Sunday, April 21, 2013

Churches of Pittsburgh, Part II

Here's another batch of 29 churches of Pittsburgh. I continue the enumeration from Part I (because I want to).

30. Epiphany Catholic Church

It's near the CONSOL Energy Center. I'm sure a word frequency analysis of prayers from this church would reveal extraordinary high percentages for "game", "the Pens", "score", "this damn Malkin/Fleury".

31. First Lutheran Church

They say it's very traditional. So I won't write anything here, or they'll come, ask me tricky questions about what revolves around what, and then burn at the stake. This makes me want to go get a steak, but I'll continue writing to enlighten y'all.

32. Smithfield United Church of Christ

It's obviously broken (too much prayer) and is under repair, but this is even cooler! I like broken things. That's why I'm involved with computers and academia.

33. Shepherd's Heart Fellowship

That's what a true church should look like: austere and slightly boring. This way only true believers make their way into it.

34. St. Agnes Center of Carlow University

This is actually a college building. I bet it's trying to combine religion and science. For example, you can go to services in the morning, and then climb up the roof and throw apples down.

35. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Ever since I was a kid, the phrase "latter days" creeped me out (maybe because in Russian it also sounds like "last days"). As if  we had only a week left.

36. St John's Lutheran Church - Choir Loft Condominiums

It's basically a dorm for the church members. My best guess is that it's designed like a church so that those guys don't sink in the sin of modern architecture.

37.  The Church Brew Works

This one is not a church, at least on the inside. Rather, it's a huge bar. In the altar they placed an enormous beer brewing machine. I admire both the brewing quality and the sly irony of this place.

38. St. Augustine Church - Our Lady of the Angels Parish

This church is huge, but its placement in narrow sidestreets precludes any good view possible. It was hard to get a reasonable piece of it in a shot.

39. Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church

A neighbor to the previous one, this building seems much less pretentious. I wonder if there's correlation between the degree to which some particular Christian doctrine is supported and the building size.

40. St Lawrence O'Toole

This one has a very interesting visual style: one painted figure of St. Lawrence, one fully metal, and a wooden cross with a white cloth on it.

41. East Liberty Lutheran Church

This strange cubic design makes it look not exactly like a church. Figure it doesn't help donations.

42.Missionary Temple Church

I feel like I saw this design many times.

43. Agape Christian Fellowship Church

This one looks like a half-house. I'm wondering if it pays off to build a chapel, declare your home a church, and let people in twice a week in exchange for a sizeable mandatory donation.

44. Mt Ararat Baptist Church

Everything in this building symbolizes a mountain.

45. Greater Bethlehem Temple

I dunno how popular these guys are, but I'd imagine they need something more conspicuous as a temple. 

46. Unknown Church on Turrett St

This one is obviously abandoned, standing on the intersection of Meadow St and Turrett St. I couldn't find the name of it, but it was engineered with grandeur.

47. St James African Methodist Episcopal Church

If I had to choose a color for an African Methodist church, I wouldn't choose black/dark: too predictable.

48. Good Hope Baptist Church

I like the name (who doesn't like good hopes?), but if not for the billboard, I'd mistake this for a home of a local chess club.

49. Lincoln Avenue Church of God

This black cross on a white background is really cool and memorable.

50. Holy Rosary Roman Catholic Church

Another enormous gothic cathedral. I feel really good about myself when I capture one of those.

51. Fourth Presbyterian Church of Pittsburgh

Again, a very popular design: a triangular building, a tower, and a red door.

52. Seeds of Hope Anglican Church

They recently acquired this building in 2007 and changed the roof, as it can be seen from google street view. I like the new version better.

53. Evaline Lutheran Church

Does adding a second tower count as groundbreaking innovation in church architectures?

54. St. Maria Goretti School and Church

(edited) So turns out a school and a church are placed side by side (used to be known as Immaculate Conception).

I'd love to set up a controlled double-blind experiment to see the effect of going to church on test scores (my personal prediction: positive, because of emphasis on convergent thinking). But it's probably too controversial for most countries as of now.

The church

The school

55. St. Maria Goretti Parish Church

(edited) This building is on Liberty Ave, part of the same parish as the previous one.

56. St. Stanislaus Church

This Catholic church has gold cupolas, which bring it visually similar to the Orthodox ones in Russia.

57. St. Patrick Church

This is amazing! They have an awesome green garden with statues in the middle of Liberty/Penn Ave -- an area that has a very industrial looks, adding even more to the contrast.

58. St. Benedict the Moor Church

An interesting aspect of this church is that the statue of St. Benedict appears headless when approached from the east. For a while I've been thinking that it was an intentional design: lose your mind and join us.

Bonus: other religions

Liberal beliefs (e.g., LGBT rights movement) lack most components in of a religion (rituals, supernatural interpretations), but their proponents are sometimes very fanatic about judging other people and getting offended, so we might as well count this as a religion.

One underground cult worships distributed computing and massive amounts of free food. What positively differentiates them from other churches is that they produce something useful for a regular joe -- namely, a number of cool web services.

Finally, there's a religion around American justice. And here's one temple of it -- the Allegheny County Courthouse.

That's it for now.

Update. Part III was posted.


  1. The first picture you have of St. Maria Goretti School is the church. It is a school and church. It used to be called Immaculate Conception

  2. Oh and your #55 is also part of the parish. It is just a church and it used to be St. Joseph.

    1. Thanks! I was pretty lost in all these names, but it all makes sense now. Those fans of renaming would get more people in by updating the info on google maps.