North Catholic High School in Troy Hill was built in 1940. Its greatest claim to distinction is the set of unique reliefs by Charles Bradley Warren illustrating “The Pursuit of Knowledge.” “Unique” is a word thrown about with little regard for its etymological meaning, but here it seems descriptive. Where else will we find any similar combination of Catholic iconography, Art Deco style, and scientific progressivism? The reliefs are a little grimy from decades of heavy industry in the valley below, but they have lost none of their power to astonish a first-time visitor to Troy Hill.
No, old Pa Pitt has not reversed one of the photographs. These are two different reliefs over doors on opposite sides of the building, identical except that they are mirror images of one another. In each relief, the monkish scientists gazing into the distance are turned to face a stunning view of the Allegheny valley and the city of Pittsburgh.