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House (Dr. Holbert J. and Beatrice Nixon House)

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Dr. Holbert J. and Beatrice Nixon House
1948, H. Wesley “Hap” Altman Jr. 10 Ridgeview Dr.

Although from the street this house appears to be a one-story ranch house, it is one-and-one-half stories in height in the living room. There an east-facing window wall takes advantage of a magnificent view of Chestnut Ridge. The shallow gabled roof soars out over these windows, as does the roof on the north elevation, where it shelters a patio that overlooks the landscaped yard. The interior is distinguished by its linearity and detailing, including solid wood doors with stainless steel doorknobs, built-in furniture, and radiant heat in the floors. The house was designed by “Hap” Altman for his in-laws.

Many of the handsome post–World War II houses in Uniontown were designed by the Altman firm. H. Wesley “Hap” Altman Jr. (1916–1994) began practicing with his father, Harry W. Altman, in 1946. Both graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Harry c. 1908 and Hap in 1940. Harry trained with Wallace Frost and Albert Kahn, and opened his Uniontown practice in 1909, where he designed the Central High School (1916; Church and Gallatin streets). The firm's third generation is Hap's son, Mark Nixon Altman, who began work after graduation and became managing partner in 1986. Over the years, the firm has completed dozens of schools, hospitals, public buildings, and private residences, including the Frazee house at 40 Ridgeview Road, and houses at 43 and 117 Belmont Circle. Houses designed by Hap Altman take full advantage of their natural sites and views. His work is best seen in the stone-sheathed houses he designed at 20, 40, and 50 Bailey Lane. The rectangular Robert W. Miller house of 1949 (50 Bailey Lane) is anchored to its site by an eight-foot-wide stone chimney, and its variegated sandstone is dressed and cut in long, narrow blocks. The low profile, ribbon windows, deep eaves, and flat roof are reminiscent of Frank Lloyd Wright's work. The living room's fourteen-foot-high wall of windows opens to a patio and a view of the rolling hills and Chestnut Ridge.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Lu Donnelly et al.
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Citation

Lu Donnelly et al., "House (Dr. Holbert J. and Beatrice Nixon House)", [Uniontown, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/PA-01-FA6.

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, 240-241.

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