Tag: Gothic Architecture

  • Resurrection Church, Brookline

    Resurrection Church

    If old Pa Pitt were more ambitious, he would remove those utility cables from the photograph, or from the street if he were more ambitious than that.

    Resurrection Church was built in 1939 in an interesting modernist Gothic style, anticipating the streamlined modernist Gothic that would have a brief vogue after the Second World War. This design managed to give the congregation a sumptuous Gothic interior while keeping the exterior outlines starkly simple. The main entrance, for example, is recessed far into the building, so that only by standing right in front of it can we see the elaborate Gothic tracery and inscription.

    Entrance
    Inscription
    Side entrance

    One of the side entrances.

    The Light of the World

    “Light of the World” relief over the side entrance.

    Resurrection School

    Before 1939, Resurrection Parish worshiped in the school next door, which was built in 1909. As usual, the Brookline Connection site has a thorough history of Resurrection Parish. From it we learn that the school was built in stages: the first two floors of the front were built first, with the rear and top floor added later. We are also told that the sanctuary was on the “ground floor,” but as we see from this picture, “ground floor” can be a slippery concept in Pittsburgh.

    Cornerstone
    Oblique view

    The school closed some time ago, and it is now a retirement home. Resurrection Church is now a worship site of St. Teresa of Kolkata parish, which also includes St. Pius X church in Brookline and St. Catherine of Siena in Beechview.

  • Church of the Incarnation, Knoxville

    Church of the Incarnation

    Now the Graceland Community Church. This old Episcopal church is a frame structure sheathed in Perma-Stone or some similar artificial siding. Old Pa Pitt does not know the history of the building, but from old maps it seems to date to the 1880s. The square windows in the rear part indicate a later extension, after 1923 (according to the maps), and the Perma-Stone may have been applied at the same time.

    There is a certain traditional shape for Episcopal churches, and it is often possible to identify, or at least suspect, an old Episcopal church simply by its shape. They tend to be small but rich, with a very steeply pitched roof and Gothic details.

    Graceland Community Church

    Map

    [Correction: In the first version of this article, Father Pitt had carelessly typed “Church of the Resurrection” in the headline. He was thinking of a church of that name in Brookline, which will appear here shortly.]

  • Some Details of St. Paul’s Cathedral

  • Arsenal Bank Building

    We saw the 1884 Arsenal Bank earlier from across Butler Street. Here is the 43rd Street side of the building, which we can see clearly thanks to the disappearance years ago of the neighboring buildings.

  • More Reflections of St. Paul’s

    Reflections of the towers of St. Paul’s Cathedral in the windows of the Software Engineering Institute.

  • Bair & Gazzam Building, Strip

    Bair and Gazzam Building, Strip

    A dignified industrial building now converted to loft apartments. It was built in the 1890s as a machine shop for the Bair & Gazzam Manufacturing Company, and by 1910 it belonged to the Ruud Manufacturing Company, makers of those marvelous automatic water heaters. The style is very much in line with the industrial Romanesque that was popular in the late 1800s; but if we look carefully at the arches on the ground floor, we notice that they are very subtly pointed.

    Father Pitt does not know the whole history of this building, but it looks as though the top two floors were a later addition.

    From the Hill
    Bair and Gazzam Building
  • Swedish Congregational Church, Lawrenceville

    Swedish Congregational Church

    There is something about men’s clubs: when they take over a building, the first thing they do is block out as much of the natural light as possible. But the outlines of the old windows are clear enough: it is not hard to imagine this building the way it was when it was a Swedish church.

    This is a late example of the style of modest church more typical of the middle 1800s. It has all the elements—the shallow-pitched roof, the walls divided into sections by simple pilasters, the date stone in the gable, the crenellations. We also note that typical nineteenth-century Pittsburgh adaptation to a tiny lot: the sanctuary is on the second floor, with social hall and schoolrooms or offices on the ground floor.

    1897

    Without the date stone, old Pa Pitt would have guessed that this church was twenty years or more earlier.

    Oblique view

    The Amvets seem to have moved out, and it looks as if the building is vacant now. Considering the mushrooming value of Lawrenceville real estate, it will probably be filled or demolished soon.

    Swedish Congregational Church
  • Brookline Boulevard United Presbyterian Church

    Brookline Boulevard United Presbyterian Church

    The main part of this church building, which now belongs to the Tree of Life Open Bible Church, opened in 1924. The style is a kind of utilitarian Perpendicular, with attractive stone textures and buttresses and a couple of broad pointed Tudor arches characteristic of the English Perpendicular style; but the side windows are plain rectangles.

    This and later additions largely conceal an older chapel built in 1913, which became the rear of the new church. The Christian Education wing along the Brookline Boulevard side was built in 1953 in a more elaborate (and earlier) Gothic style that harmonizes well with the main building. Clearly the church was feeling rich in the early 1950s, when many other churches were abandoning Gothic altogether and building modernist warehouses.

    The Presbyterians sold this church to the Tree of Life congregation in 2016, but rented space in it for two more years until giving up in 2018.

    Front
    Lower side
    From across intersection
    Brookline Boulevard side
  • Presbyterian Church of Mount Washington

    Presbyterian Church of Mount Washington

    Now the Vintage Church. This church on Bailey Avenue is a fine example of what happens when streamlined Art Deco meets Tudor Gothic.

    Peak
    Entrance
    Vintage Church
  • St. Mark’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, Brookline

    St. Mark’s Lutheran Church

    When this small but rich Gothic church opened in 1929, it was intended to be temporary. A much grander church would be built next to it, and this would become the Sunday-school wing. But decades passed and the new church had not yet been built. Meanwhile Gothic architecture had become extinct. Finally it was decided to keep the original building as the sanctuary and add a new Sunday school and auditorium in a 1960s modern style with pointed arches to recall its Gothic neighbor.

    Church complex
    Oblique view of church
    Front
    From across the street