Crow Residence

 

 

63 Stockton Avenue-Front

63 Stockton Avenue-Front

 

Published January, 2016

This residence was designed by architect Wm. J. Carpenter AIA of the Carpenter & Crocker firm in Pittsburgh.  It was built in Uniontown, Pennsylvania in 1907 for Frank R. Crow, a prominent citizen, at 63 Stockton Street.  A drawing for it was shown in the 1907 architectural exhibition in Pittsburgh.

Property details from a 2014 real estate listing:

         63 Stockton Avenue.  This Single-Family  located a 63 Stockton Avenue, Uniontown Pa..has 6 bed-                  rooms, 4 1/2 baths, and approximately 3,455 square feet.  The property has a lot size of 0.53 acres and           was built in 1907.  The average listing for similar homes for sale is $154,767…2 story/with attic, exterior          walls, Masonry, construction, frame, fireplace, central heating, asphalt roof, full basement.

Scan0006 (2)

                                    63 Stockton-Rear

Crow Residence

Crow Residence

Dr. William J. Mitchell of Uniontown kindly furnished the above pictures which he took in the spring 2014.

In an effort to learn more about this project I contacted Frank Kurtik, a very knowledgeable historian in Uniontown as follows:

Hello Mr. Kurtik,

I’m still researching the Cook residence designed by my grandfather Wm. J. Carpenter in 1907. I have the picture of the house you took which Al Tannler sent me some months ago, but am wondering if you have any more information about the house, such as old photos, newspaper articles, etc. I also have been in touch with Dr. Mitchell and have some pictures which he sent me.

This project, some 50 miles from his offices in Pittsburgh is the furthest afield the architect ventured, except for his Greylock project in Chestnut Hill.  Do you have any thoughts on how Carpenter and Crow might have come into contact with each other? Was there good train service between the two areas at that time?

I’d appreciate any comments you might want to make as I will be publishing in my Blog…

Jack Carpenter

Here is his very interesting reply:

   Hello Mr. Carpenter,

   I would have replied sooner, but I needed time to search my files and mull over any way in which I could be of help to you. Unfortunately, I could not come up with any photos or news articles pertinent to your quest. And then, I am truly stumped by how your grandfather could have had Frank R. Crow as a client.

    Frank R. Crow was well-off, but in no way was he in the same class as Carpenter clients such as Henry A. Laughlin or Willis McCook. They traveled in vastly different work and social circles. Crow came from old southwestern Pennsylvania stock and was raised on a farm just west of Uniontown. Perhaps there was something innate in their makeup, but Frank R. Crow and his brothers went far for the country boys that they were. Arthur E. Crow became a well-regarded Uniontown physician, while William Evans Crow found a niche in politics, rising to U. S. Senator from Pennsylvania (albeit by appointment and notably dying less than 10 months in office for which he was awarded an outsized funeral complete with a copious turnout of fellow Senators who motored in a caravan from Washington, mostly by way of U.S. 40, the National Road).

   The West End of Uniontown where Stockton Avenue was located was notable as being the neighborhood of the city’s wealthy elite, enriched by “new” money made in coal and coke during the heyday of the exploitation of the region’s mineral wealth in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In fact, Crow’s father had a home built in 1905 at 36 Ben Lomond Street, two year’s before his own on parallel Stockton Avenue. I do not know who designed that house yet, but am trying to find out. Perhaps the sons underwrote the cost of construction for their retired farmer father — well, that is idle speculation; excuse me. At any rate, throughout his entire working life, Frank R Crow was in the coal business, up until he died of a heart attack at age 65 on July 25, 1939 while driving on the highway between Uniontown and his boyhood home area in German Township.

     Although Crow’s is the only Carpenter-designed home in Uniontown, perhaps he was influenced by one or another of the West End crowd who had Pittsburgh business connections and knew of your grandfather’s work. I just have no proof. Because of the coal and coke wealth, there was a lot of interaction between Uniontown, unofficial capital of the coalfields nicknamed “The Klondike,” and the region’s principal city, Pittsburgh. To answer your question, indeed there was (of necessity for personal travel as well as freight) excellent train service between the two cities provided both by the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad and the Pennsylvania Railroad.

    Believe me, should I uncover anything in Uniontown that would pertain to your interest, I will let you know immediately. In the meantime, I am glad you are giving the McCook house attention. When I worked as an archivist at the University of Pittsburgh in the 1980s, I lived a few blocks from the house and passed it regularly. Before it became too late, it was nice to see it getting renewed life. And I always liked the feel of St. Andrew’s Episcopal which is a great venue for intimate concerts. I also liked the dignified Soho Baths, within sight of the neighborhood where Andy Warhol lived as a boy. The apartments on S. Pacific were familiar as well (by the way, Diana Ames and her husband, great-nephew of noted Pittsburgh architect Frederick Osterling, are old friends of mine).

     Here’s to the hope that some of the above is of some use to you, if not of some interest at least.

    All the best,

    Frank

If you have read this far, please comment below.  I won’t publish your address. Jack

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Comment »

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.

%d bloggers like this: