Matched Pair of Victorian Commercial Buildings on Carson Street

Both could use a little spiffing up, but they are fine examples of the Victorian commercial architecture for which Carson Street is famous.

Strangely Altered Carson Street Victorian

This building has had some adventures. Originally a typical Pittsburgh Romanesque commercial building, it had a radical renovation of the ground floor at some point in the Art Deco era (early enough that the entrances are still recessed from the sidewalk). Possibly at the same time, but probably later, the second and third floors were very inexpertly done over in an aggressively modernist style: the ornaments removed, the original tall windows replaced with much smaller windows, and the remaining space bricked up. Only the top remains more or less unaltered, though its ironwork date could use a bit of restoration, and the ironwork initials have left only their shadows.

Beechview Community Center

A commercial building like a thousand others in the city, but nicely restored, with attractively varied brickwork and a subtle polychrome scheme to pick out the details of the trim. Because old Pa Pitt happened to be out for a walk in the neighborhood, we get to see it from all angles.

In most cities you can ask how many floors a building is and get a reasonable answer. In Pittsburgh, that’s a complicated question.

Victorian Storefront on Carson Street

This was the home of a prosperous shopkeeper in East Birmingham, one who had two full floors of living quarters above the shop, with the addition of a couple of comfortable attic rooms. The ground floor has been altered somewhat, but only in the incidentals; on the whole, the building is in a splendid state of preservation.

Art Deco Buildings on Washington Road, Mount Lebanon

Uptown Mount Lebanon has one of the best collections of Art Deco architecture in the area. These two buildings sit side by side on Washington Road at the corner of Alfred Street. With some confidence, old Pa Pitt identifies the Gothic fantasy on the right as an old movie theater, although he would be happy to be corrected.