As part of DOORS OPEN Pittsburgh, an annual two-day event that provides unprecedented access to buildings around the city, we are featuring 20 of the many buildings participating.

Today’s building is the Grant Building.

A Brief History of the Grant Building

Grant Building

The 40-story skyscraper located on Grant Street was officially opened on February 1, 1929. It cost $5.5 million back then (about $78.4 million today). The building, like many built downtown at the time, is in an Art Deco style. The Grant Building is famous for a radio antenna that rose approximately 125 feet and spelled Pittsburgh in Morse Code. It is rumored that on clear days, the message could be seen as far as 150 miles. A smaller version is still atop the building today (after being repaired in 2009). The tower on the roof also served as a broadcast antenna for KDKA. In 1934, the radio station moved into new studios on the Grant Building’s third floor.

Huntington National Bank has a branch inside the Grant Building. When McKnight Realty Partners bought the building a dozen years ago in 2006, the occupancy rate was below 65 percent. After listening to tenants, a fitness center was built, as was a newly renovated garage and modernized elevators. The improvements got the occupancy up to over 90 percent.

For tickets to this outstanding event, you can visit Doors Open Pittsburgh here.

Buildings already featured here on Pittsburgh Beautiful:

Byers Hall

Allegheny HYP Club

Boggs Manion : The Inn on the Mexican War Streets

Alphabet City Building

David L. Lawrence Convention Center

The Oliver Building

EQT Plaza

The Engineer’s Society

The Pennsylvanian

The Priory Hotel

First Presbyterian Church

William Penn Snyder House

Union Trust Building

Koppers Building

Dollar Bank on Fourth Avenue

Speakeasy at the Omni William Penn

The Grant Building

PPG Place

Penn Brewery

 

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