Oliver Building (Pittsburgh)

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Henry W. Oliver Building
General information
Type Commercial offices
Location 535 Smithfield Street
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Coordinates 40°26′28″N 79°59′53″W / 40.4411°N 79.9981°W / 40.4411; -79.9981Coordinates: 40°26′28″N 79°59′53″W / 40.4411°N 79.9981°W / 40.4411; -79.9981
Construction started 1908
Completed April 1, 1910
Cost US$3.5 million ($93.3 million today)
Roof 105.77 m (347.0 ft)
Technical details
Floor count 25
Floor area 338,359 sq ft (31,434.6 m2)
Lifts/elevators 14
Design and construction
Architect D. H. Burnham & Company
Developer Estate of Henry W. Oliver
Designated 1974[1]

The Henry W. Oliver Building is a 25-story, 106 m (348 ft) skyscraper at 535 Smithfield Street, across from Mellon Square in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The building was designed by Daniel Burnham and built 1908-10, consisting of a stone and terra cotta facade over a steel frame. It cost $3.5 million ($93.3 million today)


The structure was completed as per the parameters of its namesake's will. Oliver planned that the building both serve as a way to consolidate the management of his steel and coal operations, and as a way to leave a mark on the city's growing skyline. Oliver's location for the structure was once the original founding home of Mellon Financial from its start in 1869 until 1871 when the bank moved across the street and down a block.[5] For many years, the primary tenants in the building were international law firm K&L Gates, but in 2007, they moved to the larger Ariba Building, which became known as K&L Gates Center. Since their departure, the building was only about 40% occupied for a number of years.[6]

Embassy Suites[edit]

In late 2013 the floors 15-25 of the building were under conversion for a 228 room Embassy Suites Hotel to open in late 2015. Designed by ThenDesign Architecture, the decor of the hotel will pay homage to Oliver and the Industrial Age. Combined with a new multi-floor lease to a law firm the building is now over 90% occupied.[7][8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Historic Landmark Plaques 1968-2009 (PDF). Pittsburgh, PA: Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation. 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-02. 
  2. ^ Oliver Building (Pittsburgh) at Emporis
  3. ^ "Oliver Building". SkyscraperPage. 
  4. ^ Oliver Building (Pittsburgh) at Structurae
  5. ^ "The Judge - James Mellon - Google Books". Books.google.com. 2011-05-24. Retrieved 2016-03-25. 
  6. ^ T.S. Chooley (June 21, 2010). "Downtown Pittsburgh’s iconic Oliver Building up for sale". The Pittsburgh Business Times. Retrieved 19 February 2011. 
  7. ^ "David L. Lawrence Convention Center hotel idea fading - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 5 November 2013. 
  8. ^ Spatter, Sam (2014-01-25). "Real estate notes: Funding sought for Shannon Transit Village infrastructure projects". TribLIVE. Retrieved 2016-03-25. 

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. 
Preceded by
Three Gateway Center
Pittsburgh Skyscrapers by Height
347 feet (106 m)
25 floors
Succeeded by
11 Stanwix Street
Preceded by
Commonwealth Building
Pittsburgh Skyscrapers by Year of Completion
Succeeded by
Bell Telephone Building