Tag: William Perry

  • St. Bernard’s Church, Mount Lebanon

  • World War I Memorial, West End Park

    War memorial

    West End Park is far off the beaten track, and few people outside its own neighborhood (which is technically Elliott, though it belongs at least as much to the West End) ever visit, or even know it exists. But it has one of our best war memorials by one of our best sculptors and one of our best architects.

    The sculptor was Frank Vittor, who was already developing the streamlined style that would make him one of Pittsburgh’s two favorite sculptors (the other being Giuseppe Moretti). The architect was William Perry, whose most famous work is St. Bernard’s in Mount Lebanon, a church more magnificent than many cathedrals. Their collaboration produced a striking monument, simple but rich. Unfortunately some restoration has left it with two radically different colors of stone and concrete, which is not how it was meant to look, as we see in this picture from twenty-two years ago:

    Memorial in 2000

    That picture shows us that the memorial has also lost some sort of bronze ornament on the bottom half of the shaft: we can see the shadow of what seems to have been a shield with double-headed axe set in a bronze band. (Addendum: The book Discovering Pittsburgh’s Sculpture, by Vernon Gay and Marilyn Evert, shows the ornament in place, with a bronze band all the way around the base. That book was published in 1983.)

    Cherubim and shields
  • St. Bernard’s, Mt. Lebanon

    St. Bernard’s Catholic Church, Mt. Lebanon

    Begun in 1942, this church is more elaborate than many cathedrals. The architect, William Perry, grew up in Dormont, and he seems to have realized that this was a chance to leave a magnificent legacy in his own back yard.