Tag: Gothic Architecture

  • Elder-Ado Building, Knoxville

    Elder-Ado Building

    Jacobean Gothic is filtered through an Art Deco lens in this building from 1927, which has been sympathetically modernized with current materials that fit with and emphasize its distinctive character. The original terra-cotta ornaments have been lovingly preserved. This is a good example of how a commercial building can be brought up to date with good taste on a limited budget. Old Pa Pitt has not been able to determine what the building’s original name was; it now belongs to an organization for senior citizens.

    Date stone

    Father Pitt knows how his readers appreciate a good utility cable, so here is a fine closeup of one, unfortunately marred by a date stone in the background.

    Acanthus-leaf ornament
  • Grace Anglican Church, Mount Washington

    Grace Church tower

    Formerly Grace Episcopal Church, this church was built in 1852 and “rebuilt” in 1926, according to the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks plaque. Father Pitt cannot say how much of the old building is left, but it would appear to have been a frame structure, which suggests that the current church was completely new in 1926. Regardless, the design is timeless; as soon as it was put up, it must have looked as if it had been there forever. The architect, again according to the plaque, was J. Stewart, Jr.

    These pictures were taken back in October, when there were leaves.

    Grace Anglican Church
    From the Sycamore Street side
    Grace Episcopal Church
  • The Old Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church and the Old Old Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, Mount Washington

    Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church

    Built in 1929, this church on Boggs Avenue is a fine example of the elegantly streamlined Gothic style that was fashionable for a few years before Gothic architecture disappeared entirely from our design vocabulary. It now belongs to a real-estate company, which uses it as offices but keeps the exterior well.

    Perhaps you are thinking that this does not look very much like a Pittsburgh church, because there are no utility cables in front of it. Here:

    With utility cables

    That’s better.

    Cornerstone
    Entrance

    A block or so away on the other side of Boggs Avenue is an older church, much altered but still recognizable:

    Ev. Luth. Zions Kirche

    Though it is festooned with artificial siding and expensive new brickwork, with a comically inappropriate broken pediment over the front door, this is clearly a church from the late 1800s. In fact it was built in 1884, as we can tell because whoever did the renovations was kind enough to place the old date stone in the new brick front:

    Date stone

    And there is the name of the church: Evangelische Lutherische Zions Kirche, which is German for Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church. This is the original home of the congregation that later built the splendid Gothic edifice down the street.

    Front

    You will note that this was one of those churches with the sanctuary upstairs; we have added yet another to our growing collection.

  • Oakland from Across the River

    Litchfield Towers and Cathedral of Learning

    Views of central Oakland from the South Sides Slopes across the Monongahela. Above, the Cathedral of Learning and Litchfield Towers A, B, and C, or—as they have been known since they sprouted on the Oakland skyline—Ajax, Bab-O, and Comet.

    Litchfield Towers

    A closer view of the Litchfield Towers.

    Cathedral of Learning

    The Cathedral of Learning and its neighborhood.

    Central Oakland
  • St. Luke’s English Evangelical Lutheran Church, Lafayette Hilltop

    St. Luke’s Evangelical English Lutheran Church

    This fine building, put up in 1912, is well preserved but unused, and we hope it can be kept in good shape. It sits in the Perry Hilltop part of Lafayette Hilltop—“Perry South” on city planning maps. It was designed by Chancey or Chauncey W. Hodgdon (we have found the name spelled both ways), in an interesting combination of styles—round arches for the smaller windows, broad Gothic arches for the large windows, and a Tudor Gothic arcade in the front; except that the arches are more rounded than usual Tudor arches. Perhaps an architectural historian can nail down the style precisely, or perhaps it is simply unique to Hodgdon.

    Arcade
    Front
    Date stone

    The Allegheny City Society has a substantial article about this church in the spring 2017 issue of the society newsletter (PDF).

    With a utility pole
  • Fifth United Presbyterian Church, California-Kirkbride

    Fifth United Presbyterian Church

    Here is another one of those churches with the sanctuary upstairs, which have become one of old Pa Pitt’s small obsessions. This is quite typical of its time: it was built in 1870, and it has all the usual marks of the typical Pittsburgh smaller church: the shallow-pitched roof, the walls divided into sections by simple pilasters, the date stone in the gable, the crenellations. It now belongs to Northside Common Ministries.

    Date stone, 1870
    Front of the church
    Fifth U. P. Church
  • St. Paul’s at the Blue Hour

  • Grace Lutheran Church, Brookline

    Grace Lutheran Church

    Since 1959 this has been Pittsburgh Baptist Church, our first Southern Baptist congregation. But it was built in 1908 as a Missouri Synod Lutheran church, Grace Lutheran. It is perhaps Brookline’s most striking church, built in a unique variant of the Arts-and-Crafts Tudor Gothic style that was popular then. The massing of the forms is particularly pleasing.

    Pittsburgh Baptist Church
    Grace Lutheran, originally
  • Cathedral of Learning at Night

  • Interior of First Baptist Church at Night

    First Baptist Church, Pittsburgh

    First Baptist Church, built in 1912, was designed by Bertram Goodhue, one of America’s greatest Gothic architects, and also the designer of the Cheltenham typeface, familiar today as the headline face of the New York Times. The Perpendicular Gothic interior includes one of the most visually beautiful sets of organ pipes in the city. At night everything takes on an added air of ancient mystery.

    Organ pipes
    Diagonal view
    Interior