The Architecture Archives' collections date from the mid-nineteenth century to the present and document a diverse cross-section of the region's built environment. Collections represent, for example, the high-style architecture of Beaux Arts Classicism and Modernism; the progressive architecture of creative individualists; and the architectural vernacular of developer housing, "Main Street" commercial buildings, and roadside architecture. Some records document the region's special industrial heritage -- its steel mills and factories, and its transportation infrastructure -- its inclines and bridges. Other records represent Pittsburgh's architectural and building organizations. Carnegie Mellon's own architectural heritage is well represented, along with a sampling of the student and professional work of university alumni and faculty.
Architecture Archives Collections
Key Architects and Firms
Samuel Diescher, a prominent civil and mechanical engineer, was born in Hungary, educated in Germany and Switzerland, and active in Pittsburgh from ca. 1870 to 1915. His sons entered into partnership with him in 1901, under the name of Samuel Diescher & Sons.
Diescher designed water works, industrial buildings and plants, coal handling equipment, furnaces for the steel industry, and miscellaneous machinery for tasks ranging from soap making to steel fabrication to sugar beet processing. He also designed the majority of heavy inclined planes in the United States, including numerous inclines in Pittsburgh and southwestern Pennsylvania (e.g. the Castle Shannon Inclines 1 and 2, Penn Incline, Fort Pitt Incline, Nunnery Hill Incline, and the Cambria Incline in Johnstown); as well as inclines in Wheeling, WV, Cleveland, OH, Duluth, MN, Orange, NJ, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and Girardot and Camboa, Colombia.
Unusual projects include the machinery for the famous Ferris Wheel at the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago, and an energy generating plant for the U. S. Wave Power Company in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
The Diescher Collection consists of hundreds of ink-on-linen drawings documenting more than fifty projects dating from ca. 1887-1930, including all projects mentioned above. Twenty-one inclines are represented. The inclines are represented by drawings of right-of-ways, stations, track arrangements, cars, machinery, and machine parts. Also included are standard configurations for industrial plants and machinery, as conceived by Diescher.
Diescher, Samuel. "Inclined Plane Railways." Proceedings of the Engineers' Society of Western Pennsylvania 12 (1896): 233-265.
Fleming, George Thornton. History of Pittsburgh and Environs. New York: the American Historical Society, Inc., 1922, 6:93-94.
Ohler, Samuel R. (editor). Pittsburgh's Inclines. Pittsburgh: 1972.
Society for Industrial Archeology Newsletter 20:2 (Summer 1991).
The famous Chicago architect, and his firm D. H. Burnham & Co., completed more than a dozen buildings in Pittsburgh between 1898 and 1910, many on prominent sites. Projects included numerous commercial buildings, including a handful of early skyscrapers, and the Union Station.
Collection consists of drawings of Pittsburgh's Union Station (1898-1903). These include architectural drawings, reproduced as blueprints on linen, with hand-coloring; and structural drawings.
Van Trump, James D. Pittsburgh's Neglected Gateway: The Rotunda of the Pennsylvania Railroad Station. Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation, 1968.
Carlton Strong practiced architecture in Buffalo, NY and New York City before locating to Pittsburgh. He was first known as a designer of apartment buildings, including Pittsburgh's Bellefield Dwellings; but Strong's Pittsburgh practice was focused on ecclesiastical buildings. He designing many built and unbuilt projects for Roman Catholic parishes and institutions, and was joined in this work by B. J. Kaiser and Allan H. Neal, and at times by E. W. "Arch" Boyer. Successor firms included Kaiser, Neal & Reid, Alfred D. Reid Associates, and Reid & Stuhldreher, which was ultimately acquired by Astorino. Strong and John T. Comes were Pittsburgh's most important ecclesiastical architects. Strong's most important built work is Sacred Heart Parish Church in Pittsburgh.
The Strong Collection consists of a job list and a large collection of drawings, including sketches, construction drawings, and renderings, documenting more than forty projects dating between 1913 and 1948 (though many others are undated). Projects include churches, schools, rectories, and academic buildings including monumental unbuilt works for Duquesne University and Mount Mercy Academy (now Carlow University). There are a number of fine architectural renderings by E. W. "Arch" Boyer (see also Boyer Collection). The collection represents a selected portion of the records that were acquired from Reid & Stuhldreher by Astorino in 1998.
Kervick, Francis W. Architects in America of Catholic Tradition. Rutland, Vermont: Charles E. Tuttle Company, 1962. 127-128.
Reid & Stuhldreher, PC, A Hundred-Year Retrospective: The Architect's Drawing as a Communicating Medium. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh, 1988.
Strong, Carlton. "Modern Apartment House Planning." Architects' and Builders' Magazine 11 (1909-1910), 471-474; 12 (1910-1911), 13-18.
William Arthur Thomas was an architect and developer who practiced in Pittsburgh during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Thomas was born in Ebbw Vale, Wales, and became an Associate of the Royal Institute of British Architects before relocating in Pittsburgh in the early 1880s. Thomas' professional work included houses, apartment houses, and commercial and institutional buildings built primarily in Pittsburgh's East End neighborhoods of Friendship, East Liberty, Squirrel Hill, Shadyside and Bellefield. He designed competent buildings distinguished by careful detailing, mostly in the Queen Anne, Colonial Revival and Craftsman/Bungalow styles.
Thomas' most interesting projects were serial housing groups. Like other developers of the time, Thomas repeatedly purchased and subdivided tracts of vacant land, and erected series of houses. In his case, Thomas designed the houses himself. These houses were related to each other by a variety of means including complementary overall design; the use of similar floorplans behind dissimilar facades; and/or the arrangement of buildings in mirror-image sequences. Thomas and his family often lived in one of the new houses for a time before selling off the property and moving on.
The Thomas Collection is of special significance because Thomas and his work represent in many respects typical architectural and development practices of the time, as the building professions responded to the tremendous growth of the middle class by fostering a massive expansion in urbanization. The designers and developers that contributed to this activity, and the buildings that line our turn-of-the-century streets as a result, have been little studied and are only rarely documented by extant architectural records.
Drawings, blueprints, photographs and papers document Thomas' career and approximately forty of his projects. The Collection is augmented by personal recollections of the architect by his daughter, Mrs. Ruth Thomas Carson.
Pittsburgh of Today. Pittsburgh: Consolidated Illustrating Co., . 250.
Ralph Adams Cram of Cram, Goodhue, and Ferguson, and later Cram and Ferguson, was America's premier Gothic Revival architect. He and his firms designed three major churches in Pittsburgh: Calvary Episcopal Church in Shadyside (1906-1907), Holy Rosary Roman Catholic Church in Homewood (1928), and East Liberty Presbyterian Church (1931-1935); and a church in Greensburg: the First Presbyterian Church of Greensburg (1917).
Collection includes published brochures on East Liberty Presbyterian Church; blueprints for Holy Rosary Church; and extensive documentation of Calvary Episcopal Church including ink-on-linen architectural drawings, blueprints, shop drawings for carved details, and specifications. The Pittsburgh Builders Exchange Collection includes construction photographs of the First Presbyterian Church of Greensburg.
Edward J. Carlisle practiced with the firms of Edward J. Carlisle & Co. and Carlisle and Sharrar. The former firm centered its practice on communities south and east of Pittsburgh, and the latter on communities north of Pittsburgh.
Collection documents nearly sixty projects dated ca. 1898-1930 including the Duquesne Municipal Building (1910), Duquesne High School (1913) and the Ellwood City Hospital (1916). Most importantly, the collection includes drawings for numerous "Main Street" commercial buildings erected in the important steel towns of Braddock and Aliquippa (then known as Woodlawn) during the heyday of the steel industry.
The firm of Longfellow, Alden & Harlow was organized in 1886, with branches in Boston and Pittsburgh. Frank Alden (1859-1908) had come to Pittsburgh in 1884 to supervise works in the city by H. H. Richardson, and after Richardson's death formed a partnership with Wadsworth Longfellow (1854-1934) and Alfred Harlow (1857-1927) of Boston. Alden and Harlow (after 1892) worked primarily in Pittsburgh, while Longfellow headed the Boston office until his resignation in 1896, after which the firm became known as Alden & Harlow. This was one of the leading firms in Pittsburgh, under both names -- designing prominent banks, office buildings, and mansions for the new industrial elite, as well as a series of Carnegie libraries in Pittsburgh and surrounding communities. The Carnegie Institute (1892-1895 and 1903-1907) was the firm's most important project. The firm continued into the 1920s, but lost much of its prominence in Pittsburgh after Alden's death in 1908.
Includes blueprints of selected residential projects from 1919-1929, blueprints of Edgehill, the never-completed Lovejoy house (1903), and an extraordinary portfolio of photographs by noted Pittsburgh photographer Ralph Johnston documenting Vancroft, the J. B. Vandergrift estate near Wellsburg, West Virginia, and its many buildings designed by Alden & Harlow beginning in 1901. Margaret Henderson Floyd calls Vancroft "Alden & Harlow's consummate architectural achievement."
Floyd, Margaret Henderson. Architecture After Richardson: Regionalism Before Modernism -- Longfellow, Alden, and Harlow in Boston and Pittsburgh. Chicago and Pittsburgh: University of Chicago Press and Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation, 1994.
Frank Lloyd Wright, the most famous of American architects, completed two buildings in western Pennsylvania, and designed a number of additional projects that remained unbuilt. Much of this work was planned for Edgar J. Kaufmann, Sr. (1885-1955), the Pittsburgh department store merchant, who was Wright's client for over twenty years.
Collection consists primarily of drawings and slides documenting the construction and renovation of the Hagan house, otherwise known as Kentuck Knob (1954-1956, 1987-1990); and mylar copies and blueprints of drawings for Fallingwater (1936-1940), the Point Park megastructures (1947-1948, unbuilt) and the Kaufmann parking garage (1949, unbuilt). Also included are blueprints and photographs of the Penfield houses I and II (1953- ) in Willoughby, Ohio. Two original Wright letters are part of the John Knox Shear Collection.
Cleary, Richard Louis. "Edgar J. Kaufmann, Frank Lloyd Wright and the 'Pittsburgh Point Park Coney Island in Automobile Scale'." Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians (June 1993): 139-158. Cleary, Richard. Merchant Prince and Master Builder: Edgar J. Kaufmann and Frank Lloyd Wright. Pittsburgh: Heinz Architectural Center, 1999. Hoffman, Donald. Frank LLoyd Wright's House on Kentuck Knob. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2000. Menocal, Narciso G., editor. Fallingwater and Pittsburgh (Wright studies, vol. 2). Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2000.
Henry Hornbostel began work in Pittsburgh in 1904 when he won the Carnegie Technical Schools Competition for design of the campus that is now Carnegie Mellon University. As the founder of the Carnegie Tech Department of Architecture and as architect for numerous prominent buildings such as the Temple Rodef Shalom (1904), the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall (1907) and the City-County Building (1915-1917, with Edward B. Lee), Hornbostel played an important role in shaping Pittsburgh's architectural image in the first decades of the 20th century.
Hornbostel was at various times a partner in the New York firms of Howell, Stokes & Hornbostel; Wood, Palmer & Hornbostel; Palmer & Hornbostel; and Palmer, Hornbostel & Jones. He also practiced independently from a Pittsburgh office and, late in his career, was associated with Eric Fisher Wood (see Wood Collection). Hornbostel's practice was national in scope, despite a preponderance of Pittsburgh projects. He was the architectural consultant for bridges in New York City; designed governmental buildings in Albany, NY and Oakland, CA; planned university campuses at Carnegie Tech, Emory and Northwestern; and was renowned for his ability to win architectural competitions.
Hornbostel was also a master draftsman. His elegant perspective studies won him the nickname l'homme perspectif during his student days at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris, and his skills remained in evidence in the presentation renderings of his professional career, often executed in pencil and pastel or crayon. His high graphic standards are also apparent in working drawings, such as those for Carnegie Tech, which must clearly present complex information about materials and assembly.
The Hornbostel Collection consists of hundreds of renderings, drawings, blueprints, photostats, photographs and specifications. These items document more than fifty Hornbostel projects. Many of the items in the collection were originally given to the Department of Architecture by Hornbostel's estate. All major Hornbostel buildings at Carnegie Mellon are represented by sets of ink-on-linen working drawings. More personal records include a partial autobiography, and a sketchbook and diary from Hornbostel's 1893 European tour prior to his enrollment at the Ecole des Beaux Arts, Paris.
"Henry Hornbostel, Architect" (collection of articles). [Carnegie Mellon University Libraries, Hunt Library, Fine Arts Reference]
Kidney, Walter C. Henry Hornbostel: An Architect's Master Touch. Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation, 2002.
Poling, Clark V. Henry Hornbostel, Michael Graves: An Exhibition of Architectural Drawings, Photographs, and Models. Atlanta, GA: Emory University Museum of Art and Archaeology, 1985.
Swales, Francis S. "Master Draftsmen/XVII Henry Hornbostel," Pencil Points VII:2 (February 1926), 73-92.
Van Trump, James D. "Henry Hornbostel (1867-1961): a Retrospect and a Tribute," Charette 42:2 (February 1962), 16-17. Reprinted in Van Trump. Life and Architecture in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation, 1983, 131-134.
Van Trump, James D. "Henry Hornbostel: the New Brutalism," Charette (May 1966), 8-11. Reprinted in Van Trump. Life and Architecture in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation, 1983, 143-148.
Albert Kahn was an important and prolific Detroit architect renowned, on one hand, for his eclectic residences and institutional buildings, and on the other hand, for his massive output of modern designs for factories and industrial buildings. Kahn designed at least seven projects in the Pittsburgh area, including a series of buildings for H. J. Heinz Company between 1926 and 1937. A Pittsburgh automobile dealership is designed in a modernistic manner, but the Heinz buildings are more eclectic in style, and none of the Pittsburgh-area work is on Kahn's cutting edge of industrial design.
Collection consists of blueprints for five Pittsburgh projects including an automobile dealership and three buildings for the H. J. Heinz Company.
Charles Z. Klauder was associated with the firm of Day & Klauder and its antecedents before establishing his own independent practice in Philadelphia in 1927. Klauder was an accomplished academic architect who achieved his greatest success in university projects, usually in a Collegiate Gothic style. His most extraordinary project was the University of Pittsburgh's Cathedral of Learning, an academic skyscraper. He also designed the university's Heinz Chapel and Stephen Foster Memorial.
The Klauder Collection consists of blueprints, photographs, and ephemera (such as architect-designed Christmas cards) related to the Klauder office that were largely assembled by former Klauder draftsman Wyatt Hibbs. These items date principally from 1909 to 1935, and document nearly thirty Klauder projects including university buildings for Pennsylvania State College [sic], Princeton University, the University of Colorado, Wellesley College, and the University of Pittsburgh's Cathedral of Learning and Heinz Chapel.
Brown, Mark M. The Cathedral of Learning: Concept, Design, Construction. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh, 1987.
Klauder, Charles Zeller and Herbert C. Wise. College Architecture in America and Its Part in the Development of the Campus. New York: Scribner, 1929.
Pitluga, Kurt W. "Charles Z. Klauder at Penn State: The Image of the University." M.A. Thesis, Pennsylvania State University, 1990.
Pitluga, Kurt W. "The Collegiate Architecture of Charles Z. Klauder." Ph.D Dissertation, Pennsylvania State University, 1994.
Frederick G. Scheibler, Jr., a Pittsburgh native, received his architectural training as an apprentice in local firms before opening his own office ca. 1901. His first independent works were quite conventional in their use of historical precedents. Unlike most of his contemporaries, however, Scheibler developed a deep interest in the progressive European architectural movements of the turn of the century, and by 1905 was experimenting with forms inspired by the Arts and Crafts Movement, the English Free Style, the Viennese Secession and Art Nouveau. Although Scheibler has often been characterized as a modernist, and some of his works have strikingly modern qualities for their time, he is best understood as a progressive -- an architect who attempted to restate traditional architectural ideas in a new and personal way. For example, Scheibler, unlike most modernists, did not repudiate ornamentation. But Scheibler's ornament was unlike that of his contemporaries, for he used simple art glass and tilework -- which often featured naturalistic motifs like flowers and birds -- to accent plain stucco or brick walls. His trademark, the exposed I-beam lintel over windows, doors, and porches, was a frank and highly unusual use of a modern structural material in the role of a traditional building element.
Scheibler's apartment buildings, houses, rowhouses, and so-called "group cottage" developments are particularly striking elements in the built environment of the Pittsburgh area because of the architect's ability to create original compositions through the use of dramatic massing, rich detailing, and varied materials.
Many of Scheibler's early projects are documented by complete sets of working drawings and occasional watercolor cartoons for art glass and tile. The working drawings for later projects -- i.e. plans, elevations, interior elevations and details, and a structural section -- were often compressed onto one or two sheets that apparently doubled as presentation drawings.
The renderings, drawings, blueprints, specifications, and photographs of the Scheibler Collection document almost 100 Scheibler projects, nearly all in southwestern Pennsylvania. Photographs from a 1962 Scheibler exhibition at the Carnegie Institute augment materials acquired from Scheibler's office.
Aurand, Martin. The Progressive Architecture of Frederick G. Scheibler, Jr. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1994.
Belnap, Gillian Hirth. The Apartment Buildings of Frederick G. Scheibler, Jr.: With a Catalogue of All His Multiple Residences. Ann Arbor, MI: University Microfilms International, 1985, 1986.
Benno Janssen studied at the University of Kansas, M.I.T., and the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris, and received training in architectural offices in St. Louis and Boston before settling in Pittsburgh in 1905. In 1906, Janssen formed a partnership with Franklin Abbott and practiced under the name of Janssen & Abbott until 1918. Janssen then practiced alone until he formed a second partnership, known as Janssen & Cocken, with William York Cocken in 1922. When Janssen retired in 1939, Cocken continued his own practice but the spirit and clients of Janssen's legacy were passed on to Hoffman & Crumpton, partners who had previously worked in the Janssen offices.
Today, Janssen is best remembered for monumental buildings such as the Pittsburgh Athletic Association (1911), William Penn Hotel (1914-16 and 1927-1928) and Mellon Institute (1931-1937); and the Janssen firms were responsible for many other prominent Pittsburgh buildings as well. But Janssen's lasting significance probably lies in the area of domestic design. A selection of this work was the subject of an article by Montgomery Schuyler, the leading architectural critic of the day, in The Architectural Record of October 1912. Here, as elsewhere, Janssen's sources were many and eclectic, but he developed a warm and sophisticated domestic manner best represented at Longue Vue Country Club -- domestic in concept, if not purpose -- and La Tourelle, the Edgar Kaufmann house. (Janssen received a number of commissions as Kaufmann's architect-of-choice, a role in which he was predecessor to Frank Lloyd Wright.)
The Janssen Collection consists of more than 500 renderings, drawings, blueprints, photostats and photographs documenting more than sixty Janssen projects. These items document projects such as Longue Vue Country Club, Rolling Rock Club and Stables, La Tourelle, many other houses and hotels, and a number of major unbuilt projects. In addition, many items -- from elegant renderings to drawings of ornamental details to portfolios of construction photographs -- represent Mellon Institute, now part of Carnegie Mellon University. The collection also includes blueprints for additions and alterations to a couple of Janssen buildings by Hoffman and Crumpton.
Hewitt, Mark Alan. The Architect & the American Country House, 1890-1940. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1990.
Miller, Donald. "Romancing the Stone: Benno Janssen, Architect of Elegance." Pennsylvania Heritage 26:4 (2000), 14-21.
Miller, Donald. The Architecture of Benno Janssen. Pittsburgh: Donald Miller, 1997.
Schuyler, Montgomery. "Country House Design in the Middle West: Recent Work by Janssen & Abbott of Pittsburgh, Pa." Architectural Record XXXII:IV (October 1912): 336-348.
Van Trump, James D. "Yet Once More O Ye Laurels." In Van Trump. Life and Architecture in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation, 1983. 111-118.
Edward B. Lee studied architecture at Harvard at the end of the nineteenth century. He then practiced architecture in Pittsburgh as a true tri-state architect, with numerous commissions in northern West Virginia (e.g. Morgantown), eastern Ohio (e.g. Ashtabula, Massillon) and outlying western Pennsylvania towns (e.g. Butler, Greenville, Washington). Lee practiced independently, but was also variously associated with Bilquist and Lee; Palmer, Hornbostel & Jones; James P. Piper; and Marlier, Lee, Boyd & Prack. For some years he was the local representative for Palmer, Hornbostel & Jones.
Lee was a longtime leader of the Pittsburgh Architectural Club, and his contacts in business and government led to a number of important commissions. His projects included the City-County Building (1915-1917, with Palmer, Hornbostel & Jones), the Chamber of Commerce Building (1916-17, with James P. Piper), the Edgewood Club (1914), the Harvard-Yale-Princeton Club (1930), and many hospitals, school buildings and fraternal halls. In the 1930s, he was involved with early Pittsburgh-area public housing projects such as Terrace Village and Bedford Dwellings.
Lee was an eclectic architect, but preferred a free classicism for his public buildings. Many of his presentation renderings reflect his predilection for colored-pencil travel sketches, hundreds of which he executed while traveling by train to outlying job sites.
Original watercolor renderings, drawings, blueprints, photostats, photographs, and office records document approximately 100 Lee projects. Many others are documented in account ledgers and a published catalogue of works. The collection includes hundreds of Lee's colored-pencil travel sketches.
Lee, Edward B. The Work of Edward B. Lee, Architect, Pittsburgh. New York: Architectural Catalogue Company.
Lee, Edward Brown and Edward Brown Lee, Jr. A Pencil in Penn: Sketches of Pittsburgh and Surrounding Areas. Pittsburgh: 1970.
The Hunting-Davis Company, Architects and Engineers, was founded in 1910 by E. N. Hunting, Engineer, and L. N. Davis, Architect. The firm was later known as Hunting, Davis, and Dunnells; Hunting, Larsen, and Dunnells; and Larsen and Ludwig, Inc. In its early history, the firm specialized in buildings for industry and warehousing, which are common elements of Pittsburgh's architectural landscape.
Drawings dated 1911-1956 represent numerous industrial projects including the Locomotive Stoker Company and the Dravo Company Neville Island Shipyard, warehouse projects, and automobile dealerships. Included as well are drawings for the house, barn, and outbuildings of Vosemary Farm (1911), the North Hills estate of former Pittsburgh mayor, E. V. Babcock.
The Hunting-Davis Company, Architects and Engineers, Pittsburgh, PA. New York: Architectural Catalog Company, 1924.
[see Ingham & Boyd]
The Uniontown architectural firm established by Harry W. Altman in 1909 became one of the leading practices in the southwestern Pennsylvania counties south of Pittsburgh. Now known as Altman and Altman, it is among the handful of oldest architectural firms in the entire region. The firm has specialized in schools.
The early history (1915-1925) of the Altman firm is recorded in a portfolio preserved in the Architecture Archives as large-format negatives. It documents sixty-four projects including schools, banks, commercial and religious buildings, and houses. Projects are located in Uniontown and surrounding communities in Fayette, Washington and Greene counties, including a number of small mining and industrial towns (patch towns). Original drawings document additional projects (1913-1930) including the General Braddock gravestone and proposed related park development near the Fort Necessity National Battlefield.
Vetter was an Austrian emigre, a noted architect and a former professor at Carnegie Tech (now Carnegie Mellon).
Collection includes writings, publications, and ephemera. It was established with gifts from Vetter's Carnegie Tech colleagues, and expanded with gifts from a number of Vetter's students. Uncatalogued.
Paul Schweikher was a distinguished modern architect particularly noted for his sensitive use of materials. Schweikher practiced with Schweikher, Lamb and Elting; Schweikher and Elting; and Paul Schweikher Associates; and taught architecture at Yale University and Carnegie Mellon University. His practice consisted largely of private homes and university projects. His Pittsburgh buildings include the Duquesne Union at Duquesne University, the WQED building, and the Knoxville branch of the Carnegie Library.
The Schweikher Collection consists largely of drawings and models donated by the architect documenting seven Schweikher projects. Models represent four projects: Fine Arts complexes for Carnegie Mellon University (unbuilt) and the University of Buffalo, and two Pittsburgh-area housing proposals. The Carnegie Mellon Fine Arts complex, the Duquesne Union, the WQED building, and Schweikher's own Arizona house -- known as "The House on the Mesa" -- are documented by drawings and sepia prints.
A complementary and more extensive collection of Schweikher's architectural records can be found at Arizona State University.
[see Mitchell & Ritchey]
Walter J. Hall, best known as the builder of Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater, built an extraordinary commercial and residential complex known as Lynn Hall in his hometown of Port Allegany, Pennsylvania. Lynn Hall became the setting for the life and career of Walter's son, Raymond Viner Hall, an architect who substantially adopted the manner of Frank Lloyd Wright. Despite the remote location, the younger Hall conducted an extensive practice throughout northcentral Pennsylvania, upstate New York, and adjacent locales, specializing in schools and houses. He later developed a number of projects for the U.S. Virgin Islands and British West Indies. Raymond Viner Hall also conducted an extensive practice in radiant heating design and development, collaborated with Bethlehem Steel to bring Rayduct floor piping to the commercial marketplace, and developed a number of additional innovative construction systems.
The Hall Collection consists of papers and publications, digital files of papers and publications; digital files of sketches, drawings, and renderings; and one artifact, a concrete lintel. Papers and publications (on paper or digital) include promotional brochures, a resume, job lists, an obituary and historical outline, and a trade booklet about Rayduct pipe. Most architectural projects are documented by only one item, commonly a drawing that incorporates multiple elements including plans and perspectival views. There is, however, a complete drawing set for the Dr. & Mrs. A. F. Domalesksi house (1949), and extensive documentation of Lynn Hall.
McGraw, Seamus. "Which Came First?" Pittsburgh Quarterly (Winter 2007), 66-72, 123-124. http://www.pittsburghquarterly.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=art...
Raymond Viner Hall: Architecture. http://www.smethporthistory.org/raymondvinerhall/rvhome.html.
Peter Berndtson was a Wrightian designer who maintained a largely domestic practice in the Pittsburgh area between 1947 and 1972. Berndtson was studying at Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin Fellowship in Wisconsin, when he met and married Cornelia Brierly (1913-2012), a fellow student, who had formerly studied at Carnegie Tech in Pittsburgh. The Berndtsons settled in southwestern Pennsylvania, and together applied Wrightian theories to the design of houses. After Cornelia returned to Taliesin in 1957, Peter Berndtson continued on with the regional practice.
Berndtson's buildings are rooted in Wrightian principles and the practice of "organic" architecture. They tend to share the horizontal massing, geometric rationale, conceptual unity and careful siting of Wright's houses, and employ a Wrightian vocabulary of overhanging eaves and ribbon windows. Some of Berndtson's houses are closely related to Wright's Usonian houses, and many feature radiant heating plans. These are not slavish imitations, however; Berndtson absorbed Wright's principles, but he was an accomplished designer in his own right. Clients praised him for his personal investment in each design.
In addition to private houses, Berndtson developed master plans for a number of planned communities, which remained largely unrealized, and designed a handful of commercial and institutional buildings.
Berndtson's close ties to Wright are as evident in his drawing style as in his architecture. His colored-pencil renderings, executed in a uniform horizontal format, are very Wrightian in appearance. They often include floral detailing so as to associate his houses with a perpetual springtime. His meticulous working drawings emphasize craftsmanship. Since many of his houses were designed on modules -- usually four-foot square, occasionally hexagonal -- his drawings often show the guidelines of the module.
The Berndtson Collection comprises specifications, contracts, correspondence, numerous photographs, and over 1700 sketches, renderings, working drawings and blueprints documenting nearly 100 projects. This collection of records is especially complete and illustrates all aspects of an architectural practice. The collection includes Berndtson's office records, augmented with materials from a 1971 exhibit at the University of Pittsburgh's University Art Gallery, and materials from the preparation of Miller and Sheon's Organic Vision monograph of 1980.
Guggenheimer, Tobias. A Taliesin Legacy: The Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright's Apprentices. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1995. 64-68.
Miller, Donald and Aaron Sheon. Organic Vision: The Architecture of Peter Berndtson. The Hexagon Press, 1980.
Sheon, Aaron. The Architecture of Peter Berndtson (exhibit catalog). University of Pittsburgh, 1971.
Van Trump, James D. "Architecture and the Pittsburgh Land: The Buildings of Peter Berndtson." Life and Architecture in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation, 1983.
Glenn Bickerstaff maintained a quintessential postwar practice of the 1940s and 1950s, based in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania, and focused on communities south and west of Pittsburgh. His projects included gasoline stations (for the Royal Oil Company), automobile dealerships, motels, bowling alleys, and developer housing. Bickerstaff also designed numerous churches, including church prototypes for the boards of missions of the United Presbyterian Church and the American Lutheran Church that were presumably replicated in expanding postwar communities all over the country.
Working drawings, renderings, photographs, and specifications document the full range of Bickerstaff's practice, though many individual church commissions have been excluded. Many varieties of mission church prototypes are represented by drawings and renderings.
McKee, Tally. "Architecture and Automobiles: Glenn A. Bickstaff, Architect." Charette 30:2 (February 1950), cover, 12-13.
[see Mitchell & Ritchey]
William V. Flynn established a post-war practice in McKeesport, Pa. He designed small commercial projects and community and institutional buildings within the city, and housing and other projects for the developing suburbs. Flynn left independent practice to form the firm of Celli-Flynn with Mario Celli in 1950.
The Flynn Collection includes projects dating from the late 1940s and early 1950s. Working drawings, sketches, and renderings document new facades and interiors for stores, restaurants and taverns; a war memorial, a comfort station, buildings for the local VFW and the United Steelworkers local, developer housing for Herbert Sullivan and Sullivan Homes, and a series of gasoline stations for the Stirling Division of the Quaker State Oil and Refining Company in western Pennsylvania and New York state.
The most significant items in the collection may be the drawings for renovations to working-class taverns. Flynn's designs are the carrara glass, glass block, and neon confections typical of the mid-twentieth-century neighborhood bar. Drawings for these and other projects often include measured drawings of the buildings before their alteration.
The firm was a partnership of William Boyd (1882-1947) and Charles Ingham, established in 1911. It was the predecessor firm to the present-day Pittsburgh firm of IKM, Inc. Ingham & Boyd specialized in residential design (with extensive work in the Sewickley, PA area), churches and schools. The firm designed all of the school buildings for Mount Lebanon Township schools from 1917 into the 1930s.
Ingham and Boyd's most important project was Chatham Village, Pittsburgh's innovative 1930s garden suburb. Ingham and Boyd were the architects; Clarence S. Stein and Henry Wright were site planners and consultant architects.
The major portion of the collection consists of drawings and blueprints for Chatham Village. Documentation of work by Ingham & Boyd, Stein and Wright and successor firms extends from 1930 into the 1950s. Also included are fine renderings of the Buhl Planetarium, blueprints of houses from the 1920s and early 1930s, and Boyd's exquisite sketchbooks from his European tour of 1908-1909.
A graduate of Carnegie Institute of Technology, class of 1940, Alexander Sansosti was Head of the Architectural Development Division of Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company from 1941 to 1952. As a member of U.S. Navy Seabees in the Pacific Ocean theatre during World War II, Sansosti designed and built numerous military installations and facilities, and served with noted architect Bruce Goff (1904-1982), who had a significant and unconventional practice in the Midwest and--during the war--California. Sansosti was acquainted with Italian architect Gio Ponti, though his wife Linda Pizzi Sansosti, who met Ponti while stranded in Italy during the war.
Sansosti operated his own firm beginning in 1952, though he also supervised construction of Three Rivers Stadium and other buildings for the firm of Deeter Ritchey Sippel. He maintained a significant postwar Pittsburgh-area practice, especially in houses and churches. Most notable are St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Cecil Township, Washington County, PA, and St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Clairton, PA (not built), with their expansive and expressive folded roofs made of concrete and Corten steel respectively.
The Sansosti Collection consists primarily of architectural drawings, photographs, and miscellaneous papers documenting 18 projects including houses and churches.
Pekruhn, an important Pittsburgh architect of the 1950s and 1960s, has been a professor at Carnegie Tech (now Carnegie Mellon) and a Consulting Architect to the Pittsburgh Board of Public Education. He worked in a careful modern manner that could be both understated and highly expressive. Pekruhn's St. Thomas-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church in Gibsonia (1957-1958), with its glass facade and winged trusses, was widely published in the architectural press.
Drawings dating from 1948-1971 document private homes, an extensive urban renewal project in Rankin, St. Thomas-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church in Gibsonia, and demountable classrooms for the Pittsburgh Board of Public Education, which were designed with funding from the Ford Foundation at a time when school populations were expanding rapidly.
"Dynamic Balance and the Joy of Daylight: St. Thomas-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church, Gibsonia, Pa." Architectural Record 128 (September 1960), 169-172.
Pekruhn, John. "A Portable School Program for Pittsburgh." Architectural Record (February 1963), 176-178, 182-183.
Shear was a Carnegie Tech alumnus who went on to become head of the Department of Architecture at Carnegie Tech from 1948-1955, and subsequently editor of Architectural Record magazine. He was an accomplished architect, academic, editor, and a leader in the profession.
Architectural drawings, correspondence, and other records document Shear's career. Records from Shear's architectural practice include renderings and photographs of residential projects, including the Fowler House (1948, with John Pekruhn), and the "General Electric Company Wonder Home" of 1953. Records from Shear's days at Architectural Record document a fiery correspondence with Frank Lloyd Wright, with two original letters signed by Wright. The exchange resulted from an August 1955 Architectural Record editorial by Shear, who took issue with Wright's testimony before Congress during hearings about the modernist architectural plans for the new U.S. Air Force Academy. Wright had been critical of the Academy's architects and the architectural profession as a whole, which Shear contested on behalf of the profession. Wright responded to the editorial with a short contentious letter, which Shear countered, and Wright countered again. The letters shed light on an important controversy of the time and are revealing in the vehemence of their prose. The Shear Collection also includes essays on architectural education, which Shear wrote for Architectural Record while still at Carnegie Tech, and signed letters from Walter Gropius and Paul Rudolph.
Alofsin, Anthony, ed. Frank Lloyd Wright: An Index To the Taliesin Correspondence. New York: Garland, 1988.
Tasso Katselas is Pittsburgh's leading modern architect. He established his practice in 1955, and has produced a steady stream of significant buildings in Pittsburgh and western Pennsylvania up to the present day. These include most notably the St. Vincent Monastery (1967) and St. Vincent College Science Center (1969), both at Latrobe, the Community College of Allegheny County in Pittsburgh (1973), the Carnegie Science Center (1991), and the Greater Pittsburgh International Airport (1992). He has designed a full range of building types, but has a specialization in airport design.
Katselas has designed many large buildings on prominent sites, particularly in the Oakland district of Pittsburgh, and many projects for the Allegheny County government. The prominence of these projects has made him a lightning rod for both acclaim and criticism. Less well known is the extensive small-scale work that he has designed and often contributed to neighborhoods and community organizations; and his residential work, including the early Katselas house, which has been featured in architectural guidebooks as an example of "brutalist" domestic design.
The collection includes preliminary and/or working drawings for key projects including the Katselas house, St. Vincent Monastery, St. Vincent College Science Center, the Community College of Allegheny County, and East Hills Elementary School. Also included are reports and publications documenting the Greater Pittsburgh International Airport; a 1975 proposal for the Bagdad International Airport; and a 1996 competition entry for the Kansai-Kan National Diet Library in Japan.
Contemporary Architects, 3rd ed. Detroit: St. James Press, 1994. 504-506.
Tasso Katselas, Architect Planner. Pittsburgh: 1970.
Tasso Katselas Architect/Planner: A Continuum 1970-1980. Pittsburgh: ca. 1981.
Tasso Katselas Associates, Architects + Planners: An Architectural Anthology, 1955-1995 Pittsburgh: 1995.
The firm of Mitchell & Ritchey (1938-1957) established itself as the principle advocate for modern architecture in Pittsburgh during the 1940s and 1950s. Mitchell & Ritchey produced a significant body of work of their own, and were associated with firms like Harrison & Abramowitz on important Pittsburgh projects. The firm placed third in a prominent 1939 competition for the design of a Gallery of Art at the Smithsonian Institution. A number of projects for Edgar Kaufmann included the 1947 "Pittsburgh in Progress" study, a fascinating Modernist document that provides an extraordinary vision of a reconceived and redeveloped Pittsburgh.
James A. Mitchell (1907-1999), a graduate of Carnegie Institute of Technology and Columbia Universities, was the lead design architect in the firm and deserves primary credit for the firm's assertive and sometimes innovative modern design work. He received U.S. patent 2,692,566 in 1954 for the design of a flexible folding roof that was developed for an early version of the firm's Civic Auditorium [Civic Arena] project. Mitchell left Pittsburgh soon after his partnership with Dahlen K. Ritchey was disolved in 1957, and was largely forgotten in Pittsburgh.
Dahlen K. Ritchey (1910-2002), a graduate of Carnegie Institute of Technology and Harvard universities, was the lead business and project management partner in the original firm of Mitchell and Ritchey. Ritchey stayed on in Pittsburgh after the dissolution of the firm and is frequently credited with the firm's design work. Ritchey was subsequently a partner in the firms of D.K. Ritchey Associates (1957-1959), Deeter & Ritchey (1959-1965), and Deeter Ritchey Sippel Associates (1965-1979). The firm continues as DRS Architects.
The respective responsibilities and credits for the work of Mitchell and Ritchey were laid out in an agreement dated May 17, 1956, prior to the dissolution of the firm.
Mitchell & Ritchey designed a number of large-scale redevelopment projects during the so-called Pittsburgh Renaissance (though some were completed after the dissolution of the firm) including Mellon Square (1955), John J. Kane Memorial Hospital (1959), and The Civic Auditorium [Civic Arena] (1962). The last was part of the firm's visionary Lower Hill Cultural Center scheme. Later firms associated with Dahlen Ritchey designed Allegheny Center (1960s) and the Pittsburgh Stadium [Three Rivers Stadium] (1971) among other key projects.
The work of these firms also included schools, defense housing projects, corporate office buildings, health care facilities, and numerous buildings for the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University (i.e. Donner Hall, Wean Hall and Cyert Hall).
The firms were often associated with the noted architectural landscaping firm of Simonds and Simonds on major public and institutional projects.
For a partial listing of the work of the various firms see: DRS job list 1949-1973.
The Mitchell & Ritchey Collection includes drawings, renderings, microforms, photographs, slides, films, brochures, reports, clippings and other materials representing approximately 100 projects by Mitchell & Ritchey and successor firms. Many project drawings were discarded by the firm in favor of microfilm prior to the establishment of this collection, so the variety of documentation represented here is particularly significant. There are substantial drawing sets for Mellon Square, The Civic Auditorium, Pittsburgh Stadium, and Wean Hall.
Mitchell, James A. and Dahlen K. Ritchey, “Impressions and Reflections: Part I,” The Charette 17:7 (July 1937): 1-2.
Mitchell, James A. and Dahlen K. Ritchey, “Impressions and Reflections: Part II,” The Charette 17:8 (August 1937): 1-2.
Remington, Fred. "Architect of the Renaissance." Pittsburgh (October 1978): 38-41, 80-81.
Kornwolf, James D. Modernism in America 1937-1941: A Catalog and Exhibition of Four Architectural Competitions : Wheaton College, Goucher College, College of William and Mary, Smithsonian Institution. Williamsburg, Va.: Joseph and Margaret Muscarelle Museum of Art, 1985.
Urban Design Associates was founded in 1965 by David Lewis and Raymond Gindroz. The firm has established its reputation on principles and methods of client/community involvement in the design and planning process. UDA has maintained a large practice in planning environments as well as architecture. Projects in Richmond, Norfolk and Pittsburgh (Crawford Square) have aligned UDA with the contemporary movement known as New Urbanism. The firm views itself as a purveyor of urban design and a contributor to the building of cities. Its work reflects an active consideration of the local context.
Records received so far consist largely of printed reports and brochures that document architectural, planning, and urban design projects dating from ca. 1970 to the present.
Gindroz, Raymond L. "Cross Section of Address." Places 11:1 (Winter 1997), 18-27.
Urban Design Associates. The Architectural Pattern Book. New York: W.W. Norton, 2004.
Urban Design Associates. The Urban Design Handbook: Techniques and Working Methods. New York: Norton, 2003.
Since its establishment in 1968, Arthur Lubetz Associates has been one of Pittsburgh's most thoughtful and inventive firms, producing a series of provocative buildings rooted in abstract art and the regional context. Lubetz (1940-) views his buildings as public art, and insists that they meet their users intellectually and experientially as well as functionally. The work addresses the assembly and dissection of mass, and the uses of color (especially red), among other themes. The firm has developed a specialty in housing for the elderly and other special populations, as often executed in conjunction with the City of Pittsburgh Housing Authority. The firm has also actively participate in the city's architectural dialog through exhibitions and public forums, and teaching at Carnegie Mellon. The firm's architectural documents often achieve a high artistic level through experimentation with different presentation techniques. See also Jill Watson Collection.
Collection includes vivid sketches and renderings, working drawings, and other records of key projects such as the Mistick house, Bennett Place elderly housing, Key Toyota, Islamic Community Center, and an entry in the Raising the Roof, Opening Doors AIDS Housing Competition (Boston).
Architecture... Energy (exhibit catalog). Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1989.
Jill Watson was a partner in the Pittsburgh firm of Arthur Lubetz Associates, and a 1987 graduate of Carnegie Mellon University. Her career encompassed major contributions to numerous projects of Arthur Lubetz Associates and a number of independent architectural projects and collaborations with artist Judy Penzer. Watson was an adjunct professor of architecture and a master of fine arts candidate at Carnegie Mellon, and won a number of awards for her work. She coordinated the New Urban Housing Competition of 1992. Watson and Penzer died in the crash of TWA Flight 800. Wats:on? The Jill Watson Festival Across the Arts, established in Jill Watson's memory, is an annual event in Carnegie Mellon's College of Fine Arts, celebrating the integration of the arts.
Collection includes sketches, drawings, and other records for projects including the Penzer house, 5437 Penn Avenue/"Bride of Penn Avenue" project, East End Food Co-op/"Paint the Town" project; and materials documenting Watson's teaching and schoolwork.
Architecture... Energy (exhibit catalog). Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1989.
Bohlin Cywinski Jackson is one of the leading design firms in Pittsburgh. The firm was founded by Peter Bohlin in 1965, and was known for many years as Bohlin Powell Larkin Cywinski. BCJ now has offices in Pittsburgh, Wilkes-Barre, Philadelphia and Seattle. The firm's work is found primarily in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, and now the state of Washington, where the firm is designing a residential compound for Microsoft magnate William Gates. The Pittsburgh office has tended to focus on buildings for high-technology, including substantial work for Carnegie Mellon University.
BCJ was named 1994 Firm of the Year by the American Institute of Architects, honored for their "rigorous eclecticism and democratic vision." BCJ's buildings are carefully designed for specific programs and sites, with consistent fine detailing.
Records acquired from the Pittsburgh office include numerous sketches and schematic drawings for projects dated 1982 to the present including Carnegie Mellon's Software Engineering Institute, the Carnegie Mellon and University of Pittsburgh buildings at the Pittsburgh Technology Center, and the Winchester-Thurston North School.
The Architecture of Bohlin Cywinski Jackson. Washington, D.C.: American Institute of Architects Press, 1994.
Carnegie Mellon's University Center Competition was held to select plans for the redevelopment of the east side of the university's campus. At the core of the competition program was the University Center, a multi-purpose building conceived to serve as a central gathering place; to be comprised of meeting rooms, student activity offices, food service facilities, and recreational facilities including a gym and swimming pool. In addition, the program required the inclusion of dormitory space, parking facilities, an athletic field and a performing arts center. With such a broad mandate, the winning competition entry has evolved into a master plan for a large portion of the campus.
The team of Dennis, Clark & Associates/TAMS of Boston submitted the winning entry. Others participants were: Damianos & Associates / Geddes Brecher Qualls Cunningham; Jung/Brannen Associates, Inc.; Koetter, Kim & Associates; Machado & Silvetti Associates; and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (New York).
Collection consists of entry boards and other materials for each entrant; slides, videotapes and other records of the competition event of May 6-9, 1987; and papers documenting the competition program and process.
Lewis, David. "Designing the Carnegie Mellon Campus." Carnegie Magazine 59:1 (January/February 1988): 12-19.
An affordable housing competition sponsored by the Community Design Center of Pittsburgh, won by Studio Wanda of Baltimore. The competition site was in Pittsburgh's Garfield neighborhood. Jurors included James Wines and Michael Crosbie. The competition received national attention in the architectural press.
Collection consists of eight of the nine award-winners among 350 entries, an associated publication, and ephemera.
New Urban Housing: Fresh Thinking from the Pittsburgh Design Competition. Pittsburgh: Community Design Center of Pittsburgh, Inc., 1994.
Institutions, Organizations, Governments, Corporations
AIA Pittsburgh is the Pittsburgh Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, the primary professional organization for architects. The local chapter was founded in 1891.
The Architecture Archives is the institutional repository for AIA Pittsburgh. Records date from 1906 to ca. 1990. Additions to this collection are expected. Major record subgroups are:
Annual Reports / Annual Meeting
Remaking Cities Conference / Mon Valley RU/DAT (1988)
The minute books in particular are an extraordinary resource. From 1906 to 1952 they detail the Chapter's every move. Bound in with the minutes for directors' meetings, monthly Chapter meetings, and annual meetings are Annual Reports, including membership lists and committee reports; resolutions; correspondence; newsletters; information about civic issues and architectural competitions; and materials documenting key Chapter projects such as exhibition houses and the Western Pennsylvania Architectural Survey.
Publications include AIA Alert and Columns.
The City of Pittsburgh Art Commission was established in 1911 to review designs for public projects such as public buildings, bridges, sculptures and war memorials. The Art Commission and the City Planning Commission of the same year represent an initial governmental effort to exercise some control over Pittsburgh's urban development. The Art Commission exerted considerable influence on the Allegheny County Department of Public Works' massive bridge-building campaigns of the 1920s and 1930s. The Commission's records show that some features of the city that we now know and admire would have turned out differently had they been built as they were first proposed.
Early Art Commission files document projects reviewed by the Commission between 1912 and 1939. The files include blueprints, photographs and papers that document more that 200 projects including many important buildings, bridges and sculptures.
The largest record groups document a 1913 competition to design the Schenley Memorial, and a 1915 competition to design an entrance plaza for Schenley Park and provide the memorial with an appropriate setting. Also well represented are river bridges; monuments and statues in Pittsburgh's municipal parks; World War I memorials throughout the city; and the 1927 campaign to remove the Allegheny County Jail and replace it with a nearby criminal courts and jail building.
Carnegie Mellon University was founded as the Carnegie Technical Schools in 1904, and was later known as Carnegie Institute of Technology. The early campus (1904-1933) was designed by Henry Hornbostel, of the New York firm of Palmer and Hornbostel, assisted by a campus Building Bureau (see Hornbostel Collection). The campus was expanded in a piecemeal fashion until the late 1980s under a series of partially realized campus plans. The most notable architect of this era was Dahlen K. Ritchey (see Ritchey Collection). A recent construction boom at Carnegie Mellon has derived from an award-winning campus plan authored by Michael Dennis Associates of Boston, winners of the University Center competition of 1987 (see University Center Competition Collection). Recent campus buildings have been designed by Michael Dennis Associates, Kallmann McKinnell and Wood (Boston), Payette Associates (Boston), and IKM (Pittsburgh). Two recent campus-owned buildings at off-campus locations have been Bohlin Cywinski Jackson of Pittsburgh (see Bohlin Cywinski Jackson Collection).
Collection includes record sets for various campus buildings and plans, built and unbuilt. Papers, drawings and a model document an abortive award-winning project by Peter Eisenman for the Carnegie Mellon Research Institute (1987-1990).
Lewis, David. "Designing the Carnegie Mellon Campus," Carnegie Magazine 59:1 (January/February 1988): 12-19.
The Isaly Dairy Company, famed for its cold cuts, Skyscraper cones and Klondike bars, was founded as the Mansfield Pure Milk Company in Mansfield, Ohio, in 1902. The company later took the name of its founder, William Isaly. The Isaly Dairy Company of Pittsburgh was founded in 1931, and expanded rapidly through the region's commercial districts. Many of the Isaly's dairy bars and retail stores in western Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia were designed by Pittsburgh architect Vincent Schoeneman during the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. Most of these were simple storefronts of ivory and black carrara glass, but there was at least one large free-standing store of a more suburban character planned for Saw Mill Run Boulevard. In addition to plans and elevations, the architect also completed detail drawings of signage and soda fountains.
Sadly, most Isaly's are now gone, their storefronts remodeled out of existence.
Numerous drawings and a small number of photographs represent dozens of Isaly's dairy bars and retail stores in numerous communities. A number of Isaly's dairies and offices are also documented, including the main plant in Youngstown, Ohio.
Ryan Homes was founded in 1947 by builder Edward M. Ryan and incorporated as Edward M. Ryan, Inc. The name was changed to Ryan Homes, Inc. in 1961, after regional expansion during the 1950s. Operations expanded to Columbus, Cleveland, Rochester, Harrisburg and other locations during the 1960s. The company was active in subdivision development and home building, and developed its own lumber yards and manufacturing plants. In 1966 it began a panelization program. In 1969 it built its first townhouses, its first inner-city projects and its first planned unit development, and began expanding into Louisville, Indianapolis, Virginia, Maryland, Georgia, North Carolina, Florida, etc. The product line was upgraded in 1976 and again in 1987 to appeal to the "move-up housebuyer" and the "upscale buyer."
In 1986 Ryan Homes, Inc. was acquired by NVHomes L.P., and its name was changed to NVRyan L.P.
Blueprints, photographs and papers document selected home models and subdivisions of the 1950s and 1960s. Projects selected document the firm's early history, and are represented by architectural documentation. Papers document some corporate operations, though the records of most decision-making activity were not made available for acquisition. Brochures, flyers and and other advertising materials represent the company's promotional activities.