Tag: Hutchins (William P.)

  • St. Mary of Mercy Church

    This long-lens view from Mount Washington shows us how architect William P. Hutchins crammed as much church and diocesan office space as possible into a tiny downtown lot. The church was built in 1936 in a part of town that was not the most fashionable at the time, and the location and the Depression probably account for the general modesty of the structure. But within its modest limits, it certainly makes the most of its lot.

    Hutchins is not one of our most celebrated architects, but he did give the Catholics in Pittsburgh some distinguished buildings. An article about St. James Church in Wilkinsburg gives us some more information about him.

    Old Pa Pitt was about to link to some of his earlier pictures of St. Mary of Mercy and discovered that he never published them. Here are a few pictures from ground level.

    St. Mary of Mercy
    Gothic arcade
    St. Mary herself
    Corner tower
  • Resurrection Church, Brookline

    Resurrection Church

    If old Pa Pitt were more ambitious, he would remove those utility cables from the photograph, or from the street if he were more ambitious than that.

    Resurrection Church was built in 1939 in an interesting modernist Gothic style, anticipating the streamlined modernist Gothic that would have a brief vogue after the Second World War. This design managed to give the congregation a sumptuous Gothic interior while keeping the exterior outlines starkly simple. The main entrance, for example, is recessed far into the building, so that only by standing right in front of it can we see the elaborate Gothic tracery and inscription.

    An update: The 1939 church was designed by William P. Hutchins, who gave us many distinguished late-Gothic churches and schools, including St. Mary of Mercy downtown.

    Side entrance

    One of the side entrances.

    The Light of the World

    “Light of the World” relief over the side entrance.

    Resurrection School

    Before 1939, Resurrection Parish worshiped in the school next door, which was built in 1909. As usual, the Brookline Connection site has a thorough history of Resurrection Parish. From it we learn that the school was built in stages: the first two floors of the front were built first, with the rear and top floor added later. We are also told that the sanctuary was on the “ground floor,” but as we see from this picture, “ground floor” can be a slippery concept in Pittsburgh.

    Oblique view

    The school closed some time ago, and it is now a retirement home. Resurrection Church is now a worship site of St. Teresa of Kolkata parish, which also includes St. Pius X church in Brookline and St. Catherine of Siena in Beechview.