Tag: Hornbostel (Henry)

  • Back Corner of Soldiers and Sailors Hall

    Soldiers and Sailors Hall from O’Hara Street and University Place

    Seen from the corner of O’Hara Street and University Place.

  • Soldiers and Sailors Hall with Memorial Dog Tags

    Soldiers and Sailors Hall with dog tags strung over the promenade

    Each of the 7,053 dog tags represents one soldier fallen in the War on Terrorism, defined as all the battles since September 11, 2001.

  • Lighting the Interior of Soldiers and Sailors Hall in 1913

    Night view of auditorium, illuminated by mercury vapor tubes, nitrogen vapor tubes, carbon and tungsten lamps
    Night view of auditorium, illuminated by mercury vapor tubes, nitrogen vapor tubes, carbon and tungsten lamps

    From The Brickbuilder in 1913, two views showing how interior spaces in the Allegheny County Soldiers’ Memorial were illuminated.

    Night view of banquet hall and ballroom, illuminated by tungsten lamps, screened by amber shades
    Night view of banquet hall and ballroom, illuminated by tungsten lamps, screened by amber shades

    An interesting note on the auditorium: In 1960, Syria Mosque across the street was the usual venue for Pittsburgh Symphony performances. But when the Symphony made some high-tech ultra-high-fidelity recordings for Everest that year, conductor William Steinberg insisted on using the auditorium in Soldiers and Sailors Hall instead. He thought the acoustics were much better. Those Everest recordings are still regarded by connoisseurs as some of the most real-sounding symphonic recordings ever made.

  • School of Mines Building, University of Pittsburgh

    Henry Hornbostel’s drawing of the south façade of the School of Mines Building, later State Hall. It was demolished in 1973 to make way for the Chevron Science Center, and perhaps someone thinks that was an improvement.

    This drawing was published in 1909 in The Brickbuilder, an architectural magazine from which we’ll harvest more illustrations in the future.

  • Schenley Quad, Oakland

    Schenley Quad from the grounds of Soldiers and Sailors Hall

    Originally the Schenley Apartments, but now Schenley High School has been turned into apartments as the Schenley Apartments, so using the original name would be confusing. This huge complex was built in 1922 as luxury apartments to go with the Hotel Schenley. The architect was Henry Hornbostel, with the collaboration of Rutan & Russell, the original architects of the hotel. In 1955 the University of Pittsburgh bought the Schenley Apartments (for less than they had cost to build in 1922), and since then the buildings have been Pitt dormitories. Above, we see the complex from the grounds of Soldiers and Sailors Hall; below, the steps up from Forbes Avenue.

    Forbes Avenue steps

    Since we have a large number of pictures, we’ll put most of them behind a “Read more” link to avoid weighing down the main page of the site.

  • Achille Giammartini

    Purely by accident, old Pa Pitt stumbled on this portrait of the great architectural sculptor Achille Giammartini, whose work adorns churches, houses, and commercial buildings all over the city. There is almost no trace of Giammartini on the Web: in fact, search engines usually come up with no more than half a dozen results, and the first two are usually from Father Pitt. So this seems like as good a time as any to announce Father Pitt’s new project.

    Bit by bit, Father Pitt is building a Pittsburgh Encyclopedia, where he will keep detailed information about architects, sculptors, neighborhoods, and such things, so that he can refer to those articles rather than repeating himself every time he publishes a new picture. Something similar has worked well with Flora Pittsburghensis and the Flora Pittsburghensis reference site.

    At present the Pittsburgh Encyclopedia is just beginning: it has nine articles in total. But we have just added an article on Achille Giammartini that gathers more information about him than exists in any other single place on the Web.

  • Decorative Relief on Soldiers and Sailors Hall


    Some of the carved ornaments on Soldiers and Sailors Hall.

    Corn, grapes, pineapples
    Seal of the City of Pittsburgh

    Seal of the City of Pittsburgh.

  • Terra-Cotta Decorations, Carnegie Mellon University

    Polychrome terra cotta

    Henry Hornbostel was one of the first architects to employ polychrome terra cotta. Here are three different patterns from buildings at Carnegie Tech, now Carnegie Mellon University.

    Terra cotta thistles

    Thistles, in tribute to Andrew Carnegie’s Scottish pride.

    More terra cotta
  • The Acropolis Plan for Pitt

    Henry Hornbostel imagined filling the University of Pittsburgh’s hillside site with classical temples, making a new Pittsburgh Acropolis that would be the envy of the intellectual world. The plan was never completed, because classical architecture went out of fashion too soon, and because it was supplanted by the even madder plan of putting a university in a skyscraper. But several of the classical buildings that remain on Pitt’s campus were meant to be part of this Pittsburgh Acropolis.

    The image comes from an advertisement for Ruud water heaters, the amazing improvement in hot-water supplies that didn’t require servants to tend to a boiler.

  • Soldiers and Sailors Hall, Oakland