Cairnwood Mansion

This was the home of John Pitcairn, a Scottish-born American industrialist and religious philanthropist who lived from 1841 through 1916.  Pitcairn rose through the ranks of the Pennsylvania railroad industry, and played a significant role in the creation of the modern oil and natural gas industries. He went on to found the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company (now PPG Industries), an early industry innovator which quickly grew into the largest manufacturer of plate glass in the United States, and amassed one of the largest fortunes in the United States at the time.  Pitcairn was also the primary financial benefactor of the General Church of the New Jerusalem, evidenced by his funding of Bryn Athyn Cathedral which is located just next door to the mansion.  The Cairnwood mansion was designed by the firm of Carrère and Hastings and construction was completed in 1895.  The structure features 28 rooms and includes a chapel housed in the third story turret.  The house is modeled after a Beaux Arts style French country estate.  The property is now owned by Bryn Athyn College and serves as a special events facility and a prime spot for very high end weddings and corporate fundraising events.  The home was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2002.  

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Camera: Calumet CC-401 4x5 large format monorail view camera

Lens: Rodenstock Geronar 150mm F6.3 lens in a Copal 0 shutter.  I used a Cokin Neautral density filter in a 100mm Pro-Z holder to give the otherwise featureless sky, some definition. 

Film: Arista EDU 100 Ultra 4x5 B&W sheet film which I shot at 64 ISO

Settings: Shot at F32, 1/4 second shutter speed. Metered with a Pentax 1 degree spot meter.   

Development: Self Developed film in Kodak Xtol 1:2 in Paterson Universal Tank using the Taco Method.  9 minutes @ 20 degrees Celsius.  Tap water stop bath.  Ilford Rapid Fixer.  Photo-Flo.  Hung on shower curtain to dry on film clips. 

Scanning: Negative scanned with Epson V600 in two parts and merged in Photoshop CS5 since the V600 doesn't natively support scanning 4x5 sheet film and I haven't stepped up to the V700 yet.    Cropped to 16x10 in Lightroom 4.


I probably could have used some tilt with the front standard of the camera and perhaps some other movements to correct the lean of the tower and the vertical lines on the left side of the building.  Notes made for next time.