One of the least-known works of Frank Vittor, this memorial sits in the improbably hilly West End Park. It is an ornament to its neighborhood (in spite of some clumsy restoration), and it ought to be better known by Pittsburghers from elsewhere.
If the date “1752” found etched in a cornerstone is correct, then this is the oldest building in the English colonies west of the Alleghenies. That date would make it older than the Fort Pitt Blockhouse by twelve years. Father Pitt tends to doubt the authenticity of the date; but there is no doubt that this is a very old building, almost certainly from the 1700s, and one that ought to be preserved at all costs.
Update: The building is now generally regarded as dating from 1782, which is still very old for a stone building in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh’s Old Stone Tavern Friends Trust is trying to get enough money together to preserve this building. If you have extra money sitting around and were wondering what to do with it, here is a suggestion.
Old Pa Pitt is very fond of West End Park. Given a small and implausibly vertical site, the designers created a delightful neighborhood oasis, with distinguished landscape design, art, and architecture, while at the same time leaving enough woodland for a pleasant nature walk through the forest. This splendid bandstand was designed by architect William R. Perry, who also designed the Catholic church of St. Bernard in Mount Lebanon. (Perry was a protegé of John T. Comes, who designed many distinguished churches in Pittsburgh and elsewhere.) All it needs is a band, instead of the big institutional picnic table that occupies it now.
Mysteries abound in a city when it’s had two and a half centuries to accumulate them. This old foundation in West End Park has obviously been here for a while. How old is it? The land for the park was bought in 1875; was this a little farmhouse from before that time? Father Pitt would be happy to hear from anyone who knows more about the history of this structure.
This little out-of-the-way park on a steep knob overlooking the West End Valley has one of Pittsburgh’s least-known memorials by one of Pittsburgh’s best-known sculptors. Frank Vittor, creator of some of our most prominent public art, designed this memorial for the soldiers who fought in the First World War.
A pair of tiny houses in the West End, founded as the teetotaling community of Temperanceville and later famous for its bars and taverns.
No one said it was going to be easy.