Tag: Eagles

  • U. S. Post Office Entrance

    Shield with eagle

    The Post Office and Courthouse (now called the Joseph F. Weis, Jr. U.S. Courthouse) is Pittsburgh’s grandest monument of the style old Pa Pitt calls “American Fascist.” The post office was on the Seventh Avenue side; it has moved to Liberty Center, but the inscriptions are still here. The building was put up under Secretary of the Treasury Andrew W. Mellon, of whom it was often said that three presidents served under him. The architects were Trowbridge & Livingston, who also worked on some of Mellon’s private projects, like the Gulf Building across the street.

    Post office entrance
    Bronze and marble
  • Fifth Ward World War I Memorial, Upper Hill

    Eagle by Frank Vittor

    An unmistakable Frank Vittor eagle; compare it to the eagle on the West End World War I memorial and the one on the portal to the Boulevard of the Allies. City records confirm that Frank Vittor was the sculptor.

    Fifth Ward War Memorial

    The memorial stands in Robert E. Williams Memorial Park, originally Herron Hill Park, which was laid out in 1889. It is a very pleasant green space in a pleasant residential section of the Upper Hill.

    Because war memorials sometimes become illegible for various reasons, and because a historian friend has been trying to reconstruct the names on another World War I memorial and finding the task difficult, old Pa Pitt has decided to record all the names on this memorial. If you enlarge the pictures, you should be able to read every name clearly.


    The emblem of the Corps of Engineers, which in an earlier version of the article Father Pitt had mistaken for the arms of Pittsburgh. Thanks to our commenter below for the correction.

    A map showing the location of the memorial.

  • World War I Memorial, West End Park

    War memorial

    West End Park is far off the beaten track, and few people outside its own neighborhood (which is technically Elliott, though it belongs at least as much to the West End) ever visit, or even know it exists. But it has one of our best war memorials by one of our best sculptors and one of our best architects.

    The sculptor was Frank Vittor, who was already developing the streamlined style that would make him one of Pittsburgh’s two favorite sculptors (the other being Giuseppe Moretti). The architect was William Perry, whose most famous work is St. Bernard’s in Mount Lebanon, a church more magnificent than many cathedrals. Their collaboration produced a striking monument, simple but rich. Unfortunately some restoration has left it with two radically different colors of stone and concrete, which is not how it was meant to look, as we see in this picture from twenty-two years ago:

    Memorial in 2000

    That picture shows us that the memorial has also lost some sort of bronze ornament on the bottom half of the shaft: we can see the shadow of what seems to have been a shield with double-headed axe set in a bronze band. (Addendum: The book Discovering Pittsburgh’s Sculpture, by Vernon Gay and Marilyn Evert, shows the ornament in place, with a bronze band all the way around the base. That book was published in 1983.)

    Cherubim and shields
  • Eagle on the Keystone Bank Building


    A proud eagle perches on a keystone, reminding us that this tower on Fourth Avenue was built for the Keystone Bank, though it now houses the Pittsburgh Technology Center. The tower is in a somewhat mutilated state, but many of its decorations are still intact.

  • More Art Deco in Mount Lebanon

    Though it currently houses a real-estate agency, the terra-cotta reliefs tell us that this was built as a medical office. The splendid Art Deco eagle made it a very patriotic medical office.