Demmler Bros. (now Demmler Machinery) built its headquarters in the Romanesque style that was very popular for warehouses and industrial buildings; for other examples, see the Standard Sanitary Manufacturing Company Warehouse and the B. M. Kramer & Company Building. The company has moved to the suburbs, but ghost signs still betray the origin of the building.
A particularly elegant Romanesque warehouse built for the company that made bathroom plumbing fashion-conscious. Standard later merged with American Radiator to form American-Standard, still a leader in toilet technology today. The building is now luxurious offices under the name “Fort Pitt Commons.” According to the boundary-increase application for the Firstside Historic district, it was built 1900–1905; the architect is unknown, which is a pity, because it was obviously someone with a real sense of rhythm in architecture. (If you backed old Pa Pitt into a corner and asked him to guess the architect, he might say Charles Bickel, whose Reymer Brothers candy factory Uptown is very similar in many details, including the treatment of the arches.) Above, the side that faces Fort Pitt Boulevard and the Mon; below, the First Avenue side.
This old warehouse has seen some alterations of its details, but the lines remain basically the same. Note that even a utilitarian building like this sprouts a splendid cornice at the top.
The First Avenue face of the Try Street Terminal (now called Terminal 21 and filled with loft apartments and offices).
This is the First Avenue side of a building that occupies a whole block—or arguably more, since the little alley Gasoline Street runs right through the middle of it. Built as a utilitarian warehouse, it was repurposed as a dormitory for the Art Institute; and when that school was in its final death spiral, the building was refurbished again as—of course—luxury lofts, under the name Terminal 21.