Former Pennsylvania National Bank Building

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The former Pennsylvania National Bank Building, located at 3480 Butler St., was constructed in 1902-03 to replace the older, three-story bank building that existed on the same site and housed the Lawrence Savings Bank. The current Beaux Arts building, now the offices of one of Pittsburgh’s prominent design firms, creates what is perhaps the most notable entrances into Lawrenceville.

The former Pennsylvania National Bank Building is significant because of its striking use of Beaux Arts design, its association with the architects Louis & Michael Beezer, and because its is a prominent visual feature in Lawrenceville.

 

US Post Office & Courthouse

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The United States Post Office & Courthouse (Weis Courthouse), located at 700 Grant Street, was constructed in 1934 to replace the five-story granite building at Fourth Ave. & Smithfield St. which was too small to handle demand almost as soon as it opened in 1891. The monumental Neoclassical masterpiece is one of the best examples of the style and houses two of the four WPA murals that exist within our city.

The US Post Office & Courthouse is significant because of its exquisite use of Neoclassical design, its association with a nationally-renowned architectural firm Trowbridge & Livingston, and that it is a prominent visual feature in downtown Pittsburgh.

 

Heathside Cottage

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Heathside Cottage, located at 416 Catoma Street, was constructed between 1864-66 for the prominent masonry contractor Col. James Andrews when Fineview was still a sparsely populated hillside in Allegheny City. The Gothic Revival cottage is one of the finest examples of this particular style remaining in Pittsburgh.

Heathside Cottage is significant because of its exquisite use of early Gothic Revival design, its association with a nationally-renowned mason Col. James Andrews, and that it is a prominent visual feature in Fineview and the City.

 

Shrine of the Blessed Mother

Shrine of the Blessed Mother, 1957.

Shrine of the Blessed Mother, 1957.

The Shrine of the Blessed Mother (a.k.a. the Virgin of the Parkway) located off of Wakefield Street in South Oakland came into existence in 1956. Multiple accounts of miraculous visions surround the shrine’s early creation identify Sophie Toma, Anna Cybak, Mary Sunyoga, and Phillip Marraway as the shrine’s founders and caretakers. Over the course of several decades to today the shrine would have multiple caretakers and evolve to include structural, sculpted, and landscaped elements. It would also face, and survive, multiple threats to its existence.

The Shrine is historically significant because of its meaning and importance to the community of worshipers who have provided for its upkeep and growth for the past six decades and its association with the period of rapid expansion of Pittsburgh's freeway system. It is also significant because of its unique connection to Pittsburgh’s natural springs and its visual prominence on the hillsides of South Oakland.

This nomination was researched and written at the request of Council President Bruce Kraus, in whose district the Shrine resides.

 

South Side Presbyterian Church

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The South Side Presbyterian Church located at 1926 Sarah Street was constructed in 1869 by the prominent contractor John T. Natcher when the neighborhood was still the independent borough of Birmingham. The building would be enlarged by Waite & Rowlands in 1893 when a Gothic Revival facade, including two prominent bell towers, was added fronting Sarah Street.

The South Side Presbyterian Church is significant because of its embodiment of mid-nineteenth vernacular Gothic Revival design with late-nineteenth century Gothic Revival alterations, its association with themes of religion, ethnicity, and social history; and that it’s a prominent visual feature of the South Side Flats in which it stands.

 

Former Carrick Municipal Hall

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Carrick’s former Municipal Hall located at 1806 Brownsville Road is one of two remaining borough buildings within the City of Pittsburgh (the other being the former Overbrook Municipal Building, now Accamando Center, which was added to the Pittsburgh Register of Historic Places in 2018). Constructed in 1905 shortly after Carrick became an independent borough, the building would go on to become Engine Co. 23 after annexation by the city, and now houses several prominent business in Carrick’s commercial district.

The former municipal hall is significant because of its embodiment of an architectural style, its association with noted architect Edward Stotz, and how it reflects Carrick’s progression from an independent borough to a neighborhood within the City of Pittsburgh.

 

Former Croatian Fraternal Union Building

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On February 28, 1928, the Pittsburgh Press announced the construction the Croatian Fraternal Union’s new three-story, fireproof steel frame office building. The approximate cost was anticipated to be $150,000.00. The design of the building was described as gothic and “…leaning toward the Cathedral of Learning style and … in keeping with the cultural atmosphere of the Schenley district.” The new building was dedicated January 20, 1929 with Mayor Charles H. Kline serving as one of the honorary guests and speakers.

The former Croatian Fraternal Union Building is significant for its association with noted architect Pierre Leisch (credited for providing design inspiration for the Union Trust Building downtown), its embodiment of Croatian immigrant history on a local and national scale, and that it is a distinct visual feature of Oakland’s Forbes/Fifth Ave. corridor.

 

The Westinghouse Memorial

“Untitled Photograph,”  Carnegie Mellon University Architecture Archives’ Hornbostel Collection.

“Untitled Photograph,” Carnegie Mellon University Architecture Archives’ Hornbostel Collection.

On September 22, 1926 City Council granted the request to place the proposed George Westinghouse memorial in Schenley Park. Over the course of the next four years, the Westinghouse Memorial Association worked to raise funds, hire architects, sculptors, and landscape designers to bring the memorial into fruition.  Henry Hornbostel, Eric Fisher Wood, David Chester French, and Paul Fjelde would ultimate be selected for the architectural and sculptural components.

Over 55,000 Westinghouse Employees donated nearly $200,000 to make the memorial possible and its unveiling on October 6, 1930 was attended by more than 10,000 people.

The Westinghouse Memorial is significant for its association with Hornbostel, Wood, French, and Fjelde, its exceptional design approach, and its use of Modernism with Beaux Arts influences.  It is also notable as a prominent feature in Schenley Park.

 

Frick Park - National Register

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Frick Park was established by the bequest of 151 acres to the City of Pittsburgh by Henry Clay Frick upon his death in 1919. It was the fourth of Pittsburgh’s large regional parks to be created, after Highland and Schenley Parks (both est. 1889) and Riverview Park (est. in 1894 for the independent City of Allegheny, annexed to Pittsburgh in 1906).

Today, Frick Park is the largest park in the City of Pittsburgh at approximately 644 acres, 538 of which are included in the proposed National Register eligible boundary.  On its interior, Frick Park’s dominant feature is its natural landform of wooded slopes and valley floors, ridges, ravines, and creeks, which serve as a rich habitat for native plant and animal species.

Frick Park is recommended for eligibility for the National Register under Criterion A in the areas of Community Planning and Development and Recreation and Culture and under Criterion C in the areas of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. Its period of significance is 1919-1963. 1919 is the year Henry Clay Frick bequeathed the park’s initial 151 acres to the city, and the last major historic improvement, the Simonds and Simonds-designed Blue Slide Playground at the park’s Riverview entrance, occurred in 1963.

 

Former Holy Family Church (Pending per MOU)

“Kosciol-Najsw.-Rodziny”. 1939. From the Collection of Helen   Pokorski  , Preservation Pittsburgh.

“Kosciol-Najsw.-Rodziny”. 1939. From the Collection of Helen Pokorski, Preservation Pittsburgh.

Holy Family was established in 1902 as a Polish congregation in response to the rapid increase in immigration to Lawrenceville from the geographical areas that would comprise the former (and future) Polish state.  The congregation met at a church and school house on Foster St. until they were able to raise the funds in 1939 to construct a new church on 44th St.

Upon its completion in 1940, Holy Family Church was the largest religious structure in Lawrenceville's 9th Ward and one of the largest constructed in the community.  Since it was executed in a style that drew inspiration from some of the more prominent churches in Poland and its early congregation consisted largely of Polish immigrants and their descendants, Holy Family was known as polski kosciol or the "Polish Church."

The former Holy Family Church is significant for its use of Eclecticism, an architectural style that in this structure blended Romanesque, traditional Polish elements, and a modern design aesthetic.  It is also notable as a prominent feature in the neighborhood and for its connection to the architect, engineer, and builder Anthony (Antoni) Pyzdrowski.

 

Spring Hill Elementary School

Spring Hill School is a one-to-two story, brick and stone Classical Revival elementary school building in the Spring Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh. It faces north onto Damas Street at its T intersection with Rockledge Street. It is surrounded by grassy lawn and trees to the north and west and paved play areas to the south and east. A brick plinth in the yard in front of the school identifies it as “Spring Hill Elementary School.” The entire site is enclosed by fencing: iron “hairpin” fencing typical of older Pittsburgh Public schools at the front (north), and chain link fencing on the sides and rear. The neighborhood surrounding the school consists of modest single-family brick and frame houses dating from ca. 1880-1920.

 

The Peterson House

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Please note that the Peterson House nomination was not submitted by PP but posted to our site by request of Matthew Falcone, so that others may access the nomination.

172 46th Street is directly associated with Carol Peterson, the architectural historian who made significant contributions to Pittsburgh’s historiography and advanced historic preservation of the city’s architectural resources.

It is at 172 46th Street, her home for nearly 16 years, that Carol Peterson completed the majority of her house histories, researched and wrote “Allegheny City: A History of Pittsburgh’s North Side”, completed her contribution to Lawrenceville’s National Register nomination, landmarked several buildings locally, advocated for Pittsburgh’s built environment, and would display the numerous awards and recognitions for her life’s work.

 

Former Pittsburgh Wash House & Public Baths Building

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The Wash House is an example of the Romanesque Revival style with its massing, springing arches, and recessed entrance. Although this building joined several other bath houses in Pittsburgh, it was the first of its kind to offer laundry facilities in Pittsburgh, and in fact was only the third public wash house in the United States. For perspective, New York City opened their first public wash facility (the People’s Washing and Bathing Association at 141-143 Mott Street) in 1852 while it wasn’t until 1918 that Chicago constructed a bath house with laundry facilities.

 

Sheraden Homestead

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2803 Bergman St. is well known within the neighborhood of Sheraden as having belonged to the neighborhood’s founder and namesake. However, the twin sycamore trees that grow together to form an arch onto the property are arguably the most recognizable feature and is well known throughout Pittsburgh. This is, perhaps, most apparent from media coverage dating back to their inception the 1950s in which articles identifies the house by the conjoined sycamores.9
The Italianate farmhouse too is a recognizable feature on the street otherwise populated with homes constructed in a suburban period that typically embody Foursquare, Tutor Revival, and Dutch Revival architectural elements.

 

Roslyn Place (District)

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Roslyn Place is an exemplification of an important planning and urban design technique distinguished by rarity, uniqueness, and overall quality of design.

Roslyn Place features prominently in Great Streets, a comprehensive book on the relationship between design, communities, and urban planning. In the book, Allan Jacob’s recognizes Roslyn Place’s unique design in stating:

"All the smallness and closeness – but closeness with enough room for healthy, even gracious living – makes for a density that is greater than would be permitted for the same type of housing (remember, these are single-family houses) in most of the urban United States: some 14 dwellings per gross acre (including the street). That density means there are a lot of people around. It means that public transit can be supported; it means that small stores within walking distance are likely to survive; and they do, on Walnut Street, a block away; and that schools, too, can be close. It means, in short, community, or at least the change of a community."

 

Tufa Bridges

Th e tufa bridges have weathered in time from nutrient-voracious plants as Burke expected, however, most of the stone cladding is unnaturally black. Mike Angle, a geologist from Ohio familiar with tufa, concurs in the belief that Pittsburgh’s problem with coal dust in the mid-twentieth century resulted in an abnormal absorption. Moss and lichens thoroughly covering the uppermost part of the bridges also result in darkening of the stone. Another plausible theory from Angle is that the stone’s composition results from a chemical change over time. Such as the reddish brown appearance of stones results from iron oxidation, a black appearance may result from manganese oxidation. Minor quantities of manganese are present in most sedimentary rocks in Ohio.

 

Former Overbrook Municipal Building

What is today known as Overbook was originally called Fairhaven and was a small town within Baldwin Township. In 1871 the company of the Pittsburgh & Castle Shannon Railroad was incorporated with Milton Hays as its first president. The railway was important in the early expansion of the Fairhaven Community as it also served as a real estate development business. Plans of lots were on display at the company office. Overbrook was so named by Henry T. Galley, after Over-the-Brook, a town in Ireland. In 1919 the tiny but bustling town broke away from Baldwin Township and became the independent Borough of Overbrook. The development of local roads in the 1920s and the opening of the Liberty Tunnels in 1924 brought additional expansion for all southern communities.

 

Oliver Bath House

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The Oliver Bath House represents a key example in the development of bath houses in the United States. With the focus of this particular bath house on its swimming pool instead of bathtubs or showers, Henry W. Oliver ensured that his bath house would be seen as more than a structure created to improve hygiene and sanitation—it would be a recreational nexus for the workers and residents of Pittsburgh’s South Side. This is in opposition to the other municipal bath houses constructed in Pittsburgh that each featured several dozens showers and bathtubs, but no swimming pool.

Because of the fact that it retains its original function after more than 100 years, it is important to take the steps necessary to ensure its continued service for the residents of Pittsburgh. Given that it was closed for a significant period during last winter, it is critical that routine maintenance is continued in order to preserve its appearance.

 

City-County Building (Pending)

The City-County Building’s distinct physical appearance creates one of the most recognizable visual features within the City of Pittsburgh and its unofficial downtown historic civic district (roughly bounded by Fifth Ave., the Crosstown Blvd., Boulevard of the Allies, and Cherry Way). With Grant Street as the district’s axis, recognized and unrecognized landmark buildings are plentiful: the Allegheny Courthouse, the County Building, the Grant Building, the Robins Building, the Oliver Building. Hornbostel, in designing the City-County Building, specifically tailored the registers of the façade to reflect those in the Allegheny Courthouse. Yet the smooth, grey granite of the façade stands in stark contrast to the vary array of materials, textures, and hues that define the courthouse. It should be noted that the visual prominence of the City-County Building within downtown has been enhanced since its construction with the demolition of nearly all historic structures and the creation of a parking lot across immediately across the street in the block bounded by Forbes Ave., Grant St., Fourth Ave. and Cherry Way.

While the City-County Building is one of the most visually defining features on Grant Street, it is also an independent visual feature of the City.

 

Roslyn Place (Street)

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Throughout the course of the 20th century, the immediate streetscape neighboring Roslyn Place changed rapidly. Belgian block streets and trolley lines were paved with asphalt, the original Aiken Avenue wooden bridge was replaced with the current steel structure, Osterling and Rodd’s homes were demolished in the 1960s and replaced with condominium developments with private streets, and demise of the Pennsylvania Rail Road in the 1970s would lead to the creation of the Martin Luther King Busway to the North of the neighborhood. However Roslyn Place would remain a wooden block street in part because of the advocacy of its neighbors and the active stewardship of the City of Pittsburgh’s Department of Public Works.