Thursday, December 4, 2008

850 Ridge Avenue

This is (another) one of my favorite houses in Pittsburgh. I'm not sure when it was built - early teens perhaps -but it was converted to office space in 1930. The original owner who built the home was William Penn Snyder (1862-1920) who made his fortune founding the Shenango Furnace company as well as developing the Lake Superior iron ore mining. It now houses the Babb Inc. insurance company and they keep the building in immaculate condition.
It is vaguely 18th century french but in an unusual material for the style, brownstone. Also unusual is a lot of the modern convienences it offers. No yard, it's a true townhouse, just a little bigger than the average!Typical of the period, all of the interior rooms were built to showcase different styles. The grand staircase and 'state' rooms are all English - Elizabethan thru Georgian, but the ballroom is a more fitting french style. Here are 2 interior photos I was able to find of 2 fireplaces: very different styles, huh? Both are spectacular though!This home features a very large garage which holds several cars. It is entered through a very modern looking, but original, garage door. Remember when this was built, an integrated garage!! In a city neighborhood what a find! Oddly enough, the ballroom is adjacent to the garage! look at the amazing detail at the entrance - soft brownstone but still crisp! I pieced this together from 3 photos - excuse the lines.
In 1948 the addition was added to the right hand side to double the amount of square footage. They used the same Hummelstone Brownstone from the same quarry for an exact match but did it in a much simpler, but cohesive style.
I've always wanted to see the interiors, but it's always closed whenever I'm in that neighborhood. I was able to find the 2 interior shots of fireplaces on the Babb inc website, the rest are my own.


pve design said...

I would love to know when your fascination with architecture began? You do such justice to each and every brick, stone and facade. I love it!

michelle said...

Nice to see such care taken of the building... It's a beautiful piece of architecture.

willow said...

I was here earlier, but was interrupted by a phone call. So, I'm back! I never would have thought Pittsburgh had so many examples of wonderful architecture. Lovely.