building: the Monongahela Bank Building, which is now the Wood Street subway station and the Wood Street Galleries.

  • Cathedral of Learning in the Rain

    Cathedral of Learning from Schenley Farms

    It started to rain while Father Pitt was out for a walk today, which gave us this atmospheric picture of the Cathedral of Learning looming through the mist like a heavenly palace behind the pleasant houses of Schenley Farms. This is why old Pa Pitt’s cameras live in a waterproof bag. Father Pitt himself is not waterproof, but he does dry fairly quickly.

    If you like black and white and all the greys in between, you might enjoy Father Pitt’s Monochrome World, a very simple site that collects his favorite black-and-white pictures from Pittsburgh and elsewhere.

  • Schenley Farms


    Stuck in a corner of the university district in Oakland, Schenley Farms is a delightful surprise. The institutional buildings of the University of Pittsburgh come to a sudden halt, and all at once there are tree-lined streets with century-old houses in a broad but harmonious variety of styles—everything from Italian Renaissance palaces to Tudor mansions to rustic stone cottages.





    The streets are named after what the projectors of the neighborhood considered the greatest writers of the modern age. We can still see two of their names in brass in the sidewalk at the intersection of Parkman and Lytton—that’s Francis Parkman, the great American historian, and Lord Lytton, or Edward Bulwer-Lytton, the inspiration for the annual Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest.