The Grand Staircase is meant to be the main focal point of the museum, but the unsympathetic addition of the Scaife Galleries, with a new main entrance, makes the staircase something of a backwater. It’s still grand, however, even when overrun by the International. The murals are by John White Alexander.
St. Paul’s Cathedral, the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh, in the Fifth Avenue monumental district. (The Oakland neighborhood has at least three cathedrals—Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, and Antiochian Orthodox—or four if you count the Cathedral of Learning.) A cathedral is the architectural equivalent of a coral reef; over the centuries, it accumulates a diverse ecosystem of art and history. St. Paul’s is only a little over a century old, but it’s beginning to show signs of the rich diversity that only time can bring.
The skyscraper boom of the 1980s gave us some remarkable buildings, among which PPG Place instantly secured a place as the locals’ favorite skyscraper. Old Pa Pitt has nothing to say against PPG Place, but if you asked him which of the 1980s skyscrapers was his favorite, he might (depending on the day, the hour, the lighting conditions, and so on) tell you it was this one. Like the best Art Deco skyscrapers (and indeed we find it in Wikipedia’s category “Art Deco architecture in Pennsylvania“), it is bold and subtle at the same time, playing with references to downtown Pittsburgh’s most famous landmarks.
Designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox, a firm that has since grown into quite a big deal in the world, this building fits extraordinarily well with its urban environment. It presents very different faces from different directions, and yet the whole is entirely harmonious.
EQT Plaza is just across the street from the Wood Street subway station.