Tag: Frederick Osterling

  • Top of the Arrott Building

    The top of the Arrott Building, rendered in old-postcard colors by the Two-Strip Technicolor script for the GIMP.

  • Hillsdale School, Dormont

    Hillsdale School

    Frederick Osterling designed this school for the mushrooming borough in 1912. The building itself grew rapidly, with additions in 1914, 1916, and 1918, all in a matching style. According to the book Dormont by the Dormont Historical Society (one of the Images of America series by Arcadia Publishing), at some point in the second half of the twentieth century, high winds destroyed the original roof, and the building was given an up-to-date flat roof and a new front entrance with this fine late-Art-Deco sign.

    Hillsdale

    In 1996, the school closed, and in 1999 the borough government moved in, so that this is now the William & Muriel Moreland Dormont Municipal Center. The Dormont Historical Society has a small museum here, open one day a week.

  • Armstrong Cork Factory in 2000

    Broken windows, graffiti, piles of rubbish, trees growing from the roof—this is how the Armstrong Cork Factory looked two decades ago, when architectural historians wondered whether it could be saved. It’s a fine piece of industrial architecture by Frederick Osterling, and it was turned into luxury riverfront apartments in 2007. The success of that venture proved that there was a market for loft apartments in vacant landmarks, with the result that dozens of substantial buildings in the city have been similarly adapted since then.

    This picture was taken with a Lomo Smena 8M.

  • The Arrott Building Reflected

    Reflection of the Arrott Building

    The wonderfully elaborate top of the Arrott Building reflected in the Patterson Building.

  • Times Building

    Times Building

    In his earlier career, Frederick Osterling carved out a niche for himself providing Richardsonian Romanesque buildings for people who couldn’t get Richardson (because Richardson was dead). The Allegheny County Courthouse created a mania for the style in Pittsburgh, and Osterling seems to have had all the work he could handle. In this building from 1892, we see the hallmarks of Osterling’s own variation on the style. He was more florid than Richardson, but he was always aware of the overall composition, never allowing the numerous individual details to break up the carefully orchestrated rhythm of the façade.

    Below, we see the Times Building in context, with One Oxford Centre looming in the middle distance.

    Times Building and One Oxford Centre
  • The Arrott Building Reborn

    Arrott Building

    After much expensive restoration and renovation, the Arrott Building (designed by Frederick Osterling) has reopened as a hotel called “The Industrialist.” The exquisite lobby has been carefully preserved. The picture above is huge, stitched together from several photographs to make what may be the only complete head-on picture of the Wood Street façade of the building on the internet.

    Entrance to the Arrott Building
  • Negley-Gwinner-Harter House, Shadyside

    This Second Empire mansion had a narrow escape: the third floor burned out in 1987, and the owner died the next year, leaving the house a derelict hulk. It was rescued from demolition at the last minute by serial restorationist Joedda Sampson, who painted it in her trademark polychrome style; it has since passed to other owners, whose pristine white also works well with the design. The house was built in 1871; Frederick Osterling worked on early-twentieth-century renovations and additions.

  • Korean Central Church of Pittsburgh, Shadyside

    This building began its life as the First Methodist Church; it later passed into the hands of the Seventh Day Adventists, and now belongs to a nondenominational Korean congregation. It is a work of Frederick Osterling in his typically florid Romanesque style. Obviously the spire has had a bit of bad luck, but the rest of the exterior is in pretty good shape.

    This modest but tasteful house seems to be the parsonage for the church, and Father Pitt can easily imagine that it was designed by Osterling as well. He would be happy to have his speculation corrected or confirmed.

  • The Iroquois

    The Iroquois Building

    The Iroquois Building, which takes up a whole block of Forbes Avenue, was designed by Frederick Osterling, Pittsburgh’s most consistently flamboyant architect. Osterling designed in a variety of styles: he had his own ornate version of Richardsonian Romanesque, and his last large commission was the Flemish-Gothic Union Trust Building. Here, as in the Arrott Building downtown, he adapts Beaux-Arts classicism to his own flashier sensibilities. The building was finished in 1903.

    This clock sits in front of the central light well—a typically ornate Osterling detail.

    A naked brick front would never do for Osterling; it must be constantly varied in shape and texture. These grotesque reliefs help.

  • Lobby of the Arrott Building

    The small but richly gorgeous lobby of the Arrott Building as it appeared in 2013, before the current renovations.