Working for the firm of Rutan and Russell, John T. Comès designed the Saint Augustine Roman Catholic Church for the German community in the Lawrenceville section of the City of Pittsburgh in 1899. In 1902, working for the firm of Beezer and Beezer, John T. Comès designed the Saint John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church for the Slovak community in the Lawrenceville section of the City of Pittsburgh. By the end of 1902, he opened his own office and had begun to design churches under his own firm. By the time of his death in April 1922, Comès had designed over eighty churches and parochial buildings. Many of his commissions were finished by his partners William Perry and Leo McMullen.
He is credited as the catalyst behind the founding of the Pittsburgh Architectural Club in 1896. The PAC incorporated in 1901. From 1900 until 1872, the PAC published the trade journal The Charette. In addition, from 1907 until 1916, the PAC sponsored an annual architecture exposition at the Carnegie Institute in the Oakland section of the City of Pittsburgh. This exhibit highlighted art, decoration, and architectural sketches and elevations for seasoned and up-and-coming architects and decorators throughout the United States.
Pittsburgh Architectural Club is a forum that promotes architecture and the interaction of architects, the building trades, and the allied arts in Pittsburgh and beyond. We are looking for a vibrant, collaborative club that moves beyond the profession, open to all interested in architecture, connected to the community. We seek a working social club to share ideas, to educate members, and to disseminate Pittsburgh's architectural scene to a wider public locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally.
In 1908, John T. Comès applied for and was accepted as a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) headquartered in Washington, D.C. For a time, he was the president of the Pittsburgh Chapter. He remained a member of the AIA until his decease. In 1923, he was awarded, posthumously, fellowship into the AIA (FAIA).
Will Perry was born on July 25, 1891 in Butte, Montana to William H. and Annie Perry.
He married Cordelia A. Plympton on June 24, 1915 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Cordelia, born 1889, was the daughter of Lucian F. Plympton who was a noted architect from Cincinnati, Ohio. William and Cordelia purchased a home on Rutherford Avenue in Dormont Borough, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania where they lived until their deaths. The Perrys had one child, Melrose Cordelia Perry (Barnes).
Cordelia A. Perry died on December 2, 1962.
His chief work while in the architectural firm of John T. Comès, later Comès, Perry & McMullen, was to execute the design of Blessed Sacrament Cathedral in Greensburg, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania; Saint Michael the Archangel Church, Munhall Borough, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania; Saint Gregory the Great Church, Chicago, Illinois; Saint Bernard Church, Mount Lebanon, Mount Lebanon Borough, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania; and the Our Lady, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral in Toledo, Lucas County, Ohio. About a dozen churches throughout Ohio claim Perry to be their architect, many of these churches lack research and are yet unsubstantiated.
Perry was a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), 1924 - 1926. William R. Perry died at his home in Dormont on February 21, 1968 and is interred next to his wife in the Mount Lebanon Cemetery in Mount Lebanon Borough, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.
Leo McMullen was born on April 14, 1881 in Saint Augustine, Cambria County, Pennsylvania near Loretto, Pennsylvania to John Chrysostom McMullen and Anna Marie Behe.
He completed a parochial education from the Saint Andrew Parish, Allegheny City, in 1894. He graduated high school at Holy Ghost College (now Duquesne University) in 1899 and received his master's degree in architecture from the Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie-Mellon University) in 1912. In 1932, he received the degree Doctor of Laws honoris causa from Saint Vincent College, Latrobe, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.
Leo married Mathilda Sophia Keiser on January 4, 1905. Matilda S. Keiser was born on December 18, 1882 in Allegheny City, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. They purchased a home on Jackson Street, Bellevue Borough, where they lived their lives and raised their children. They had four children: John Franz McMullen (Bertha Chatlos), Gertrude Mary Margaret McMullen (Arthur James McGuire), Edward Charles McMullen (Bernice Gillespie), Anna Marie McMullen (William Larkin Sheehan) and Leo Andrew McMullen, Jr. (Dorothy Kopp). His wife Mathilda died on February 28, 1946.
McMullen first worked in the office of Olaf M. Topp from 1902 to 1911. He then embarked on six months of travel and study in Europe. On his return to the United States, he accepted a position as draughtsman at Carnegie Tech and worked on several buildings there, principally the School of Fine Arts. In 1914, he returned to the office of O.M. Topp as an associate architect. In 1917, he accepted a position with John T. Comès as a designer. In 1921, McMullen was elevated to partner in the firm Comès, Perry and McMullen and continued in the firm until its dissolution in 1929. He went into his own practice after that until 1946 when his son Edward joined him under the firm name Leo A. McMullen and Edward C. McMullen, associate architects.
His chief work while in the architectural firm of John T. Comès was to execute the design of the Assumption of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Bellevue, Pennsylvania.
McMullen was a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) 1924 - 1926; 1944 - 1963. He died on December 1, 1963 at his home in Bellevue Borough, (Pittsburgh), Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. He is interred next to his wife at North Side Catholic Cemetery in Ross Township, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.