Tag: Alden & Harlow

  • Standard Life Building

    Standard Life Building

    Built in 1903, this early skyscraper was designed by Alden & Harlow, who festooned it with terra cotta.

    Plaque: “Standard Life Building, 345”
    Fruity swag
    Entrance
    Terra cotta
    Standard Life Building
    Canon PowerShot SX150 IS.
  • Byers-Lyons House, Allegheny West

    Byers-Lyons House
    Sony Alpha 3000.

    The Byers-Lyons house was built in 1898. It was designed by Alden & Harlow, Andrew Carnegie’s favorite architects, and it has fortunately been preserved by being turned to academic uses—it is now Byers Hall of the Community College of Allegheny County. It looked warm and inviting last night at sunset, so Father Pitt took quite a few pictures.

    Perspective view
    From the corner
    In sunset lights
    Byers Hall
    Iron filigree
    Iron portal
    Silhouetted iron filigree
    Ionic capital in iron
    Ionic capital
    Iron gatepost
    Arcade
    Rntrance porch
    Arcaded porch
    Entrance
    Dormers and chimneys
    Dormer and chimney
    Chimneys
  • Some Houses on Bigelow Boulevard, Schenley Farms

    Ledge House

    As we mentioned before, we are attempting to photograph every house in the residential part of Schenley Farms. Here is a big album of houses on Bigelow Boulevard, which becomes a residential street as it winds through the neighborhood. Above, Ledge House, the strikingly different home of A. A. Hamerschlag, the first director of Carnegie Tech (now Carnegie Mellon University). It was designed by Henry Hornbostel, who designed the Carnegie Tech campus and taught at Carnegie Tech. It has recently been cleaned of a century’s worth of industrial soot and restored to its original appearance.

    Ledge House
    4107 Bigelow Boulevard

    Above and below, the D. Herbert Hostetter, Jr., house, architects Janssen and Abbott. Benno Janssen and his partner abstracted the salient details of the Tudor or “English half-timber” style and reduced it to the essentials, creating a richly Tudory design with no wasted lines.

    4107 Bigelow Boulevard

    Because we have so many pictures, we’ll put the rest below the metaphorical fold to avoid weighing down the front page here.

    (more…)
  • Carnegie Library, West End Branch

    Carnegie Library, West End branch

    This little library was the second of Carnegie’s branch libraries, after the one in Lawrenceville; like all the original branch libraries, it was designed by Alden & Harlow.

  • How to Improve a Design by Alden & Harlow

    Here is how the Land Trust Company building (later the Commercial National Bank) looked in 1905:

    Land Trust Company
    From Palmer’s Pictorial Pittsburgh.

    And here is how it looks today:

    Land Trust Company today

    Much better, isn’t it?

  • Carnegie Library, Hill District Branch

    Carnegie Library, Hill District Branch

    Another elegant little branch library by Alden & Harlow. Although the branch library moved a short distance away to a larger modern building, this one was fortunately taken over by a mosque and is therefore still loved and kept up.

    Oblique view
  • Carnegie Library, Mount Washington Branch

    One of the little neighborhood libraries designed by Alden & Harlow, this one has a prime location on Grandview Avenue, making it possibly the library with the best view in the world.

  • Regal Shoe Company Building

    An elegant little storefront designed by Alden & Harlow in 1908. It now houses a men’s clothing store.

  • South Hills High School, Mount Washington

    South Hills High School

    Here is a large institutional building whose story of abandonment and decay has a happy ending.

    South Hills High School was Pittsburgh’s second great palace of high-school education, right after Schenley High School. For this one, the city hired Alden & Harlow, arguably the most prestigious institutional architects money could buy. They were responsible for the Carnegie Institute and all the branch libraries, in addition to multiple millionaires’ mansions and skyscrapers downtown.

    The site of the school is improbably vertical. In those days, “South Hills” meant the back slopes of Mount Washington, and a walk along the side of this school is a steep climb. But the architects met the challenge with a Tudor Gothic palace that seems to have grown on the site. It takes up a whole city block.

    South Hills High School

    The Ruth Street side of the school opened in 1917; the rest of the school—planned from the beginning—opened in 1925. For many years the school took in students from the South Hills and beyond—“beyond” meaning Banksville, Beechview, and Brookline. In 1976, a monstrously modernist new school—Brashear—opened in Beechview, which took in all the students from the southern neighborhoods. With population declining and the building getting old, the city decided to close South Hills altogether in 1986.

    And then it sat and rotted for 23 years.

    But, as we said, the story has a happy ending. As you see from these pictures, the building is well taken care of now. In 2010 it reopened as apartments for senior citizens, so that once again it is an ornament to its neighborhood.

    The wonderfully thorough Brookline Connection site has a long article about South Hills High School, including the architects’ plans.

  • Carnegie Library, Lawrenceville Branch

    Lawrenceville branch library

    This fine little Renaissance palace, built in 1896, was the first of Carnegie’s branch libraries, and thus arguably the vanguard of the whole idea of branch libraries. It was also the first public library with open stacks, where patrons would just walk to the shelf and pick up the book by themselves. In other libraries—including much of the main Carnegie in Oakland until a few years ago—the patron would ask for the book at the desk, and a librarian would run back to the mysterious stacks and fetch it.

    Like all the original libraries in the Carnegie system, this was designed by Alden & Harlow.

    Carnegie Library Lawrenceville