Tag: Hospitals

  • Allegheny General Hospital

    Allegheny General Hospital

    Allegheny General is one of the few classic skyscrapers in Pittsburgh outside downtown. It was built in 1926; the architects were York & Sawyer. These views were taken with a long lens from across the Allegheny River.

    Below, with bonus pigeons:

    Allegheny General Hospital with flying pigeons

    A change in the light makes quite a different picture:

    With sun
  • Mercy School of Nursing, Bluff

    Mercy School of Nursing, Pittsburgh

    Father Pitt believes this is one of the buildings designed for Mercy Hospital by Edward Stotz, but would be happy to be corrected.

  • UPMC Mercy Pavilion

    The new UPMC Mercy Pavilion is supposed to be tons of fun for the entire neighborhood, according to the sponsored news stories distributed by UPMC. It includes a café and art installations and a gym and even a few medical facilities. According to the “Building Overview” page on the hospital’s site, “HOK—a global design, architecture, engineering, and planning firm—designed the pavilion with input from Chris Downey, AIA. Mr. Downey is one of the world’s few blind architects.” HOK, formerly Hellmuth Obata + Kassbaum, also designed One Oxford Centre and PNC Park (with local favorite Lou Astorino).

  • Western Psychiatric Institute, Oakland

    Western Psychiatric Institute
    This picture is very large: if you click or tap on it, expect 12 megabytes of data and about 50 megapixels.

    It is not possible to get a straight-on picture of the whole front of this Art Deco skyscraper hospital. But old Pa Pitt enjoys attempting the impossible once in a while, so here you go. The architect was Raymond Marlier, who also designed several of the buildings at Kennywood. (Kennywood, Western Psych—pretty much the same thing.) The building was completed in 1940.

    Below, we see a side view made possible by the demolition of two Brutalist buildings on O’Hara Street. It shows how much Pitt has added to the original building. The whole thing is now called Thomas Detre Hall.

    Side view
  • South Side, Bluff, and Lower Hill

    A view from the South Side Slopes. Below, a closer look at part of Duquesne University and Mercy Hospital on the Bluff.

  • UPMC Mercy Pavilion Under Construction

    Just a few blocks away from our first Eye and Ear Hospital, Mercy Hospital is building a “Pavilion” that will specialize in eye patients. Here we see it from across the Mon.

  • Eye and Ear Hospital, Uptown

    Eye and Ear Hospital

    This building was our first specialty eye and ear hospital, and a brief description from a history published in 1922 will show us how the idea of a hospital has changed in a century.

    Located on Fifth avenue, corner of Jumonville street, is the Eye and Ear Hospital, under the auspices of a board of women managers. It had its inception at a meeting held May 20, 1895, at the home of Miss Sarah H. Killikelly, who during her lifetime was well known in the literary and historical circles of the city. A charter was secured June 22, 1895, and a location was secured on Penn avenue, but a removal was made to the present building in 1905. The first board of managers consisted of thirteen women and two physicians, eye specialists, for the medical and surgical treatment of all diseases of the eye, ear, nose and throat. The patients are divided into three classes—first, for the poor who require treatment of a character that is not necessary to detain them at the hospital; second, for the poor who require detention in the hospital, to whom free beds are allotted in the wards and a nominal charge made if they are able to pay; third, for those able to pay, private rooms are furnished, therefore the hospital is in no sense a charity; it must under its charter minister without charge to all those who suffer from any disease of the eye and ear, who are unable to pay for treatment.

    No further remark is needed.

  • Saint Joseph’s Hospital, South Side


    Built in 1907 (or 1911, depending on our source), this central section has not changed much except for the new windows too small for the openings. The architect was John T. Comès, famous for Romanesque churches like St. Augustine’s in Lawrenceville and St. Leo’s in Marshall-Shadeland. Here he gave the Sisters of St. Joseph a kind of Mediterranean Romanesque tower with a billboard on top. It was later encrusted with featureless modern buildings all around it, and the whole complex is now retirement apartments under the name “Carson Towers.”

    St. Joseph’s Hospital

    This PDF has a picture of the original building. The caption that says “The sculpture over the front door is the only part of the original facade still visible on the building that is now Carson Towers” is obviously wrong; as even a quick glance will show us, almost nothing except the windows and the cornice (cornices often go missing, and somewhere there must be a huge cornice graveyard) has changed about this façade.

  • Allegheny General Hospital

    Allegheny General Hospital

    An Art Deco interpretation of the skyscraper style old Pa Pitt calls “Mausoleum-on-a-Stick,” in which the cap of the skyscraper is patterned after the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus. The architects, York & Sawyer, seem to have been taken with the style; they designed another Mausoleum-on-a-Stick building in the same year (1926) for Montreal. You can see a picture of it in one of old Pa Pitt’s earlier articles on Allegheny General Hospital.

    The original skyscraper hospital was a marvel of practical hospital design. Everything radiates from a central core of elevators, and nothing is more than a few steps from the elevator. Later the hospital was expanded with new buildings in wildly mismatched styles, so that the complex has become the hopeless jungle of dead-end corridors and mismatched floors usual in big-city hospitals.

  • Top of Presbyterian Hospital, Oakland

    The top of the tower portion of Presbyterian Hospital is one of several buildings in Pittsburgh inspired by the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus. This one belongs to the sub-style that Father Pitt calls Mausoleum-on-a-Stick: skyscrapers where the echo of the Mausoleum is at the top of the tower. Two of those in Pittsburgh are hospitals (Allegheny General is the other), and Old Pa Pitt would be delighted to know why “hospital” seems so likely to make architects think “Mausoleum.”