The Iroquois

The Iroquois Building

The Iroquois Building, which takes up a whole block of Forbes Avenue, was designed by Frederick Osterling, Pittsburgh’s most consistently flamboyant architect. Osterling designed in a variety of styles: he had his own ornate version of Richardsonian Romanesque, and his last large commission was the Flemish-Gothic Union Trust Building. Here, as in the Arrott Building downtown, he adapts Beaux-Arts classicism to his own flashier sensibilities. The building was finished in 1903.

This clock sits in front of the central light well—a typically ornate Osterling detail.

A naked brick front would never do for Osterling; it must be constantly varied in shape and texture. These grotesque reliefs help.

Hartley Rose Building

Built for the Hartley-Rose Belting Company (so old Pa Pitt has no idea why the name on the awning lacks a hyphen, but he has no control over that), this is in effect a miniature Beaux-Arts skyscraper, with the regulation base–shaft–cap design. The architect was Edward Stotz, many of whose most famous commissions were schools—notably Schenley High School and Fifth Avenue High School.

Victory Building (in Better Light)

Old Pa Pitt published a nearly identical picture of the Victory Building a while ago, but he was unhappy with the patch of blinding sunlight that washed out one corner of it. Here is the same view in more even lighting.

Forbes Avenue Side of the Frick Building

Louis Sullivan was of the opinion that Daniel Burnham’s success in the classical style was a great blow to American architecture. But what could be more American than a Burnham skyscraper? Like America, it melds its Old World influences into an entirely new form, in its way as harmonious and dignified as a Roman basilica, but without qualification distinctly American.

Allegheny Building

Forever overshadowed by its taller neighbor the Frick Building, the Allegheny Building, built in 1906, is also by Daniel Burnham, and also a Frick project. It is one of his spare, almost modernistic designs, and it is fascinating to see how well the classical vocabulary adapts to twentieth-century simplicity.