Tag: Jacobean Architecture

  • Warwick House, Squirrel Hill

    Stairwell window

    Warwick House was built in 1910 for Howard Heinz, son of the ketchup king H. J. Heinz. The architects were Vrydaugh and Wolfe, and the construction budget was $75,000. After the Heinzes it passed through the Hillmans, and now it belongs to the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh, from which it is rented by Opus Dei, the Catholic organization famed for its albino assassins. But the organization seldom sends the assassins out against anyone but renowned curators; the rest of us are quite safe. At an open house this summer, old Pa Pitt was graciously allowed to take a few pictures of the beautifully maintained Jacobean interior. Above, the window in the grand staircase.

    Front of the house

    This picture of the front is not the best; the light was from the wrong direction. It means we will have to return soon at a different time of day.

    Front door

    The front door.

    Front hall

    The front hall; the door to the library is on the right, the grand staircase on the left.

    Decorative woodwork

    A little bit of the decorative woodwork in the front hall.

    Grand staircase

    The grand staircase.

    Ceiling

    Modern American houses forget about the ceiling, as if people never looked up. Warwick House does not make that mistake. This is the decorated ceiling in a side hall.

    Chapel
    Chapel

    The former ballroom was converted into a chapel by the late Henry Menzies, an ecclesiastical architect whose specialty was refurbishing modernist churches of the 1960s and 1970s to make them suitable for liturgical worship. He liked to use a baldacchino to give proper emphasis to the altar. (The ballroom was added to the house later, probably in 1929 according to the current residents.)

    Ceiling of the ballroom

    The ceiling of the ballroom.

  • Gothic House in Shadyside

    House on Morewood Avenue

    Old Pa Pitt is not quite sure how to classify this house. It is a sort of Jacobean or Tudor Gothic, but with very Victorian woodwork on the gables. We shall call it “Jacobean with gingerbread.”

  • The Berkshire, Mount Lebanon

    The Berkshire

    A typical courtyard apartment building in a corner of Mount Lebanon that is full of small to medium-sized apartment buildings. This one is in a simple but attractive Jacobean style, where a few effective details carry all the thematic weight.

    Lamppost
  • Jones and Laughlin Headquarters Building

    Jones & Laughlin Headquarters Building

    This small skyscraper was not originally built as a skyscraper. The first part of it was put up in 1907; in 1917 five more storeys were added (very skillfully, we might add), bringing the building just about high enough to qualify as a small skyscraper in old Pa Pitt’s admittedly fluid definition of the term. The architects both times were MacClure & Spahr, who also gave us the Union National Bank Building and the Diamond Building, among others. Since 1952, this building has belonged to the city, which calls it the John P. Robin Civic Building.

  • Harry Darlington Jr. House, Allegheny West

    Harry Darlington Jr. House

    Harry Darlington built this house in 1908 for his son, Harry Darlington Junior. The son’s house was two doors down from the father’s (separated by the widow Holmes’ house), but the two houses could hardly be more different in style. Where the father’s is tall, narrow, and massive, this is (comparatively) low and spreading. The architect was George S. Orth, who also designed the William Penn Snyder house a block away on Ridge Avenue.

  • B. F. Jones House, Allegheny West

    B. F. Jones House

    Benjamin Franklin Jones, Jr., was the Jones of Jones & Laughlin, the steel conglomerate. This 42-room Jacobean mansion was designed by Rutan & Russell. Like most of the ultragazillionaires’ mansions in Allegheny West, it now belongs to the Community College of Allegheny County.

    Entrance