The First School In The Sky

At first glance, you may think that this really tall “spiderman (late gothic) style” building is probably just another office tower dressed in Indiana limestone. In fact, this building has always been a school filled with classrooms ever since it was built around 1920s. Located at the University of Pittsburgh, the Cathedral of Learning was the first school in a skyscraper and it is still the tallest school in the western hemisphere.

The most interesting thing about this Cathedral of Learning is the thinking behind the creation of this new  “spatial specie”. This building was basically a triple hybrid of a skyscraper, a cathedral and a university. The function of education had taken on the form of a tall tower and styled itself in the fashion of a church.This particular mix-and-match to produce the tallest school in the 20s must have been a very extreme idea at that time. But it did save a lot of greens around the building. It has been the most visible symbol for the university and the “cathedral” continues to call for people to congregate and learn.

4200 5th ave, pittsburgh – 3:34pm, jun 12, 2010


5 thoughts on “The First School In The Sky

  1. michaeljohn32 says:

    It strikes a very interesting balance between imposing (in a classical grandeur-sense) and inviting! Neat!

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