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.

 

Howe Springs

Due to the topographical nature of the City, natural springs were, and continue to be, a common feature in most neighborhoods. It was in many of the newly formed parks, however, that the natural springs would become an attraction, often adopting structural and stylistic elements to reflect popular design and aesthetic trends. This was particularly true of the Victorian Era, when park design centered on creating a balance between the perception of the natural world and a heavily manicured green environment. The trend is largely viewed as a reaction against society’s rapid industrialization and has a visual manifestation in the use of natural materials.

 

Catahecassa (Snyder) Spring

The spring has served as a prominent monument in Schenley Park since its inception. While there is not neighborhood, per se, the park is used by Pittsburghers from all neighborhoods and the park has, for much of its existence, attracted day trippers from all around Western Pa. The Catahecassa Fountain is located at one of the park’s most prominent intersections, E. Circuit Drive & Serpentine Drive (which is in itself one of Pittsburgh’s most famous roadways) and for much of its existence provided water to those using the park. This is perhaps best illustrated in the etching of Snyder Fountain (Fig. 26) where a gentleman and his horse rest immediately in front of the spring, again in a photograph of Dr. Fred A. Schade and family in their car (Fig. 29), and in a photograph of James W. Phillips (Fred A. Schade’s first cousin, twice removed) standing next to the same monument in October 27, 2013 (Fig. 30). The spring, like many other of its park-based counterparts, would become such a noted landmark it would go on to be captured in a postcard (Fig. 31). Interestingly the same image that is used for the spring in the postcard also captured the Neill Log Cabin but fails to identify the building or its function. The image of the card also identifies the springs as “Indian Springs,” which was most likely a way to make the scene more relatable to a broader audience, who may be unfamiliar with Catahecassa, outside of the city of Pittsburgh.

 

The Spring on Spring Hill (Voegtly Spring)

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The very name “Spring Hill” indicates that this spring represents—what used to be—the neighborhood’s most recognizable feature. The spring provided a sense of identity and pride among the Spring Hill residents as they saw how many people, including hospitals, enjoyed and sometimes depended on their water. Bee Fohl reflected, “That is a landmark. Focal point of the whole hill...it’s even in the name. Spring Hill has layers as you go up and the spring is right in the middle. It was the highlight to me of the hill. The spring united all areas of Spring Hill and the Cityview neighbors. It was a social meeting place where you chatted with your neighbors as you waited in line and filled up.”

 

Former St. George Church

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There are exceedingly few buildings in Pittsburgh that can equal 823 Climax Street in presence and command of site. From nearly any vantage point within the community, the building, its twin spires, and its blood-red brick are prominently visible.

Sited at the base of a steep hill, the juxtaposition of this grand basilica against the backdrop of small, wooden vernacular houses is almost European, and yet distinctly Pittsburgh. For 104 years the building has anchored the community of Allentown. It embodies the history of its community and holds promise for its future. The building transcends the definition of landmark. The location and distinct physical appearance of 823 Climax Street absolutely represents an established and familiar feature of Pittsburgh’s Allentown neighborhood. Without it, Allentown would suffer an immeasurable loss to its sense of place.

 

Leo Thomas for George Boos Studio Windows

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The Tu Es Petrus and St. George and the Dragon stained glass windows present in the former St. George’s Church can be directly attributed to one of Meyer & Co.’s most prominent glaziers, Leo Thomas. While Thomas’ contributions are rare within the City of Pittsburgh, his work and the work of his parent studio, George Boos, is well known throughout Western Pennsylvania, the East Coast, and the MidWest. The nearest, and perhaps most numerous, collection of Thomas’s work exists in St. Paul’s Church in Butler, Pa. Here we can find roughly fifty eight windows designed by George Boos’ Studio with under the design supervision of Leo Thomas. It was here, collaborating with the renowned Pittsburgh architect John T. Comes, that both the firm and the designer would receive their first major recognition in the United States.