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The Priory and Grand Hall

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St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church
1853–1854 church; 1906 vestibule, Sidney Heckert; 1888 priory, Henry Moser. 614 Pressley St.
  • (Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress)

Father John Stibiel, second pastor for this parish of German immigrants, is the architect of record for this brick church. Externally, the twin-towered church is a melange of neoclassical features, but the interior betrays a far greater architectural talent. There, high barrel vaults held on four crossing columns intersect below a beautifully lit umbrella vault and skylight. Similar interior boldness marks Charles F. Bartberger's contemporary St. Paul of the Cross Monastery (148 Monastery Avenue), and St. Mary's may be his work as well. The church serves now as a busy banqueting hall; the Romanesque Revival priory next door is one of a handful of boutique hotels that Pittsburgh carved out of its Victorian white elephants at the end of the twentieth century.

Writing Credits

Lu Donnelly et al.



  • 1853

  • 1888

  • 1906


What's Nearby


Lu Donnelly et al., "The Priory and Grand Hall", [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, 95-96.

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