Lost and Found

Lost and Found features brief profiles of historic landmarks and structures, one lost and one saved.


In May 1946, Pittsburgh area residents approved a bond issue for the development of the Greater Pitts­burgh Airport, hailed at the time as a facility “built for Pittsburghers by Pittsburghers with Pittsburgh products.” Pittsburgh Plate Glass, for instance, provided three acres of an advanced window glass for the terminal that reduced noise, heat, cold, and glare. Architectural critics and historians alike cited the importance of the huge seven-story terminal – noted for its black granite exterior – as an outstanding example of the International style, an influential modernist style characterized by unadorned geometric forms, open interiors, and the use of glass, steel, and reinforced concrete. Designed by Joseph Hoover, the terminal was dedicated in 1952. The terminal fell victim to the airport’s success when officials deemed it inadequate and demolished it last year.



Suntop Homes, located in Ard­more, Montgomery County, are actually four residential units occupying one building, designed in an unusual cloverleaf arrangement with each unit sharing two party walls. The right-angle, cruciform placement of the party walls gives each with a private setting. What is even more noteworthy is the fact that these residences were designed by none other than Frank Lloyd Wright! Suntop Homes – also known as the “Ardmore Experi­ment” – reflects Wright’s usonian concept that emphasized economical construction and energy efficiency. Builder Otto Tod Mallery engaged Wright in 1938 to design the Suntop Homes, which took only two months to build, beginning in May of the following year. Despite two fires and subsequent renovations, Suntop Homes still stand, testimony to the vision of a master architect.