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Coulter Family Houses

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Henry W. Coulter House. 1922, Alden and Harlow; 1970s chapel, Mario Celli. Skara Glen–Margaret Coulter House. 1925–1926, Walter T. Karcher and Livingston Smith. 447 and 461–465 Mt. Thor Rd.

The Coulter family moved from their late-nineteenth-century Main Street residence in Greensburg to more spacious Tudor Revival houses outside the city in the 1920s. Henry Coulter commissioned Alden and Harlow to design his two-and-one-half-story sandstone house. The firm continued to design solid estate houses for the upwardly mobile in and around Pittsburgh after Frank Alden's death in 1908, but its work had become predictable. The house has a slate roof, porte-cochere at the front entrance, and limestone window surrounds on the facade. Mario Celli added a chapel in the 1970s.

Henry Coulter's unmarried brother and sister William and Margaret hired the Beaux-Arts-trained Philadelphia architects Walter Karcher and Livingston Smith to build their brick Tudor Revival mansion immediately adjacent to Henry's stone house. This brick house has similar limestone window surrounds, but lacks the hipped-roof dormers found on Henry's house. Both properties were subsequently purchased by the Sisters of Charity as their headquarters and as offices for Seton Hill University ( WE3). A third house on College Avenue for the Coulters' brother Richard was also designed by the firm of Karcher and Smith. All three of these large, asymmetrical houses have steeply gabled slate roofs, and supporting outbuildings and stables on their generous grounds.

Writing Credits

Lu Donnelly et al.


What's Nearby


Lu Donnelly et al., "Coulter Family Houses", [Greensburg, 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, 217-218.

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