Tag Archives: Gothic Architecture

Robb Monument, Allegheny Cemetery

With bonus deer. This exceptionally grand monument is in the most romantic interpretation of the Gothic style. Although C. W. Robb lived until 1892, from the style Father Pitt is almost certain that this was put up when his wife Caroline Amelia died in 1869. C. W. married again; his second wife was nearly thirty years younger than he was, and lived until 1936. She shares a small headstone nearby with their daughter, who also died in 1936.

For some reason, Father Pitt suspects that C. W. Robb may have been an organist.

Wallingford-Davison Family Plot, Allegheny Cemetery

A family plot with a romantic Gothic marble monument, now illegible but still grand in its way. It was once surrounded by an iron fence, but like almost all such fences it has been removed to make life easier for groundskeepers.

We can see where the iron fence once fitted into the stone gateposts.

Note the rusty remnants of an iron gate.

Fifth Avenue Gate, McKeesport and Versailles Cemetery

The McKeesport and Versailles Cemetery is one of the most picturesque rural cemeteries in the Pittsburgh area. This entrance gate takes us from the mundane and depressed world of downtown McKeesport into a fantasy landscape where all is serenity. What more appropriate way to make the transition than through a gate that is itself a Gothic fantasy, with a gatehouse that looks like something from our favorite book of fairy tales?

Receiving Vault, Allegheny Cemetery

This Receiving Vault was built in 1906 after the old one, which was in a different location, was taken down. According to the cemetery’s Web site, this design by Peter Charles Reniers’ Sons more or less duplicated the design of the original Receiving Vault by John Chislett, the architect who laid out the cemetery in the 1840s.

Kerr Column, Allegheny Cemetery

This curious column combines classical and Gothic ideas to create something not quite like any of the other dozens of columns in the cemetery. It remembers Andrew Lennox Kerr (1789-1839) and Jane Kerr (1785-1880). From the style of the column, and the fact that the inscriptions for Andrew and Jane seem to have been cut at the same time, we can guess that the column was put up after Jane Kerr died in 1880.

Shields Mausoleum, Edgeworth

On a back street in Edgeworth, right next to the Shields Chapel, sits what looks like a Gothic church; but it is actually the mausoleum of the Shields family, one of the largest Gothic mausoleums in the Pittsburgh area. It has room for thirty-six interments, and it is big enough that the Grace Anglican congregation used it for services until the Shields Chapel became available. It is very rare in the Pittsburgh area for a family to build a mausoleum on its own property, but apparently no mere cemetery was good enough for the Shields family.

Frederick Mesta Mausoleum, Homewood Cemetery

A cube-shaped 1920s mausoleum (Mesta died in 1929) with fine Gothic details. The stained glass is notable for the clever effect that produces the rays of the setting sun.

We suspect that Frederick was a brother of George Mesta, whose Egyptian mausoleum is nearby. Frederick’s name appears on a 1911 patent that “relates to the turning of metal in connection with a rolling mill,” so he was apparently also in the metalworking business.