Mount Washington Methodist Episcopal Church

This church sits on one of those impossibly narrow Pittsburgh streets, and it would have been very difficult to get a picture of the whole front this way without the marvels of Hugin stitching technology. A little wide-angle distortion makes the pinnacles turn inward, but overall this is a very good representation of the front of the building. It is no longer a church; now it is an apartment building, but either an appreciation of the architecture or a limited budget has kept the current owners from making any significant changes to the exterior.

Shadyside Presbyterian Church

Camera: Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z3.

Designed by Shepley, Rutan & Coolidge, the successors to H. H. Richardson, this church has an honest Richardsonian pedigree to go with its Richardsonian Romanesque style.

Can you tell that old Pa Pitt is enjoying his new software toy? The picture above is a wide-angle shot stitched together from nine separate photographs. The fisheye view below is stitched together from six; if you click on it, you can have it at about 38 megapixels.

Camera: Kodak EasyShare Z1485 IS.

Finally, here’s a picture from the north side of the church, where there is room to get far away enough to take the picture all in one shot.

Camera: Kodak EasyShare Z1485 IS.

St. Mary of the Mount

Here is a huge picture of the front of St. Mary of the Mount on Grandview Avenue, Mount Washington. It’s made from eight individual pictures, all cleverly sewn together by Hugin. If you click on the picture, you can enlarge it to 4,692 × 6,569 pixels, or about 30 megapixels. (It could have been larger, but old Pa Pitt decided that 30 megapixels was probably large enough.) Many thanks to Wikimedia Commons for being willing to host huge pictures at such a level of detail.

The architect was Frederick Sauer, whose conventionally attractive churches do nothing to prepare us for the eccentric whimsy he could produce when he let his imagination run wild.

First United Methodist Church

Camera: Kodak EasyShare 1485 IS.

Technically in Bloomfield, this church sits on the corner where Bloomfield, Shadyside, and Friendship come together. The architects, Weary & Kramer, were a firm from Akron that specialized in heavy Romanesque and Gothic. This church is obviously inspired by H. H. Richardson’s designs, especially his courthouse and his Trinity Church in Boston.

According to the Architectural Record, this congregation used to be called Christ’s Methodist Church.

Camera: Canon PowerShot S45.

Church of the Assumption, Bellevue

Camera: Samsung Digimax V4.

This splendid church was designed by Bellevue’s own Leo A. McMullen, an architect and organist who is almost forgotten today, but whose works were highly regarded in his time. The American Institute of Architects counted him as one of “six architects who shaped Pittsburgh,” according to his obituary in 1963.

The four evangelists—Mark, Matthew, John, and Luke, in that order—are lined up on the façade, each holding open a book that displays the first words of his Gospel.

Camera: Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z3.

Shields Chapel and Mausoleum, Edgeworth

Camera: Kodak EasyShare Z1485 IS.

Camera: Samsung Digimax V4.

The Shields Chapel was built in 1868 as a Presbyterian church donated by Eliza Leet Shields, extremely rich person, on the grounds of her estate. After sitting vacant for a long time, it is now occupied by the second congregation of Grace Anglican Church.

Camera: Samsung Digimax V4.

Next to the church is what appears to be another church, immemorially ancient; but it is actually the Shields family mausoleum, built in 1893. Apparently no mere cemetery was classy enough for the Shields family. This is an enormous mausoleum, as big as a church, and in fact Grace Anglican’s congregation met in it before the Shields Chapel became available. There is space for thirty-six permanent residents here, of which number eighteen have already moved in.

Camera: Kodak EasyShare Z1485 IS.

Avalon United Presbyterian Church

Camera: Samsung Digimax V4.

This splendid building was put up in about 1906. It has not been used as a church for about a quarter-century, but it is still kept scrupulously beautiful by the current owners. Compare Father Pitt’s photograph above with the old postcard below, printed when the church was very new (to judge by the utter lack of bushes or other landscaping).

The style is interesting: old Pa Pitt might almost call it Richardsonian Gothic. It has the heaviness of the Romanesque style that Richardson was famous for, but with pointed arches—only just barely pointed, however, as if they are a little embarrassed about being caught in their Gothicness.