719 Brighton Road was known as Holmes Hall for Boys between 1923 and 1954. Holmes Hall for Boys was established by the will of James Holmes’ cousin Jane Holmes.
In her will, dated December 31, 1883 and recorded in Will Book Volume 28, Page 570, Jame Holmes left $50,000 for the founding of a Christian home for working Protestant boys to age 21. The home was to be known as the Protestant Home for Boys and was later renamed Holmes Hall for Boys.
After its founding, the Protestant Home for Boys was located at 33 Anderson Street (later 201 Anderson Street), at the corner of Robinson Street in Allegheny. The Home was located on Anderson Street between about 1886 and 1910, when it moved to 330 East North Avenue.
The Protestant Home for Boys was renamed Holmes Hall for Boys in about 1915. Holmes Hall for Boys remained at 330 East North Avenue until about 1918, when it was moved to 204 East Stockton Avenue. Holmes Hall for Boys moved to 203 Anderson Street in about 1920 and remained there until 1923, when it relocated to 719 Irwin Avenue.
Biographical materials indicate that Jane Holmes was a cousin of James Holmes, who had a sister also named Jane Holmes.
The Jane Holmes who founded the Protestant Home for Boys was known as “Pittsburgh Jane” Holmes in order to distinguish her from her cousin, “Baltimore Jane” Holmes. Both women were well-known for their philanthropic activities.
City directories of the 1880’s indicate that “Pittsburgh Jane” Holmes lived at 109 Penn Avenue in Downtown Pittsburgh.