Tag: Art Deco

  • Elder-Ado Building, Knoxville

    Elder-Ado Building

    Jacobean Gothic is filtered through an Art Deco lens in this building from 1927, which has been sympathetically modernized with current materials that fit with and emphasize its distinctive character. The original terra-cotta ornaments have been lovingly preserved. This is a good example of how a commercial building can be brought up to date with good taste on a limited budget. Old Pa Pitt has not been able to determine what the building’s original name was; it now belongs to an organization for senior citizens.

    Date stone

    Father Pitt knows how his readers appreciate a good utility cable, so here is a fine closeup of one, unfortunately marred by a date stone in the background.

    Acanthus-leaf ornament
  • St. Clair Savings & Trust Co., Knoxville

    St. Clair Savings & Trust Co.

    An Art Deco interpretation of traditional Doric bank architecture, with the added interest of an unusual shape: the lot forces the structure into a triangle. This substantial building from 1931 was abandoned for a while; then it was briefly the Iglesia de Cristo León de Judá, before that congregation took over an old church a few blocks away; then it was abandoned again. Now it is a store with the delightfully appropriate name “Candy Safe Market.” The exterior is a feast of artistic details.

    Inscription

    The name comes from St. Clair Township, which originally included much of Allegheny County south of the Monongahela. Today the building is in the Knoxville neighborhood of Pittsburgh, right on the border with Mount Oliver borough.

    Frieze
    Griffins

    This pair of griffins over the entrance ought to be guarding a clock, and perhaps they were at some point; but the bronze decoration where the clock should be is fairly old, if it is not original. The banner with the name of the store is hanging over this sculpture, which is why we have to look at it from this angle: old Pa Pitt thought it would be discourteous to take down the banner just to get a better picture.

    Griffin
    Detail
    Ram’s head
    Medallion
    Rear

    One of the points of the triangle.

    Oblique view
  • Art Deco Christmas in the Koppers Building

    Christmas tree in the Koppers Building lobby

    The lobby of the Koppers Building is one of our richest Art Deco interiors, and here it is decorated for Christmas.

    Clock
    Lobby
    Window
    Balconies
  • Art Deco Apartment Building, East Liberty

    Abandoned Art Deco apartment building

    Art Deco is not very common in Pittsburgh, although there were a few Art Deco apartment buildings in the East End. Here is one on Negley Avenue that probably will not be with us much longer; it looks as though it is scheduled to be replaced. It is a late Art Deco style; old Pa Pitt would guess it dates from the 1950s. Most of the building is just a modernist block, but the horizontal stripes give it more than average decorative flair, and the vertical forms of the entrance lift it into the realm of Art Deco.

    Front
  • Elevator Door in the Koppers Building

  • Art Deco Clock in the Koppers Building

  • Prospect School, Mount Washington

    Prospect School

    The firm of James T. Steen & Sons gave us many prominent buildings. The elder James died in 1923, but the firm flourished under his son Marion M. Steen, whose particular specialty was schools. Here is one of his finest works, built in 1931 with additions in 1937. The school closed in 2006, but it was converted to loft apartments without losing any of the glorious Art Deco decorations and reliefs.

    Main entrance

    Old Pa Pitt seldom does this, but because there are eighteen pictures in this article, he will avoid weighing down the front page of the site by placing the rest of them below the metaphorical fold.

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  • Letterbox in the Koppers Building

    Letterbox in the Koppers Building

    The brass letterbox in the lobby of the Koppers Building (now called Koppers Tower, because every Building became a Tower while you weren’t looking) is a stylized model of the Koppers Building itself.

  • Born Building, Squirrel Hill

    Born Building

    This Art Deco block of small storefronts and offices on Murray Avenue is in a prosperous district, but the concrete details are decaying, and many have disappeared. The optometrist at the left end, the central entrance to the upstairs offices, and the tailor shop right of center preserve what was probably the decorative pattern of all the storefronts when this building was put up.

    Decoration
    Concrete ornament

    This is meant to be the central ornamental focus of the building, but it has been shedding bits and pieces.

    Born Building
  • St. Josaphat’s War Memorial, South Side Slopes

    A memorial to the large number from St. Josaphat’s who served in both World Wars. It stands across the narrow street from the church, set into the hillside, with a statue of Christ displaying his Sacred Heart and welcoming us to stop and read the names. As you can guess from the names if you enlarge the picture, St. Josaphat’s was a Polish congregation.

    Statue of Christ
    Art Deco eagle