Skyline of Pittsburgh
Skyline of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh skyline 2015 from Mount Washington
Pittsburgh skyline 2015 from Mount Washington

Pittsburgh, the second-largest city in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania, is home to over 125 completed high-rise buildings of at least 115 feet (35 m),[1] 32 of which exceed 300 feet (91 m). The tallest building in Pittsburgh is the 64-story U.S. Steel Tower, which rises 841 feet (256 m), was completed in 1970,[2] and is also the fifth tallest building in Pennsylvania. The second-tallest skyscraper in the city is BNY Mellon Center, which rises 725 feet (221 m).[3]

The history of skyscrapers in Pittsburgh began with the 1895 completion of the Carnegie Building; this structure, rising 13 floors, was the first steel-framed skyscraper to be constructed in the city.[4][5] It never held the title of tallest structure in the city, however, as it did not surpass the 249-foot (76 m) tower of the Allegheny County Courthouse, which was completed in 1888.[6] The Carnegie Building was later demolished in 1952 to make way for an expansion of a Kaufmann's (now Macy's) department store.[7] Pittsburgh experienced a large building boom from the late 1960s to the late 1980s. During this time, 11 of the city's 20 tallest buildings were constructed, including the city's three tallest structures, the U.S. Steel Tower, BNY Mellon Center, and PPG Place. As of January 2020 the entire city had 10 completed skyscrapers that rise at least 492 feet (150 m), which ranks Pittsburgh's skyline 14th in the United States and 90th in the world, with two skyscrapers exceeding 700 feet (213 m).[8][A]

Unlike many other major American cities, Pittsburgh was the site of relatively few skyscraper construction projects in the first two decades of the 21st century. Only two skyscrapers over 300 feet (91 m) have been completed since 2000. The 361-foot (110 m) Three PNC Plaza was completed in 2010,[11] and the 545-foot (166 m) Tower at PNC Plaza was completed in 2015, making it the city's most recently completed skyscraper.[12] Overall, as of January, 2020, there were no high-rise buildings over 300 feet (91 m) under construction and one proposed for construction in Pittsburgh.[13]

Tallest buildings

This list ranks completed and topped out Pittsburgh skyscrapers that stand at least 300 feet (91 m) tall, based on standard height measurements. This includes spires and architectural details but does not include antenna masts. An equal sign (=) following a rank indicates the same height between two or more buildings. An asterisk (*) indicates that the building is still under construction, but has been topped out. The "Year" column indicates the year in which a building was completed.

  Was Pennsylvania's tallest building upon completion
Rank Name Image Height
ft (m)
Floors Year Notes
1 U.S. Steel Tower
841 (256) 64 1970 58th-tallest building in the United States, 5th tallest in Pennsylvania. Has been the tallest building in the city since 1970, and was the tallest building in the state from 1970 until the 1987 completion of One Liberty Place in Philadelphia. Tallest building constructed in Pittsburgh in the 1970s. Known as the USX Tower between 1986 and 2000.[2][14] Corporate headquarters of U.S. Steel[15] and UPMC.[16]
2 BNY Mellon Center
725 (221) 54 1983 Tallest building constructed in Pittsburgh in the 1980s. Formerly known as One Mellon Center during its period as corporate headquarters of Mellon Financial.[3][17] Bank of New York Mellon currently has its largest concentration of employees in the facility.[18]
3 One PPG Place
635 (194) 40 1984 Corporate headquarters of PPG Industries and co-headquarters of Kraft Heinz.[19][20][21]
4 Fifth Avenue Place
616 (188) 32 1987 Corporate headquarters of Highmark.[22][23][24]
5 One Oxford Centre
615 (187) 45 1983 Corporate headquarters of Oxford Development.[25][26][27]
6 Gulf Tower
582 (177) 44 1932 Tallest building constructed in Pittsburgh in the 1930s.[28][29] Name references structure's status as former headquarters of Gulf Oil, although the site has functioned as a multi-tenant building since 1982.[30]
7 Tower at PNC Plaza
544 (166) 33 2015 Part of PNC Financial Services corporate headquarters.[12][31][32]
8 Cathedral of Learning
535 (163) 42 1936 Second-tallest university building in the world, behind the main building of Moscow State University. Tallest building in the city located outside of Downtown. Landmark structure of the University of Pittsburgh.[33][34]
9 525 William Penn Place
520 (158) 41 1951 Tallest building constructed in Pittsburgh in the 1950s.[35][36] Originally housed corporate headquarters of both U.S. Steel and Mellon Financial. Signage rights belong to largest tenant Citizens Financial Group.[37]
10 K&L Gates Center
511 (156) 39 1968 Tallest building constructed in Pittsburgh in the 1960s. Originally known as One Oliver Plaza and formerly named for lead tenants FreeMarkets and later Ariba.[38][39] Corporate headquarters of K&L Gates.[40]
11 Grant Building
485 (148) 40 1930 Signage rights belong to largest tenant Huntington Bancshares.[41][42][43]
12 Koppers Tower
475 (145) 34 1929 Tallest building constructed in Pittsburgh in the 1920s.[44][45] Corporate headquarters of Koppers.[46]
13 Two PNC Plaza
445 (136) 34 1975 Part of PNC Financial Services corporate headquarters.[47][48]
14 EQT Plaza
430 (131) 32 1987 Corporate headquarters of EQT. Formerly named for CNG and Dominion Energy before these entities were acquired via merger.[49][50][51]
15 One PNC Plaza
424 (129) 30 1972 Part of PNC Financial Services corrporate headquarters.[52][53]
16 The Residences at the Alcoa Building
410 (125) 30 1953 First skyscraper with an all-aluminum facade. Formerly the corporate headquarters of Alcoa before its relocation to a low-rise structure. Then known as the Regional Enterprises Tower during a period of multi-tenant occupancy.[54][55] Converted to the city's tallest residential structure in 2016.[56]
17 Federated Tower
358 (109) 27 1982 Corporate headquarters of Federated Investors.[57][58]
18 11 Stanwix Street
355 (108) 23 1970 Former corporate headquarters of Westinghouse Electric Corporation.[59] Signage rights owned by largest tenant KeyBank.[60][61][62]
19 Oliver Building
347 (106) 25 1910 Tallest existing building constructed in Pittsburgh in the 1910s[63][64] In 2015, one-third of the structure's floor space was converted from office to hotel use.[65]
20= Three PNC Plaza
344 (105) 23 2010 Part of PNC Financial Services corporate headquarters. Signage rights owned by largest tenant Reed Smith.[11][66][67][68]
20= Three Gateway Center
344 (105) 24 1952 [69][70]
22 Centre City Tower
341 (104) 26 1971 Signage rights owned by largest tenant Huntington Bancshares.[71][72][73]
23 William S. Moorhead Federal Building
340 (104) 23 1964 [74][75]
24 Verizon Building
339 (103) 21 1931 [76][77]
25 Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Downtown
333 (101) 22 1959 Tallest all-hotel building in the city. Formerly operated as a Hilton property.[78][79]
26 Frick Building
330 (101) 20 1902 Tallest existing building constructed in Pittsburgh in the 1900s.[80][81]
27 Four Gateway Center
305 (93) 22 1960 [82][83]
28= City View
300 (91) 24 1964 Apartment structure. Formerly known as Washington Plaza.[84][85]
28= Commonwealth Building
300 (91) 21 1906 Conversion to apartment building began October 2019.[86][87][88]
28= The Carlyle
300 (91) 22 1906 Converted to condominiums in 2006.[89] While serving as an office building, was named for Union National Bank and, later, its successor Integra Bank.[90][91]

Tallest approved or proposed

Skyscrapers approved or proposed in Pittsburgh that are planned to be at least 300 feet (91 m) tall, and are not yet under construction:

Name Height
ft (m)
Floors Year*
(est.)
Status Notes
FNB Financial Center 418 (127) 26 2022 Proposed [92][93]
1501 Penn
Former Wholey Warehouse Building
340 (104) 23 - Approved [94] [95]

* Table entries with dashes (—) indicate that information regarding building dates of completion has not yet been released.

Timeline of tallest buildings

This lists buildings that once held the title of tallest building in Pittsburgh.

Name Image Street address Years as tallest Height
ft (m)
Floors Reference
Trinity Episcopal Cathedral
328 Sixth Avenue 1872–1888 200 (61) N/A [96]
Allegheny County Courthouse
436 Grant Street 1888–1902 249 (76) 5 [6]
Farmers Bank Building[B]
301 Fifth Avenue 1902–1910 344 (105) 25 [97]
Oliver Building
535 Smithfield Street 1910–1912 347 (106) 25 [63]
First National Bank Building[C]
511 Wood Street at Fifth Avenue 1912–1929 387 (118) 26 [98]
Koppers Tower
436 7th Avenue 1929-1930 475 (145) 34 [44]
Grant Building
330 Grant Street 1930–1932 485 (148) 40 [41]
Gulf Building
707 Grant Street 1932–1970 582 (177) 44 [28]
U.S. Steel Tower
600 Grant Street 1970–present 841 (256) 64 [2]

Tallest destroyed

This table lists buildings in Pittsburgh that were demolished and at one time stood at least 300 feet (91 m).

Name Height
feet (m)
Floors Year
Completed
Year
Destroyed
Notes
First National Bank Building 387 (118) 26 1912 1970 Demolished to make room for One PNC Plaza.[98][99]
Farmers Bank Building 344 (105) 25 1902 1997 Demolished to construct Lazarus department store.[97][100]

See also

Explanatory notes

  1. ^ The comparison uses the current standard criteria as a continuously habitable high-rise building that has over 40 floors, and is taller than approximately 492 feet (150 m).[9][10] See also Skyscraper for more details on how the definition has evolved over time.
  2. ^ This building was demolished in 1997 due to lack of tenants.
  3. ^ This building was demolished in 1970 to make room for One PNC Plaza.

References

Specific

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General

Further reading