Category Archives: Uncategorized

A New Chapel for Shadyside Church?

Two renderings  in the Carnegie Mellon Architecture Archives, attributed to Pittsburgh architect James T. Steen,  raise more questions than they settle about Shadyside Church.  Even the date of their production is uncertain (between 1914 and the mid 1930s – likely … Continue reading

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The Cross at Shadyside

The Cross is the most widely recognized symbol of Christianity. And, while the Gospels and the Epistles speak of its overarching significance to the earliest believers, the Cross was not always openly displayed.  By the third century, Christians made the … Continue reading

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I Wish I Could Have Seen It

Shadyside Sanctuary 1890 facing east A new friend, after seeing my book Evidence of Things Not Seen about the church’s architecture and Christian symbolism, remarked, “I wish I had been able to see Shadyside Church’s sanctuary before the 1938 remodeling.”  … Continue reading

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Roof Over Our Heads

The buildings of Shadyside Presbyterian Church represent a wide variety of shapes, sizes and proportions. Each was designed to suit the intended (and foreseen) purposes of the spaces enclosed. Richardsonian Romanesque style readily accommodates functional design with volumes and masses … Continue reading

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Grotesque Romanesque

Almost all architecture, from Ancient times until seventy-five years ago, rewarded the observer who looked up. Interesting, often delightful details await there.  Our earliest skyscrapers often had decoration of a scale that could only be clearly observed with magnification from … Continue reading

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Stones of Shadyside

Sandstone. It doesn’t sound very durable.  Certainly, stone made from sand doesn’t seem like a material for a church that is expected to survive centuries.  But, there it is in the 1889 proposal specifications to Shadyside Presbyterian from the architect, … Continue reading

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…A Cathedral to a Chicken Coop

Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad Station, Coraopolis Shepley, Rutan & Coolidge 1895 “I will plan anything a man wants from a cathedral to a chicken coop.” Henry Hobson Richardson revealed to a client what his portfolio confirmed: a broad range … Continue reading

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