About the Site


Get the book, too! Splendid photographs, fascinating commentary, and dozens of opportunities to say, “I can’t believe this exists.”

The great cemeteries of Pittsburgh are outdoor museums of art and architecture, and Father Pitt loves to wander in them and contemplate their beauties. His main site has always carried these cemetery pictures, but old Pa Pitt began to worry that his regular visitors might think he had a morbid obsession with death. Thus this site, which is devoted to nothing but death, so that you, the casual visitor, cannot say that you were not warned in a timely fashion.

Using These Pictures

We have decided to make all these pictures available under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication, so no permission is needed to use them for any purpose whatsoever. (Author credit to “Father Pitt” is nice, but not necessary. Worrying about particular conditions is just too much effort.)

Anyone who has more information about a monument, or an interesting story, is invited and in fact earnestly desired to leave a comment. Father Pitt especially loves corrections.

Missing Pictures

Some older articles are missing pictures, because those pictures were hosted on an external server that stopped hosting them. Father Pitt is working to replace those images, but meanwhile he can only apologize for the inconvenience.

10 responses to “About the Site”

  1. I was interested to see your cemetery collection, because (as a sometime architectural historian type) I looked at some in the New York area, decades ago. I was collecting buildings of the “art nouveau” variety in New York, mainly because people used to say that there were none, while it was obvious that there were buildings of the correct time period and having strange decorative features. Anyway, it occurred to me to go looking around in cemeteries for more examples — Sullivan’s famous tombs made me think there might be something similar in new York. And I did find some few examples, mainly in the Jewish cemeteries, and even one or two with a few art deco touches. But the cemeteries themselves were quite curious, all neatly laid out like little cities, only with odd little stone “houses.” Some of the more lavish tombs made me think of them as scale models for some grandiose exposition building at a World’s Fair.

    Thanks again for the opportunity to see some beautiful things.

  2. I really love your site! My family explored Homewood Cemetery in 2011, and I took some pictures of the monuments and mausoleums. Four years later, I’m trying to put my photos into an album, identifying each one along the way. (I’m obsessive like that.) Your site is the only place where I could find that information. Plus, I’ve enjoyed viewing and reading about many of the monuments and mausoleums that we didn’t get to see. Your site is full of beautiful photos, great information and critiques, and a very enjoyable dry wit all the way through. Thank you!!!

  3. My daughter attends Carnegie Mellon and we are out visiting. Last time I was here in December my wife took me to the cemetery. I had my cameras (large format view cameras) with me but it was too cold. This time I had everything planned out. This past Saturday I had her drop me off at 7:30 AM and was able to spend 5 un-interrupted hours photographing with my 4×5″ camera. Spent most of my time at the Oliver tomb (made 6 images), but saw this one on the walk back down to the gate and made it my last image of the morning. Plan on doing a portfolio of black & white (darkroom) images after I get a few more under my belt. Can’t wait to come back! https://fbcdn-sphotos-e-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xpt1/v/t1.0-9/11129793_969768749723503_835721373139797954_n.jpg?oh=abbebc5bffffa261b69e52c6ab1c9e7f&oe=55993B56&__gda__=1437231133_a46f4e94de4c3166c2c256c59ba221f3

    • For the benefit of other readers, Father Pitt will mention that the subject of Mr. Coda’s beautifully toned photograph (you should certainly click on the link to see it) is the McCandless-Johnston monument in the Allegheny Cemetery. Father Pitt’s own pictures of that monument were taken with a twelve-year-old Olympus DSLR, which has its good points but does not quite stand up to a 4×5 view camera.

    • “An error occurred while processing your request” to see the picture linked in Mr Coda’s post :-\

  4. I have really enjoyed this website. I am originally from Pittsburgh, now I live in Georgetown pa in Beaver County. If you are interested we have a few small but interesting old cemeteries in our community. Feel free to contact me at the email provided. Keep up the good work, you have a wonderful collection. Thank you for sharing

  5. Hello,

    I don’t know if you ever figured this out or not but I have information about the Winter Bros. On the St. Peter’s Cemetery page, there is an obelisk for the Winter Bros. that they erected but never used.
    * Alois is buried in the Winter Family Mausoleum in Section C of St. John Vianney (St. George) Cemetery. https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=winter&GSiman=1&GScid=1102535&GRid=8232785&

    *Wolfgang is buried in East Orange, New Jersey.
    https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=70773641

    *Michael is buried in Munich, Germany.
    https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=119531602

    Hope this information is of use to you. Hope you’re have a wonderful day.

    Jessie M.

  6. The home at 6659 Aylesboro Ave across from the Dallas Ave gate of Homewood Cemetery used to be the main office for the cemetery. However, then it was located within the cemetery itself. It was moved via rails on wooden ties and posts to it’s current location. It was set back fairly far into the cemetery. I did the appraisal of the home on it’s last sale and left in the house were the original blue prints for when the home was built as well as the newspaper stories with photos of the moving of the home. I grew up in Point Breeze on Kirtland St. We referred to the high rent district as Angle City due to the statue and we had childhood dares to sit in the lap of the Motherless Child statue in front of the Mellon grave. As a kid I delivered newspapers to the Frick Estate when Helen would still visit Pgh once or twice a year from her NYC residence.

    Assessor link to the house:

    http://www2.county.allegheny.pa.us/RealEstate/Map.aspx?ParcelID=0127A00200000000&SearchType=3&CurrRow=0&SearchName=&SearchStreet=&SearchNum=&SearchMuni=&SearchParcel=0127a00200&pin=0127A00200000000

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