Tag: Queen Anne Architecture

  • House Turned Synagogue in Highland Park

    House turned synagogue

    Several synagogues in Pittsburgh have been adapted from private houses—one of them half a block away from here. This one seems no longer to be a synagogue, so it has gone from residential to institutional to residential again. The inscription is mostly in Hebrew, which old Pa Pitt regrets that he does not read, so perhaps a reader can inform us which congregation was here. The English part of the inscription memorializes Mr. & Mrs. Bennie Fineberg, perhaps the donors.

    We could try to imagine what the front of this house looked like before its conversion. But we needn’t put in the effort, because a nearly identical house is right next door:

    A similar house

    This one has been converted to apartments, and it has suffered some alterations, but nothing that takes very much imagination to remove in our mind’s eye and restore the original look of the house.

  • Old Church in Aspinwall

    Old church, perspective view

    This old Lutheran church1 is no longer a church, but the exterior has been preserved very well. It is an unusual style for a small church, much like a Queen Anne house with a corner tower. The woodwork in the front gable is especially ornate.

    Decorative woodwork in the gable
    1. It appears on a 1906 Hopkins map as “Evan’l Luth. Ch.” ↩︎
  • A Stroll Up Devonshire Street

    Georgian mansion and fence

    Today we are going to take a stroll up one block of Devonshire Street; and although it will be a short stroll, it will be a long article, because almost every single house on this block is an extraordinary mansion by some distinguished architect. Old Pa Pitt regrets that he does not know which architect for most of them, but he is feeling lazy today and has decided not to spend the rest of the day researching the histories of these houses. Instead, he will simply publish these pictures, which are worth seeing both for the houses themselves and for the poetic effect of the late-autumn landscapes, and will update the article later as more information dribbles in.

  • Queen Anne House on Ellwood Street, Shadyside

    House on Ellwood Street

    This house was built, probably in the 1890s, as one of a row of four similar or identical houses. Of the other three, one was converted to a duplex and two to three-unit apartment buildings: this is the only one that remains as built. The ornamental woodwork is worth observing.

    Gable of the house with ornamental woodwork
  • The Witches’ Caps on Negley Avenue

    625 to 633 South Negley Avenue

    This row of Queen Anne houses on Negley Avenue in Shadyside surely strikes every passer-by, if for nothing other than their turrets with witches’ caps. The other details are also worth noticing: the ornamental woodwork and the roof slates, for example. The houses are just detached enough that we can see that the sides are made of cheaper brick rather than the stone that faces the street.

    629 South Negley Avenue

    The last one in the row lost its cap many years ago, but in compensation has been ultra-Victorianized with extra polychrome woodwork, as we see on the dormer below.

  • Row of Queen Anne Duplexes on Sidney Street, South Side

    2315 to 2325 Sidney Street

    These three Queen Anne duplexes were once identical, or nearly so. Each one has had separate adventures, and each one has preserved some details and lost others.

    2323 and 2325

    This one probably preserves the original appearance best, though it has lost the stained glass in the parlor windows.

    2319 and 2321

    This one has suffered badly from separate ownership of the two sides. Some contractor charged quite a bit of money for mutilating the left-hand side. The right side has also been modernized, but with more taste, using windows that are the right size and shape for the wall.

    2315 and 2317

    This one has had similar alterations, but at least the parlor windows have not been filled in with toy blocks.

    Old Pa Pitt is constantly surprised by the number of Pittsburgh homeowners who say, “I hate all that natural light and fresh air! Block in those big ugly windows and give me just enough glass to see what the weather is out there.”

    Row of Queen Anne duplexes
  • One Block of Sidney Street on the South Side

    2109 Sidney Street

    The 2100 block of Sidney Street has some of the finest high-Victorian houses on the South Side, and several of them have unusual decorative details worth a closer examination. Old Pa Pitt took an evening stroll down Sidney Street the other day and, as always, came back with a few pictures. We’ll start with No. 2109. Note the multiple shapes of roof slates, the woodwork in the dormers, and the rusticated lintels in the picture above.

    Since we have fifteen pictures, we’ll put the rest below the fold to avoid slowing down the main page for a week.

  • A Fixer-Upper

    Queen Anne house

    This Queen Anne house in McKeesport is probably doomed as soon as the city has the budget to demolish it. Something could be made of it, but it would take a complete reconstruction of the interior, and in a city where the median property value is about $20,000 that is not likely to happen. In Shadyside, it could be profitably restored, but not in McKeesport.

    Google Street View shows this house in the same condition as far back as 2007, the first year of Street View. Until recently, another equally decrepit and equally splendid Queen Anne house sat right next to this one, but it was demolished some time after Google Street View pictured it in 2019, possibly because someone was fixing up the baroque mansion on the other side.

  • The 2300 Block of Sarah Street

    2313 Sarah Stret

    An album of fine Victorian houses from one block of Sarah Street on the South Side. These are not all the distinguished houses in this block: these are just the ones Father Pitt managed to get good pictures of in an after-sunset stroll.

    Since we have fourteen pictures in this article, we’ll put the rest below the metaphorical fold to avoid weighing down the main page.

  • Pair of Queen Anne Rowhouses, South Side

    Obviously built together, these two houses on Sarah Street have had their separate adventures. The one on the right has had its third-floor false balcony filled in to give an upstairs bedroom a little more space; the one on the left has grown an aluminum awning (because it is the South Side, after all). But both retain most of their original details, which are fairly unusual, a sort of Queen Anne interpretation of French Second Empire.