St. Peter, with his key, stands in his niche on St. Paul’s Cathedral in Oakland.
Reliefs by John Massey Rhind on the People’s Savings Bank Building
John Massey Rhind was Andrew Carnegie’s favorite sculptor; he gave us the Noble Quartet in front of the Carnegie Institute and the statue of Robert Burns outside Phipps Conservatory. Here he gives us some allegorical figures to adorn the entrances to the People’s Savings Bank’s splendid tower at Fourth Avenue and Wood Street. Not altogether coincidentally, the building itself was designed by Alden & Harlow, Carnegie’s favorite architects, whose firm (with their earlier partner Longfellow) was also responsible for the Carnegie Institute. Above, the Wood Street side; below, the Fourth Avenue side.
Lion on the Keystone Bank Building
Fourth Avenue has a denser population of lions than anywhere else in Pittsburgh, and possibly anywhere else in North America.
Mary Schenley Memorial Fountain
This fountain is a memorial to Mary Schenley, heir to the O’Hara glass fortune and donor of the vast tract of land that became Schenley Park. It is remarkable as a work of art, and almost as remarkable for being one of the relatively few fountains in the world built above a buried bridge. There was once a hollow here; an arch bridge crossed the hollow at this point. The hollow was filled in, but if you dig far enough at this spot, you will find the Bellefield Bridge.
The sculpture, A Song to Nature, is by Victor David Brenner, and old Pa Pitt is going to make a remarkable offer to his readers. If you ever meet Father Pitt in person, he will give you for your very own another famous sculpture in metal by the same great artist. He can make this remarkable offer because Victor David Brenner’s most famous work is the face of Abraham Lincoln on the United States penny.
In this sculpture, the female figure represents Sweet Humanity playing her song to the lazy earth-god Pan, who responds in a way that we may perhaps judge from his face.
The Noble Quartet Turns 125
In honor of the 125th anniversary of the Carnegie Institute, the Noble Quartet—science, art, music, and literature, as represented by four of their most famous exponents—were gaily bedecked with floral wreaths. It’s a good look for them. The statues are by J. Massey Rhind, one of Andrew Carnegie’s favorite artists.
Angels for Halloween
Since most of the world is going for silly deviltry, old Pa Pitt decided to be a bit contrarian and put together a collection of angels. All these and many more angels can be found at Father Pitt’s Pittsburgh Cemeteries site.
War Memorial Park in Beechview
The little triangular park at Broadway, Shiras Avenue, and Bensonia Avenue is cluttered with monuments. There’s one for the First World War, one for the Second, one for Vietnam and Korea, and one for wars since then and “going forward,” as the city’s Twitter account put it when it was announced. The eagle above sits on the World War II memorial, the largest of the lot.
The latest memorial, for everything after Vietnam.
The World War I memorial.
The World War II memorial.
Roof Ornaments, Soldiers and Sailors Memorial
Above, the distinctive grotesque eruption at the pinnacle of the pyramid roof. Below, the alternating eagles and torches of the cornice.
Panther Fountain at the Cathedral of Learning
This fountain sits below the southwest entrance to the tower, across from the William Pitt Student Union.
Green Tree, Land of the Pharaohs
In Pittsburgh, the Egyptian style is almost always associated with the death business, so it is no surprise to learn that this little building was a monument dealer before it became Green Tree’s oddest office building. The fact that it sits directly across the road from the entrance to Chartiers Cemetery is another clue. It is right on the border of Green Tree, at the edge of a little neighborhood called Rook, which once had a station on the Wabash Pittsburgh Terminal Railway, and still has a large freight yard belonging to the Wheeling and Lake Erie Railway.