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Sacred Heart Church Special Program

PHLF members and friends are invited to attend a free program and tour on Sunday, May 20, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. at Sacred Heart Church, 310 Shady Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15206.

John Kelly of Kelly Art Glass, Al Tannler of PHLF, and docents from Sacred Heart Church will present: “George Sotter: Glassman, Painter, Storyteller––The Spectacular American Gothic Stained-Glass Windows of Sacred Heart Church.” The afternoon will include several brief presentations in the auditorium about the window restoration, stained glass designers, and architect. Participants will then be invited to walk around the church and talk with Sacred Heart docents, who will be stationed at significant locations.

In Pittsburgh Architecture in the Twentieth Century, Al Tannler writes: “The groundbreaking for Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church (1926-54) was March 7, 1924; the choir and sanctuary were dedicated in 1929, and the façade window was dedicated in 1931, the year [architect Carlton] Strong died. His successor firm, Kaiser, Neal & Reid, completed the church.”

Participants will be able to admire the impressive stone carvings, woodcarvings, and murals, as well as the stained-glass windows, designed by George and Alice Sotter and made in Pittsburgh at Hunt Stained Glass Studios. To establish the design parameters of the 1,200-square-foot façade window alone took eight years of study to develop the content and four extended trips to Europe to refine the artistic ethic. Those 54 panels illustrate the History of the Catholic Church in America. We’ll examine this masterpiece as well as the 108 storyboards in the aisle windows. Then we’ll review the additional 4,000 square feet of stained glass in the main church, Blessed Sacrament Chapel, and Lady Chapel, which was completed by George Sotter’s wife and partner, Alice, after his death in 1953.

Program details:

  • This program is free to the public. Donations are welcome and will be used to help fund the restoration of the Lady Chapel.
  • Reservations are appreciated. Please call Sacred Heart: 412-661-0187.
Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation

100 West Station Square Drive, Suite 450

Pittsburgh, PA 15219

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