Charles M. Bartberger’s perspective renderings were featured more than once in the American Architect and Building News. From December 29, 1900—two days before the end of the nineteenth century—comes this very pleasant mansion for a wealthy Pittsburgher. Mr. Bartberger, whose father was the successful architect Charles F. Bartberger (and the two of them are mixed up all over the Internet), had established himself as a reliable designer of houses for the fairly-well-off, and this Dutch-colonial house is a variation on a very common style in the East End neighborhoods: not an adventurous design, but a respectable one. Father Pitt does not know where it was built or whether it still stands, but he will be looking out for a house with those distinctive dormers.
The school is long gone, and the site covered by expressways: it was about where the ramps from the Fort Duquesne Bridge join state route 65 on the way to Ohio River Boulevard, very near the North Side subway station. But here is a rendering of Charles M. Bartberger’s design, which is an early school in a somewhat unusual Flemish style by an architect who came to design many of Pittsburgh’s more distinguished school buildings. It was published in the American Architect and Building News for October 13, 1900.
Old Pa Pitt finds it interesting how many of these architectural renderings include elegantly dressed ladies and gentlemen standing in the street waiting to be run over by an omnibus.
A small school by a distinguished architect: Charles M. Bartberger, who gave us several fine schools. (He is often confused with his father, Charles F. Bartberger, who designed some prominent churches.) The Lee School is now a retirement home under the name Gualtieri Manor.
The entrance is surrounded by tasteful terra-cotta ornamentation.
This pattern is called a Vitruvian wave, named for Vitruvius, the ancient Roman author whose manual on architecture became the arbiter of everything that was proper in design during the Renaissance.
The arms of the city of Pittsburgh over the entrance.
In 1903, this rendering of a “House for J. J. Matthews, Esq., North Negley Ave., Pittsburgh, Pa.,” was published in the American Architect and Building News as one of the week’s outstanding examples of new architecture. The architect was Charles M. Bartberger, well known in Pittsburgh for some prominent schools and the Industrial Bank on Fourth Avenue. The house still stands in a somewhat bedraggled state today, with its porch filled in and a couple of stained-glass windows missing; otherwise the front has not been altered.
A little bank built in 1903, designed to convey the message that you don’t have to be big to be rich. The architect was Charles M. Bartberger.