Tag: Towers

  • St. James Evangelical Lutheran Church, Arlington

    Now a residential duplex, this is a tiny Romanesque church made to seem much more substantial by its weighty tower and its steeply pitched roof.

  • Mount Oliver Public School

    The old Mount Oliver Public School and its annex have been beautifully restored for non-academic uses. Mount Oliver residents now get their schooling from Pittsburgh.

    The Annex is almost a duplicate of the original school, except for the tower section.

  • Rooftops of Brookline

    Father Pitt was trying out a very long lens after making an expedition to Pitaland. In the center of the picture is the tower of Engine House Fifty-Seven. It was about half a mile away.

  • Beltzhoover Sub-District School

    Beltzhoover Sub-District School
    This picture was made from 15 separate photographs, so be aware that it will be about 18 megabytes of data if you enlarge it.

    Built in 1909, this is a grand classical schoolhouse with a distinctive tower; except for the tower, we can imagine it as an English earl’s house from the 1600s. The architects were William J. Shaw and Thomas Lloyd. The school has been abandoned for years, but there is hope now of turning it into apartments. In the huge picture above, note the way the building defies the typically Pittsburghish slope of the street. In fact it sits on a mound in the middle of the block, and you need some legs to get up to it from any direction.

    Beltzhoover Elementary School
    Tower
    Entrance
    Beltzhoover Sub-District School
  • Knoxville Christian Church

    Knoxville Christian Church

    Unlike its neighbor, the Knoxville Presbyterian Church, this little Gothic church has no one to cut down the weeds and the Pittsburgh palms. It is already half-swallowed by jungle, and it may soon be nothing more than a roughly cube-shaped lump of vegetation. Wouldn’t it make a fine studio for some ambitious artist?

  • Knoxville Presbyterian Church

    Knoxville Presbyterian Church

    The outstanding feature of this church is its outsized corner tower; the architect has cleverly emphasized its height with strong vertical lines. Corner towers are common in churches on corner lots, but seldom do they reach these proportions.

    Tower

    There are also smaller towers at three of the other four corners of the building, and a matching Sunday-school wing is attached.

    Rear of the church

    This is one of several abandoned churches in Knoxville, but at least somebody mows the lawn and sweeps away the trash. Note the steep slope that makes two floors’ difference between the front of the lot and the back of the lot.

    Knoxville Presbyterian Church
  • Belfry, South Side Presbyterian Church

    Belfry

    Note the fine ironwork decorations.

  • Transept Tower, St. Paul’s Cathedral

    Transept tower

    A large Gothic church can be prickly with towers. In addition to the great front towers whose spires can be seen for miles, St. Paul’s has a pair of smaller towers on each transept front.

  • Penn Avenue Gatehouse, Allegheny Cemetery

    Father Pitt has always had mixed feelings about HDR (“high-dynamic-range”) images. They are made from multiple exposures—this one, for example, is put together from three photographs—in an attempt to capture the detail in both the highlights and the shadows. On the one hand, they always strike him as artificial-looking; on the other, HDR imaging was the only effective way to capture both the stonework and the lowering clouds in this picture. If you look closely, you will notice an artifact of the process: it was a windy day, so the stones are sharp but the trees are blurred.

    This is the Penn Avenue gatehouse of Allegheny Cemetery, seen from inside the cemetery. Old Pa Pitt returned two days later to try another HDR image, and this time—with some tweaking of software settings—he managed a more natural-looking result:

    If he were at all concerned with his reputation as an artist, he would have led with this picture. But he thought you might enjoy seeing a first attempt and the refinement that followed, in that order.

    If you are looking for some atmospheric fun for Halloween, Father Pitt’s Pittsburgh Cemeteries is full of interesting pictures and information.

  • Tower of St. Bernard’s, Mount Lebanon