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Obituary: George W. Anderson Jr. / Architect designed many area buildings

Wednesday, July 03, 2002

By Tom Barnes, Post-Gazette Staff Writer

George W. Anderson Jr., a longtime Pittsburgh architect who had an indelible impact on the region, died June 12 of a pulmonary embolism. He was 76.

Mr. Anderson, a Squirrel Hill resident, designed many apartments and buildings in the city and suburbs in a career that lasted more than 40 years. He did extensive architectural work for the University of Pittsburgh, the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh, governmental and nonprofit agencies, and private law firms.

He designed the Sharpsburg Towers high-rise housing for the elderly, converted an Odd Fellows Hall in Homestead to apartments, and designed apartment and townhouse developments in Rankin, Hazelwood, Duquesne, Port Vue, Wall and Mount Washington.

Mr. Anderson worked with famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright for several years in the 1950s and was a senior planner for the city of Pittsburgh in the early 1960s. Among his several projects at Pitt was the redesign of the Forbes residence halls.

In addition to design work, he managed some Section 8 apartments -- units where rents are federally subsidized for low-income tenants.

"He had a soft spot for the underdog," said his son, Marc of Carlsbad, Calif.

"Sometimes he would let people slide for months or even years on their rent. He could never evict anyone."

For the Catholic Diocese, he designed projects including the auditorium and offices at 111 Blvd. of the Allies, various parish halls and St. John Vianney Manor, a home for retired priests.

He also designed the renovated 12-story Century Building, Downtown; the headquarters for the Whale's Tale at 250 Shady Ave., and the Banksville pool and bathhouse on Crane Avenue.

Mr. Anderson served on Iwo Jima with the Marines in 1944-45. After World War II, he studied at schools of architecture at Syracuse University and the University of Oklahoma.

After working in Ashtabula, Ohio, in the 1950s and then for the city of Pittsburgh, he was in private practice in Pittsburgh from 1965 until his death.

From 1965-71, he was also an instructor at Pitt's Graduate School of Public and International Affairs and a guest lecturer in city planning and urban design at the University of Texas, Georgia Tech and other universities.

Besides his son, Mr. Anderson leaves a wife, Nancy H. Anderson of Squirrel Hill; a daughter, Lisa Anderson of Silver Spring, Md.; two sisters, Sylvia Price of Holmes Beach, Fla. and Adeline Manyo of Palm Desert, Calif; a brother, Leroy, of Houston, Texas, and two granddaughters.

A memorial funeral service is scheduled July 10 at 7:30 p.m. at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall in Oakland.

Correction/Clarification (Published July 4, 2002): In our story of July 3, 2002 about the late George W. Anderson Jr. of Squirrel Hill, we omitted his wife, Nancy H. Anderson, from the list of survivors.

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