Colonial Place

Colonial Place

Colonial Place, off Ellsworth Avenue, is one of those little one-street enclaves in Shadyside that shut out the world as much as they can to create a tiny insular community. The architect here was George S. Orth, who also designed a couple of prominent millionaires’ mansions in Allegheny West. The landscape design by E. H. Bachman was just as important, and the sycamore trees he specified have matured into elegant sculptures as attractive when the leaves are off as they are in full leaf.

Colonial Place
Colonial Place

Harry Darlington Jr. House, Allegheny West

Harry Darlington Jr. House

Harry Darlington built this house in 1908 for his son, Harry Darlington Junior. The son’s house was two doors down from the father’s (separated by the widow Holmes’ house), but the two houses could hardly be more different in style. Where the father’s is tall, narrow, and massive, this is (comparatively) low and spreading. The architect was George S. Orth, who also designed the William Penn Snyder house a block away on Ridge Avenue.

William Penn Snyder House, Allegheny West

William Penn Snyder house

Considering the traditional link between Pittsburgh and New York—the two cities shared millionaires, department stores, and many other cultural phenomena—it’s surprising that this is Pittsburgh’s only New-York-style brownstone palace. The architect was George S. Orth, who was also responsible for the Colonial Place development in Shadyside. The house was built in 1911, shortly before the millionaires began to flee the neighborhood. Since then it has been an office building, and the commercial addition to the right is a good example of how to expand a historic building sensitively without throwing money around like a Pittsburgh millionaire.