Tag: Sarah Street

  • Victorian Commercial Building on Sarah Street, South Side

    2616 Sarah Street

    Formerly a storefront with apartments above, but the storefront—as with many backstreet stores—has been converted to another apartment. The well-preserved Victorian details are picked out with a colorful but tasteful paint scheme.

    Dentils and diamond
    Kodak EasyShare Z981.
  • South Side Electric Light Plant

    South Side Electric Light Plant

    When the Duquesne Light Company invaded residential neighborhoods to plant its death-ray generators, the neighbors were likely to object. It would help the company’s image if the power substations were elegant constructions. This classical palace of voltage conveyed the message that your Duquesne Light Company was substantial, respectable, and benevolent. The big hole that was later cut out of the front on the right side conveys the message that we needed to put the death-ray cannon somewhere.

    Inscription on the façade: Duquesne Light Company
  • A Bit of Good News on the South Side

    Woodcarvong over the door

    The big blue “CONDEMNATION” sticker appeared on a fine Italianate rowhouse in the 1100 block of Sarah Street a while ago, and old Pa Pitt decided to document the house before it vanished. You can imagine how delighted he was to find that the blue sticker is gone and the house is under renovation, with new windows installed already.

    House at 1107 Sarah

    Nothing can stop a contractor from installing Georgian-style fake “multipane” windows, which contractors think of as the mark of quality, even when they are completely inappropriate for the style of the house, and even when the “panes” are false divisions made by laying a cartoon grid over a single sheet of glass. But at least these windows are the right size for the holes, and therefore no lasting damage has been done. Father Pitt would guess that a house like this originally had two-over-two windows: see, for comparison, this house of similar age Uptown.


    The woodwork is a bit tattered, but we hope it can be preserved.


    This transom is crying out for an address in stained glass. Emerald Art Glass is only a dozen blocks away.


    Of course Father Pitt could not leave without documenting this fine breezeway.

    Front door

    Like the windows, the front door is a standard model that fits properly and could be replaced with a more appropriate style later by a more ambitious owner.

  • Lean-To House on Sarah Street, South Side

    This is an odd anomaly in a block of some of the finest houses on the South Side: a substantial brick house built as a kind of lean-to parasite on the house next door.

    No. 2317 is set far back from the street, with a shaded porch—the only porch on the block—almost like a country house in the city. It clings dependently to the side of No. 2315 next door.

    What was the reason for this unusual construction? Old maps may give us a clue. Both houses appear first on the 1890 layer of the Pittsburgh Historic Maps site, so they were built between 1882 and 1890. The larger one is marked as owned by a Wm. J. Early, and the set-back lean-to house by Annie E. Early. We can speculate that Mr. Early built a large main house for his own family, and a smaller one for a female relative—perhaps a widowed mother.

  • Storm Clouds on the South 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.

  • Sunset on Sarah Street, South Side

  • A Stroll Down Sarah Street on the South Side

  • 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.

  • Second Empire Houses on Sarah Street, South Side

    Second Empire houses

    Two Second Empire rowhouses whose upper floors are fairly well preserved. The one on the right has had some adventures on the ground floor, possibly including a storefront at some point. Note the wooden shingles on the house on the left.