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Highland Towers

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1913, Frederick G. Scheibler Jr. 340–342 S. Highland Ave., Shadyside
  • Highland Towers
  • Highland Towers
  • Highland Towers
  • Highland Towers
  • Highland Towers
  • Highland Towers
  • Highland Towers
  • Highland Towers
  • Highland Towers
  • Highland Towers
  • Highland Towers

Of Frederick Scheibler's approximately eighty buildings in Pittsburgh, this four-story apartment block, designed for wealthy, progressive families, is the most confidently resolved. The usual influences Scheibler gleaned from architectural magazines and from the exhibitions of contemporary architecture held at the Carnegie Museum are evident in this stunning example of early modernism. Its two entrances on either side of the recessed central facade of this U-shaped building are elevated from the street level, pushing the apartments away from the noisy street. Scheibler composed the exterior in yellow tapestry brick, dark blue tile, glass, and stucco. Each of the recessed apartments has a solarium that opens into a balcony; the central apartments look over a garden terrace.

The interior is rich, beginning with the deep blue art tiles at the entrances from Henry Mercer's Moravian Pottery and Tile works in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. Originally, the floors were divided into four apartments, each with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and servants' quarters. The apartments were equipped with the latest devices and had a safe, built-in oak and mahogany cabinets, and bookcases. The building had vacuum cleaning outlets, a prototype air conditioning system, and a Modulated Vapor System for heating. An earlier Scheibler-designed apartment block, which incorporated commercial space and is more overtly Art Nouveau, is the Minnetonka Building (1908; 5421–5431 Walnut Street).

Writing Credits

Author: 
Lu Donnelly et al.
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Citation

Lu Donnelly et al., "Highland Towers", [Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/PA-01-AL109.

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of PA vol 1

Buildings of Pennsylvania: Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania, Lu Donnelly, H. David Brumble IV, and Franklin Toker. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2010, 114-115.

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