Observatory Hill


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Summer 2017 Newsletter
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3505 Perrysville Avenue

3505 Perrysville Avenue

Riverview United Presbyterian Church

Watson Memorial Presbyterian Church got its start on Easter Sunday in 1891 as Watson Mission, organized by 45 people. During the next few months, the group erected a chapel on ground donated by Miss Watson. They held their first meeting in November 1891, and, in January 1892, the chapel was dedicated free of debt.

The group soon decided to organize the mission into a church—the Watson Memorial Presbyterian Church, recognized by the Presbytery of Allegheny on June 25, 1894. The church prospered, and the congregation had outgrown its chapel by 1897. They built a new stone church, and the little frame chapel was moved into Riverview Park on skids and rollers where it still exists as a favorite pavilion for picnics.

The church continued to grow and prosper, and the congregation built a larger building in 1907. The mortgage debt was liquidated. on April 2, 1924. This is the building we welcome you to today.

On October 16, 1977 the congregations of Watson Memorial, North Church, and Eighth Church voted to merge. The Watson Memorial property became the home of Riverview United Presbyterian Church. The congregation had the exterior sandblasted, installed an elevator installed, and hired Mellon Stuart Co. to renovate the church school rooms on the lower level. The architect was Charles B. McConnell, Jr. The dedication was held on July 10, 1983.

On Mother's Day in 1985, many members of the congregation helped to remove the pews and carpet, and new pews and carpeting were installed and dedicated on June 23, 1985. On October 25, 1987, our Tenth Anniversary, we broke ground for a new addition. This section, built by Peters Construction and designed by McConnell Associates, was completed in late fall of 1988 and dedicated on January 29, 1989. The new addition includes a pastor's study, lounge, conference room, library, offices, and file rooms on the second floor. The first floor includes food bank storage, a multi-purpose room, rest rooms, and larger kitchen facili ties.

At their regular monthly meeting on September 11, 2000 the Session approved a major project—the restoration of the stained glass windows in the main building. The project was estimated to cost $275,000, with two large mural windows in the front of the sanctuary requiring the most extensive work. Kelly Art Glass won the restoration contract, and the project began with the restoration of the side windows in the sanctuary. This project includes restoration of the Mary-Martha window in the mezzanine, now entirely restored, and windows adjacent to the sanctuary, not yet completed.

Riverview Church’s ministries have included opportunities for spiritual growth, Christian fellowship, and service to both its members and those in our surrounding community. The congregation continues to seek God's guidance as we reach out with His love and good news.