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.

Chatham Village

Another dip into the archives: some pictures of Chatham Village from 2005. Since the place hardly changes at all, they are current for practical purposes.

Chatham Village was a New-Deal-era utopian community, designed to be attractive cheap housing for the working classes. It was so attractive, in fact, that it is now more valuable than the neighborhood that surrounds it on Mount Washington.

The community owns the Bigham House, a fine 1844 farmhouse now used for community events and residents’ parties.

Old Pa Pitt was shocked to discover that Wikimedia Commons had very few pictures of Chatham Village. His own were taken at glorious 1-megapixel resolution, and they were huge compared to the other ones in the Commons collection. So he has donated all these pictures to Wikimedia Commons under the CC0 do-what-you-like license.

Camera: Fujifilm FinePix 2650.

Mount Washington Library

The Mount Washington branch of the Carnegie Library, built in 1900, was designed by Alden & Harlow, Andrew Carnegie’s favorite architectural firm. It occupies a valuable site on Grandview Avenue across from one of the most spectacular views in North America, but as a historic landmark it has some protection from greedy developers.

Grandview Avenue, Mount Washington


This is perhaps the street with the best view in North America. The luxury condos along Grandview Avenue account for a tiny fraction of the population of Mount Washington, but about half the neighborhood’s total wealth.

Back Slopes of Mount Washington


The thin line of luxury condominiums along Grandview Avenue is most of what people downtown see of Mount Washington, but the back side is a typical and very pleasant working-class Pittsburgh neighborhood. Half a block may make a difference of half a million dollars in a resident’s annual income.

The View from Beechview


Little glimpses of the downtown skyline pop up unexpectedly in hilltop neighborhoods. Here, from a back street in Beechview, we see Mount Washington, with the U. S. Steel Tower and the BNY Mellon Center poking their heads up behind the hill.