Grant Building from First Avenue

Grant Building

When Henry Hornbostel’s Grant Building first went up in 1929, it was festooned with Art Deco pinnacles that were removed decades ago. If you enlarge this picture of the south side of the building, you can just make out the shadows left by those vanished ornaments.

Allegheny General Hospital

Allegheny General Hospital

An Art Deco interpretation of the skyscraper style old Pa Pitt calls “Mausoleum-on-a-Stick,” in which the cap of the skyscraper is patterned after the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus. The architects, York & Sawyer, seem to have been taken with the style; they designed another Mausoleum-on-a-Stick building in the same year (1926) for Montreal. You can see a picture of it in one of old Pa Pitt’s earlier articles on Allegheny General Hospital.

The original skyscraper hospital was a marvel of practical hospital design. Everything radiates from a central core of elevators, and nothing is more than a few steps from the elevator. Later the hospital was expanded with new buildings in wildly mismatched styles, so that the complex has become the hopeless jungle of dead-end corridors and mismatched floors usual in big-city hospitals.

Webster Hall from the Corner of Dithridge Street

Webster Hall

An oblique view of Webster Hall. And is that a bus coming toward us? Yes, it is.

The Admiral Apartments, Shadyside

A simple modernist brick box is given an Art Deco flair by distinctively patterned brickwork.

Art Deco Buildings on Washington Road, Mount Lebanon

Uptown Mount Lebanon has one of the best collections of Art Deco architecture in the area. These two buildings sit side by side on Washington Road at the corner of Alfred Street. With some confidence, old Pa Pitt identifies the Gothic fantasy on the right as an old movie theater, although he would be happy to be corrected.