An elegant little classical firehouse, still in use as a medic station, on Lafayette Avenue at the corner of Federal Street. It dates from before 1910 and after 1903.
Truck Co. No. 50, Lafayette Hilltop
Hebrew Institute, Hill
In the early twentieth century, the Hill was Pittsburgh’s most diverse neighborhood, and in particular it was the main center of Jewish culture. A number of buildings survive from the Jewish community there, though they have all been turned to other uses. This one, for example, is now a “community engagement center” run by the University of Pittsburgh. But it was the original home of the Hebrew Institute, which moved to Squirrel Hill in 1944. It was a school that taught Hebrew language, literature, and culture to Jewish children. The style of the building is typical Pittsburgh School Classical, but the broken pediment above the entrance frames a Torah scroll.
Mellon Institute at Twilight
The colossal columns of the Mellon Institute illuminated from within.
Eclectic House on Aylesboro Avenue, Squirrel Hill
A little bit Georgian with a hint of Gothic, this house is oddly eclectic in its details but harmonizes them well.
Carnegie Library, Mount Washington Branch
One of the little neighborhood libraries designed by Alden & Harlow, this one has a prime location on Grandview Avenue, making it possibly the library with the best view in the world.
Another Renaissance Palace in Squirrel Hill
Gilding the capitals of your Ionic porch columns is a subtle way to tell the world, “I have more money than I know what to do with.” Note the half-round extrusion in the shadows on the right-hand side.
Soldiers and Sailors Hall at Night
Night views of the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial in Oakland.
Pittsburgh Athletic Association, Oakland
This grand Renaissance palace by Benno Janssen has a lighting scheme that emphasizes its architectural details.
In the foreground, the silhouette of one of the cannons on the grounds of Soldiers and Sailors Hall.
Built in 1927, this Fourth Avenue tower was designed by John M. Donn, a Washington architect known for government buildings who seems not to have done anything else around here. The curious ornamental obelisks at the corners of the cap were the inspiration for Philip Johnson’s Tomb of the Unknown Bowler down the street.
Johnston House, Squirrel Hill
Probably built in the 1890s, this grand house on Wightman Street has its very Victorian trim picked out in cheerful colors. Note the thoroughness of the decoration: even the dormers are given little pilasters with Ionic capitals.