Tag: Virginia Manor

  • More of Virginia Manor

    18 Midway Road

    Virginia Manor was developed with the idea that it would be “an entire community of artistic homes.” “The Southern Hills Land Company, developers of the plan, reserve the right to have an architectural expert examine the drawings of proposed homes,” said a photo caption in a 1928 Sun-Telly article on the plan. “Freak houses are barred.” We’ll reprint the whole text of the article here:

    Virginia Manor, real estate development of the Southern Hills Land Company in Mt. Lebanon, has been created with the idea of having an entire community of artistic homes. Careful consideration has been given to the architectural detail of every home built in the plan.

    No lot in the plan has a frontage of less than 60 feet. This allows room for landscaping on every plot. Restrictions are placed in the deed requiring drawings for a proposed home to be submitted to an expert for approval. More than 25 homes have already been erected, varying in price from $15,000 to $50,000.

    Many of the homes erected are those which have won prizes in architectural competitions, such as the American Face Brick Association competition and the United States Gypsum competition. Some of the houses are sponsored by the Architects’ Small House Service Bureau of the United States.

    Virginia Manor is located on the first ridge north of and parallel to the Washington road, Mt. Lebanon. It adjoins Marlin place, Colonial heights and Parker Gardens. The plan is accessible through the Liberty tubes or by the way of the West End and the Banksville road.

    Here is an album of houses from the eastern half of Virginia Manor, which is a few years older than the western side we saw recently. The houses get a little smaller as they get nearer to the more plebeian neighboring plans of Colonial Heights, Marlin Place, and Parker Gardens, but the variety and quality of the designs is remarkable throughout.

    18 Midway Road
    Front door
    18 Midway Road
    10 Midway Road
    10 Midway Road
    21 Midway Road
    21 Midway Road
    370 Midway Road
    380 Parker Drive
    388 Midway Road
    390 Parker Drive
  • Osage Road in Virginia Manor, Mount Lebanon

    700 Osage Road

    Virginia Manor is where the rich rich people live in Mount Lebanon. It’s full of houses designed by some of the most distinguished Pittsburgh architects of the 1920s and 1930s. Osage Road has some of the grandest houses, so here is your look at how the other half lives—unless you are the other half, in which case here is your hand mirror.

    700 Osage Road
    910 Osage Road
  • Stone House in Virginia Manor

    396 Midway Road

    In the 1930s there was a new interest in the architectural past of America. In Pittsburgh, in particular, two related projects made local architects consider the vernacular architecture of the past in a new light. The Buhl Foundation sponsored the Western Pennsylvania Architectural Survey, which gave some of our better architects, thrown out of work by the Depression, the job of surveying and preparing architectural drawings of significant old buildings. A little later on, the federal Historic American Buildings Survey took on similar work, with many of the same architects. This work not only documented our old buildings: it also thoroughly familiarized some of our prominent architects with the old houses of southwestern Pennsylvania. “Their quiet lines and excellent mass are wholly satisfying,” wrote architect Charles Stotz in The Early Architecture of Western Pennsylvania, a sumptuous folio volume that resulted from the Buhl Foundation’s project. “It seems that in the essential qualities of architectural design their builders, curiously enough, were capable of doing no wrong.”

    Their rediscovery of local vernacular architecture inspired some of these architects to imitation. This gorgeous house in Virginia Manor, a tony plan in Mt. Lebanon laid out in the 1920s, is one of the best growths from that fertilization. The architect (old Pa Pitt has not found a name yet) very successfully imitated the materials and proportions of a typical southwestern-Pennsylvania stone house, adapting it with seemingly effortless grace to the modern 1930s life of an automobile suburb.

    Perspective view