Panther Walking Route - Stop 3: Cathedral Loading Dock

Stop 3: Cathedral Loading Dock

Why You're Here

For many, the Cathedral of Learning needs no introduction. The building is one of the city of Pittsburgh's and the University's most recognizable landmarks. The Cathedral is listed in the U.S. National Register of Historic Places (1973), and is a City of Pittsburgh designated landmark and a Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation historic landmark. The building was constructed between 1926-1937 in the Gothic Revival style.

The first class was held in the Cathedral of Learning in 1931. In 1937, the Stephen C. Foster Memorial Building, located adjacent to the Cathedral Loading Dock, was completed. Attached to the Cathedral, the building was dedicated to Stephen Foster, a famous Pittsburgh composer from 1829-1864 and is currently home to many Pittsburgh Stages productions. Check out the current season of Pittsburgh Stages productions!

Sustainability Initiatives

In 2015, upgrades were made to the elevators in the building, dramatically increasing energy efficiency.

In 2018, a rain garden was created near Heinz Chapel--the Heinz Memorial Chapel Garden. The area was designed to emulate formal European parterre gardens, which are often paired with the Gothic architecture found in both the Cathedral of Learning and Heinz Chapel. The garden features green space and benches for casual strolls or enjoying a peaceful moment.

Health and Wellness

Across the street from the Cathedral is Schenley Plaza--Oakland's green oasis, where students, faculty, and staff alike are often found during the warmer months hanging out, studying, having lunch, and more. Schenley Plaza often hosts events and programming, such as live music, fitness classes, and opportunities for family fun. Used as a parking lot for decade, the five-acre Schenley Plaza was restored to its intended use by the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy and its community partners in 2006.

The Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History and the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh also offer members of the Pitt community the opportunity to restore their mindful wellness as staples in central Oakland.

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