850 Ridge Avenue
Wheelchair Accessible: No
Restrooms Available: No
This French Renaissance Revival style building was designed by George Orth & Brother and built in 1911. George later became the first president of the newly formed Pittsburgh chapter of the American Institute of Architects; Alexander (Brother) was an accomplished landscape designer as well as an architect.
A brief history of the building and company will be provided. Guests will also be able to view some hidden features of the building.
The William Penn Snyder Mansion was at one time a single family home on what was known as Millionaire’s Row. The home, built in 1911, boasted a ballroom, early air conditioning, push-button elevator, central vacuum system, and an integral garage.
The home sat empty from about 1921 to 1930, when an insurance company purchased the building and began renovating. In 1948, an addition was added to make more space for offices. Architects were able to find the quarry from which the original stone was obtained. The Hummelstown Brownstone was used on the street-facing side of the addition to match and maintain the dignity of the original home.
In 1970, Babb, Inc., an insurance brokerage firm, purchased the building and moved their offices from Downtown Pittsburgh to the Northside. Since that time, Babb, Inc. has remained in the home using it as the headquarters for the company.