Cathedral of Learning

4200 Fifth Ave Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Architecture Tour/Cathedral of Learning
VAMONDE Pittsburgh
Written By VAMONDE Pittsburgh

Cathedral of Learning

Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, Pittsburgh's Cathedral of Learning is an integral part of the University of Pittsburgh campus. The building itself is 535 feet tall with 32 stories and holds claim to some pretty impressive titles. It is the tallest educational building in the Western hemisphere and is also the second tallest university building in the world.

The Cathedral is designed in the Late Gothic Revival Style, known for its decorative patterns and lancet windows. In total, the building contains more than 2,000 rooms and windows. With a dramatic increase in students following World War I, Pitt looked to develop new spaces for students attending the university. The Cathedral was commissioned in 1921, and the first class in the building was held in 1931 with the building's formal dedication in June of 1937.

"The building was to be more than a schoolhouse; it was to be a symbol of the life that Pittsburgh through the years had wanted to live. It was to make visible something of the spirit that was in the hearts of pioneers as, long ago, they sat in their log cabins and thought by candlelight of the great city that would sometime spread out beyond their three rivers and that even they were starting to build." - Chancellor John Gabbert Bowman

Today, the building holds classes for students of Pitt and also houses the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Social Work departments. Fondly known as "Cathy" by Pitt students, the Cathedral also houses a popular destination for studying and taking pictures: a four-story Gothic study hall. Even if you're not a Pitt student, be sure to stop by to see some incredible architecture that will transport you to medieval Europe.

Cover image credit: Maria OIswalt on Unsplash

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