Purchases of our 2024 PA Calendar and PA Amusement Parks Book

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Cathedral of Learning, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA

The most distinctive, unique, and gorgeous building that I have ever set my eyes upon in all my travels, just happens to be in the same neighborhood that we live in, Oakland. The University of Pittsburgh's Cathedral of Learning is the ultimate building in my humble opinion. Granted, I may be biased as both Brit and I are Pitt alums, but these sentiments about the building are echoed all over the place. Built in Gothic style, this skyscraper is absolutely tremendous. One of my favorite times to check out this magnificent building is in the middle of a snowstorm. 
The Stephen Foster Memorial on the left-hand side of this picture is a monument and theater, dedicated to the famed musician that brought us over 200 songs like "Camptown Races" and "Oh, Susana." The earliest form of "sampling" was done with his work, with the sheet music distributed around the country, and people playing them on pianos and coming up with their own lyrics in these days prior to recorded music. He was born and raised in nearby Lawrenceville prior to him moving to Cincinnati in his adult life. The memorial was designed by Charles Klauder, the same Philadelphian architect that designed the Cathedral of Learning Tower, and the beautiful Heinz Chapel.

The Cathedral of Learning is 535 feet tall and 42 stories tall. It was built from 1926 to 1934. Construction faced major delays due to the onset of the Great Depression in 1929. To raise funds for the completion of the building, donations were asked for from groups around the city. With Pittsburgh being the ultimate melting pot of different nationalities, many different ethnic groups donated to get the building completed. As a thank you to these communities, the University of Pittsburgh decorated rooms on the first three floors of the building to represent classrooms within each individual nationality. There are now 30 different classrooms dedicated to the cultures of some of the many ethnicities throughout the Pittsburgh region.
The old Log Cabin is a landmark that is meant to represent the start of the University of Pittsburgh in downtown Pittsburgh. It was purchased in the 1960s and reassembled on the grounds of the University of Pittsburgh. It was purchased at auction for only 1000 dollars in Armstrong County, roughly 50 miles from the city. The building was paneled over in its previous location and it was restored when it was reconstructed at Pitt.
When the student workers at Pitt work to entice potential students on tours around the campus, without fail they mention the building as being "Hogwarts" from the Harry Potter series. Not that far of a conclusion to jump. This building is truly nothing short of spectacular.
Heading up to the 36th floor. The windy snow does not lend well to taking decent pictures out of the wndows. This is the view looking north over most of the Pitt Campus and the Soldiers and Sailors Monument on the left side of the picture. 
The view looking South. On the immediate left you can see the Carnegie Library, Music Hall, and the Museums of Art and Natural History, On the right hand side of the street in the center of the photo you can see Frick Fine Arts and Schenley Plaza. On the middle across the photo, the area of darkness, you can see Panther Hollow and in the distance on the left you can just barely make out Carnegie Mellon University and Schenley Park, and on the far right is Phipps Conservatory. Oakland is truly the cultural center of Pittsburgh. A haven of academia, old architectural beauty, and culture. 
Through and through, attention was paid to every architectural detail within this building. Even after nearly a decade of being a resident in this neighborhood, and entering this building probably thousands of times, I never fail to notice a different detail within this building. So much character, so many different beautiful details to this building. This is certainly one of the jewels of Pennsylvania and Pittsburgh and you need to explore this building. Between the nationality rooms, the scenic views of Pittsburgh, the beautiful architecture, and more, this building is a complete masterpiece and easily the most stunning building that I have ever laid my eyes upon. If you end up in Pittsburgh in October, the Polish and Slovak festivals, held in the spectacular Commons Room on the first floor, are the ultimate events held in Pittsburgh with pierogies galore, ethnic dancing and music, and crafts. Within a five minute walk of the Cathedral are the best cultural institutions the city of Pittsburgh has to offer, the Soldiers and Sailors Monument, the Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History, and Phipps Conservatory

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