Tag: Dowler and Dowler

  • Bell Telephone Company of Pennsylvania Western Headquarters Building

    Bell Telephone Company of Pennsylvania Western Headquarters Building

    Good, even lighting on a cloudy day gives us a good perspective view of this building, considered a minor classic of the modernist genre. It was put up in 1956; the architects were Dowler & Dowler. The senior partner, Press C. Dowler, had an extraordinarily long and prosperous career; he worked in every style from late-Victorian Romanesque to pure modernism like this. While other architects languished in the Depression, Press C. Dowler got consistent work from the telephone company, in addition to designing large school projects for the City of Pittsburgh and other municipalities; he continued doing work for schools and Bell well after the Second World War. The other Dowler was his son William.

    We also have a full elevation of the Stanwix Street front.

  • 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.

  • Bell Telephone Company of Pennsylvania Western Headquarters Building

    On the National Register of Historic Places as an outstanding example of modernism, this 1957 building by the Pittsburgh firm Dowler & Dowler (that’s Press C. Dowler and William C. Dowler) has been turned into luxury apartments, like everything else downtown. It also houses the City Charter High School.