U.S. Steel Tower

U.S. Steel Tower

Infobox Skyscraper
building_name = U.S. Steel Tower

caption = The U.S. Steel Tower in downtown Pittsburgh.
location = 600 Grant Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
coordinates =
groundbreaking =
constructed = 1970
opening =
use = office building
roof = convert|841|ft|m|0|abbr=on
top_floor =
floor_count = 64
elevator_count =
cost =
floor_area =
architect = Harrison, Abramovitz & Abbe
engineer = Leslie E. Robertson & Associates, R.L.L.P.
contractor =
developer =
owner =
management =

U.S. Steel Tower, also known as the Steel Building, is the tallest skyscraper in Downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and the 35th tallest in the United States. Completed in 1970, the tower stretches 64 floors to convert|841|ft|m|0|abbr=on and has convert|2300000|sqft|m2 of leasable space. Its original name was the U.S. Steel Building for many years before it was changed to USX Tower in 1988. The name was finally changed back to the U.S. Steel Tower in January 2002 to reflect U.S. Steel's new corporate identity (USX was the 1990s combined oil/energy/steel conglomerate). Although no longer the owner of the building, U.S. Steel is the largest tenant, occupying more than a half million square feet (46,452 m²) of office space. The building is located at 600 Grant Street, zip code 15222.


In the planning stages, U.S. Steel executives considered making the building the world's tallest, but settled on 840-ft (256-m) and the distinction of being the tallest building outside New York City and Chicago. However, it eventually lost even that distinction to newer buildings erected across the United States. Prior to 1970, the tallest building in Pittsburgh, at 44 stories, was the Gulf Building. Now an office complex known as Gulf Tower, it was the original headquarters of the Gulf Oil Corporation.

The U.S. Steel Tower is architecturally famous for its triangular shape with indented corners. The building also made history by being the first to use liquid-fireproofed columns. U.S. Steel deliberately placed the massive steel columns on the exterior of the building to showcase a new [in 1970] product called Cor-ten steel. Cor-ten resists the corrosive effects of rain, snow, ice, fog, and other meteorological conditions by forming a coating of dark brown oxidation over the metal, which inhibits deeper penetration and negates the need for painting and costly rust-prevention maintenance over the years. This metal is commonly seen in bridge supports, guard rails, and other outside structures. The Cor-Ten steel for the building was made at the former U.S. Steel plant in nearby Homestead.

Rockwell International Corporation, which had its headquarters in the building until the mid 1980s, displayed a large model of the Rockwell-designed NASA Space Shuttle in the building's lobby until it moved to other facilities.

The tower contains over 44,000 U.S. tons (40,000 metric tons) of structural steel, and almost an acre of office space per floor. The tower also includes retail and restaurant space, parking for 600 cars and features a rooftop heliport.


Internal systems

The U.S. Steel Tower features several redundant systems that have allowed the building to remain free of unplanned service interruptions since it was constructed. It is fed by two redundant water mains, one from Grant Street and one from 7th Avenue. Both are fully maintained and tested annually. There is a fail over system in place, and either main will automatically meet the water demands of the building in the event of a failure. In addition, the building has four redundant water pumps, any one of which can meet the needs of the entire building. The building also has four redundant electrical feeds, which come from several substations. Finally, the building has fully redundant heating and cooling systems, including two boilers and two air chillers. The heating boilers can burn either natural gas or #2 fuel oil. There is no fail over, but manual adjustment of the system in the event of a supply shortage takes only minutes.


Recently, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center bought five floors of the tower. To go along with this purchase, the company also purchased new signs reading "UPMC" for the top of each three sides of the building. The Pittsburgh Planning Commission approved the convert|20|ft|m|sing=on signs [ [http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07178/797432-53.stm "Planning board OKs UPMC logo atop U.S. Steel Tower"] Pittsburgh Post Gazette, retrieved 6 July 2007] , and the majority of the letters were installed via helicopter lift on 7 June and 8 June, 2008.

Nativity scene

Each year, a famous "creche" or nativity scene goes on display in the building's courtyard. It is larger than the original nativity, and is the only creche nationally to be authorized by the Vatican.

Fictional portrayals

The U.S. Steel Tower makes an appearance in the movie "Dogma" as the headquarters for Mooby Corp., owner of the Mooby the Golden Calf media empire. It also figures prominently in the movie "Sudden Death" as a staging area for the group planning to take the U.S. Vice President as a hostage.

ee also

*50 Tallest buildings in the U.S.
*List of skyscrapers


*cite book | author=Toker, Franklin | title=Buildings of Pittsburgh | location=Pittsburgh | publisher=Chicago: Society of Architectural Historians; Santa Fe: Center for American Places ; Charlottesville: In association with the University of Virginia Press | year=2007 | id=ISBN 0-8139-2650-5

External links

* [http://www.ussteel.com www.ussteel.com]

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