This splendid old church may look a bit prouder than the ordinary Catholic parish church, and it has every right to its pride: for a little more than a decade, it was the cathedral for the Diocese of Allegheny. In 1876 the rapidly growing Diocese of Pittsburgh was split, with Allegheny (then an independent city) as the seat of the new diocese. It was a bad plan from the beginning: Allegheny had all the wealthiest parishes, but Pittsburgh was generously allowed to keep all the debt. The shockingly un-Christian infighting that resulted ended only in 1889, when the Diocese of Allegheny was suppressed. But a Catholic diocese isn’t that easy to get rid of, and there is still a titular Bishop of Allegheny. He lives in Newark, where in his day job he is auxiliary bishop of the diocese there.
St. Peter’s is just across Arch Street from the National Aviary, a short walk from the North Side subway station.
The massive tower of East Liberty Presbyterian Church rises above almost everything else in East Liberty, even competing with the Highland Building. The design is by Ralph Adams Cram, arguably America’s greatest Gothic architect.
You can tell St. Bernard’s congregation is a community of well-off business types, because the church’s Web site has both a mission statement and a page of “goals and objectives.” But the building itself is quite beautiful, especially its gloriously colorful tile roof. The architect was William R. Perry, who also designed, on a somewhat smaller scale but with equally splendid taste, the bandstand in West End Park. These pictures were taken from the Mount Lebanon Cemetery.
The narrow streets and sudden drops in Troy Hill make for some unusual adaptations. Stuffed into a tiny lot, Grace Lutheran Church is as tall as it is long, with its main sanctuary on the second floor. It’s impossible to get a picture of the building without wires in front, and removing the wires with an image editor would be dishonest, which is Father Pitt’s way of saying “too much work.”