Tag: Italianate Architecture

  • The Grand Lady of Sheffield Street, Manchester

    1100 Sheffield Street

    Father Pitt does not know the whole history of this building. It was probably built in the 1870s, though a change of outlines on the map between 1882 and 1890 may indicate that it was enlarged then. It appears as a double house on the old maps, though always under single ownership, so perhaps the single entrance is newer, from the time it was converted to apartments. It is certainly a grand example of the Italianate manner.

    Perspective view
    Konica-Minolta DiMAGE Z6.
  • Birthplace of Gertrude Stein, Allegheny West

    Gertrude Stein birthplace

    “Gertrude Stein was born in Allegheny, Pennsylvania,” says Alice in The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas. “As I am an ardent californian and as she spent her youth there I have often begged her to be born in California but she has always remained firmly born in Allegheny, Pennsylvania. She left it when she was six months old and has never seen it again and now it no longer exists being all of it Pittsburgh. She used however to delight in being born in Allegheny, Pennsylvania when during the war, in connection with war work, we used to have papers made out and they always immediately wanted to know one’s birth-place. She used to say if she had been really born in California as I wanted her to have been she would never have had the pleasure of seeing the various french officials try to write, Allegheny, Pennsylvania.”

  • Italianate Buildings on Market Street

  • Old Storefronts in Sharpsburg

    814 and 816 Main Street

    Father Pitt knows nothing about this pair of storefronts other than what he can deduce from their appearance. The narrow dormers are typical of the middle nineteenth century; with their Italianate brackets and windows, these buildings look as though they were put up in the 1870s, or possibly the 1860s. On the whole they are in a very good state of preservation. Now that Sharpsburg is filling up with art galleries and breweries, perhaps they can be profitably restored.

  • Ewart House, Hill District

    Ewart House

    Short of a miracle, nothing can save this rambling manse from the middle 1800s, so we can only remember that it was here with these pictures. It was built in various stages by the Ewart family, who once owned all the land on both sides of Centre Avenue in this part of the Hill. The earliest part was probably built in the 1850s or 1860s; the frame addition may be as late as the twentieth century. The whole building will be demolished when the city gets around to it: it is only blocks from million-dollar houses in Schenley Farms, but those blocks make the difference.

    Gable end
    Perspective view
    Perspective view of the front
    Centre Avenue face
    Ewart House
  • Italianate Houses in Allegheny West

    Italianate houses on North Lincoln Avenue

    This pair of houses is obscured by trees all through the leafy months, but in the winter we can appreciate the simple but tasteful Italianate details.

    The difference in bricks suggests that the third floor was added later, but still early enough that the Italianate details were matched exactly.

  • Birmingham Public School, South Side

    Birmingham Public School

    All the South Side histories tell us that this school was originally built in 1871, the year before Birmingham was taken into the city of Pittsburgh as part of the South Side. From old maps, however, it appears that only the central part of the school, invisible from the street today, was built that early. The two identical fronts, this one on 15th Street and the other on 14th Street, seem to date from the 1880s. In 1940, the building was sold to St. Adalbert’s parish up the street, which used it as a middle school. It spent more than sixty years as a Catholic school of one sort or another. The last incarnation of the Catholic school closed in 2002, and after that the school—like all the other closed schools on the South Side—was converted to apartments.

    Perspective view
  • Pair of Victorian Commercial Buildings on Carson Street, South Side

    Update: A kind correspondent corrects us: these are postmodern Victorian buildings designed by Gunther J. Kaier Architects, which earned the company that built them an award for fitting them so neatly into the streetscape. Father Pitt keeps the original text of the article below to point out how delightful it is to be wrong sometimes.

    These two Italianate buildings are alike in their decorative detailing, and at first glance we might take them for identical twins (discounting the altered ground floors). The one on the right, however, is wider by a small but significant amount. They were built in the 1880s, to judge by old maps, and they appear to have been separately owned from the beginning. The one on the left belonged to S. Bornshire in 1890, and still belonged to S. Bornshire thirty-three years later in 1923.

  • Pair of Itailianate Houses, West End

    Italianate duplex on Steuben Street

    This pair of Italianate houses dates to the 1870s. Like many other houses around here, these have made some extreme adaptations to Pittsburgh topography. Some fake siding has been added on the dormers, and the porch has probably been rebuilt more than once, but the general aspect of these houses probably hasn’t changed much in a century and a half.

  • Italianate House on Steuben Street, West End

    Italianate house

    This Italianate house has been altered to make it into a duplex, and it is continuing its adventures. That rectangular front window on the filled-in section was added only this past year. But the rest of the house looks very much the way it did when it was built in the 1870s or thereabouts.