Father Pitt

Kneeling Venus in the Phipps Palm House

Posted in Phipps Conservatory, Sculpture by Dr. Boli on April 17, 2014

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You have to look hard to find her, but this statue, a gift from Henry Phipps to his conservatory, is still kneeling in the jungle to the left of the main entrance as you walk into the palm house.

St. Paul

Posted in Churches, Sculpture by Dr. Boli on January 19, 2014

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAThe statue of St. Paul (by Joseph Sibbel) over the main entrance to St. Paul’s Cathedral in Oakland. He is reading from, presumably, one of his own letters, and he casually holds the sword that beheaded him.

 

Telamones on the Park Building

Posted in Architecture, Downtown, Sculpture by Dr. Boli on October 22, 2013

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The Park Building, designed by George B. Post and built in 1896, is a feast of classical detailing, and probably our oldest existing skyscraper, depending on our definition of “skyscraper.” (The Conestoga Building, built in 1892, is our earliest steel-cage building, but it is only seven storeys high.)

No one knows for sure who sculpted the row of telamones that hold up the roof, but it is certainly one of Pittsburgh’s most memorable and yet most neglected sights—neglected because few pedestrians ever look up to see the figures glowering down at them.

The Park Building is at Fifth Avenue and Smithfield Street, a short walk from either Steel Plaza or Wood Street subway station.

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Christopher Columbus

Posted in Sculpture by Dr. Boli on October 14, 2013

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The Columbus memorial by Frank Vittor, in Schenley Park at the end of the Junction Hollow Bridge, is heroic and more than a little Art Deco. A historical marker nearby tells us a little about the artist, who was Pittsburgh’s favorite monumental sculptor for decades.

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James B. Oliver Monument, Allegheny Cemetery

Posted in Cemeteries, Sculpture by Dr. Boli on October 12, 2013

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An unusual bronze monument with a wealth of detail. Father Pitt has uploaded this picture at 2-megapixel resolution; click on the picture to enlarge it.

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