Tag: Ridge Avenue

  • J & K Building, Allegheny West

    834 Ridge Avenue

    This building, in a Deco Gothic style, appears to have been part of the Western Theological Seminary, and perhaps an expert in Allegheny West history can shed some light on it. Old Pa Pitt published a picture of it once before, but recently he noticed the concrete flaking away from the obliterated date stones by the door.

    MCMXXXII just visible

    This is the stone to the right of the door. The date was purposely obliterated (why do people do that?), but it is clearly legible now through the later layer of concrete: 1933, which, judging by the architectural style, would be just right for the date of the building itself.


    The stone to the left of the door bore the date 1872, and Father Pitt must admit to being ignorant of its significance. It is not one of the various dates usually claimed as the foundation of the Western Theological Seminary, which in 1884 claimed to have been founded in 1825. Perhaps a historian from its successor, the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, can enlighten us.

    Floral decoration
    Canon PowerShot SX150 IS.

    This floral ornamentation is carved in the stone that frames the main entrance.

  • Western Theological Seminary, Allegheny West

    Western Theological Seminary
    Sony Alpha 3000.

    We saw the Western Theological Seminary at the blue hour last month. Here are a few pictures taken just after sunset, when the light is brighter and just touched with gold.


    The building was designed by Thomas Hannah in 1914. It is now West Hall of the Community College of Allegheny County, which has an admirable record of preserving historic buildings.

    Top of the tower
    Perspective view
    Another perspective
    From the sidewalk
  • Byers-Lyons House, Allegheny West

    Byers-Lyons House
    Sony Alpha 3000.

    The Byers-Lyons house was built in 1898. It was designed by Alden & Harlow, Andrew Carnegie’s favorite architects, and it has fortunately been preserved by being turned to academic uses—it is now Byers Hall of the Community College of Allegheny County. It looked warm and inviting last night at sunset, so Father Pitt took quite a few pictures.

    Perspective view
    From the corner
    In sunset lights
    Byers Hall
    Iron filigree
    Iron portal
    Silhouetted iron filigree
    Ionic capital in iron
    Ionic capital
    Iron gatepost
    Rntrance porch
    Arcaded porch
    Dormers and chimneys
    Dormer and chimney
  • William Penn Snyder House, Allegheny West

    Designed by George Orth, this is—surprisingly—the only New-York-style brownstone palace in Pittsburgh. Here we see it at twilight.

  • Western Theological Seminary, Allegheny West

    Western Theological Seminary

    “Blue hour” pictures are very fashionable these days. Well, old Pa Pitt can do those too, if you really want them.

    Western Theological Seminary tower

    We also have pictures of the Western Theological Seminary by day.

  • Lantern in Allegheny West

    Lantern in black and white

    This tasteful lantern is actually one of the two flanking the parking lot for the firm that now inhabits the William Penn Snyder house on Ridge Avenue; it took some careful manipulation of angles to make it look like something other than a parking-lot decoration.

  • 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.