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  #1  
Old Posted Dec 23, 2012, 11:26 PM
geomorph geomorph is offline
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Pittsburgh - Downtown - Modern Era

Pittsburgh's Downtown is a compact area of the city formed by the confluence of the Allegheny River with the Monongahela River to form the Ohio River. This peninsula is constrained on the land side by the steeper elevations of the Hill District, although thin neighborhoods (Strip District and Bluff) stretch along the riverfronts at lower elevations similar to Downtown. 11 bridges (1 is rail-only) link the neighborhood to the North Shore and the South Side across the rivers. The triangle of mostly flat land composing Downtown is fairly densely developed, and organized with a primary grid street pattern that meets a smaller grid street pattern at an approximately 45-degree angle along a major street, Liberty Avenue. The city was laid out in 1784, but little of the 18th century development remains; instead, the majority of development is an impressive array of late 19th to early 20th century buildings, combined with a considerable amount of mid-to-late 20th century highrises. Recent developments of the past decade tend to be low-to midrises with a lesser impact on the skyline, but undoubtedly there will be much larger contemporary highrises for this lively city with a bright future. This thread will focus on the developments from the mid-20th century to the present.

Downtown skyline views from Mount Washington:
Mount Washington is a bluff running along the South shore of the Monongahela River; one way to reach it from the shore is by riding one of two historic funiculars, the Duquesne Incline from 1877 (pictured) or the Monongahela Incline from 1870. The views from here look North to Downtown.





















Downtown views from Smithfield Street Bridge (1883):







Point State Park:
This 36-acre park is at the tip of Downtown where the two rivers meet. The park was first opened in 1974, an urban redevelopment effort to replace a mess of industrial and transportation facilities that was in planning for about 35 years! Its recent refurbishment was about half-finished when I visited (a large round fountain at the point was still being refurbished).















Mid-century Highrises:
Downtown features a notable collection of International style skyscrapers.

AT&T Building, 1969:





FHL Bank Building (built as H.K. Porter Building), 1958:







Regional Enterprise Tower (built as ALCOA Building), 1953:











United Steelworkers Building (built as IBM Building), 1963:









Gateway Area:
A large grouping of mid-century highrises is located adjacent to Point State Park, which was developed concurrently as an urban renewal area. In this view, the United Steelworkers Building is on the left, 11 Stanwix (built as Westinghouse Building, 1970) is in the center, and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (year ?) is on the right.



Gateway Area:
In this view, the State Office Building (1955) is on the left, Two Gateway Center and Three Gateway Center are the seemingly identical towers at left center, Four Gateway Center is at right center, and the Verizon Building is on the right.



Verizon Building (built as Bell Telephone Building), 1957:



Four Gateway Center, 1960:







Gateway Center, 1952:
Three towers (one a little taller than the other two, but otherwise identical) compose this development.





Fort Duquesne and Sixth Street Garage, 1966 (renovated 2001):



U.S. Steel Tower, 1970:
The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's (UPMC) sign on the top of this tower is a more recent addition, added since their administrative headquarters occupy the top 5 floors.

















1980's Highrises:

BNY Mellon Center (built as One Mellon Center), 1983:



One Oxford Center, 1983:



Westin Convention Center Hotel, 1986:



EQT Plaza (built as CNG Tower), 1987:



Fifth Avenue Place (built as Hillman Tower), 1988:



PPG Place, 1984:
One PPG Place is the name of the main tower, but a collection of 5 shorter buildings of similar design and materials clusters around a square with a fountain in this complex designed by Philip Johnson and John Burgee.

















Market Square:
Just a block away from PPG Place's square is this historic square, recently renovated, that has a view of a wide variety of Downtown's buildings.







Recent Developments:

Three PNC Plaza, 2009:
This highrise is a major new sight seen from Market Square and one of only a few recent highrises.





BNY Mellon Client Service Center, 2000:



PNC Firstside Center (2000) and Park (2007):













First Avenue T Station and Garage, 2001:
Downtown has 4 light rail stations, 3 of which are subterranean; this is the only elevated one.







August Wilson Center for African American Culture, 2009:





Consol Energy Center, 2010:
This arena is home to professional sports teams for ice hockey and arena football.











Greyhound Bus Station and Garage, 2008:



Piatt Place (built as Lazarus Department Store), 1998:
This mixed-use development of underground parking, retail, office, and condos is a 2010 renovation of a failed department store.



Gateway T Station, 2009:















David L. Lawrence Convention Center, 2003:
This large center, designed by Rafael Vinoly, sits on the shore of the Allegheny River and replaced an older one finished in 1981. The building forms a bridge over Tenth Street, which is divided for this block by a sloping stepped water feature with a path running through it (it was turned off when I visited).











All photographs taken in May 2012 by geomorph.

See my other Pittsburgh threads:

Downtown - Historic Era : http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=203104

Oakland - Part 1 : http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/show...01#post5951301

Oakland - Part 2 : http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=203218

North Shore : http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=201890

Last edited by geomorph; Dec 30, 2012 at 10:14 PM.
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  #2  
Old Posted Dec 24, 2012, 9:19 AM
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LMich LMich is offline
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Very much enjoyed the close-up shots of the architecture since most shots of the city seem to focus on showing off the topography and vistas.

I'd always wished that Point State Park had a large monument at its tipped as opposed to the fountain, though.
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  #3  
Old Posted Dec 24, 2012, 9:32 AM
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One of America's great cities.
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Old Posted Dec 24, 2012, 2:56 PM
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A very impressive city. It's like a mini Manhattan. Not so mini, though, I suppose.
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Old Posted Dec 24, 2012, 3:29 PM
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Very nice and interesting info about Pittsburgh´s buildings. Thanks for sharing.

Pittsburgh is a beautiful city!

Merry Christmas and greetings from Madrid, Spain!
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  #6  
Old Posted Dec 24, 2012, 4:35 PM
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Fantastic thread.
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  #7  
Old Posted Dec 24, 2012, 7:32 PM
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great survey here. i don't think i've ever noticed the at&t building before. i've always loved the alcoa and us steelworkers buildings.

and i will loathe that abominable UPMC sign on the us steel building until they take it down. it's AWFUL.
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Old Posted Dec 25, 2012, 4:59 PM
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Very very nice.
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Old Posted Dec 25, 2012, 11:06 PM
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Im always impressed by Pittsburgh! Great set!
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  #10  
Old Posted Dec 28, 2012, 12:32 AM
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Great job!! Thanks for showing off our wonderful city to the rest of the world
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  #11  
Old Posted Dec 28, 2012, 12:55 AM
detroitmetro101 detroitmetro101 is offline
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is it just me or does it seem like pittsburgh resembles chongqing a bit; in geography more so than in anything else.
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  #12  
Old Posted Dec 28, 2012, 1:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by detroitmetro101 View Post
is it just me or does it seem like pittsburgh resembles chongqing a bit; in geography more so than in anything else.
You are right. What you have noticed is that both cities are built at a confluence. The triangle shape made where two major rivers combine.
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Old Posted Dec 30, 2012, 9:19 PM
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Nice pictures. I appreciate the background information. There's more modernist architecture there than I thought.
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  #14  
Old Posted Jan 3, 2013, 11:54 PM
ShooFlyPie ShooFlyPie is offline
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I like Gensler's PNC 3 highrise. I like the modern feel between interior and exterior. The way you can see the structure through a facade that just feels like a light curtain exposing both interior and exterior to each other. The daylighting contribution must be nice in that highrise. I hate sitting under fluorescent lighting all day in my office.
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Old Posted Jan 8, 2013, 4:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by giovanni sasso View Post
great survey here. i don't think i've ever noticed the at&t building before. i've always loved the alcoa and us steelworkers buildings.

and i will loathe that abominable UPMC sign on the us steel building until they take it down. it's AWFUL.
Dude, I could not agree with you more! I lament the fact they put that hideous thing up there.

Still tho, in regard to this thread and the Pittsburgh thread about classical architecture, you make me proud of the fact that I was born and raised there! I love that city!
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Old Posted Jan 18, 2013, 4:52 AM
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Lots going on and thanks for the information.
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  #17  
Old Posted Jan 18, 2013, 9:04 PM
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Great tour. As much as I love Pittsburgh's historic buildings, I've also always been impressed with the modern buildings too, except Alleghany Center and the building that used to be called National Steel Center (which ironically had a concrete facade).

With Seattle getting rid of their Alaskan Way viaduct, I was wondering if anyone has ever proposed redoing the freeway viaduct on the north side of the Mon River through downtown? There are some incredible buildings along that segment and it'd be awesome to open it up as an esplanade. (though I suppose money is abit shorter in PA than Washington state).
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  #18  
Old Posted Jan 19, 2013, 5:48 AM
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Great information. Thank you.
Pittsburgh has got a marvelous Downtown.
By the way. PPG is one of our major principals as being a forwarding agent in Rotterdam for them.
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