What are the Tallest Buildings in Pittsburgh?

Pittsburgh Skyline

The second-largest city in Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh, has 125 buildings of at least 115 feet in height, 32 of which are over 300 feet. The tallest buildings in Pittsburgh are The U.S. Steel Tower, which is 841 feet high, the city’s tallest building and currently the fifth highest in the state, and the second-tallest building in Pittsburgh is the BNY Mellon Center, which stands at 725 feet.

Construction of the 13 story Carnegie Building in 1895 marks the beginning of Pittsburgh’s “modern” skyscraper era.  This was not the city’s highest structure though, as the Allegheny County Courthouse tower, which reached 249 feet, had been finished seven years earlier. The Carnegie Building was later demolished in 1952 to make room for an enlargement of a Kaufmann’s department store.

Between the late 1960s and late 1980s, Pittsburgh saw an increase in construction, with 11 of the city’s 20 tallest buildings being erected, including the U.S. Steel Tower, BNY Mellon Center, and PPG Place. As of January 2020 there were 10 completed skyscrapers in the city that soar at least 492 feet, making the skyline of Pittsburgh 14th tallest in the US and 90th globally, with two of the structures towering more than 700 feet.

In contrast to numerous other U.S. cities, comparatively few skyscrapers were completed in Pittsburgh during the initial two decades of the 21st century. Since 2000, merely two buildings over 300 feet have been finished, with The Three PNC Plaza completed in 2010, and the Tower at PNC Plaza opened in 2015.

So, what are the tallest buildings in Pittsburgh?  Here is a list of that very thing:

The Tallest Buildings in Pittsburgh

U.S. Steel Building

Buildings in Pittsburgh

Height: 841 ft.  Floors: 64  Completed: 1970  Location: 600 Grant Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15219 

The 5th tallest building in Pennsylvania and the 58th tallest in the United States, the U.S. Steel Building has been the highest in Pittsburgh since 1970, outranking all other structures in the state until the debut of One Liberty Place in Philadelphia in 1987. It was the tallest construction in Pittsburgh during the 1970s, and was named the USX Tower from 1986 to 2000. It is the corporate headquarters of both U.S. Steel and UPMC.

BNY Mellon Center

Buildings in Pittsburgh

Height: 725 ft.   Floors: 55   Completed: 1983  Location: 500 Grant Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15219

In the 1980s, Pittsburgh saw the construction of its 2nd tallest building, which was originally called One Mellon Center when it served as the main office for Mellon Financial.  Now known as the BNY Mellon Center, Bank of New York Mellon has the largest concentration of its employees in the the building.

One PPG Place

Buildings in Pittsburgh

Height: 635 ft.   Floors: 40   Completed: 1984  Location: 1 PPG Pl, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

PPG Industries, formerly known as the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company, launched the project to establish its headquarters in Pittsburgh, where it had been based since 1895. One PPG Place is the tallest building in the PPG complex, located right beside Market Square in Pittsburgh.

Fifth Avenue Place

Buildings in Pittsburgh

Height: 616 ft.   Floors: 32   Completed: 1988  Location: 120 Fifth Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Jenkins Empire Associates, a Highmark subsidiary, owns Fifth Avenue Place (formerly known as “Hillman Tower” and sometimes referred to as Highmark Place) in Pittsburgh. This building has been the company’s headquarters since it was constructed in 1988.

One Oxford Centre

Buildings in Pittsburgh

Height: 616 ft.   Floors: 45   Completed: 1983  Location: 301 Grant Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15219

In 1983, One Oxford Centre was finished, consisting of a main tower with 46 stories and rising to a height of 615 feet in Downtown Pittsburgh. It is named for the developer and previous owners, Oxford Development.

Gulf Tower

Gulf Tower in Pittsburgh Lights

Height: 582 ft.   Floors: 44   Completed: 1932  Location: 707 Grant St, Pittsburgh, PA 15219

In the 1930s, Pittsburgh saw the construction of its tallest building at the time, The Gulf Tower.  The name of the structure refers to its past as the headquarters of Gulf Oil, although it has been a multi-tenant building since 1982.

The Tower at PNC Plaza

Buildings in Pittsburgh

Height: 544 ft.   Floors: 33   Completed: 2015  Location: 300 Fifth Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

The PNC Financial Services Group’s corporate headquarters is a 33-story skyscraper located in Pittsburgh. It is known as the Tower at PNC Plaza and boasts around 800,000 square feet of space.

Cathedral of Learning

Buildings in Pittsburgh

Height: 535 ft.   Floors: 42   Completed: 1936  Location: 4200 Fifth Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15260 

The University of Pittsburgh constructed, in 1936, the second-highest academic building in the world, with Moscow State University’s main building being the first. Located in OaklandThe Cathedral of Learning is also the tallest structure in the city not located downtown.

525 William Penn Place

Buildings in Pittsburgh

Height: 520 ft.   Floors: 41   Completed: 1951  Location: 525 William Penn Pl, Pittsburgh, PA 15219

The 1950s in Pittsburgh saw the construction of 525 William Penn Place. It was the home of both U.S. Steel and Mellon Financial. The signage rights are held by the largest current occupant, Citizens Financial Group.

K&L Gates Center

Buildings in Pittsburgh

Height: 511 ft.   Floors: 39   Completed: 1968  Location: 210 Sixth Avenue. Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Initially referred to as One Oliver Plaza, it was later named after its primary occupants, FreeMarkets and Ariba. Currently, it serves as the corporate headquarters of K&L Gates.

Grant Building

Height: 485 ft.   Floors: 40   Completed: 1930  Location: 310 Grant Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Constructed with Belgian granite, limestone and brick, the Grant building, an Art Deco skyscraper, is famous for the radio tower on the top that spells PITTSBURGH in morse code with aviation lights.

Koppers Tower

Koppers Building Pittsburgh Lights

Height: 475 ft.  Floors: 34   Completed: 1929  Location: 436 Seventh Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Commissioned by Andrew Mellon and completed in 1929, the Koppers Tower was originally the home of the Koppers Corporation.  It is also of Art Deco construction, and the illuminated top floor is one of the stand out features of the Pittsburgh skyline.

Pittsburgh is home to many different styles of architecture in it’s neighborhoods and business districts.   The distinct silhouette of the Pittsburgh skyline is just one of the many things that makes Pittsburgh such a unique and beautiful city.


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