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Architectural History Lecture: Modern Medievalism

October 23, 2014 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm


The period in Western architecture known as the “Middle Ages” or the Medieval period lasted approximately from the 5th through the 15th centuries (400 A.D. through the 1400s ) and comprised a period of architectural design that evolved from the Byzantine through the Romanesque to the Gothic. By the 17th century, when what would become the United States was being colonized, the prevailing European architectural language was Greco-Roman Classicism, reborn during the 16th century Renaissance. The United States, thus, had no indigenous medieval architecture.
During the 19th century, German Romanesque Revival and British Gothic Revival building designs were imported to America. In the 1870s H. H. Richardson’s adaptation of 11th-century Romanesque and Ralph Adams Cram’s subsequent adaptation of 12th- century Gothic forms beginning in the 1890s and continuing through the first half of the 20th century, were phases in the creation of an indigenous American architecture that was both medieval and modern. Pittsburgh has three of Richardson’s finest buildings––the Allegheny County Buildings and Emmanuel Episcopal Church––and British historian Peter Cormack has written: “The city of Pittsburgh is fortunate to have some of the very best Modern Gothic buildings in the USA.”

This lecture is free and open to the public.

Thursday, October 23

6:00 p.m.—7:30 p.m.

Landmarks Preservation Resource Center

744 Rebecca Avenue

Wilkinsburg, Pa 15221

Map and driving directions

About the presenter: Albert M. Tannler, historical collections director, joined PHLF on January 2, 1991.  He researches and writes architectural history and oversees the James D. Van Trump Library and the Frank B. Fairbanks Rail Transportation Archive. Prior to joining PHLF, Al worked as an archivist and editor in Chicago.  He began researching and writing about architecture in the Department of Special Collections at the University of Chicago Library.

RSVPs are appreciated. Contact Mary Lu Denny at or 412-471-5808 ext. 527.


October 23, 2014
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation

100 West Station Square Drive, Suite 450

Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Phone: 412-471-5808  |  Fax: 412-471-1633