Tag: Penn Avenue

  • Postpostmodernism in Garfield

    Buildings on Penn Avenue

    These buildings, put up in 2007, were one of the early signs of revival in Garfield. Father Pitt took this picture eight years ago, but it seems that he never published it here, so you might as well see it now.

  • Butler Building, Garfield

    Butler Building

    As the business district along Penn Avenue becomes a more and more desirable place for artsy shops and galleries, it has been cheering to see many old buildings cleaned up and given new life in Garfield. Here is one of the finest. Old Pa Pitt knows nothing about it other than that its name is Butler.

  • Horne’s Christmas Tree

    Horne’s Christmas tree seen from Gateway subway station

    As seen from the entrance to the Gateway subway station.

  • Penn Avenue Gatehouse, Allegheny Cemtery

    Shortened tower

    If you are not a frequent visitor to Allegheny Cemetery, you might pass the Penn Avenue gatehouse and wonder whether your memory is playing tricks on you. Isn’t there something…different about it?

    Your memory is not playing tricks on you. Here is a picture from 2021:

    Penn Avenue Gatehouse in 2021

    What old Pa Pitt was told was that engineers had determined that the tower was dangerously unstable. The stones were carefully taken apart and labeled, and maybe someday the tower will be restored.

  • Kraynick’s Bike Shop, Garfield

    Kraynick’s Bike Shop

    Kraynick’s Bike Shop is a Pittsburgh legend, and it lives in a slightly bedraggled building that is so typically Pittsburgh it should never be improved. Now that Garfield is coming up in the trendy world, someone is likely to restore this Second Empire storefront sooner or later, but it retains so many layers of history, while still preserving so many original details (look at the roof slates, the brick cornice, the dentils on the third-floor dormers, the lintels above the second-floor windows), that it will be a shame when it is remade into a picture-book Victorian building.

  • Victorian Houses on Penn Avenue, Garfield

    5012 Penn Avenue

    A row of fine Victorian houses on Penn Avenue in Garfield (Bloomfield according to city planning maps, because Penn Avenue is the neighborhood line, but Pittsburghers have always called both sides of Penn “Garfield”). Note the splendid tall parlor windows on the one above, which also has some particularly good gingerbreading.

    Row of houses
    Wood carving
  • Rowhouses on Penn Avenue, Garfield

    5100 block of Penn Avenue

    These are Baltimore-style rowhouses, where the whole block was built at once as more or less one subdivided building. They are much less common in Pittsburgh, but we do find them occasionally, and these rows in Garfield preserve many of their original details. They were built in the 1880s, probably as rental properties, since the 1890 map shows them as all owned by Brown, Donnell & Verner. Intact rows from this era are rare in Pittsburgh, and we should take care to preserve these two rows. Above, the 5100 block of Penn Avenue. Below, houses in the 5200 block.

    5200 block

    Terra-cotta owls decorate every house. One wonders whether they had special significance for Brown, Donnell, or Verner.

    Another owl
    Corner house
    House with yellow door
  • Building on Penn Avenue at Winebiddle Street, Garfield

    Building at Penn and Winebiddle

    If we read our old maps correctly, this building on Penn Avenue at Winebiddle Street, probably built in the 1890s, housed the Garfield Bank. But since the name “Garfield Bank” does not appear before the 1923 layer, it may not originally have been built for that institution. It is a curiously eclectic building, hard to assign to a particular style, and the architect (or probably builder-with-a-pencil) seems not to have known quite how to deal with the front, leaving a disturbingly asymmetrical arrangement of windows. But it is an interesting construction, and it has been preserved in very good shape.

    Penn at Winebiddle

    On city planning maps, Penn Avenue is a neighborhood border, and the south side of Penn Avenue is in Bloomfield; but both sides of the Penn Avenue business district have always been called “Garfield” by Pittsburghers, as we see from the fact that a Garfield Bank occupied this building in 1923.

    From the west
  • McNally Building

    McNally Building

    The McNally Building on Penn Avenue was built in 1896. It is a good example of the kind of tall, narrow building that grew up in the early days of the elevator. But of course the most important thing about this picture is that it allows old Pa Pitt to indulge in his habit of photographing buses coming toward you.

  • Horne’s

    The old Horne’s department store is still kept in good shape on the outside, though it is no longer filled with dry-goods treasures from around the globe.