Tag: Woodwork

  • Brackets and Shutters


    On a building on Western Avenue in Allegheny West.

    940 Western Avenue
    Fujifilm FinePix HS10.
  • Second Empire Mansion in Allegheny West

    841 North Lincoln Avenue

    Built in about 1865, this grand house on North Lincoln Avenue is decorated in the highest Victorian manner, and the current owners have put much thought into the color scheme for painting the elaborate wood trim.

    Woodwork and lilacs
    Porch woodwork

    Though it is hidden in the shadows between houses most of the day, this oriel is nevertheless festooned with decorative woodwork, including these ornate brackets:

    Dormering tower
    Second Empire mansion
    Front of the house in winter
  • Victorian Commercial Building on Sarah Street, South Side

    2616 Sarah Street

    Formerly a storefront with apartments above, but the storefront—as with many backstreet stores—has been converted to another apartment. The well-preserved Victorian details are picked out with a colorful but tasteful paint scheme.

    Dentils and diamond
    Kodak EasyShare Z981.
  • Second Empire House, Allegheny West

    827 North Lincoln Avenue

    One of the grandest of the Second Empire houses in Allegheny West, this one has an elaborate cornice with delightfully folksy wood-carving.

    Second Empire mansion in Allegheny West
  • North End United Presbyterian Church, Observatory Hill

    North End United Presbyterian Church

    Now Emmaus Deliverance Ministries. Designed by John Lewis Beatty, this late-Gothic-style church was built in about 1925. (The cornerstone has been effaced, which old Pa Pitt regards as cheating, though he understands that a new congregation likes to make a new beginning.)

    Emmaus Ministries
    Side entrance

    A Gothic church must maintain a delicate balance: it wants to be impressive, but it also wants to be welcoming. The simple woodwork over the entrances (this one is the basement entrance) gets the balance right: it fits well with the style of the building, matching the angle of the Gothic arches, but it sends the message that we’re just plain folks here.

  • Old Church in Aspinwall

    Old church, perspective view

    This old Lutheran church1 is no longer a church, but the exterior has been preserved very well. It is an unusual style for a small church, much like a Queen Anne house with a corner tower. The woodwork in the front gable is especially ornate.

    Decorative woodwork in the gable
    1. It appears on a 1906 Hopkins map as “Evan’l Luth. Ch.” ↩︎
  • Second Empire Houses on 13th Street, South Side

    Pair of Second Empire rowhouses

    On a street of mostly small vernacular rowhouses, this pair of grand Second Empire houses dominates the streetscape. They are well preserved and well cared for, and we need no more excuse to appreciate the details.

    Front door

    This front entrance (could you guess that the picture was taken the day after Halloween?) bears an unusual memento of the original owner of the house:

    Monogram: JS

    Note the monogram on the side of the steps. An 1890 map shows that the house belonged to a Jonathan Seibert.

    Breezeway and front door

    Note the exceptionally elaborate door on the breezeway.

  • Queen Anne House on Ellwood Street, Shadyside

    House on Ellwood Street

    This house was built, probably in the 1890s, as one of a row of four similar or identical houses. Of the other three, one was converted to a duplex and two to three-unit apartment buildings: this is the only one that remains as built. The ornamental woodwork is worth observing.

    Gable of the house with ornamental woodwork
  • The Witches’ Caps on Negley Avenue

    625 to 633 South Negley Avenue

    This row of Queen Anne houses on Negley Avenue in Shadyside surely strikes every passer-by, if for nothing other than their turrets with witches’ caps. The other details are also worth noticing: the ornamental woodwork and the roof slates, for example. The houses are just detached enough that we can see that the sides are made of cheaper brick rather than the stone that faces the street.

    629 South Negley Avenue

    The last one in the row lost its cap many years ago, but in compensation has been ultra-Victorianized with extra polychrome woodwork, as we see on the dormer below.

  • Victorian Houses on Penn Avenue, Garfield

    5012 Penn Avenue

    A row of fine Victorian houses on Penn Avenue in Garfield (Bloomfield according to city planning maps, because Penn Avenue is the neighborhood line, but Pittsburghers have always called both sides of Penn “Garfield”). Note the splendid tall parlor windows on the one above, which also has some particularly good gingerbreading.

    Row of houses
    Wood carving