Tag: Stotz (Edward)

  • Some Houses on Bigelow Boulevard, Schenley Farms

    Ledge House

    As we mentioned before, we are attempting to photograph every house in the residential part of Schenley Farms. Here is a big album of houses on Bigelow Boulevard, which becomes a residential street as it winds through the neighborhood. Above, Ledge House, the strikingly different home of A. A. Hamerschlag, the first director of Carnegie Tech (now Carnegie Mellon University). It was designed by Henry Hornbostel, who designed the Carnegie Tech campus and taught at Carnegie Tech. It has recently been cleaned of a century’s worth of industrial soot and restored to its original appearance.

    Ledge House
    4107 Bigelow Boulevard

    Above and below, the D. Herbert Hostetter, Jr., house, architects Janssen and Abbott. Benno Janssen and his partner abstracted the salient details of the Tudor or “English half-timber” style and reduced it to the essentials, creating a richly Tudory design with no wasted lines.

    4107 Bigelow Boulevard

    Because we have so many pictures, we’ll put the rest below the metaphorical fold to avoid weighing down the front page here.

  • Mercy School of Nursing, Bluff

    Mercy School of Nursing, Pittsburgh

    Father Pitt believes this is one of the buildings designed for Mercy Hospital by Edward Stotz, but would be happy to be corrected.

  • Fifth Avenue High School

    Fifth Avenue High School

    Someone left one of those temporary storage modules in front of the building, which mars our otherwise architecturally perfect picture of the Fifth Avenue façade. There is only so much old Pa Pitt can do.

    This Flemish Gothic palace, built in 1894, was designed by Edward Stotz, who would later give us Schenley High School. His son Charles Morse Stotz was more or less the founder of the preservation movement in Pittsburgh: he wrote the huge folio The Early Architecture of Western Pennsylvania, still an invaluable reference as well as a gorgeous book. It is fitting, therefore, that the father’s great landmarks have been among our preservation success stories.

    The school was closed in 1976, and after that it sat vacant for more than three decades. A generation knew it only as that looming hulk Uptown. It is a tribute to the architect that it survived in fairly good shape. In 2009 it was finally brought back to life with a years-long restoration project that turned it into loft apartments, which sold well and suggested that there might be some potential in the Uptown neighborhood. (It certainly helped that the new arena—currently named for PPG Paints—opened at about the same time.)

    View along the front
    Three-quarters view
    Rear of the school
    The rear of the school, taken in January of 2021.
  • Schenley High School

    Schenley High School

    This is the most magnificent work of an architect who specialized in magnificent schools: Edward Stotz, whose son was the noted preservationist Charles Stotz. The building occupies a triangular sloping plot, which certainly challenged the architect. Mr. Stotz responded with a triangular building that looks inevitable on its site.

    When it opened in 1916, Schenley High was a shrine of culture and art, an idealized version of what high-school education could be in an enlightened city. It closed as a school in 2008, and it has now, like every other substantial building in a desirable neighborhood, been refurbished as luxury apartments.

    Curiously, Edward Stotz was also responsible for another famously triangular building: the Monongahela Bank Building, which is now the Wood Street subway station and the Wood Street Galleries.

  • Hartley Rose Building

    Built for the Hartley-Rose Belting Company (so old Pa Pitt has no idea why the name on the awning lacks a hyphen, but he has no control over that), this is in effect a miniature Beaux-Arts skyscraper, with the regulation base–shaft–cap design. The architect was Edward Stotz, many of whose most famous commissions were schools—notably Schenley High School and Fifth Avenue High School.

  • The Back of Fifth Avenue High School

    The space across the alley from the rear of Fifth Avenue High School, Uptown, is now a parking lot, and on New Year’s Day it was a deserted parking lot. Thus, with a wide-angle lens, old Pa Pitt could get this picture of (almost) the entire rear of the school, which was designed by Edward Stotz. It sat abandoned for three decades, but now, like every other large building in the city, it has been turned into loft apartments.

  • Wood Street Station

    The Wood Street subway station and the Wood Street Galleries occupy the old Monongahela National Bank building, one of the many peculiarly shaped buildings along Liberty Avenue where the two grids collide in the John Woods street plan from 1784. This one is a right triangle.

    The picture is a composite, and if you click on it to enlarge it, you can have fun pointing out several ghosts among the people waiting for buses outside the station.

  • Wood Street Subway Station and Wood Street Galleries

    This building now houses the Wood Street station on the ground floor (and below, of course) and the Wood Street Galleries, a free museum of installation art, on the upper floors. It was put up for the Monongahela National Bank, and the architect was Edward Stotz, who also gave us Schenley High School—another triangular classical building. It makes one wonder whether Mr. Stotz printed “Specialist in Triangles” on his business cards.

    The elevator towers at the corners are later additions. They make a mess of the carefully worked out proportions of the building—Father Pitt thinks they make the whole structure look a bit like a fat rabbit—but at least they are done with similar materials.

    Camera: Kodak EasyShare Z1485 IS.
  • Schenley High School in 1916

    Grant Boulevard (now Bigelow Boulevard) Front.

    Abandoned for some time because it would have been too costly to restore for use by students, this magnificent building by Edward Stotz may soon be luxury apartments for yuppies. Here we see it as it was when it was newly built in 1916, from the Year Book of the Pittsburgh Architectural Club.


    Main Entrance Hall.

    Would you like to build your own Schenley High School? Here are the original plans:

  • Wood Street Station

    Two colliding grids make up downtown Pittsburgh’s street layout, and the collision happens at Liberty Avenue, giving us a fine array of odd-shaped buildings. This triangular structure, built as a bank, now houses the Wood Street subway station below and the Wood Street Galleries, an important contemporary art gallery, on the upper floors.

    While the Gateway Center Station is closed, Wood Street is the terminus of the subway downtown.

    This picture was taken with a Kiev-4 camera, a Ukrainian rangefinder that Father Pitt loves with an unreasoning passion. He would like to state for the record that the hideously rusted car in the foreground is not his fault.