Tag: Broadway

  • Beechview Christian Church

    Beechview Christian Church

    The building now belongs to Mercy Intellectual Disabilities Services, which has altered it to suit a radically different purpose. But the outlines of the church are still clear. The architect was T. Ed. Cornelius,1 about whom Father Pitt knows nothing except that he seems to have had a fairly successful career designing middle-class houses and modest churches—this one was budgeted at $25,000 in 1923, which was not a great deal to spend on building a church.

    This is another case where old Pa Pitt went looking for one of his pictures and discovered that he had never published it. The picture was taken in August of 2022, but only recently did Father Pitt discover the name of the architect.

    1. Source: The American Contractor, June 9, 1923: “Church: $25,000. 1 sty. & bas. 60×80. Shiras av. & Broadway. Archt. T. Ed. Cornelius, Magee bldg. Owner The Beechview Christian Church, Shiras av. & Broadway. Brk. Drawing plans.” ↩︎
  • The Traffic Light in Beechview

    Buildings on Broadway and Beechview Avenue, Beechview

    Central Beechview has one traffic signal, but it’s a very complicated one, regulating traffic on Broadway, Beechview Avenue, and Hampshire Avenue—and also the streetcars.

    Streetcar on Broadway in Beechview

    Yes, that streetcar was still in the intersection when the light turned red. But are you going to argue with the streetcar?

  • Triangular Apartment Building in Beechview

    Apartment building on Broadway, Beechview

    From Broadway this looks like an ordinary apartment building. But the architect, John A. Long,1 had an interestingly Pittsburghish problem to solve. The building is on a triangular lot with a very sharp angle—but that is only the two-dimensional aspect of the problem. In Beechview, there are always three dimensions.

    Corner of the triangle

    The third dimension is up.

    Oblique view

    The building was probably given green tiles on that projecting roofline, since Spanish Mission was a very popular style in Beechview and Dormont. The stonework is picked out in blue since a few years ago, which makes the building look cheerful. That long blue stripe on the ground floor probably marks the top of a storefront that was later converted to an apartment.

    Three buildings together

    Next door was a red-brick building that appears as “I. O. O. M.” on the 1923 map; perhaps it meant “L. O. O. M.,” and this was the original Beechview Moose lodge. The Moose now have their lodge a block down Broadway in a smaller building.

    At some time after 1923, the two buildings were connected by a very narrow filler building, which probably made three more rent-paying apartments possible:

    Filler building

    The arched doorway, with its abstract-Romanesque receding arches, adds interest to what is otherwise a plain building.

    Apartment buildings
    1. We take this information from the Construction Record, September 26, 1914. “Architect John A. Long, Machesney building, has plans for a three-story brick store and apartment building, for A. Gravaut, to be built on Baltimore and Realty avenue, at a cost of $12,000.” This would mean the building was put up in 1915 or so. Although the name doesn’t appear on any of the layers of the Pittsburgh Historic Maps site, there are enough references here and there to make it clear that Broadway was briefly called Baltimore Avenue before reverting to Broadway. The history of street names in Beechview is complicated by at least two wholesale changes just a few years apart. ↩︎
  • Stevenson Stop on the Red Line, Dormont

    Many streets in the Pittsburgh area used to have a median where the streetcars ran in a separate right-of-way: Center Avenue in West View and Brookline Boulevard in Brookline are two examples. Broadway in Dormont is the only one where the streetcars still run in the median. We could also count the Silver Line through Bethel Park as a broad instance of the same kind of development, although the streets between which the trolleys run have different names.

  • Thea, Esther, and Ruth in Dormont

    Thea apartments

    We have seen Ruth before, but here are all three of the ladies on Broadway in Dormont. They form a group, with Ruth facing the other two across the street. Ruth and Thea are identical; Esther is different, but matching in scale, colors, and materials.

    For some reason giving small apartment buildings women’s names was popular in Dormont. If old Pa Pitt had been naming these, he would have kept to a consistent Old Testament theme. Perhaps Ruth, Esther, and Hulda?

    Esther with a trolley
    Convenient to transit.
    Entrance to the Esther
    Ruth, inscription

    The pictures of Ruth were taken in November of 2022. Obviously, the only way to get the sun on all three buildings is to come at two different times.

  • Streetcar on Broadway, Beechview

  • At the End of the Rainbow

    In Beechview, you always find a streetcar at the end of the rainbow.

  • Apartment Building on Broadway, Dormont

    Old Pa Pitt’s fascination with small apartment buildings is hard to explain, except that—as he has mentioned before—they often gave lesser architects a chance to execute unusual ideas. This building is made of very simple elements, but arranged in an unusual rhythm, the balconies forming strong verticals that are accented by brick projections at the roofline.

  • Christmas Wreath on Broadway

    This is the time of year when neighborhood associations put up the Christmas decorations along the main business streets of every neighborhood. Here is one of the wreaths along Broadway in Beechview.

  • Ruth Apartments, Dormont

    Apartment building in Dormont

    A small apartment building along the Red Line in Dormont, with some of the Spanish Mission details that were very popular in Dormont a century ago. It was also popular to give small apartment buildings women’s names; across the street are two very similar buildings named Thea and Esther.