Dressed for the Occasion: Eclectic Architecture in Pittsburgh

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1.Allegheny High School.  Arch Street, Allegheny (North Side).  1809.  In the newly-fashionable Richardsonian manner. 2.Times Building.  346 Fourth Avenue.  1892.  This newspaper office may be the first skeleton-framed office building in Pittsburgh.  The Fourth Avenue front is faced in granite; the Third Avenue front is faced in sandstone.  The style is the fashionable Richardson Romanesque.  William Rydberg PHOTON.
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3.House of Thomas Morrison.  North Highland Avenue, East Liberty.  C. 1900 (gone).  A grave ostentatious house characteristic of the Pittsburgh wealthy at the turn of the century. 4.House of Thomas Morrison.  North Highland Avenue, East Liberty.  C. 1900 (gone).  A grave ostentatious house characteristic of the Pittsburgh wealthy at the turn of the century.
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5.House of Thomas Morrison.  North Highland Avenue, East Liberty.  C. 1900 (gone).  A grave ostentatious house characteristic of the Pittsburgh wealthy at the turn of the century. 6.Thomas Morrison house.  Library.
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7.Buildings for the Insane, Allegheny County Home, Woodville, Pa. C. 1900.  Colonial Revival, uncharacteristic of OsterlingÕs work. 8.Allegheny County Morgue.  Diamond Street.  1901.  The Morgue was across Forbes Avenue (formerly, Diamond Street) until 1928, when it was moved to Fourth Avenue.  Built across from the Jail, it imitates details of both the Courthouse and the Jail.
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9.Arrott Building.  Wood Street and Fourth Avenue.  1902.  Contemporary with D. H. BurnhamÕs Frick Building, it shows an older approach to tall-building design:  dark in materials, laden with ornaments. 10.Arrott Building:  interior.  The heavy veining of the marble and the elaborate bronzework of the stair are characteristic of the 1900 period.
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11.Iroquois Apartments.  Forbes Avenue and Atwood Street, Oakland.  1901.  Among the earliest middle-class apartment houses in Pittsburgh.  A view when the buildings were new. 12.Union Arcade.  Grant Street and Fifth Avenue.  1917.  Henry Clay Frick built three speculative works side by side:  the Frick Building (D. H. Burnham & Co., 1902); the Union Arcade by Osterling, shown here; and (visible to the right), the William Penn Hotel, by Janssen & Abbott (1916) and Janssen & Cocken (1928).  The style is Flemish Flamboyant Gothic, with its connotations of bourgeois prosperity.  The decorative work, inside and out, is mainly in terra cotta.  The building was later called the Union Trust Building, and its internal configuration was changed to floor in the two four-story shopping arcades that once existed.
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13.Union Arcade:  the terra-cotta lambrequin, roof, and penthouses 14.Union Arcade:  a toplit well at the center.
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15. Osterling studio and office.  228 Isabella Street, North Shore.  1917.  The same delicate Gothicism as in the Union Arcade shows in this remodeled building for the architect himself.  William Rydberg PHOTON.

A series by Walter C. Kidney

15. Frederick John Osterling (1865-1934)

During a practice that began in 1888 and lasted into the 1920s, OsterlingÕs office designed every type of building, and in a variety of styles.  In some instances the design hand was heavy, in other instances light, and this suggests that he was not always the designer of what went out under the office name.

For further information:  J. Franklin Nelson, comp. Works of F. J. Osterling, Architect, Pittsburg.  Pittsburgh:  Murdoch-Kerr Press, 1904.