Montreal is a very old city for North America, and as such has many outstanding vintage buildings. Most are in the Vieux (Old) Montreal section, but some, like the Mary Queen of the World Cathedral, is downtown.
The main train station has reliefs depicting Canada culture with the words of the National Anthem ‘Oh Canada’ written underneath.
There are numerous vintage buildings throughout the area, with the usual cool details.
The Old Montreal tourist area has numerous shops.
Some very narrow passages.
The Port of Montreal Clock Tower dates from the 1920s. It is also known as the Sailors Memorial Clock, dedicated to World War I Canadian Sailors.
The original sections of Bonsecours Market date from the 1840s. In addition to serving as a market, it also housed government functions.
Place Jacques-Cartier is the center of Old Montreal tourist activities.
Finally a stop at Notre Dame Cathedral, and an amazing (but brief) light show.
Featured on a number of postings, the University Circle area of Cleveland is home to Case Western Reserve University, as well as most of the museums for the city.
We were in town on this sunny Saturday for ‘Parade the Circle’ (featured on an upcoming posting), we also wanted to participate in a walking tour of the area lead by the volunteers from ‘Take a Hike Cleveland’, but apparently because of the parade they cancelled. As with other times like this, we made our own tour.
The Cleveland History Center features a carousel from a long lost amusement park – Euclid Beach.
The Cancer Survivors Plaza. A local independent newspaper named this the worst public sculpture in America, with the surreal look of the people seemingly running away from something.
The tower in the background (and on the featured photo for this posting) has unique brickwork.
Just across the street the Museum of Natural History has an excellent welcoming sign.
While the population of Cleveland has dropped precipitously over the last 50 years, there are still some grand old apartment buildings in the city, as evidenced by the Park Lane Villa.
The Maltz Performing Arts Center. Built in 1924 as the Temple Tifereth, it now serves the arts community.
There are statues scattered throughout the area.
A view of University Circle United Methodist Church.
There was once the largest skating rink the world located in here – the Elysian. It is celebrated by art on an electrical box.
Mark Hanna – While William McGinley was officially the president, Mark told him what to do.
A view of the Museum of Art.
Severance Hall – home of the Cleveland Orchestra.
The Kelvin Smith Library at Case Western Reserve.
Case Western Reserve was at one time two separate entities, including the Western Reserve College for Women.
A chapel at Case Western Reserve.
Finally, the best building in the area. It is now home to the Cleveland Institute of Art, but it’s first life was as an assembly plant for making Ford Model T’s!
When most people think of New Orleans they think of the French Quarter, or other major tourist spots. But New Orleans is more than that – it is a major city with large corporate and government buildings.
New Orleans refers to their downtown area as the CBD (Central Business District).
Below is the Supreme Court of Louisiana Building. While it is technically in the French Quarter it is unlike all the other structures in the area with it’s classical look.
Also nearby is the St Louis Cathedral.
Canal Street is the divider between the Quarter and the CBP. It is lined with commercial business, many of which are in 100 year old + buildings.
The Royal Crescent Hotel has an impressive amount of detail on the exterior.
This level of detail is found on many of the early 1900 buildings.
A mix of old and new New Orleans.
Completed in 1972 the Hancock Whitney Center has been the tallest building in the city (and state) since it’s completion. For most of it’s history it was known as One Shell Plaza.
The exterior is Italian travertine, which caused many to be concerned of it’s durability during a strong storm, however it stood up to Hurricane Katrina.
Now a Hilton Hotel, this ornate building was completed in 1927 as the Grand Lodge of the Freemasons of Louisiana.
When opened it had a 1000 person theater and three ballrooms.
The Whitney Bank clock is a New Orleans heirloom.
The Cotton Exchange Building was completed in 1920, replacing a previous, more ornate building of the same name.
The Energy Centre is the 4th tallest building in the city, at 530′ high. It is located across the street from the Superdome.
A view of the plaza in front of the Superdome.
The DXC Technologies building also is in the Superdome neighborhood. While not especially tall it has a clean lines look to it
But no matter the height of the skyscrapers nothing dominates the New Orleans skyline like the Superdome.
The Washington National Cathedral is the second largest church in the country, and serves as the church for many state funerals, among other activities.
Because of Washington’s unique building height restrictions it is the 4th tallest building in the city, despite only being 300′ high.
The day we visited they were having the annual Flower Mart. As part of this event there were a number of group performing, including the choir from the nearby St Alban’s School.
The main section rises to the aforementioned 300′, with a length of nearly 500′ making it an impressive space.
State flags line the cathedral. Despite the name it receives no money from the government.
There is a significant amount of carvings throughout.
The organ was built by Ernest Skinner & Son Organ Company. It was completed and installed in 1938, with over 10,000 pipes.
A closeup of some of the carvings.
The church suffered significant damage in a 2011 earthquake, and they have been raising money ever since to complete repairs. By selling Lego bricks at $2 each, they hope to raise the final $19 million to finish the repairs. The bricks are to build an exact replica of the cathedral.
A statue of George Washington was sculpted in 1947 and placed in the church. It is said to represent Washington not as a soldier, or president, but ‘just a man’.
As noted previously the Flower Mart was occurring on this day. As part of this celebration the country of Ecuador flew in fresh roses and was giving each lady a rose, presented by a representative of the embassy.
Many countries had floral displays, none more unusual that Switzerland’s rose cow.
Many lined the nave, with the stained glass windows providing backdrops.
The arrangements were very well done.
The Washington Cathedral is a stunning building, and the Flower Mart display added to the experience.
The National Historic Registry has over 80,000 places listed throughout the country, with over 3900 in Ohio, of those 159 are in the city of Columbus. This fairly lengthy posting details those along one of Columbus’s primary street, the aptly named 6 to 8 lane Broad Street.
Some of the properties are in excellent shape, while others are in need of some TLC. Through a number of online sources, including the Ohio Historic Places Dictionary, I was able to pull together some highlights of each property.
Our first stop was on the near west side in Franklinton at the Franklinton Apartments. Located at 949-957 West Broad Street the building was completed in 1920, and is still functioning today as an apartment building.
We would’ve had more photos except for the very sketchy looking people hanging out along the sidewalk on the side of the building, despite the No Loitering sign on the building.
William Henry Harrison Headquarters –
W. Broad St
When Ohio became a state in 1803,
there was significant debate on where the capital should be located. Originally
set in the southern Ohio town of Chillicothe, and briefly in Zanesville, it was
decided in 1816 to build a new town across the Scioto River from Franklinton in
the center of the state. As a result the near west side of the city of Columbus
was originally the town of Franklinton.
This house was built around 1807, as one of the few brick buildings in Franklinton. It remains one of the few remaining buildings from the Franklinton era. During the War of 1812 it was used by General (future President) William Henry Harrison as his headquarters for the Northwest Army. Later during the Civil War a confederate spy lived in the home.
A smaller house is locate in back.
House No. 6
W. Broad St
This 124 year old building
served as a fire engine house until 1966, when it was sold and used for a
variety of businesses, as evidenced by the dilapidated sign for Jimmy Rea Electronics.
A non profit historic preservation group, Heritage Ohio, has purchased it with
plans to renovate it as their offices, with retail on the 1st floor.
As with most of the early fire stations this one has a tower attached for drying the hoses.
and Ohio Central Railroad Station
W. Broad St.
This unique former
railway station was designed by Frank Packard and Joseph Yost, both noted
Columbus architects of the late 1800-early 1900s. It was designed in an Art
Nouveau styling uniquely accented with Japanese touches like the pagoda tower.
While the pagoda stands out now, it matched the motif of the Macklin Hotel that
was present next door until being torn down years ago.
Even though it now seems
Japanese in style, it was actually rooted in French and Swiss feudal
architecture. The tower originally had 3 large clocks facing all sides, except
the railroad tracks. Originally the tracks crossed the street at grade level,
but was raised in 1910. The construction of the elevated tracks resulted in a
fire that burned the roof of the depot.
In 1930 the passenger service moved to Union Station, making the stations obsolete. New York Central Railroad then sold the station to the Volunteers of America for $1, since the VOA had lost their building on Front Street to eminent domain for the building of the State Office complex. In 2007 the Firefighters Union bought the station and restored it for their use. After 100 years of service, and multiple floods and fires, it stands proudly as a great architectural wonder.
The older photo shows the now demolished hotel along with the station.
W. Broad St.
Built in 1898 by Daniel Burnham, the famed Chicago architect, the Wyandotte is Columbus’s first skyscraper. As with the other tall buildings of the era, it incorporated the new technologies of steel frame and safe elevators to rise to the dizzying height of 11 floors. The bay windows were to allow as much light as possible in these early days of the electric light bulb.
Building and the New Hayden Building
E Broad St & 16 E. Broad St.
The Hayden Building was completed in 1869, and remains to this day as the oldest building on Capitol Square. Next door is the New Hayden Building, which at 13 floors surpassed the Wyandotte Building as the tallest building in town when completed in 1901. Both buildings are currently undergoing renovation. For this building we have a ‘then and now’ look at it.
E. Broad St
Trinity Episcopal Church is a historic church at 125 E. Broad Street in Columbus, Ohio. It was built in 1866 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. It continues to serve as a church, as well as a community center including a restaurant in the basement that feeds the homeless.
Athletic Club of Columbus 136 E. Broad St.
The Athletic Club building was
completed in 1915 in a Spanish Renaissance Revival style with Italian influences.
Designed by Richard, McCarty & Bullard, it has changed little in the 100 +
years it has stood in downtown Columbus.
It’s members have included a president (Harding), multiple governors and other business and political leaders.
E. Broad St.
The eight-story building at the corner of Third and Broad is now called the Empire Building. Designed and built by Frank Packard in the 1920s, it has a two-story base faced in stone features Gothic-inspired relief sculpture and ornamental grilles, and the lobby has a vaulted ceiling with decorative plasterwork and ornamental light fixtures,”
Benjamin Smith House 181 E. Broad St.
Built in 1860 and now occupied by the
Columbus Club, it has been the residence of multiple Ohio governors, and it is
listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Built by Benjamin Smith, a
railroad contractor and banker following the Civil War, the home had bricks
that were made in Philadelphia and shipped to Columbus.
Mr Smith lost his fortune over time and was forced to sell the house. Two governors then lived there, however the pay for governor was so low, the second Joseph Foraker, had to vacate the house because they couldn’t afford to heat it. The Columbus Club purchased it in 1886, and retains ownership to this day.
E. Broad St.
Yet another Frank Packard design, the Seneca Hotel was completed
in 1917, with the additional four story addition on the east side of the
building being erected in 1924. It served as a hotel until the late 1950s, when
it became a school called the Nationwide Beauty Academy, with the hotel rooms
One of the unique requirements of living there during this time was ‘Girls living in the dorms must be in by 11 p.m. week nights and 1:30 a.m. on weekends, and men and liquor are taboo in the girls’ rooms, as are bare feet in the lobby or hair curlers in the cafeteria.’
It then served as the headquarters of the Ohio EPA from 1976 until 1987, then at vacant for nearly 20 years before a restoration project turned it into a 76 unit apartment building.
Columbus Gallery of Fine Arts 480 E. Broad St.
The Columbus Museum of Art was built on the location that once was home to the Sessions Mansion. As with the Athletic Club, it was designed by Richards, McCarty and Bulford, and opened in 1931. An additional, much larger building was added in 2005.
Street United Methodist Church
E. Broad St.
This church was opened
in 1885 as a state of the art church in what is known as an ‘Akron Plan’, which
is a design where there were wings radiating from the main church for uses like
Sunday school. It was designed by Joseph Yost, who had done many major Columbus
buildings and churches.
The exterior design
is in a High Victorian Gothic style, using masonry materials, point arch bays,
and numerous gabled roof lines and towers. The highlight is the green
serpentine stone as facing on the brick walls, with limestone and sandstone for
the base. This serpentine was replaced with designer stone in 2008.
The wall that fronts Broad Street has art glass windows that came from the Central Church when it was demolished. The east wall has windows that were installed in 1908.
W.H. Jones Mansion 731 E. Broad St.
The W H Jones Mansion was built in 1889 in the Queen Anne style, with a corner turret, third story ballroom and a matching carriage house in the rear.
Jones modeled the mansion after a home in the small town of Barnesville, Ohio, not realizing that his model house was designed to ward off evil spirits, with a number of sevens and threes in the design. It has seven gargoyles built on his home’s exterior, seven steps going up to the porch, seven posts in one section of the front staircase, three vertical rows of seven horizontal blocks in the interior paneling, and so forth.
Central Assurance Company 741 E. Broad St.
Even though this building was completed at the end of the Art
Deco period, it is one of the few examples in Columbus, therefore a significant
building. This streamlined commercial building is built directly next to another
National Historic Registry building built in a Tudor Revival style, with half
timbered 1920s apartments.
Completing this most unique block is a 1880s Italianate home with a large L shaped porch. While it remained in the same family for almost 100 years, it has been a rental property for the last few decades.
Broad Street Presbyterian Church
E. Broad St.
This church was completed in stages, the first being in 1887, then additions in 1894, 1908 and 1924. Elah Terrell was responsible for the initial design with Frank Packard contributing to the 1908 expansion. It is built in a Romanesque style. As part of the National Register of Historic Places since 1987, it remains a church as well as a community center serving a food pantry open to the public.
E. Broad St.
This apartment building was built in an Old English Tudor Style with a courtyard. The building is in the traditional brick and half timber construction with stone ornaments and diagonal basket weave and herringbone brickwork, terra cotta roping and other touches. It was completed in 1929, after being designed by Galbreath and Leonard.
E. Broad St.
The Joseph Cherrington House is significant as representing the earliest period of residential development along East Broad Street and for it’s Italianate style architecture. The house is the second oldest building out of the five remaining Italianate examples along this street. It displays distinct Italianate characteristics through it’s low pitched hipped roof, tall narrow windows with carved stone segmental arched hood molds, bracketed stone sills and a brick stringcourse under the cornice with frieze windows.
Wilden E Joseph was affiliated with the Patton Manufacturing Company. In 1930 Mr Harold Cherrington and his wife purchased the home. Cherrington was the dramatic editor of the Columbus Dispatch, and later a noted reporter journalist and publicity man.
Paul’s Episcopal Church
E. Broad St.
Saint Paul’s Church was established in 1839, with the first building being at Mound and Third in downtown Columbus being built in 1842. With the growth of the east side, the church moved to the ‘outskirts’ of town in 1904 with this building. As with many of the downtown churches, The episcopal closed in 2011, but now serves the Shiloh Christian Center.
Carrie Lovejoy House 807 E. Broad St.
A two and a half story residence with massing and ornamentation, the Carrie Lovejoy House reflects the residential development along East Broad Street. When this house was build around 1900 E Broad Street was considered the most fashionable street in the city.
This house display elements of the colonial revival style in its classical details including the third floor dormer with palladian window, bracketed eaves, and a multi pane window entrance portico with paired Doric columns.
Carrie Lovejoy was the widow of Nathan Lovejoy, who was in the lumber business. He operated a sawmill in the city in the late 19th century. Carrie moved into this house after his death and lived there until 1914.
E. Broad St.
This Queen Anne two and a half story brick house was built in the late 1800s in a Romanesque Revival style with the massive asymmetrical elements. Other noted features include the para-petted gables with stone, high stepped chimneys and irregular fenestration with the windows capped by cut stone lintels. The porch on the north facade is supported by heavy squat French Romanesque columns. The facade is also defined by an octagonal tower on the west.
Built around 1897 it was the home of C E Morris, owner of Morris Ironworks, who was also a real estate attorney, and president of the Hotel Lincoln Company. They lived there from 1897 to 1924.
W. Schueller House
E. Broad St.
The house was built
for him in 1909 where he lived until his death in 1914. Built in the Queen Anne
style, the house is two and a half stories of brick construction with a slate
hip roof, front bay windows and second story round arched window. Dr.
Schueller’s wife Sara continued to live there until around the mid-1940s when
it was converted to offices. The house had a few other owners. Notable ones
include The Ohio Nurses Association had their offices there in the 1950s. In
the 1980s, the home housed the National Alliance of Postal and Federal
Employees’ local chapter. Their membership declined and they lost tenants and
were unable to maintain it.
When a home restorer
bought the home in November of 2007 it was not habitable. Restoring the slate
roof was the first order of business, as it had over 80 leaks. Using old photos
he was able to restore much of the home to the original look. The link below
has a great article detailing the amazing work it took to bring back this grand
Built 1870 Another Italianate style
with outstanding and ornate carved stone ornamentation. Low pitched roof, tall
narrow chimneys wide eaves supported by brackets, frieze windows, long narrow
windows with carved stone lintels, and bracketed stone sills. Linus Kauffman
was VP of the Kauffman Lattimer Company, wholesale druggists lived here from
1907-1931, with his wife Clara residing there until 1936.
Clara was an active woman, being a supporter of the suffrage movement, the president of the YWCA, as well as active in numerous historic societies.
E. Broad St.
Built in 1928, the Cambridge Arms Apartments was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986, but was removed in 1987 because of owner objection. They now advertise they are indeed on the Registry.
The concrete building rises 9 floors and has a height just under 100 feet. The building was home to many notable families at the time, including the Wolfe family who owned the Columbus Dispatch newspaper.
E. Broad St.
Another turn of the century residence, this one was built in the Arts and crafts movement style of American architecture (aka FLW) Prairie style through its ribbon windows, high water table, smooth stone stringcourses and horizontal emphasis. Levy was the founder and president of the union clothing company, now the Union, established in the late 1890s.
E. Broad St
This 1889 Queen Anne, one of 16 remaining 19th century single family residences along East Broad Street in original condition. Projecting pediment bays with slate trim and double hung one over one windows, arched windows, rusticated stone lintels and smooth stone sills, an entrance with transom and double doors and decorative wood window trim. An ornate tower with a conical roof on the west side of the house. Built for Dr Amos Sharp and Elmer Sharp (a real estate broker). Today it serves as a women’s health center.
The next few make up a block featured in the old photo below.
957 E Broad Street was the Bible Mediation League building in 1948. Previous owners include real estate agent Perin B Monypeny and Frank Hickock manufacturing agent. It is now an office for the Community Housing Network.
E. Broad St.
The Shedd–Dunn House is also known as Noverre Musson & Associates, Architects. The house was built in 1888 and is of the Queen Anne architectural style. The home originally belonged to Frank J Shedd, who was a partner in E E Shedd Grocers. It later became the home of Eggleston Dunn of the Dunn Taft Store.
Heyne Zimmerman House 973 E Broad Street
This home is a 2.5 story tan brick, and red
mortar structure with Colonial Revival characteristics, but has Classical detailing,
including a Doric columned porch with full entablature and bracketed eaves and
cornice with modillions. The roof is hipped and windows are one over one. A one
story addition was added to the rear of the house.
It was built around 1911 when Carl G. Heyne, president of the American Cash Register Company lived there until 1914. In 1918 Charles Zimmerman, manager of the Ohio Auto Sales Company purchased the house where he lived until his death in the early 1930s. His widow Ottie Zimmerman lived there until the 1940s. It was put on the National Historic Registry in 1987.
E. Broad St
A 5900 square foot house, built in 1900 this buff colored brick on a stone foundation house features a tile hipped roof. Built by James Hanna, founder of the Hanna paint company. The house features carved woodwork, leaded and stained glass windows, a grand staircase and most of the original light fixtures.
Street Christian Church
E. Broad St.
First organized in 1870, this build was designed and built in 1907. It’s architecture is Arts and Crafts with the Mission style through its use of rough faced stone wall treatment and smooth stone trim, bracketed wide eaves, side entrances with bracketed roofs and square corner tower with hipped roof and round corner turrets. Also features round stained glass windows, tile roof and parapet supported by squat Tuscan columns.
In 2009 the church was sold to the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, serving new generations to this day.
E. Broad St.
Something different – a Georgian and classical influence with rusticated quoins, modillions under project eaves. Tuscan doric columns, round arched windows with fanlights, and chimneys. It was owned by Edward Johnson, president of the Lorain Coal and Dock Company from 1906-1912, and Joseph Campbell president of the National Bank of Commerce for the next 30 years.
Frank J. Kaufman House 1231 E. Broad St
Yet another Queen Anne with the conical roof and irregular massing built at the turn of the century. A two story carriage house with singled gables is in the rear. This house’s current paint scheme makes a statement.
E. Broad St.
The Old Governor’s Mansion was built
in 1904 as the estate of Charles Lindenberg. It was designed by Frank Packard in
a Colonial revival style. Until 1917 the State of Ohio did not maintain a
residence for the Governor, instead they were on their own in finding a place
to live. In December of 1916 Governor elect James Cox thought he had found a
home to rent at 940 East Broad Street, where the outgoing Governor Bushnell
lived. Unfortunately for Cox in incoming Secretary of State W D Fulton also
needed a place to live and beat Cox to renting 940 East Broad, living him nowhere
to live. Cox had to rent a room in a hotel.
Embarrassed by this, the Ohio General Assembly appointed a committee to find a Governor’s Mansion. They eventually settled on the Lindenberg Mansion, with it’s wide staircase and Tiffany glass. Despite the ornate trappings of their mansion, the Lindenbergs actually sold the home to the state of Ohio at a loss.
Photo during the time it served as the Governor’s Mansion
Once the state purchased the home they
began a complete remodel, as well as razing the home next door to make room for
a garden. The furnishing for the home were made by
prisoners at the Mansfield Reformatory. In 1920 Governor Cox was finally able
to move in. He, and 9 subsequent governors
and their families called this home during a 36 year period before the state purchased
another mansion in Bexley for the new governor’s mansion.
This historic site is said to be haunted by an African American woman in a blue dress who is believed to have died in a fire in the mansion. Staff at the site have reported paintings rearranged after hours. Investigators say that the apparition of a female in turn-of-the-century clothing for a housekeeper has been seen multiple times in the mansion. The unmistakable smell of burning hair and skin is reportedly still detected by visitors to the mansion.
Franklin Park Conservatory 1547 E. Broad St.
In 1852, the Franklin
County Agriculture Society purchased 88 acres located two miles east of
downtown Columbus as a site for the first Franklin County Fair. In 1874, that
land was made the official grounds of the Ohio State Fair. Ohio Legislature
passed a resolution declaring the site as Franklin Park and open for public use
With the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893, the city of Columbus was inspired to creature a horticulture building influences by the Exposition’s Glass Palace. That grand Victorian-style glass greenhouse is now known as the John F. Wolfe Palm House, it opened to the public in 1895 as Franklin Park Conservatory.
Our trip across Broad Street was interesting and educational. With so many great buildings on the National Historic Registry I encourage you to check out your town’s contribution to this list.
Our Chicago Open House weekend started on Friday, before the official event started on Saturday. We made our own tour of places that were open.
James Thompson Center – Designed by Helmut Jahn, the Thompson Center is a 17 story curved glass building housing many government offices. From the interior all 17 floors are visible in the impressive atrium.
On the plaza in front of the building is a sculpture from Jean Dubffet called Monument with Standing Beast. Standing at 29’ high, the sculpture weighs in at 20,000 pounds.
Cook County Office Building – A classical 12 story office building located in the government section of downtown Chicago, to me it is most famous for where the Blues Brotthers went to pay the property tax for the childrens home (and yes the Cook County Assessors office is located in this building).
The building has the classic Art Deco look on the interior.
Chicago Temple – The First United Methodist Church of Chicago was the first church to be founded in the city, even before it was a city, in 1831. In 1838 it moved to it’s current location at the corner of Washington and Clark.
In the early 1920s with downtown Chicago rapidly developing the church debated selling their valuable land and moving out to one of the neighborhoods. Eventually they decided on a novel approach, build a skyscraper with a church included, and in addition, put a chapel on the top. The result was a 568’ tall building with what is to this day the highest church from street level in the world.
The first level has a traditional church.
Known as the Sky Chapel, it was part of the original building but not fully completed until 1952 as a gift from the family of the Walgreen’s Drug Store founder.
To this day the church is self funded by the rents paid by other tenants in the building, allowing it to fully focus on serving the diverse community it serves.
Outside is some unique art.
Marshall Field’s (Macy’s) Tiffany Dome – With over 1.6 million pieces it is the largest Tiffany mosaic in existence. Designed by Louis Tiffany in 1907, over 50 artisans worked on scaffolding for 18 months to complete this amazing masterpiece.
The Pedway hosts a collection of stained glass.
Some general scenes around the city.
A tourist boat on the Chicago River.
One of the lift bridge control buildings frame by a 60 floor building.
Classic Chicago – The Merchandise Mart with a Brown Line El train coming in.
Old street light and new skyscrapers.
Up Wells Street from the 10th floor of a parking garage.
A building along Madison Street.
Cloud Gate is a public sculpture located in Millennium Park. While the artists inspiration was liquir mercury, it is commonly referred to as The Bean. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city.
The buildings along East Randolph Street.
Pritzker Pavilion – A Frank Gehry design, the pavilion is a band shell that hosts numerous events each year. For this mid October night it was quiet, but still stunning with it’s red lighting.
Art Institute of Chicago is one of the oldest and largest museums in the United States. From this part of the park, you get a great view of one of the modern additions along with the Michigan Avenue skyline.
Koppers Building – When it was completed in 1929 this 35 floor building was topped out at 475 feet high, making it Pittsburgh’s tallest for a time (passed a short time later by the Gulf Tower).
Constructed of polished granite and Indiana limestone, it is an excellent example of Art Deco.
Lets head inside.
As we entered we were greeted by a couple of the more than 200 volunteers. Events like this rely on volunteers, and all weekend we met welcoming, enthusiastic people who made the visits more worthwhile. A big thank you to all of the volunteers, but on to the visit….
The three story lobby has a variety of marble finishes.
There is significant use of bronze throughout the lobby including another great mailbox.
Do you ever wonder where the elevator is? Not in this building!
The cool clock collection continues…
Even the handrail is stylish.
First Lutheran Church – One stop that was not originally on our itinerary was the First Lutheran Church, but a hard rain shower had come along so we ducked inside.
They are proud of the fact that this church was the first English speaking Lutheran church west of the Alleghenies, having been founded in 1837.
The ceiling is amazing.
As is the pipe organ.
As with most churches, this one has some very ornate stained glass windows.
Union Trust Building – Another building built by Henry Clay Frick, the Union Trust Building was completed in 1916 in a Flemish Gothic structure.
It is believed that the roof is modeled after the Woolworth Building in New York, with the terra cotta dormers and mechanical towers that look like chapels.
Even with this stunning roof, the most amazing feature of this building is the lobby, and its massive atrium leading up to the skylight.
A closeup of the skylight.
What a great building.
The clock tour continues in the Union Trust Building.
As does the mailbox tour.
City/County Building – As we continued our day it became obvious that Pittsburgh experienced a massive building boom in the 1910s. Another example of this boom is the City/County Building, which was completed in 1916.
The entire build emphasized local resources, from the architects to the materials and construction workers, it was directed that all the resources should come from Allegheny County.
The lobby features a bust of William Pitt.
As well as sculpted columns.
Our visit included a stop at the Mayor’s office.
Pittsburgh is noteworthy for their unique dialect, differing from the rest of the country with the accents and use of words. The most common of these is ‘Yinz’, which is Pennsylvanian for Y’all. Another is the way that downtown is pronounced (Dahntahn), and is celebrated with this sign in the Mayor’s office.
Also open were the Council Chambers, located directly next to the Mayor’s Office.
Oliver Building – The Henry Oliver Building is located directly across Smithfield Street from Mellon Square. Completed in 1910, the 25 story building now contains offices and an Embassy Suites hotel.
The building was designed by Daniel Burnham. Interestingly other than Chicago, Pittsburgh has the most Burnham buildings still standing (7), and when first built they were actually taller than those in Chicago. It is thought by some that this is as a result of the steel barons, whose steel was required for the skyscrapers, for this ego boosting building boom.
The building features another great safe.
Art Deco is used throughout.
The mailbox collection continues….
The highlight however was being permitted to go check out the 25th floor lobby of the Embassy Suites, and the views from the windows throughout the floor.
Smithfield Church – The church was completed in 1927, at the corner of Smithfield Street and Strawberry Way.
The church was built by the German Evangelical Protestant Church, and has German sayings throughout.
As with the other downtown churches, the Smithfield Church has an impressive organ.
As well as the stained glass.
The HYP Club – The Harvard, Yale, Princeton Club of Pittsburgh has a small 2 floor building surrounded by skyscrapers.
The Alcoa Building towers over it’s neighbor.
The interior itself was nice, but not noteworthy. We did have an enjoyable conversation with one of the hostesses, learning much about the club – which interesting is no longer restricted to just alumni of Harvard, Yale and Princeton.
Pittsburgh Engineers Building – Daniel Burnham’s first Pittsburgh building was the 1899 Union Trust Company. Built in 1899 for Andrew Mellon and Henry Clay Frick, it was noteworthy for it’s safe.
The bank left long ago, but the safe is still there.
The Engineering Society of Pittsburgh has taken over the building, and has a club/restaurant that celebrates the engineering of Pittsburgh, with an emphasis on the bridges.
William Penn Hotel – The William Penn Hotel, a classic old school hotel, was opened in 1916. Over the years it has hosted many famous people, including numerous presidents.
Situated along Grant Street, it has long been the center of society in Pittsburgh.
The main lobby.
The lower level has the famous Speakeasy Bar, so named because of it’s reputation during prohibition.
The hotel has a collection of artifacts including Lawernce Welk’s first bubble machine (for those too young google or youtube Lawrence Welk)
The Pennsylvanian – While it was officially called Union Station, the major train station at the corner of Liberty and Grant was always more commonly known as Penn Station, as the only railroad it served was the Pennsylvania Railroad
Designed by Daniel Burnham it went into service in 1901.
As you approach the station you are greeted by a great rotunda that was once used by carriages arriving and departing.
The ceiling of the rotunda is one of the master pieces of the city, and of Daniel Burnham’s career.
The rotunda is worth a number of looks…
Immediately inside is a smaller room that greeted passengers.
The Main Hall, with it’s high ceilings and skylights, continue to impress people today. After the buildings restoration in the 1980s to apartments, this hall has been used for functions like weddings and meetings.
Original benches from the station era are still used in this hall.
Detailed carvings are throughout.
The skylights open up the lower level to natural lighting, despite the fact that the entire building rises another 10 floors around and above them.
Another classic public clock.
On this day they were also offering tours of one of the apartments.
From the 4th floor hallway you had a better look above the skylights at the higher floors of the building
As with most of the other historic buildings in town, the Pennsylvanian has a great mailbox.