When I first came to the University of Pittsburgh, I couldn’t wait to spend time in The Cathedral of Learning. Not only was the gothic style reminiscent of Harry Potter’s days at Hogwarts, but the sheer height of the building intrigued me. Walking through, from class to class, allowed me the time to gaze up at the famous high ceilings, ornate with detail. It wasn’t until I was enrolled in a course that stood 23 floors up, where I would truly get the exhilarating and sometimes terrifying experience of seeing Oakland from a bird’s eye view.
The building itself was designed by Philadelphia architect Charles Zeller Klauder and was the tallest educational building at the time it was built in 1926 standing at 535 feet. It was designated a National Landmark by the National Park Service on November 3, 1975 as well as Historic Structure by the Pittsburgh City Council on February 22, 1977. To this day, the Cathedral continues to stand as a central landmark dedicated to learning.
Hayley Pontia is a student at The University of Pittsburgh who works as a part-time freelancer for Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Through this blog series, she will share her unique perspective on our historic building and the surrounding architecture of nearby buildings in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh.