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 Science Center
The Carnegie Science Center was designed by Tasso Katselas, and in Father Pitt’s opinion the design worked very well for its intended purposes. It had to be flexible enough to house many different kinds of exhibitions. It had to look sciencey. Most important, it had to enthrall children. It does all those things. Old Pa Pitt would never pick this as the most beautiful building on the North Side, but it has been a favorite destination for a generation of Pittsburgh children, many of whom have actually walked out better educated than they were when they walked in.
Soldiers and Sailors Memorial, Oakland
In 2000, a planting of deep burgundy celosia gave old Pa Pitt the opportunity to take this picture with his beloved Kodak Retinette.
Stephen Foster Memorial
One of the cluster of Gothic buildings by Charles Z. Klauder at the heart of the University of Pittsburgh, this looks like the baptistery for the Cathedral of Learning. It houses a museum of Stephen Foster, two theaters, and the Ethelbert Nevin Collection. There was a time when Ethelbert Nevin might have got a museum of his own, but he missed his chance, and now he is an appendix to Stephen Foster.
Elevator in the Grand Staircase, Carnegie Institute
One of the exceptionally elegant elevators in the Grand Staircase of the Carnegie Museums in Oakland.
The Noble Quartet Turns 125
In honor of the 125th anniversary of the Carnegie Institute, the Noble Quartet—science, art, music, and literature, as represented by four of their most famous exponents—were gaily bedecked with floral wreaths. It’s a good look for them. The statues are by J. Massey Rhind, one of Andrew Carnegie’s favorite artists.
Carnegie International Medal of Honor
The first Carnegie International was held in 1896, and it immediately became one of the most important exhibitions of modern art in the world. Andrew Carnegie believed in encouraging artists by collecting the old masters of tomorrow, and many priceless works have been acquired for the Carnegie’s collection from International exhibitions.
This Medal of Honor was designed for the Carnegie by Tiffany & Co. It was reproduced in the catalogue of the 1899 International, which is a beautiful publication from the golden age of American printing.
Butterflies in the Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Grand Staircase in the Carnegie
The Andy Warhol Museum
Pittsburghers who remember the days before we had the largest museum in the world dedicated to a single artist will remember this as the Volkwein’s building, which housed one of the largest music stores in North America. (Volkwein’s moved to the western suburbs, where the tradition of carrying more music than anyone else continues.) But it was built as a warehouse for the Frick & Lindsay Company, a purveyor of “industrial supplies.” If warehouses were commonly as splendid as this, there would be regularly scheduled tours of the warehouse district.
No one knows who designed the original building, but in a Post-Gazette article from 1993 (when the building was under restoration), Walter Kidney suggests the William G. Wilkins Co. The details were originally in terra cotta, but the cornice had been entirely removed and other details were damaged. During the restoration, the cornice and some of the other decorations were reconstructed in glass-reinforced concrete from photographs, records, and imagination.
The Frick of Frick & Lindsay was William Frick, a distant relative of the famous robber baron Henry Clay Frick.
Camera: Konica-Minolta DiMAGE Z3. The picture of the whole building below is a composite from six photographs.