Allegheny Unitarian Universalist Church, Mexican War Streets

A small but very tasteful church (finished in 1909) that faces the beautiful expanse of West Park across North Avenue. The architect, according to this brochure, was Robert Maurice Trimble, a native of Allegheny.

Katsafanas Coffee Sign

The Katsafanas Coffee Co. has been gone for many years, but this sign still looks fresh on its old building on North Avenue.

Allegheny City Stables

The Allegheny City Stables were built in 1896. If you enlarge the photo (click on it), you can just make out the old sign over the main door:

D.P.W. 8th DIV.

It’s right across North Avenue from Allegheny West, then the richest neighborhood in Allegheny. Perhaps this was one of the encroachments that induced Allegheny West society to move in a body to Sewickley Heights, where their descendants still live today.

Now, 123 years later, Allegheny West is once again the finest neighborhood on the North Side, and its desirability is spilling across North Avenue. The stable is being renovated and turned into loft apartments, like every other old industrial building.

(And if you notice a familiar picture at the Wikipedia article, it’s because Father Pitt added it himself to show the current state of the building.)

Hipwell Mfg Co. (the Flashlight Factory)

This building is remarkably well preserved mostly because it belonged to a company that stayed in the same business until 2005 without ever outgrowing its limited premises. The Hipwell Maufacturing Company’s most famous products were metal HIPCO flashlights, the kind that used to be ubiquitous before plastics took over. But the company (according to this page) was an important innovator in the electrical business, inventing the single-cell batteries that power our flashlights and digital cameras and toys and a thousand other things we never think of until we have to buy batteries again. It was also involved in the early stages of telephones and electric toy trains.

Today the building is lovingly preserved as—what else?—loft apartments, as well as a banquet hall called HIP at the Flashlight Factory.

Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Allegheny West

This remarkable little church is actually the only National Historic Landmark on the North Side, and it well deserves the honor. H. H. Richardson put a lot of imagination into making a small church something unique. Note especially the decorative brickwork.

The immense roof proved heavier than even the great Richardson had calculated. The walls of the church bowed outward under the weight very early. Engineers called in to inspect the damage found that the walls had reached a stable position: they would stay that way forever if the congregation didn’t mind. And so they have stayed for more than a century.