Tag: Clocks

  • St. Thomas Memorial Church, Oakmont

    St. Thomas Memorial Church

    The outsized corner tower of this Episcopal church defines the rich and splendid building, designed by R. Maurice Trimble and built in 1906. Old Pa Pitt is especially happy that the clock is keeping time, because it’s an extraordinary clock.

    Clock face
    St. Thomas Memorial Church

    Cameras: Sony Alpha 3000; Nikon COOLPIX P100.

  • Art Deco Clock in the Koppers Building

  • Do You Know This Face?

    If you are a Pittsburgher, you have probably seen it many times, but you may not have paid it much attention.

    It belongs to one of the atlantes—Atlas figures—on the Kaufmann’s clock.

  • Duquesne Brewery Clock Illuminated

  • The Iroquois

    The Iroquois Building

    The Iroquois Building, which takes up a whole block of Forbes Avenue, was designed by Frederick Osterling, Pittsburgh’s most consistently flamboyant architect. Osterling designed in a variety of styles: he had his own ornate version of Richardsonian Romanesque, and his last large commission was the Flemish-Gothic Union Trust Building. Here, as in the Arrott Building downtown, he adapts Beaux-Arts classicism to his own flashier sensibilities. The building was finished in 1903.

    This clock sits in front of the central light well—a typically ornate Osterling detail.

    A naked brick front would never do for Osterling; it must be constantly varied in shape and texture. These grotesque reliefs help.

  • Duquesne Brewery Clock

    Duquesne Brewery Clock

    It is difficult to convey a sense of the scale of this enormous clock, but seeing it looming behind the rowhouses of 21st Street gives us some idea.

  • Kaufmann’s Clock from Fifth Avenue

    The famous Kaufmann’s clock, seen from the east on Fifth Avenue.

  • Bell Telephone Company of Pennsylvania Western Headquarters Building

    We’ve seen this building before, from an angle, but here is old Pa Pitt’s best attempt (so far) at seeing it head-on from the front, the way the architects (Dowler & Dowler) might have drawn it back in 1957. The picture is a composite, and there are stitching errors if you examine it closely; but it still gives a better impression of the design of the building than any other picture of it that Father Pitt has seen.

    One of the building’s most attractive features is the Pennsylvania relief with rotating globe, illustrating the slogan “Anywhere Any Time by Telephone.” The relief shows outsized Pittsburgh as “Gateway to the West,” and the clearly less important Philadelphia as home of the Liberty Bell and City Hall. The globe used to rotate to show the part of the earth currently illuminated by sunlight; but both the globe and the clock above it have stopped, and the plastic window over the globe is sadly fogged. Now that the building has become luxury apartments, perhaps an enlightened ownership will put a little money into restoring what used to be one of downtown’s unique attractions.

  • The Kaufmann’s Clock

    For decades this clock, on the Kaufmann’s department store at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Smithfield Street, marked the busiest corner of Pittsburgh’s retail district. “Under the clock” was the designated meeting-place downtown, and Kaufmann’s premier restaurant was called the Tic-Toc in its honor.

    The Kaufmann’s building (like everything else) is being redeveloped as condominium apartments, and the clock is featured prominently in the advertising art.

  • The Third-Largest Clock in the World

    It used to be the largest, but it was surpassed by the clock on the Istanbul Cevahir shopping mall in 2005, which in turn was surpassed by the almost comically enormous Mecca Clock in 2011. But the Duquesne Brewery clock is still the largest clock face in the Western Hemisphere, and it is the South Side’s most visible landmark, easily readable from across the river. Since the brewery stopped brewing, it has carried various advertisements; but for the moment it carries no message, except for the time, which is still correct.