Cathedral of Learning in the Rain

Cathedral of Learning from Schenley Farms

It started to rain while Father Pitt was out for a walk today, which gave us this atmospheric picture of the Cathedral of Learning looming through the mist like a heavenly palace behind the pleasant houses of Schenley Farms. This is why old Pa Pitt’s cameras live in a waterproof bag. Father Pitt himself is not waterproof, but he does dry fairly quickly.

If you like black and white and all the greys in between, you might enjoy Father Pitt’s Monochrome World, a very simple site that collects his favorite black-and-white pictures from Pittsburgh and elsewhere.

Victorian House on South 18th Street

House on South 18th Street

This is the kind of eclectic mess twentieth-century architects meant when they vigorously condemned everything “Victorian.” You can hardly pin it down to any historical style. That would probably identify it as “Queen Anne,” the term for Victorian domestic architecture that is a hodgepodge of every historical style, with strange angles thrown in for added picturesque effect. And to those twentieth-century architects, old Pa Pitt has only this to say: this house is a lot more attractive and a lot more pleasant to live in than anything you came up with.

St. Casimir’s, South Side

St. Casimir’s Church, South Side, Pittsburgh

In a crowded neighborhood with narrow streets, getting a picture of a large church like this is almost impossible without resorting to computer trickery. Fortunately old Pa Pitt has never been above computer trickery, and this is actually a composite of two photographs. The seams are nearly invisible, but if you look closely, you may notice the same pedestrian appearing twice at different points on the sidewalk.

Like many Catholic churches in the city, this one is no longer a worship site. Protestant churches can straggle on for decades with a dozen people showing up on Sunday, but the top-down organization of the Catholic Church makes it almost inevitable that decisions will be made on the basis of efficiency. St. Casimir’s, like the school formerly attached to it, is now condominium apartments.

Below, the distinctive towers, one of which is missing a column.

Tower of St. Casimir’s, South Side


Technical problems kept old Pa Pitt out of this site, and he finally gave up and moved elsewhere, where the Internet ignored him. It seems that this is where the Web wants him to be. Having made the effort to overcome all obstacles, he is adding new content both here and at the other address, and gradually transferring two years’ worth of articles back here. Until that happens, you might enjoy a look at Father Pitt’s Other Place.

Using These Pictures

Father Pitt regrets that he may not be able to answer all the questions that accumulated while he was away. However, one that comes up frequently is “Can I use this picture?”—and the answer is always yes. All Father Pitt’s pictures are released under a Creative Commons CC0 public-domain dedication. You can use them for any purpose without asking permission.