Cathedral of Learning

The Gothic Revival skyscraper that Pitt Chancellor John G. Bowman commissioned in 1921 inspired local industries to donate steel, cement, elevators, glass, plumbing, and heating elements. Thousands of adults today still have the certificates they received as school children upon contributing 10 cents to “’buy a brick” for the Cathedral.

In addition to its magnificent four-story Commons Room at ground level, the 42-story Cathedral houses classrooms (including the internationally renowned Nationality Classrooms) academic and administrative offices, libraries, computer labs, a theater, a print shop, and a food court.

In 2007, on the 70th anniversary of the Cathedral’s dedication, Pitt trustees approved a project to clean and restore the iconic building. Its interior has since been upgraded and its limestone exterior scrubbed of industrial grime.

A landmark listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the 535-foot-tall Cathedral is the second-tallest educational building in the world after the University of Moscow’s main building. In recent years, families of peregrine falcons have nested atop the Cathedral.