Tag: Craig Street

  • The Bellefield Club, Oakland

    Bellefield Club

    We have mentioned before how thick the air was with clubs in Oakland. Here is one that has been almost forgotten: a small clubhouse by a big architect. The Bellefield Club on Craig Street was designed by James T. Steen, who also gave us the House Building, among many others.

    Bellefield Club

    The club opened in 1904; since then the building has had some small alterations. Cheap stock windows have replaced the windows upstairs, with cheap filler to take up the rest of the space. (Father Pitt has not seen a picture of the building in its original state; it is possible that there was a balcony behind those upper arches.) The front has been painted in a gaudy combination of brown and cream; it probably looked better with the original yellow brick. But the alterations are not severe and could be reverted by a sensitive owner.

    This building was one of those unexpected discoveries one sometimes makes in the big city. Old Pa Pitt was walking up Craig Street to take pictures of the Craig Street automotive row when this building arrested his attention. He must have gone past it in a car or a bus a hundred times, but this time he noticed it. It seemed like something different from the surrounding buildings. Was it an old theater or some institution? The Pittsburgh Historic Maps site revealed that it had been built as the Bellefield Club, and less than twenty years later in 1923 was inhabited by the Pittsburgh Academy of Medicine. A little more poking around found the architect.

  • A Queen Anne Survivor on Craig Street

    House on Craig Street

    Among the institutional buildings and skyscraper apartments on Craig Street are a few domestic survivors of old Bellefield, the pleasant suburban village that occupied the eastern part of Oakland. Here is one of them, a fine Queen Anne house that has lost very little of its original splendor. It now houses the Tamarind Indian restaurant.

    Front gable

    The richly decorated front gable is especially worth noting.

    Carving

    A bit of carving picked out by a very long lens.

    Side gable

    The sub-gable over the side bay was richly decorated as well. Note the many textures that come together here: roof shingles (they would have been slate originally), wooden shingles, carved wood, wavy board siding, terra-cotta frieze, decoratively textured brick.

  • Craig Street Face of Bayard Manor

    Bayard Manor

    The western end of Bayard Manor faces Craig Street. This is the commercial front of the building, since Craig Street is a retail district. The building has a residential front on Bayard Street, which matches the style of this end but does not even hint at sordid commerce. Father Pitt also has perhaps the only picture on the Internet of the entire Bayard Street front of Bayard Manor.

  • King Edward Apartments, Oakland

    King Edward Apartments

    This is a huge composite picture, so don’t click on it unless you have the megabytes to spare. This elegant apartment building on Craig Street had a typically Pittsburgh problem to solve. The lot is irregularly shaped and (of course) not level. The architect’s answer was a façade that is varied enough to mask the fact that it does not quite line up with the street. At first glance, the front seems symmetrical; the second and third glances will reveal the curious staggering of the wall.