Tag: Orth (George S.)

  • Colonial Place

    Mansion at Colonial Place

    Colonial Place is one of those tiny enclaves all built at once in which Shadyside abounds. This one was built in 1898, and it is unique in that the entrance is flanked by two grand mansions.

    Mansion

    George S. Orth was the architect of almost all the houses in Colonial Place. (See if you can guess which house old Pa Pitt thinks was not part of the original plan.) Mr. Orth had a prosperous career designing mansions for the wealthy, as well as some large institutions like the School for Blind Children. But he seems to have been forgotten faster than most Pittsburgh architects. He died in 1918; ten years later, when the architect George Schwan died at 55, his obituary in the Charette had to remind readers who Orth was: “He [Schwan] was trained in the office of George S. Orth, old time architect of Pittsburgh…” That is all the more remarkable because the Charette was the magazine of the Pittsburgh Architectural Club, of all groups the one that would be most likely to remember George S. Orth.

    At any rate, Colonial Place is still a remarkably pleasant little street. The landscaping was done by E. H. Bachman, and the sycamores he planted still shade the street in summer and make a striking avenue in the winter with their stark white branches and trunks.

    Colonial Place
    House
    House, front view
    House, perspective view
    Ranch house
    House with green shingles
    House with white shingles
    House with maroon shingles
    House
    House
    Mansion

    This mansion is currently the residence of the Greek Orthodox Metropolitan of Pittsburgh.

    Terra cotta
    Mansion

    This one is currently for sale, and you can tour the interior on Google Street View (push the “Browse Street View images” standing-figure button to reveal little blue dots all over the house).

    Side entrance
    Ionic capital
    Bracket
  • 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.

  • School for Blind Children

    2014-04-10-School-for-Blind-Children-01

    This building from 1894, right next to Schenley Farms in Oakland, was designed by George L. Orth, and still houses the school he designed it for.