This building on the Diamond has lost its cornice, but the rest of it is intact, and the details are worth a closer look.
8 Market Square
Until a few years ago, this building was the home of Weldin’s, the venerable stationer that had been selling pens, ink, and paper since well before the Civil War. Weldin’s itself is no more—the business moved to the Gulf Tower for a few years, and then vanished in the early months of the COVID pandemic. But the extraordinarily rich Italian Renaissance front of this building remains as a highlight of an extraordinarily rich row of small commercial buildings on Wood Street.
Renaissance Deco in Mount Oliver
Italian Renaissance architecture filtered through an Art Deco lens makes an extraordinarily rich little building on Brownsville Road. The storefronts have been modernized; they would almost certainly not have had doors that open right into pedestrians’ faces when this building was put up in 1928. But the overall impression the building makes is still dignified, with a touch of Venetian fantasy that reminds us of a Pandro S. Berman production.
Centre Court Apartments, Shadyside
A simplified Italian Renaissance style, with the ornamentation kept to the minimum. Note the variant spelling of the name on the nameplate over the entrance: when this apartment block was put up, the spelling of Centre Avenue had not been standardized to the British spelling preferred by real-estate developers.
Renaissance Commercial Building, Mount Oliver
An exceptionally elegant pair of storefronts with apartments above in the main business strip of Mount Oliver. Enlarge the picture and enjoy the Renaissance details.
Young Men and Women’s Hebrew Association, Oakland
Another of Benno Janssen’s imposing clubs. We have seen this building from the front before; this corner view gives us an impression of the scale of the whole structure. It is now Bellefield Hall of the University of Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh Athletic Association
One of Benno Janssen’s masterpieces; here we see it from the Cathedral of Learning grounds.
Renaissance Style in Schenley Farms
Though Tudor was the most popular style in Schenley Farms, there are other styles as well, and there are several fine Italian Renaissance palaces in the neighborhood.
Henry Chalfant House, Allegheny West
Now Chalfant Hall of the Community College of Allegheny County, and currently getting a thorough renovation. The house was built in about 1900; no one seems to know who the architect was. Henry Chalfant was a successful lawyer whose father was a successful lawyer as well.
Board of Public Education Building, Oakland
One of the many Italian Renaissance palaces in the monumental district of Oakland, this one—unlike many of the others—still serves its original purpose. It was designed by Ingham & Boyd and opened in 1938. Because of the street layout, the building is a large trapezoid with a courtyard garden. It is worth the time to pause and examine the details.