Tag: Fifth Avenue

  • More Reflections of St. Paul’s

    Reflections of the towers of St. Paul’s Cathedral in the windows of the Software Engineering Institute.

  • Do You Know This Face?

    If you are a Pittsburgher, you have probably seen it many times, but you may not have paid it much attention.

    It belongs to one of the atlantes—Atlas figures—on the Kaufmann’s clock.

  • Rowhouses on Fifth Avenue, Uptown

    Uptown is a neighborhood in transition, and it still is not entirely clear what it will become. Will these rowhouses become valuable properties worth restoring? Or will they be knocked down for skyscraper apartments? Or will the development mania grind to a halt before it reaches this block? These two houses are in pretty good shape and worth preserving for their nearly intact fronts. Both have some fine woodwork. The one on the left has had some unfortunate renovation done to the dormer, but otherwise nothing bad has happened to it. It has newer windows, but in the right size and shape, and if you painted those aluminum frames they would be indistinguishable from the originals. The one on the right is even more perfectly intact. Note its proper Pittsburgh stair railing: in Pittsburgh, railings are a plumber’s art.

  • Some Details from Webster Hall

    Webster Hall sign
    Webster Hall

    Father Pitt picked up a Fujifilm HS10 camera very cheaply, and here is a demonstration of its long range. The picture above and the picture below were taken standing in the same spot: the steps of the Mellon Institute across Fifth Avenue. The picture above is not a composite: the lens is wide enough for the whole building. (Of course the perspective has been adjusted, because old Pa Pitt wouldn’t let a picture go without doing that.)

    Scallop-shell ornament

    A scallop-shell ornament over one of the windows in the upper floors. The long lens makes it easy to pick out interesting details, and the details on Webster Hall, designed by Henry Hornbostel, are worth picking out. It’s a kind of Art Deco Renaissance palace, built as luxury apartments, but soon changed into a hotel, and then back to luxury apartments again.

    Window
    Arches
    Brackets
    Lintel
  • Soldiers and Sailors Memorial from a Different Angle

    We saw the front as it looked 22 years ago (and as it looks today, because nothing has changed except the plantings). This is the Bigelow Boulevard side the way it looked the day before yesterday, as seen from Lytton Avenue a block away. Supposedly this was the side that architect Henry Hornbostel had been forced to agree to make the front, but then he built the thing his way anyway, with a long vista down to Fifth Avenue.

    Old-timers will remember the parking lot in the foreground as Syria Mosque.

  • Regal Shoe Company Building

    An elegant little storefront designed by Alden & Harlow in 1908. It now houses a men’s clothing store.

  • Italianate House, Uptown

    This is a particularly grand rowhouse: note how much taller it is than its neighbor, indicating high ceilings. It seems to be abandoned right now, but perhaps it has a chance if the urban pioneers moving into the neighborhood get to it before it mysteriously catches fire. There is much worth preserving: the woodwork is in fairly good shape, and the windows—mostly unbroken—are still original and proper for the period. The location of the house on Fifth Avenue might make it attractive, but also might put it in the way if development mania reaches this part of the street.

  • Eye and Ear Hospital, Uptown

    Eye and Ear Hospital

    This building was our first specialty eye and ear hospital, and a brief description from a history published in 1922 will show us how the idea of a hospital has changed in a century.

    Located on Fifth avenue, corner of Jumonville street, is the Eye and Ear Hospital, under the auspices of a board of women managers. It had its inception at a meeting held May 20, 1895, at the home of Miss Sarah H. Killikelly, who during her lifetime was well known in the literary and historical circles of the city. A charter was secured June 22, 1895, and a location was secured on Penn avenue, but a removal was made to the present building in 1905. The first board of managers consisted of thirteen women and two physicians, eye specialists, for the medical and surgical treatment of all diseases of the eye, ear, nose and throat. The patients are divided into three classes—first, for the poor who require treatment of a character that is not necessary to detain them at the hospital; second, for the poor who require detention in the hospital, to whom free beds are allotted in the wards and a nominal charge made if they are able to pay; third, for those able to pay, private rooms are furnished, therefore the hospital is in no sense a charity; it must under its charter minister without charge to all those who suffer from any disease of the eye and ear, who are unable to pay for treatment.

    No further remark is needed.

  • Porch of the Mellon Institute

    Porch of the Mellon Institute

    Behind the world’s largest monolithic columns on the porch of the Mellon Institute.

  • Pittsburgh Athletic Association, Oakland

    Pittsburgh Athletic Association

    The Pittsburgh Athletic Association, one of the prolific Benno Janssen’s most elaborate designs, as it was in 2000 before the recent renovation. Above, from across Fifth Avenue; below, from the grounds of the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial. Old Pa Pitt took these pictures with a Kodak Retinette, which comes close to his ideal of the perfect 35-millimeter camera.

    Pittsburgh Athletic Association and cannon