Skinny Building Under Wraps

Skinny Building shrouded

The Skinny Building and its neighbor the Roberts Building have been bought by PNC. Here they are shrouded for renovation work. The last old Pa Pitt heard, PNC was planning on displaying art in the upper windows of the Skinny Building.

Donahoe Building

Donahoe Building, now CVS Pharmacy

This splendid terra-cotta façade on Forbes Avenue used to belong to Donahoe’s Market and Cafeteria (note the D above every second-floor window). Father Pitt enjoys the challenge of getting a complete picture of a large façade on a narrow street. Here the stitching has succeeded admirably; except for a little distortion at the ends of the building, this is probably just how the architect drew the upper floors. Old Pa Pitt doubts whether an architect had anything to do with the current incarnation of the ground floor; it looks like the work of a contractor who had a brother-in-law in the corrugated-steel trade.

Sixth Presbyterian Church, Squirrel Hill, in 1994

Sixth Presbyterian

One of the many black stone buildings that still remained in Pittsburgh in the 1990s. Like almost all the others, Sixth Presbyterian has since been cleaned and restored to its original color.

Father Pitt has always wondered why the Presbyterians kept numbering their churches. “First Presbyterian” is an honorable distinction. “Fifth Presbyterian” just sounds tired. And then why stop at six? There is a Seventh Presbyterian in Cincinnati, for example.

The Burke Building Stands with Ukraine

Burke Building with Ukrainian Flag

The Burke Building was built in 1836, and rather surprisingly (considering that Pittsburgh was founded in 1758) it’s the oldest building downtown outside Fort Pitt. The Great Fire of 1845 just missed it. The architect was John Chislett, Pittsburgh’s first resident architect, who also designed the Butler Street gatehouse for the Allegheny Cemetery.

Tower Two-Sixty

Tower Two-Sixty

The blockish Tower Two-Sixty looms over the little human-sized buildings on the Diamond.