From any angle the Duncan mausoleum is impressive. There is nothing like it anywhere else in Pittsburgh—or, as far as old Pa Pitt knows, in the world. The architect was Theophilus P. Chandler Jr., the Philadelphia tastemaker who also designed First Presbyterian downtown and Third Presbyterian at Fifth and Negley in Shadyside. He seems to have been proud of this mausoleum: if you go looking for it on line, you will turn up Father Pitt’s pictures (of course), and then a large number of prints and postcards from the time the mausoleum was built.
There is nothing else remotely like this in Pittsburgh. This huge mausoleum supports a towering shaft with a recording angel at the top taking notes. It was designed by Theophilus P. Chandler Jr. (which always sounds to old Pa Pitt like the name of the villain in a Marx Brothers farce), the tastemaker of Philadelphia, and the architect of First Presbyterian Church downtown.
“Huge” is probably the best single word to describe this construction. The mausoleum itself is massive, and it supports a towering column with a larger-than-life statue of a recording angel by Henry Jackson Ellicott at the top. If you were considering any sort of misbehavior in this section of the Union Dale Cemetery, remember that the guardian of the Duncans is taking notes.
The structure was designed by the noted architect Theophilus P. Chandler. Chandler was the Thaw family’s favorite architect, and he designed two of Pittsburgh’s prominent churches: First Presbyterian downtown and Third Presbyterian in Shadyside.