Tag: Storefronts

  • Elder-Ado Building, Knoxville

    Elder-Ado Building

    Jacobean Gothic is filtered through an Art Deco lens in this building from 1927, which has been sympathetically modernized with current materials that fit with and emphasize its distinctive character. The original terra-cotta ornaments have been lovingly preserved. This is a good example of how a commercial building can be brought up to date with good taste on a limited budget. Old Pa Pitt has not been able to determine what the building’s original name was; it now belongs to an organization for senior citizens.

    Date stone

    Father Pitt knows how his readers appreciate a good utility cable, so here is a fine closeup of one, unfortunately marred by a date stone in the background.

    Acanthus-leaf ornament
  • Hoffstot Building

    811 Liberty Avenue

    This building was put up in 1886, and in 1892 a sixth floor was added. It appears that the pediment was from the original construction, moved up one level in 1892; the ornamental scrolls on the fifth floor would have accented the pediment very nicely.

    Pediment

    As we often see in Victorian commercial buildings, what might appear to eyes trained on modernism as a cacophonous racket of detail turns out to be carefully organized, more a fugue than a racket. There are some interesting little outbreaks of randomness, however. Here are some of the delightful details you can pick out if you stand across the street from the building.

    Flower
    Profile facing right
    Profile facing left
    Flower and foliage
    Scroll
  • 608 Wood Street

    Commercial building on Wood Street

    The exceptionally ornate front of this building is marred only by the modernist excrescence on the ground floor, which until recently was a McDonald’s restaurant. Something more tasteful could be done with that storefront fairly easily. The rhythm of the upper floors is just about perfect, and the carved and incised details are worth stopping to appreciate. (The upper floors are a bit blurry in this picture, which is attributable to low light on a drab day.)

  • An Evening Stroll on Carson Street, South Side

  • Hotel Lieb, South Side

    Hotel Lieb

    Here are some utility cables with an old hotel behind them. The Hotel Lieb was a neighborhood hotel in the common Pittsburgh sense of being a bar with a few rooms above, because liquor licenses were fiendishly hard to get for bars but easy for hotels. It was built in the early 1900s at the intersection of Sarah Street with the oddly angled 29th Street, and the unusual angle is mitigated by cutting off the corner and putting the entrance there.

    Inscription
    Sarah Street side
  • Born Building, Squirrel Hill

    Born Building

    This Art Deco block of small storefronts and offices on Murray Avenue is in a prosperous district, but the concrete details are decaying, and many have disappeared. The optometrist at the left end, the central entrance to the upstairs offices, and the tailor shop right of center preserve what was probably the decorative pattern of all the storefronts when this building was put up.

    Decoration
    Concrete ornament

    This is meant to be the central ornamental focus of the building, but it has been shedding bits and pieces.

    Born Building
  • Arsenal Bank Building

    We saw the 1884 Arsenal Bank earlier from across Butler Street. Here is the 43rd Street side of the building, which we can see clearly thanks to the disappearance years ago of the neighboring buildings.

  • Steifel Building, Lawrenceville

    The intersection of Butler and 44th Streets forms an acute angle. The architect of this attractive commercial building (it probably dates from the 1870s) blunted what would otherwise have been an unattractively sharp corner by placing the entrance there, spreading the turn across two angles.

  • 905 Liberty Avenue

    This exceptionally attractive industrial building is now—we really don’t have to say this, but we will anyway—loft apartments.

  • Regal Shoe Company Building

    An elegant little storefront designed by Alden & Harlow in 1908. It now houses a men’s clothing store.