Until fairly recently, almost all the businesses along Warrington Avenue in Allentown bore German names. This building still bears a ghost sign for Geo. Matz & Sons Furniture and Carpets. The style of the building is typical German Commercial Romanesque, of the sort that is very common in the old German neighborhoods in Pittsburgh. The storefront has been filled in with Perma-Stone, one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and the windows have been replaced with smaller standard-sized windows (with fake “multi-pane” slats, because window companies insist on adding those even though they look completely wrong on most buildings from the middle nineteenth century onwards). But both those things could be undone when Allentown becomes trendy enough to make restoration worthwhile, and otherwise the façade of the building is very well preserved.
Matz Furniture Building, Allentown
Limbach Building, Allentown
H. Daub Building, West End
No one has to ask when this distinguished Victorian commercial building was constructed. There was a brief time about fifteen years ago when the West End looked like the next trendy artsy neighborhood—for example, you can just barely make out that this building briefly housed a Steinway piano dealer. It seems that the neighborhood was too far out of the way for the arts community to take firm roots. The neighborhood is still pleasant, but much of the business district is deserted.