Doors Open Pittsburgh: Oliver Building

Oliver Building

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 Oliver Building/Embassy Suites.

Oliver Building
Photo by Rob Larson

A Brief History of the Oliver Building/Embassy Suites

The Henry W. Oliver Building is a 25-story skyscraper located at Smithfield St. in downtown Pittsburgh. The building was designed by Daniel Burnham and built in 1908 through 1910. It is made of a stone and terra cotta facade over a steel frame. Its estimated cost today would be $95.3 million.

Oliver planned the building as a way to merge his steel and coal operations and to leave his mark. Oliver’s site of the structure was at one point the original founding home of Mellon Financial. 
The building was bought seven years ago for $12.5 million by architect Daniel Burnham. It was previously the headquarters of K&L Gates when it expanded into an international law firm. When they left in 2007, 275,000 sq. feet was open and the Oliver Building was only 40% full for a number of years. McKnight Realty Partners ended up seeing the vacancy as a huge opportunity.

The realty firm ended up subdividing the building and developing around 10 floors as office space and another 10 floors as an Embassy Suites hotel. Investment in the property is set to exceed over $80 million. McKnight is currently building a 600-car garage as well, which will include thousands more feet in retail space (where Saks used to be).

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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