Second-Empire Building in Lower Lawrenceville

The front of this building is a narrow storefront, with upstairs apartments, on Butler Street; but it goes way back, and here we see the 37th Street side. The mansard roof marks it as the Second Empire style, named for its prevalence in the French empire of Napoleon III.

The Lower Lawrenceville business district was practically abandoned ten years ago; now it is a lively place, with trendy restaurants, cafes, and shops.

This one huge extreme-wide-angle picture is put together from nine separate photographs, and a few stitching errors are apparent if you look at it full-sized.


Bradford Pear Blossoms on Butler Street

Camera: Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z3.

St. Augustine Church, Lawrenceville

John T. Comes (sometimes spelled Comès) designed a splendid Romanesque church for this congregation. It was built, however, on an improbably narrow street in the most crowded section of Lower Lawrenceville, so it is impossible to see the front as Comes designed it—unless we appeal to technology, merging fifteen separate photographs to produce one overall picture. In spite of the distortion caused by taking the pictures from a low position and altering the perspective, this imperfect picture comes very close to presenting the front of the church as the architect drew it.

Doughboy Square

Camera: Olympus E-20n.

Doughboy Square (named, of course, for the splendid statue of a World War I soldier) has always had the potential to be an impressive space, the gateway to Lawrenceville. But it suffered decades of neglect; in fact, it never really recovered from the Great Depression. Now, at last, the triangle (no, of course it isn’t really a square; this is Pittsburgh) is seeing a revival, with old buildings refurbished and new and architecturally sympathetic buildings put up, joining the newly trendy Lower Lawrenceville district. A good bit of the credit for the revival goes to the Desmone architectural firm, which saw the potential in the long-abandoned Pennsylvania National Bank building and restored it while the rest of Doughboy Square was mostly vacant.

Camera: Canon PowerShot S45.

St. Augustine


St. Augustine reads to the people of Lower Lawrenceville from the front of the church that bears his name.

Victory in Lawrenceville


Lawrenceville has two First World War memorials. The most famous is the Doughboy in Doughboy Square (which of course is a triangle) at the intersection of Penn Avenue and Butler Street. But this more modest memorial at the corner of Butler and 46th Street is a charming statue of Victory that would be the pride of any neighborhood that did not already possess a greater masterpiece.