Today my friend J(of Pittsburgh, not Omaha) and I went to the Tin Front Cafe for lunch. We heard about the St. Joseph the Worker statue having been removed from the nearby church. Judith Tener told us where to find him in a parking lot and so after lunch we wound around one- way streets and asked a few people for directions but eventually we climbed up hills and back and found this beautiful statue waiting for us. He was striking. There were the huge stone barrels pouring molten steel out onto the world. Flames carved in stone. See detail below on image three.
A big crane erected this statue (which was blessed in Italy by Pope VI) on St. Michael the Archangel Church in 1966 in Homestead. Many Slovaks helped build this church.
When the church closed, the diocese took the statue down in 2010.
People missed looking at St. Joseph high above the buildings, overlooking Homestead and the Monongahela River.
A memorial to the hard workers of the mills in this town. He was loaded on a flatbed and taken to St Anne’s now 3 combined parishes to form St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish. Read the names of the people etched in bricks- Vehec, Tarasevich, Godleski, Milchalk, Straka, Pavlik, Sklencar, Sayko to name a few.
The statue was designed by sculptor Frank Vittor (b. 1888 in Italy) who also made the Honus Wagner Statue now at PNC Park. His story on the link if you click on his name tells how he came to work with Stanford White and then a week later White was murdered…but that is not the main idea of today’s post and I am getting off track. It was just incredibly interesting. Vittor taught at Cooper Union in NYC and also at Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University)
Here are two views of the giant St Joseph the Worker statue. And a detail shot, too.
There are plans in the works to get him relocated in a place of honor but will keep you posted when this happens.
There is an historical marker honoring sculptor Frank Vittor by the Columbus Statue in Schenley Park, Pittsburgh