Tag: Longfellow Alden and Harlow

  • Carnegie Institute

    Music Hall entrance

    The titanic Carnegie Institute building was designed by Longfellow, Alden & Harlow, Andrew Carnegie’s favorite architects. Above: the Music Hall entrance. Below: the main building seen from the west, across Forbes Avenue.

    Carnegie Institute
  • Conestoga Building

    Designed by Longfellow, Alden, and Harlow, this was our first steel-cage building and thus the seed from which dozens of skyscrapers grew.

  • West End Methodist Episcopal Church

    West End M. E. Church

    In 1888 the Allegheny County Courthouse was finished, and by then its influence in Pittsburgh had already been profound. H. H. Richardson predicted, correctly, that it would be his most famous work; he died in 1886 without seeing it completed, when the mania for “Richardsonian Romanesque” in Pittsburgh was only beginning. Fortunately several competent Romanesque architects were available to supply the buildings Richardson could no longer provide.

    Frank E. Alden was the Alden of Longfellow, Alden, and Harlow. Longfellow himself had trained with Richardson, and his firm was regarded as the successor to Richardson’s. Here Alden fills a very unpromising lot with a romantically Romanesque pile, built in 1888 while the last stones were still falling into place in the courthouse.

    West End Methodist Episcopal Church

    The church is vacant at the moment; it would make a fine studio for some prosperous artist.

    West End M. E. Church


    Connoisseurs of Victorian lettering will be delighted by the inscriptions.


  • Byers-Lyons House

    Byers-Lyons House

    If you were a millionaire in Pittsburgh in the late 1800s, of course you expected to have a mansion by Longfellow, Alden & Harlow. They were Andrew Carnegie’s favorite architects, after all. This Renaissance palace on Ridge Avenue is particularly splendid. Although it now belongs to the Community College of Allegheny County, its grand interior spaces have not been altered very much.


    The cloister-like arcade in front is one of the most striking features of the house.


    This gate, which is either original or at least quite old, is kept in beautiful shape.

  • Holland Mansion, Oakland

    Music Building, University of Pittsburgh

    Now the Music Building of the University of Pittsburgh, this house (built in 1884) was a gift from his wife to the pastor of the Bellefield Presbyterian Church across the street. It is thus one of the few buildings in Oakland that predate Oakland (along with the tower of the church, which still stands beside a modern office building). It is also a lesson for clergy: if your particular sect permits marriage, it is a good idea to marry an heiress. You can see the advantages. Most pastors’ wives do not give their husbands a mansion designed by Longfellow, Alden & Harlow, and that is because most pastors do not sensibly marry heiresses as they ought to do.

  • Free to the People for 125 Years

  • Grotesque Light Fixture, Carnegie Institute

    Grotesque light fixture

    All the details of the Carnegie Institute buildings (designed by Longfellow, Alden & Harlow) are worth observing. Here is a light fixture held up by a splendid grotesque arm.

  • Conestoga Building

    Conestoga Building

    This was a very tall building when it opened in 1892. It’s certainly stretching a point to call this a skyscraper, yet it is in some ways the seed of all subsequent skyscrapers in Pittsburgh. This was the first building in Pittsburgh, and one of the first in the world, built with steel-cage construction, which makes practically indefinite height possible. Below we see the Conestoga Building with a couple of its great-grandchildren behind it: One PPG Place and Fifth Avenue Place.

  • Grand Staircase in the Carnegie

  • Romanesque Capital on the Music Building

    The Music Building at the University of Pittsburgh was originally a house designed by Longfellow, Alden & Harlow for the pastor of the Bellefield Presbyterian Church across the street. It has been expanded for institutional use, but with some effort made to keep the expansion in sympathy with the original house.