Interior of Trinity Cathedral

Interior of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Pittsburgh

Trinity Episcopal Cathedral was built in 1872 from a design by Gordon W. Lloyd, an English-born Canadian architect who was popular among Episcopalians. The view above is made up of three pictures to give us a broad view of the nave.

This is the third church for this congregation. The first was the “Round Church,” built at about the time the streets were laid out in their present plan in 1785. (It was actually an octagon—one of the first generation of odd-shaped buildings caused by the colliding grids along Liberty Avenue.) The second was a brick Gothic church built in 1824.

Pews

Note the divided pews, which are the original furniture from 1872. At the time this church was built, churches were generally funded by pew rents. Your family would rent a particular section, and that was where you sat every Sunday.

End of a pew

The number on the end of the pew identifies your section. When Father Pitt visited, the dean of the cathedral, the Very Reverend Aidan Smith, was kind enough to bring out a precious historical artifact: a pew chart of the previous church marked with the prices for each section. The closer to the front (and the more visible) the pew, the more it cost per annum. He explained that this cathedral stopped the practice of pew rents in the 1930s, after receiving a large legacy on the condition that pew rents would be stopped. (In addition to funding the church, they were a good, but arguably un-Christian, way of keeping out the undesirable poor.)

Interior, diagonal view
Interior

Spire of Trinity Cathedral

The spire of Trinity Cathedral, with the Oliver Building in the background and the pinnacles of First Presbyterian Church in front and to the right.

Keenan Building

The Keenan Building in bright early-morning sunshine, seen from Sixth Avenue.

Iron Lantern at Trinity Cathedral

This great iron lantern is meant to be one of a pair flanking the steps to Trinity Cathedral from Sixth Avenue, but the other has gone missing. In the background is the old Gimbels department store.

Sixth Avenue

A view of Sixth Avenue from the porch of the First Presbyterian Church, looking toward the Keenan Building with its fantastical dome. On the right in front of the Keenan Building are the Wood Street Galeries and Wood Street subway station.