BNY Mellon Center (Pittsburgh)

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BNY Mellon Center
BNY Mellon Center (Pittsburgh) as seen at Fifth at Grant in 2016.jpg
The BNY Mellon Center as seen from Fifth Ave and Grant St.
Former namesDravo Tower
1 Mellon Bank Center
General information
TypeCommercial offices (Authorized commercial offices)
Architectural styleModernism
Location500 Grant St
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Coordinates40°26′23″N 79°59′46″W / 40.4397°N 79.9961°W / 40.4397; -79.9961Coordinates: 40°26′23″N 79°59′46″W / 40.4397°N 79.9961°W / 40.4397; -79.9961
Construction startedOctober 1980
CompletedJune 1984
Cost$100 million+ ($345.2 million+ today)[1]
OwnerThe Bank of New York Mellon
Roof725 ft (221 m)
Technical details
Floor count55
Floor area1,699,987 sq ft (157,934.0 m2)[2]
Design and construction
ArchitectWelton Becket and Associates
DeveloperU.S. Steel
Main contractorTurner Construction

BNY Mellon Center is a 55-story skyscraper located at 500 Grant Street in downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Announced on March 27, 1980, the tower was completed in June 1984.[7] Standing 725 ft (221 m) tall, it is the second-tallest building in the city. It was initially planned to be the world headquarters of the Dravo Corporation (now Carmeuse Corporation) by its majority owner at the time and current neighbor U.S. Steel until Dravo was purchased in 1983.[1] Upon opening, the building was named One Mellon Center after Mellon Financial Corporation, which used the tower as the company's global headquarters. In 2007, the company merged with Bank of New York to form The Bank of New York Mellon; the resulting corporation continues to use the building as one of its major offices. In 2008, the building was renamed to its current moniker as part of a branding initiative by The Bank of New York Mellon.[8]

Prominent features of the building include its eight-sided design, mansard roof and rooftop heliport. BNY Mellon Center is the 195th-tallest skyscraper in the world. It is the building with the highest taxable property value in Allegheny County, surpassing the larger U.S. Steel Tower. On clear days, it is possible to spot the building from as far as 50 miles away, usually from the top of Chestnut Ridge.


The tower in 2007.

The 500 block of Grant Street was for decades the site of the Carlton Hotel, Plaza Building and the "Interlude Lounge" across the street from the Allegheny County Courthouse on the current complex's southern extreme. In the early 1980s, U.S. Steel, which has its global headquarters one block north at the U.S. Steel Tower bought the land Mellon Center was to be built on and planned a 54-floor skyscraper replacing the Carlton Hotel and Plaza Buildings. The naming rights originally went to the Pittsburgh manufacturing firm Dravo Corporation and was to serve as their leased headquarters space (while still owned by U.S. Steel). After the recession of the late 1970s and early 1980s combined with the rapid deindustrialization of the 1980s, Dravo was bought out by a foreign conglomerate and its regional facilities were shuttered. U.S. Steel, having diversified into oil and other industries, sold the almost completed skyscraper on February 16, 1983 to a Connecticut Limited Partnership, the 500 Grant Street Partners, for what was then the second-largest real estate purchase in Western Pennsylvania history.[9]

In March 2010, installation began on a new rooftop sign that would replace the old Mellon signage with the company's new triangular logo and the new brand name "BNY Mellon". The effort lasted until the end of 2010.[10]

On Monday, March 29, 2010, at approximately 4:30 p.m., a maintenance worker committed suicide by intentionally falling from the roof. The worker who died, from the North Side region of the city, was a 10-year employee of the building's maintenance contractor.[11]

Popular culture[edit]

The skyscraper features prominently in the 1983 film Flashdance (while still under construction) and the 1998 Michael Keaton film Desperate Measures (serving as part of the "hospital"). It also makes cameos in Sudden Death, Striking Distance and the 2010 rap video "Black and Yellow".

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b David Guo (28 March 1980). "U.S. Steel Unveils the Plan of 54-Story Dravo Building". The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 20 May 2012.
  2. ^ "BNY Mellon Center". Skyscraper Center. CTBUH. Retrieved 2017-07-29.
  3. ^ "BNY Mellon Center". CTBUH Skyscraper Center.
  4. ^ BNY Mellon Center at Emporis
  5. ^ "BNY Mellon Center". SkyscraperPage.
  6. ^ BNY Mellon Center at Structurae
  7. ^,1625141
  8. ^ Belko, Mark (December 11, 2008). "BNY Mellon name to adorn One Mellon Center, while Consol buys rights to new arena". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 20 May 2012.
  9. ^ "U.S. Steel Sell Tower in Pittsburgh". The Toledo Blade. Associated Press. 17 February 1983. Retrieved 20 May 2012.
  10. ^ "BNY Mellon installing rooftop sign on Downtown Pittsburgh HQ". The Pittsburgh Business Times. 2010-02-26.
  11. ^ "Man who fell from BNY Mellon building committed suicide". The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. March 31, 2010. Retrieved 20 February 2011.

Further reading[edit]

  • Toker, Franklin (2007). Buildings of Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh: Chicago: Society of Architectural Historians; Santa Fe: Center for American Places ; Charlottesville: In association with the University of Virginia Press. ISBN 0-8139-2650-5.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
One PPG Place
Pittsburgh Skyscrapers by Height
725 feet (221 m)
54 floors
Succeeded by
U.S. Steel Tower
Preceded by
Federated Tower
Pittsburgh Skyscrapers by Year of Completion
Succeeded by
Oxford Centre