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Merrick Free Art Gallery

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1847; 1880–1888 remodeled; 1901 second building; 1994, Landmark Design Associates; 1994 stair tower, John T. Regney. 5 11th St.

A pair of red brick, gable-roofed structures joined by a modern, glass-enclosed stair hall make up the Merrick Free Art Gallery. The building's main gallery illustrates the exhibition design techniques popular in early-twentieth-century art galleries. The east wing, dating from 1847, was built as a station for the Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne and Chicago Railroad. A fireplace, ticket window, and tin ceiling can still be seen in the present storeroom at the northern corner of the building. In 1870, the Merrick family purchased the property. Edward Dempster Merrick (1832–1911) altered and expanded the former station to hold his collection of paintings and art studio. He added a second story to the east building in 1888, lighting them with an innovative clerestory arrangement. His collection of European and American nineteenth-century paintings, especially the Hudson River School, continued to grow. In 1901, Merrick added a building to the west to accommodate the collection. This structure is a simple, red brick gable-roofed building of two by six bays with double-sash multipaned windows. At Merrick's death in 1911, paintings by him were destroyed by his descendants, but his remaining collection is open to the public free of charge.

Writing Credits

Lu Donnelly et al.


What's Nearby


Lu Donnelly et al., "Merrick Free Art Gallery", [New Brighton, 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, 145-145.

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