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.

The Morgue

The Allegheny County Morgue (or Mortuary, when the coroner was feeling fancy) was designed by Frederick Osterling to match Richardson’s courthouse. It was originally built where the County Office Building stands now, and it was moved to make way for that building, inch by inch, while the coroner and staff continued to work inside the crawling building.

Lion on the Colonial Trust Building

Another Fourth Avenue lion ornament, on a building that was a later work of Frederick Osterling.

The Times Building

Frederick Osterling found a niche for a while making Richardsonian Romanesque buildings in a city that couldn’t get enough of Richardsonian Romanesque once it got a look at Richardson’s courthouse. Osterling attacked the style with more enthusiasm than most, and his works are certainly more than just Richardson knockoffs. The rich detail of the Times Building (1892) is a good example of his work.

The picture above was put together from ten individual photographs. Considering the narrow street, it is a very accurate rendering of the façade; but old Pa Pitt apologizes for a bit of fuzziness near the top. Below, the two grand arches of the Fourth Avenue entrance, with their wealth of intricate carved detail.

The Times Building runs all the way through from Fourth Avenue back to Third Avenue, and the Third Avenue entrance arch is certainly impressive.