Tag: Carnegie (Andrew)

  • Anderson Manor, Manchester

    Anderson Manor

    Few of the great Greek Revival mansions that surrounded Pittsburgh before the Civil War have survived. This one has, and that alone would make it important. But this one also has a place of high honor in the intellectual history of the United States. This was the home of Colonel James Anderson, the book-lover, who opened his personal library to working boys on Saturday afternoons. One of those boys was Andrew Carnegie, who attributed his later success to the education he got from reading Col. Anderson’s books. When Carnegie established his first public library in Allegheny, he donated a memorial to Col. Anderson to stand outside and remind the city that Carnegie was only following his benefactor’s example. A plaque, set up by somebody who did not understand how quotation marks work, duplicates the original inscription:

    To Colonel James Anderson

    The original house was built in about 1830; additions were made in 1905—a fortunate time, since classical style had come back in fashion, and the additions were in sympathy with the original.

    The house has belonged to various institutions over the years, but many of the details remain intact.

    Main house
    Central section
    Doric capital

    The colonnaded porch-and-balcony has Doric columns below, Ionic above—a scrupulously correct treatment. Doric was regarded as weightier than Ionic, so the lighter-looking columns are supported by the heavier-looking ones. If there were a third level, the columns would be Corinthian, the lightest of the three Greek orders.

    Ionic capital
    Another Ionic capital
    Anderson Manor
    From the south
    Anderson Manor from the north