Tag: Ionic

  • Another Renaissance Palace in Squirrel Hill

    Gilding the capitals of your Ionic porch columns is a subtle way to tell the world, “I have more money than I know what to do with.” Note the half-round extrusion in the shadows on the right-hand side.

  • Johnston House, Squirrel Hill

    Johnston house

    Probably built in the 1890s, this grand house on Wightman Street has its very Victorian trim picked out in cheerful colors. Note the thoroughness of the decoration: even the dormers are given little pilasters with Ionic capitals.

    Dormer
    Left dormer
    Oblique view
  • Hill-Top YMCA, Knoxville

    YMCA

    A little bedraggled and somewhat muddled by renovations, the former Hill-Top Branch Young Men’s Christian Association is still a grand building. Old Pa Pitt has not been able to determine the architect, but according to the city’s Hilltop architectural inventory it was built in 1911. The same document says elsewhere that the land for it was donated in 1912, and Father Pitt is imagining an amusing scene in which the projectors of the YMCA are trying to explain to the landowner why they thought it was easier to ask for forgiveness than permission. Above, the Zara Street front of the building.

    Capital

    One of the ornate “modern Ionic” capitals on the front porch.

    Corner
    Cornerstone
    Grimes Street side

    The Grimes Street side.

  • Row of Renaissance Apartment Buildings, Shadyside

    Berwyn, Delwood, Elmont

    At the west end of Holden Street we find this row of Renaissance apartment buildings with corner balconies; their exteriors have not been modified much since they were built, although the railings have been replaced in the first-floor balconies, and the last of those balconies has been filled in. The front doors are accented by segmental pediments (pediments with rounded rather than triangular tops) and columns with “modern Ionic” capitals (Ionic capitals where the curly volutes project from the four corners).

    Berwyn
    Delwood
    Elmont

    We presume that the Elmont has its name inscribed below the pediment like the others, but a fabric awning obscures it.

    From the other end
  • 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.

  • World’s Largest Monolithic Columns (Again)

    Columns of the Mellon Institute

    The Mellon Institute, designed by the prolific Benno Janssen, claims the largest monolithic columns in the world. Columns like these are usually made as a series of joined cylinders, but each column here is a single piece of stone. When the client wants to send the message “I spent money on this,” nothing is more effective than giving him the world’s largest something-or-other.

    Note how, unlike most other monumental buildings in Oakland, the Mellon Institute has retained the sooty evidence of decades of heavy industry.

  • Institute Calls to Institute

    Mellon Institute reflected in the Software Engineering Institute

    The titanic columns of the Mellon Institute reflected in the Software Engineering Institute.

  • Colonial Trust Company

    Colonial Trust Company

    A splendid banking hall with façades by Frederick Osterling. The Wood Street one above is one of his late works, from 1926. Many of the banks along Fourth Avenue went for height, building some of the first skyscrapers; the Colonial Trust Company went for length. Its main hall extends all the way through from Fourth to Forbes, with elaborate façades at both ends; it later extended a perpendicular arm to Wood Street. Below, the Fourth Avenue façade from 1902, also by Osterling. We can see how much his ideas of classical architecture had changed in 24 years. In 1902 he chose the Corinthian order and elaborated it with every kind of ornament of which classical architecture is capable; in 1926 he chose the Ionic order and kept the ornamentation to a minimum.

  • St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral

    St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral

    The classical style of this church, which is now the cathedral for the Metropolis of Pittsburgh, is quite unusual for a Greek Orthodox church. Greek Christians do not usually build in a Greek classical style—and the style of this church, with the prominent arch in the front, is more Roman than Greek. The explanation is that it was built for Methodists; the Orthodox congregation bought it from them.

    Even if you don’t know much Greek, you can probably guess that this is the name of the church in Greek: “St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral Church.”

    Ionic capital

    One of the splendid Ionic capitals that hold up a front of which Vitruvius would have approved.

  • Decorations on the Parkvale Building, Oakland

    The richly decorated Parkvale Building on Forbes Avenue is currently under renovation, so we can hope that these splendid reliefs will continue to delight future generations of Pittsburghers.