Tag: Modernism

  • Resurrection Church, Brookline

    Resurrection Church

    If old Pa Pitt were more ambitious, he would remove those utility cables from the photograph, or from the street if he were more ambitious than that.

    Resurrection Church was built in 1939 in an interesting modernist Gothic style, anticipating the streamlined modernist Gothic that would have a brief vogue after the Second World War. This design managed to give the congregation a sumptuous Gothic interior while keeping the exterior outlines starkly simple. The main entrance, for example, is recessed far into the building, so that only by standing right in front of it can we see the elaborate Gothic tracery and inscription.

    An update: The 1939 church was designed by William P. Hutchins, who gave us many distinguished late-Gothic churches and schools, including St. Mary of Mercy downtown.

    Side entrance

    One of the side entrances.

    The Light of the World

    “Light of the World” relief over the side entrance.

    Resurrection School

    Before 1939, Resurrection Parish worshiped in the school next door, which was built in 1909. As usual, the Brookline Connection site has a thorough history of Resurrection Parish. From it we learn that the school was built in stages: the first two floors of the front were built first, with the rear and top floor added later. We are also told that the sanctuary was on the “ground floor,” but as we see from this picture, “ground floor” can be a slippery concept in Pittsburgh.

    Oblique view

    The school closed some time ago, and it is now a retirement home. Resurrection Church is now a worship site of St. Teresa of Kolkata parish, which also includes St. Pius X church in Brookline and St. Catherine of Siena in Beechview.

  • Rounded Corners in Shadyside

    The intersection of Maryland and Ellsworth Avenues in Shadyside is flanked by apartment buildings with distinctive rounded corners. Above, the Panama. Below, a building that must have looked very modern when it was put up (probably around 1920); it seems to have no name but its addresses.

  • Gateway Towers

    Gateway Towers

    It seems to old Pa Pitt that the word to describe this kind of building is “adequate.” Some modernist buildings certainly deserve to be called elegant; we need look no further than One Gateway Center in the background for an example of an elegant, even inspiring, modernist design. Gateway Towers, on the other hand, is rectangular, and once one has said that one has nearly exhausted the subject. It opened in 1964, and it must be a delightful place to live, with Point Park for its back yard and views in all directions. But it is hard to imagine anyone being inspired or delighted by this apartment tower. It was designed by Emery Roth, most of whose works are in New York; this is the only one Father Pitt knows of in Pittsburgh.