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.
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 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.
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.
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.