When our first renovation of Artistry’s historic 2613 Smallman Street location was completed, the landlord couldn’t believe what we had done with the place. We fell in love with the location at first sight, but it needed a little fixing up. After all, our new home had a long and storied history we would learn over the years.
First constructed as a stable during the Civil War, the expansive ceiling and rich woodwork had since fallen into disrepair. After the Civil War ended, ownership of this coveted riverside real estate passed to Mary Schenley, philanthropist and daughter of Pittsburgh industry captain James O’Hara. As Pittsburgh grew to become an influential hub of American manufacturing, the stable was repurposed as a lumber mill, a working hub for hundreds of blue collar laborers and a vital cog in the city’s industrial machine.
In the wake of WWII, Pittsburgh’s stature as an industrial stronghold began to decline. Mills and factories closed. 2613 Smallman Street passed in and out of memory and history as more and more companies left Pittsburgh. Eventually, the stable re-emerged as a garage for vintage automobile storage for the film industry! Even that, however, wouldn’t last. When we discovered the location in 1992, years of disuse had left the building unkempt and unwanted. But where others remembered the building for its past, we saw better days in its future for Artistry.
The showroom we’ve built today maintains the beauty and character of the building’s original architecture. You can still see the broad, warm-toned wooden beams that powerful war horses nuzzled between all those years ago. Or peer up at the high ceilings that housed lumber workers during the height of Pittsburgh’s industrial might. Of course, we’ve made some changes of our own. We installed windows, to bring a warm, natural light into our space. And of course we filled it with the furniture we love, from international styles to rare domestic pieces.
Now, we can boast a showroom with architecture and beauty worthy of the furniture we sell.
If you’re interested in becoming a part of our Artistry community, stop by our store, join our mailing list, and check out all the beautiful furniture on display!
Artistry is in the news! Recently, the Trib covered our historic storefront here at Artistry. You can read more here.
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