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 Pennsylvanian.

A Brief History of the Pennsylvanian

The Pennsylvanian

The Pennsylvanian was first constructed in 1900 as Pittsburgh’s Union Station train station. The architecture is one of the most significant in the city, particularly the dome-shaped rotunda at the entrance. The building was designed by Chicago architect Daniel Burnham. At the street level the rotunda sheltered passengers as carriages turned to pick them up. The rotunda itself is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

In the late ’70s, the Penn Central Corporation accepted bids for the complex. With proposals to make it a federal office building, city hall, senior citizens home and keeping it a rail station, the building almost became the Convention Center.

Finally, in 1986, a $20 million restoration of Union Station began to convert its office tower into apartments. Now called The Pennsylvanian, the building opened to residents in 1988. The concourse is not open to the public anymore and is now the lobby of the building. The rotunda is no longer open to cars, as modern vehicles are too heavy and could risk caving in the roof of the parking garage below.

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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