Tag: Rowhouses

  • Autumn on the South Side

    Fall colors on the sidewalk of Jane Street.

  • Kosciusko Way, South Side Slopes

    Kosciusko Way, apparently named for the famous Polish hero of the Revolutionary War, is a narrow and crowded street that makes a brave attempt to go straight up from Josephine Street into the South Side Slopes, but makes it only a block before being utterly defeated by topography.


  • Breezeways of the South Side

    This is certainly one of old Pa Pitt’s most esoteric subjects. In rowhouse neighborhoods, there are often tunnel-like passages through to the rear yard of a house, with the upper storeys built over the passage. These outdoor passages are called “breezeways” in Pittsburgh; in other cities they may be called gangways or alleys. Sometimes the passage runs through one house; sometimes it is shared by two houses. We see examples of both in this little collection.

  • Back End of the South Side Flats

    Edwards Way is the very edge of the South Side Flats. The greenery-covered wall on the left is the stone retaining wall below the railroad that separates the Flats from the Slopes. Of course this tiny narrow space is nevertheless too valuable to leave unbuilt, so the free side of the alley is lined with typical South Side alley houses.


  • Sidewalk of Jane Street

    The last block of Jane Street on the South Side Flats (as opposed to the resumed Jane Street on the Slopes side of the tracks) feels delightfully private, lined on the north side with charming Second Empire rowhouses facing an old herringbone-pattern brick sidewalk. The colors of the houses and flowers shine out all the brighter in the gloom of a rainy day.


  • Front Doors of the South Side

    The famous Victorian front doors of the South Side are featured on posters and in picture books on coffee tables all over western Pennsylvania. There is an endless variety to the woodwork on these South Side rowhouses. Old Pa Pitt was out walking on the South Side and decided to concentrate on doors: here is the collection he made in just half an hour’s stroll. Click on any picture to enlarge it.

    Many of these doorways have decorative stained-glass transoms over the door, often with the address worked into the glass:

    Of course, no collection of South Side front doors would be complete without a Kool Vent awning on an alley house:

  • House on Carson Street

    Carson Street is the commercial spine of the South Side, but occasionally we run across a house left over from the time before Carson was almost exclusively commercial. Most of them have small offices on the ground floors now, but they retain their domestic external appearance. This house strikes Father Pitt as a halfway point between Second Empire and Italianate styles in local rowhouses; it’s notable for its prickly decorative ironwork on the roof.

  • Sidewalks of Beech Avenue

    Allegheny West is one of Pittsburgh’s most pleasant neighborhoods, and Beech Avenue may be the most delightful residential street in the whole city. The street is only two blocks long, but you would be hard pressed to find a better collection of domestic architecture on any street in the city. Add shady trees, a magnificent Gothic church at one end, and literary associations (Gertrude Stein was born here, and Mary Roberts Rinehart lived here when she wrote her most famous novel), and you can see why old Pa Pitt loves this street.

  • A Stroll Down Sarah Street

    Sarah Street is the most splendid residential street in the New Birmingham section of the South Side—the part from 17th Street eastward that was developed after the Civil War. “Splendid” is relative, of course: even the richest parts of the South Side were not millionaires’ neighborhoods. But there are many fine and substantial Victorian rowhouses on Sarah.

    Although Carson Street is the commercial spine of the South Side, commercial buildings also sprouted on the back streets, and Sarah Street has some good Victorian commercial architecture. Some of the buildings are still backstreet bars or stores; others have had their ground floors turned into apartments.

  • A Passage Between Houses, South Side

    Often in Pittsburgh rowhouse neighborhoods there are narrow, tunnel-like passages between the houses that run from the street into the back yards. This one struck old Pa Pitt as especially picturesque and a bit mysterious.

    Camera: Canon PowerShot A590 IS.