Crecencia Lutz Monument, St. Mary’s Cemetery, Ross Township

This towering monument is in a style all its own. What shall we call it? Pittsburgh German Rococo? The inscription, cut by a local stonecutter (a tradition that survived among the Germans here decades longer than it did among English-speakers) quotes from Job: in the words of the King James Version, “Seeing his days are determined, the number of his months are with thee, thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass.“ The German translation of the first line would be more closely rendered as “Short are the days of man,” which is a more striking sentiment that seems tailor-made for an epitaph.

The relief is a bit elementary, like something that would have been turned out by the second-best student in a community-college sculpture class. The overall composition, however, is unforgettable. The blackness of industry has only added to the impression that this monument is something colossal and important.

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