You are here

Abraam Steinberg House

-A A +A
1951–1952, Peter Berndtson and Cornelia Brierly. 5139 Penton Rd., Squirrel Hill
  • Abraam Steinberg House (Carnegie Mellon University Architecture Archives)

This house for physician Abraam Steinberg is one of several Pittsburgh homes built from the 1940s through the 1960s by two designers who met and trained at Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin Fellowship. Peter Berndtson designed most of them, and his wife and partner, Cornelia Brierly, collaborated on several and designed others on her own. Certainly the close fit of a house and its surroundings is a textbook definition of organic architecture. The brick, redwood, glass, and concrete house stands on the edge of a long, narrow and steeply sloped lot. Two exterior walls of the house form a right angle to conform to the street grid, the rounded rear wall echoes an inner circular garden that is open to the sky. This garden, visible from all the major rooms, provides the true facade for the house. Interior spaces flow visually from one to the next, analogous to the ramps that physically unite its three levels. The organic theme is carried through in the house furnishings, built-in where possible, and in the same redwood that provides structure for the house. Invariably but unfairly compared to their teacher Wright, Berndtson and Brierly were an important force in the adoption of modern architecture in postwar Pittsburgh.

Writing Credits

Lu Donnelly et al.



  • 1951


What's Nearby


Lu Donnelly et al., "Abraam Steinberg House", [Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

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, 117-118.

If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.

SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.