Tag: Classical Architecture

  • Lee School, Beechview

    Lee School

    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.

    Entrance

    The entrance is surrounded by tasteful terra-cotta ornamentation.

    Inscription
    Vitruvian wave

    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.

    Oblique view
    Arms of the city of Pittsburgh

    The arms of the city of Pittsburgh over the entrance.

  • Some Details from Webster Hall

    Webster Hall sign
    Webster Hall

    Father Pitt picked up a Fujifilm HS10 camera very cheaply, and here is a demonstration of its long range. The picture above and the picture below were taken standing in the same spot: the steps of the Mellon Institute across Fifth Avenue. The picture above is not a composite: the lens is wide enough for the whole building. (Of course the perspective has been adjusted, because old Pa Pitt wouldn’t let a picture go without doing that.)

    Scallop-shell ornament

    A scallop-shell ornament over one of the windows in the upper floors. The long lens makes it easy to pick out interesting details, and the details on Webster Hall, designed by Henry Hornbostel, are worth picking out. It’s a kind of Art Deco Renaissance palace, built as luxury apartments, but soon changed into a hotel, and then back to luxury apartments again.

    Window
    Arches
    Brackets
    Lintel
  • Soldiers and Sailors Memorial from a Different Angle

    We saw the front as it looked 22 years ago (and as it looks today, because nothing has changed except the plantings). This is the Bigelow Boulevard side the way it looked the day before yesterday, as seen from Lytton Avenue a block away. Supposedly this was the side that architect Henry Hornbostel had been forced to agree to make the front, but then he built the thing his way anyway, with a long vista down to Fifth Avenue.

    Old-timers will remember the parking lot in the foreground as Syria Mosque.

  • Soldiers and Sailors Memorial, Oakland

    Soldiers and Sailors Memorial

    In 2000, a planting of deep burgundy celosia gave old Pa Pitt the opportunity to take this picture with his beloved Kodak Retinette.

  • Renshaw Building

    Renshaw

    The Renshaw Building at Liberty Avenue and Ninth Street was built in 1910, with an extra floor added to the top at some time in the modernistic era. It’s a perfect miniature skyscraper, with base, shaft, cap, and the outlined bosses’ floor above the main floor. There are some good terra-cotta decorations, especially around the Ninth Street entrance.

    Renshaw Building
    Nonth Street entrance
    Frieze
  • Hill-Top YMCA, Knoxville

    YMCA

    A little bedraggled and somewhat muddled by renovations, the former Hill-Top Branch Young Men’s Christian Association is still a grand building. Old Pa Pitt has not been able to determine the architect, but according to the city’s Hilltop architectural inventory it was built in 1911. The same document says elsewhere that the land for it was donated in 1912, and Father Pitt is imagining an amusing scene in which the projectors of the YMCA are trying to explain to the landowner why they thought it was easier to ask for forgiveness than permission. Above, the Zara Street front of the building.

    Capital

    One of the ornate “modern Ionic” capitals on the front porch.

    Corner
    Cornerstone
    Grimes Street side

    The Grimes Street side.

  • Logan-Gregg Hardware Co. Building

    Built in 1915 to a design by the prolific and versatile Charles Bickel, this is now part of the Creative and Performing Arts high school in the Cultural District, the rest of which has picked up on Bickel’s decorative stripes and made them the theme for the whole facility. The Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation says that “Classrooms flow from one building into the other,” which must make it difficult to know where your Theater Arts class is on any given day.

  • Horne’s

    The old Horne’s department store is still kept in good shape on the outside, though it is no longer filled with dry-goods treasures from around the globe.

  • The Roosevelt Hotel

    Built in 1927, the Roosevelt was Renaissance classical on the outside and Tudor on the inside. On Emporis.com, the design is credited to Webber & Wurster, a Philadelphia firm whose only work listed on Emporis.com is this building, although some Philadelphia buildings come up in wider Internet searches. The Roosevelt went out of business as a hotel more than once, for the last time half a century ago in 1972. Since then it has been apartments of one sort or another.

  • Two Sides of Charles Bickel

    Charles Bickel was one of our most prolific architects of medium-sized commercial buildings. He was versatile and adaptable, as we see here in two buildings of very similar dimensions and very different styles, built within two years of each other. Above, the Maginn Building, from 1897, in a very Richardsonian Romanesque idiom; it is currently being converted into—who would have guessed?—luxury loft apartments. Below, from 1895, the United Presbyterian Board of Publications Building, in a pure Beaux-Arts classical style.