Welcome! The following site documents the history of the buildings in Pittsburgh's modern day skyline.
This website has been created as a project for my Pennsylvania History course at
Slippery Rock University. The main goal of this page
is to give people a sense of history behind the beautiful buildings that now occupy Pittsburgh's skyline. Special
focus will be shown to Pittsburgh's Renaissances I and II, and a yet to be named modern third renaissance. Older buildings
will also be looked at such as those on 4th avenue and The Allegheny County Courthouse. On the left is a list of
all the buildings on this page. Simply click on the building you wish to view to see photos and information
about it. Below is a brief history of the two Pittsburgh renaissances.
The first renaissance known was "The Pittsburgh Renaissance Project" (imagine that) was
led by mayor David L. Lawrence. Lawrence grew up in the Pittsburgh neighborhood known as "The Point". This was
located where modern day Point State Park is. The point during Lawrence childhood was a very run down part of Pittsburgh
with abandoned steel mills and old industry. The neighborhood was a mess. In 1945, Lawrence was elected mayor of Pittsburgh
and with the help of the famous banker Richard King Mellon they began to clean up a city that had such nicknames
as "The Smokey City" and "Hell with the Lid Off". During this renaissance phase many construction projects took place.
This is the time period when Point State Park, Gateway Center, The Civic Arena (now Mellon Arena), The Greater Pittsburgh Municipal Airport (demolished),
The Penn-Lincoln Highway (now I-376), and eventually ending with The U.S. Steel Tower and Three Rivers Stadium (demolished).
In 1976, with the election of Mayor Richard S. Caliguiri, Pittsburgh's Renaissance II began. Caliguiri renewed the public-private partnership
which allowed for private funding of development through the public authority. While he was mayor from 1977 to 1988 Pittsburgh
experienced some of it's best corporate growth in its history. Some of the buildings that were made during the renaissance II
period were The CNG Tower (now Dominion Tower), 5th Avenue Place, PPG Place, One Oxford Centre, One Mellon Tower, The Federated Tower,
The Westin Hotel, and the original David L. Lawrence Convention Center (later demolished re-built). In addition to these buildings, Pittsburgh's subway began
operating in 1985. On October 1, 1987, Richard Caliguiri announces he has amlyoidosis which he will soon after die from on May 6, 1988.
On January 3, 1994, Tom Murphy becomes Mayor of Pittsburgh. During Murphy's term as mayor in Pittsburgh several
new building projects are started. Some people believe that this will be named Pittsburgh's third renaissance.
Some of the building projects include Heinz Field, PNC Park, The reconstruction of the David L. Lawrence Convention
Center and its new hotel, and improvements to Pittsburgh's Light-Rail Train system. Also under Mayor Murphy are plans
to build new commercial and residential buildings along the 5th and Forbes corridor. A beautiful new hotel is
planned between PPG Place and 5th Avenue on the northern tip of Market Square.
Sources and Copyright
All images, text, and code (c) copyright 2001-2003
The following sources were used to obtain
Astorino. "Richard S. Caliguiri Statue."
Barnes, Tom. The Interactive Edtion of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
08 March 2002. "Task force unveils new plan for Pittsburgh's Fifth/Forbes."
Miller, Randall M., and Pencak, William, ed., Pennsylvania: A History of the
Commonwealth. University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State University
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The Interactive Edtion of The Pittsburgh
Post-Gazette. "A Pittsburgh Century."
WQED. "Key Events in Pittsburgh History."