Good Enough for Horses
Some of the goals of
Shadyside Presbyterian Church’s Building Community Capital Project
include a welcoming fellowship space adjacent to the sanctuary, a
Comparison of present courtyard and planned atrium
The enclosure of the
cloister courtyard accomplishes
the goals, and in the bargain re-establishes an old north-south
circulation axis. For its
first forty-five years,
Present colonnade with floorline raised from original street elevation
Model of Shadyside Church in 1892
In 1890, some would have arrived at the church by horse and carriage. Many buildings included a porte cochere - a covered space where passengers could alight from the carriage protected from inclement weather. It has been a matter of mild curiosity that there was no obvious porte-cochere at Shadyside Church – a feature so common in that era. Our neighbor, Korean Central Church (originally First Methodist), at the end of Westminster Place still has its porte cochere.
Porte cochere at Korean Central Church today & shown on Pittsburgh Plat Plan
A City of
Plat Plan showing drive & photo showing porte cochere extending to ground at Shadyside Church
Model showing carriage path through porte cochere & between church & chapel
By the 1930s, auto travel made the passage unnecessary or impractical. Addition of the chancel apse and office space made it impossible. The elevated floor level in the colonnade and the raised ground level between church and chapel allowed the original use to fade from memory.
Model of Shadyside Church after 1938 additions
A new porte-cochere
will be extruded toward the street from the existing segmental arch
opening – shelter for those arriving at the
New (or rediscovered) porte cochere on Westminster Place
The rediscovery of the original circulation axis pathway did not suggest its re-establishment. However the size, shape and location of the courtyard that replaced the pathway did suggest an improved circulation path for today. It was good enough for horses.