Scheibler, Scheibler everywhere...

Old Heidelberg Apartments - Pittsburgh's only designated Scheibler Landmark

Old Heidelberg Apartments - Pittsburgh's only designated Scheibler Landmark

Following Martin Aurand's widely successful lecture on Scheibler hosted by the East Liberty Valley Historical Society, we're left wondering... why aren't more of the architect's work designated as City of Pittsburgh Historic Landmarks?

Frederick Scheibler was born in Pittsburgh and spent the majority of his life working in and around (particularly in Wilkinsburg and Swissvale) the city.  While he spent his career close to home, his work was influenced by international styles like the Successionist movement, the Arts & Crafts movement, and the Chicago and Prairie styles.  Scheibler's work has again and again and again been recognized as some of Pittsburgh's finest and most unique but only his Old Heidelberg Apartments in Point Breeze are recognized as a City Historic Landmark.  So, what gives?

It's complicated.  To be a Pittsburgh historic landmark, the building has to be inside City limits, so Scheibler's work in Wilkinsburg, Swissvale, and other place aren't eligible.  Many of his buildings are now condos or owned by multiple owners, which would require partnering with several people in order landmark.  And the vast majority Scheibler designed are residential, so having a connection to an owner can be harder to navigate than, say, a building owned by a business or governmental agency.

Still, it's past time we tried.  Old Heidelberg was designated by the City on March 15, 1974 - over 43 years ago.  Before a half-century passes us by, let's see if we can honor Scheibler's work and recognize a few more examples as City Historic Landmarks.  After all, exquisite examples of his work are all around us.