Tag: Skyscrapers

  • Cluster of Skyscrapers

  • Three PNC Plaza

    An architectural rendering of the first of the new wave of “green” skyscrapers in Pittsburgh. In spite of its modest dimensions, it was the largest building put up downtown in many years, and kicked off what will probably be remembered as the third downtown Renaissance.

  • May Building

    Built in 1909, this is a typical small Beaux-Arts skyscraper. Its base has been unsympathetically modernized, and perhaps at the same time it grew an ugly parasitic infestation in the rear; but the basic shape of the building is still intact.

  • Koppers and Gulf Towers

    Our two most splendid Art Deco skyscrapers, as seen from Crawford Street in the Hill. This view is made possible by the demolition of the old Civic Arena, and will disappear when the currently vacant lot is filled again.

  • Litchfield Towers, Oakland

    “Distinctive” is a good neutral term for these skyscraper dormitories that loom over the Oakland business district. The architect was Dahlen Ritchey, who designed three cylinders of unequal heights that he designated A, B, and C. Students quickly named them Ajax, Bab-O, and Comet.

  • U. S. Steel Tower

    U. S. Steel is actually moving out of this tower to a new building to be constructed in its shadow, where the Civic Arena used to be. But this will always be the building that says “steel” on the skyline, or (depending on your opinion of the architecture) the building that says 2001: A Space Odyssey. When it opened in 1971, it was the tallest building outside New York and Chicago. Though there are many taller buildings now, it is still record-breakingly massive. There is no other building with a roof that big that high. All taller skyscrapers are narrower at the top; the U. S. Steel Tower is an acre on each floor and an acre on the roof. There is a good bit more office space in here than in the Empire State Building.

    The architects were Harrison & Abramowitz, who also gave us the noticeably similar Westinghouse Building (now called 11 Stanwix) and the Alcoa Building (Regional Enterprise Tower for a while, but seems to be called something else now).

  • Two PNC Plaza

    Not one of our most famous or most distinguished buildings, but big: this is the thirteenth-tallest building in Pittsburgh—the twelfth-tallest downtown (leaving out the Cathedral of Learning in Oakland). It opened in 1976 as Equibank Plaza, and ended up in the hands of PNC after many mergers and acquisitions. Since PNC calls this “Two PNC Plaza,” its own current headquarters “One PNC Plaza,” the mixed-use skyscraper at the foot of Fifth Avenue “Three PNC Plaza,” and its new signature skyscraper “The Tower at PNC Plaza,” old Pa Pitt is forced to conclude that PNC thinks of the whole Golden Triangle as “PNC Plaza.”

  • Oliver Building

    Henry W. Oliver wanted to leave a mark on Pittsburgh, and he certainly did. Virgin Alley was renamed Oliver Avenue, and he planned this building to be the tallest in Pittsburgh. It was the tallest when it opened in 1910, although Oliver himself didn’t live to see it finished. As architect, he hired Daniel Burnham, the great Chicago beaux-arts master for whom Pittsburgh was practically a second home—there are more Burnham buildings here than anywhere else but Chicago.

  • Skyscrapers, Old and New

    The Tower at PNC Plaza under construction in March of 2015. In front of it, three of the Fourth Avenue towers: the Benedum-Trees Building (1905, architect Thomas H. Scott), the Investment Building (1927, architect John M. Donn), and the Arrott Building (1902, architect Frederick Osterling).

  • Lower Fifth Avenue

    Camera: Kodak EasyShare Z1485 IS.

    In the distance, the Tower at PNC Plaza looms over the next block.