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Home Sweet Home

15. November 2017

Features, Agency Features, Seminary,

  —Mark Sampson

Homes come in many sizes and shapes. They protect us from the elements and are the places of great moments and memories of family life. Your home is likely a sanctuary of peace: it is a place where you can feel at ease and comfortable.

Since 1923 the building known as The Gables has been home for the Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Locals identified the structure by its various gable ends, which were quite common in Europe at that time. The former home of Durbin Horne of Horne’s Department Stores, a Western Pennsylvania institution for generations of Pittsburghers, The Gables was a famous landmark in Pittsburgh’s East End, along with the homes of many industrialists, such as George Westinghouse, Andrew Carnegie, and Henry Clay Frick.

With amazing foresight, the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America chose this elegant and well-built edifice to house its seminary. Several major renovations have taken place through the years. In 1961 a chapel was added to the building. Retired professor Dr. Wayne Spear once reflected to a class that he had worked on his car’s transmission in the area that is now the chapel. In 1970 a two-story library annex was added. Further work commemorating the seminary’s 175th anniversary in 1985 saw the addition of the Rare Books Room, and more renovations added classroom and office space in 1999. The last major work on campus was in 2008 when the Willson Center, across Penn Avenue from the main building, was ...

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