Emmanuel Episcopal Church
957 W. North Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15233 US
Organ ID: 71673
Emmanuel’s “Bake-Oven” Church building is considered to be one of H.H. Richardson’s best. The massive structure has been celebrated by architectural historians as “Pittsburgh’s most important religious building” and along with the courthouse and jail, one of the most important pieces of architecture in the city. Built in the 1880’s at the cost of $25,000, the fortress-like church building has served Emmanuel’s congregation for over a century.
Inside, the massive rafters that stretch across the huge paneled ceiling give the impression of “an overturned hull of a great ship”. The interior feels both spacious and intimate and displays the most remarkable acoustics—a marvelous setting not only for worship, but for concerts and performances. Richardson’s use of dark wood and strong lines emphasize the delicate beauty of the white marble chancel which was added in 1898. Glass mosaic “Gibson Girl” angels glisten above the altar.
Emmanuel has long been recognized for the masterpiece of design that it is. In 1968 it gained status as an Historical Landmark from the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation and has been listed on the National Register of Historical Places since 1974. As of 2000 we became a National Historic Landmark, one of only eight in Pittsburgh.
According to Jim Stark: The original organ was an 1885 II/17 Hook which was rebuilt by Hutchings-Votey in 1901. According to John Cawkins, when the left chamber was converted for other use, now many years ago, the organ material was stored in the right chamber. Don't know if it is still there.
Historic Landmark plaque: Photograph by PIttsburgh History and landmarks, submitted by Andrew Scanlon. Taken approx. 2020
Detail of left chamber facade: Photograph by PIttsburgh Landmarks , submitted by Andrew Scanlon. Taken approx. 2020