A matter of perception

SteepleI see this steeple each time I go to the health club to exercise. I
drove past the church once. It’s locked behind a chain link fence with
no indication of what it might have been. I don’t know
anything about it; what happened to it; whether anyone owns it. I took  this picture in October, 2006.

This one was taken in April, 2007.
I am troubled by the continuing deterioration. I keep wondering how it will look when one of these towers finally falls.

Last week I had lunch with Linda and two of her poet friends, both of whom are long-time Pittsburgh residents. They began to talk about churches and I asked them about this one. Neither knew anything about it, but when I said the steeples had holes in them one of the women said she thought they were patches. I keep thinking about the difference in our perceptions. I’ve been accused of being a pessimist, although I think of myself as a realist. Do you think that’s why I immediately identified those black spots as holes? And I’m not sure what this says about the other woman.

I’m very curious about this church. It’s in East Liberty; you can see it from the Club One parking lot. If any of my Pittsburgh readers knows what happened to it, I’d love to hear from you.
I took this picture today.


9 thoughts on “A matter of perception

  1. My sister and I attended elementary school there when we were in 3rd and 4th grade.( I am now 59 years old) We went to church there and my grandmother lived across the street at 127 larimer ave. We are going to visit in March (2009)and we will once again tour larimer ave and the old church…I’m glad it’s still standing.

  2. There you go, Ruthe. M L (above commenter) is the friend I was telling you about. So what do you think about that!? Now you know what these steeples are about.

  3. This is the former Sts. Peter and Paul RC Church on Larimer Avenue. The parish was founded c 1853 and this church was building around 1890. My Boch ancestors lived in East Liberty c 1840-1900 and once were parishoners.
    This church has been deconsecrated by the Diocese of Pittsburgh. The property was purchased by another Christian demonination. The site includes a lovely rectory in need of major renovation and a three-story school that is derilect.
    The interior of the church has gorgeous stained glass windows. The current congregation is remodeling the interior, installing lighting, cleaning out years debris caused by neglect.
    You can visit the church when it is open.

  4. This was St. Peter and Paul RC Church, a congregation founded in the 1850s I believe. The church was built around 1890. My Boch ancestors lived in East Liberty in the era 1840-1900, and they were parishioners.
    The church has been deconcetrated by the Diocese of Pittsburgh. The building has been purchased by another congregation and is being restored.
    The church property includes a lovely rectory which also is in need of major restoration. Behind the church sits an old school building that is deteriorating.
    You can visit the church. The stained glass is magnificent. The new congregation is cleaning the interior, installing lighting, etc.

  5. I’m wandering around the net looking up Pitsburgh church steeples, and that led me to an article about church tours this Christmas in the Pitsburgh Tribune-Review.
    Perhaps your local paper will know more about that church. Do you have a historical society. They can answer research questions over the phone. I had lots of fun looking up Pitsburgh church steeples even if I didn’t find those.

  6. I always thought they were holes, myself.
    While I don’t know the history of this church (although I’ve often wondered myself since I used to drive past there regularly), I bet I know who does. The next time you’re on campus, head to the library in the Frick and go in search of Pittsburgh’s preeminent architectural historian, Frank Toker. His office is upstairs, and at my best recollection, half the library is in his office as well!

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