Tag: Ridge Avenue

  • Henry Chalfant House, Allegheny West

    Chalfant Hall

    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.

  • J & K Building, Allegheny West

    J & K Building

    This little building sits next to the old Western Theological Seminary. Old Pa Pitt has not been able to discover its history with the limited research he was willing to put into the question, so he would be delighted to be enlightened in the comments. It looks as though it might have been an addition to the seminary, done in a sort of late Gothic with Art Deco overtones.

  • Niche on the Western Theological Seminary, Allegheny West

    Niche, Western Theological Seminary

    This niche at the top of the central tower of the Western Theological Seminary seems to require a statue of some saint. Since the building was a Presbyterian seminary, it probably never had one. Perhaps we could fill it with a statue of Harry Thaw, patron saint of wastrel playboy sociopaths.

    Central tower
  • Harry Darlington Jr. House, Allegheny West

    Harry Darlington Jr. House

    Harry Darlington built this house in 1908 for his son, Harry Darlington Junior. The son’s house was two doors down from the father’s (separated by the widow Holmes’ house), but the two houses could hardly be more different in style. Where the father’s is tall, narrow, and massive, this is (comparatively) low and spreading. The architect was George S. Orth, who also designed the William Penn Snyder house a block away on Ridge Avenue.

  • Willock House, Allegheny West

    Willock house

    Here is another one-room-wide mansion crammed into a tiny lot. William Willock, a clerk, married Alice Jones, the daughter of steel baron B. F. Jones. For his daughter and her new husband, B. F. built this nice little French chateau huddled next to his own considerably larger house. Of course, when you marry the big chief’s daughter and live in a little chateau right up against his house, the big chief has an opportunity to notice your talent and ability. Mr. Willock ended up with a snug little berth in the Jones & Laughlin empire as the manager of the Monongahela Connecting Railroad.

    The house was built in about 1892. In 1898, the stable behind it was added—itself a bigger building than many of the houses in Allegheny West.

    Like many grand houses in the neighborhood, this house has a very detailed history published at the Allegheny West neighborhood site.

    When old Pa Pitt visited, the house was still gaily festooned with Christmas decorations.

  • B. F. Jones House, Allegheny West

    B. F. Jones House

    Benjamin Franklin Jones, Jr., was the Jones of Jones & Laughlin, the steel conglomerate. This 42-room Jacobean mansion was designed by Rutan & Russell. Like most of the ultragazillionaires’ mansions in Allegheny West, it now belongs to the Community College of Allegheny County.

  • Byers-Lyons House

    Byers-Lyons House

    If you were a millionaire in Pittsburgh in the late 1800s, of course you expected to have a mansion by Longfellow, Alden & Harlow. They were Andrew Carnegie’s favorite architects, after all. This Renaissance palace on Ridge Avenue is particularly splendid. Although it now belongs to the Community College of Allegheny County, its grand interior spaces have not been altered very much.


    The cloister-like arcade in front is one of the most striking features of the house.


    This gate, which is either original or at least quite old, is kept in beautiful shape.