I had dinner at the restaurant Talia Cucina & Rosticerra this evening. Talia is located at the corner of 6th and William Penn Place on the first floor of the Regional Enterprise Building, which used to the Alcoa headquarters.
The following photo and history of the Alcoa building is from Darren Toth’s Instagram account @Yinztergram. Darren was kind enough to meet me for coffee last year to talk Pittsburgh history when I was working on a historic designation. I have really enjoyed following Darren’s posts of fascinating photos of Pittsburgh people and places accompanied by some unique local facts.
While I knew the Alcoa building was made with aluminum and the US Steel Building was made with steel, I had never heard about the the beams filled with saltwater.
The old Alcoa Headquarters, completed in 1953, designed by architectural firm of Harrison & Abramovitz, the same firm that would later design the US Steel Tower. It is important to note this connection, because of the similarities between the two buildings. . Now called the Regional Enterprise Building, its outer façade is made of aluminum panels, molded to fit a gasket mounted window design they had recently designed. Alcoa is a company that makes molded Aluminum products and building materials…like window frames. . exactly what the building is made from. . Harrison & Abramovitz pulled the same gimmick with the Steel Tower, designing the structural steel skeleton of the building on the outside of the façade. The 18 vertical beams are filled with a type of saltwater that serves to keep the metal cool, even in the case of a fire. The metal that the US Steel building is made from is called Cor-ten steel, an invention of US Steel that turns the metal's own rust into a resin that protects the beams from the elements. . Both buildings serve as advertisements for the products that the original company's made. Regional Enterprise now hosts the Residences at the Alcoa, with 241 residential units, and 133,000 sq. ft. of office space; retail development forthcoming. #pittsburgh #412 #dahntahn #pgh #downtownpgh #visitpgh #visitpittsburgh #412project #pittsburgharchitecture .
This building received a historic landmark plaque from the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation in 2004. More information about the history of the Regional Enterprise Tower is available on the Pittsburgh Art Places website here.
In addition to local history, he occasionally posts some wonderful photos of Pittsburgh today. I am glad he posted about the blind runner from the Pittsburgh Marathon as I found that to be the most inspiring thing of the day. There were so many great things to share from the race, bust as a first time runner I was too afraid that I would fall if I tried to take a photo while running.
May is Preservation Month
The National Trust for Historic Preservation celebrates historic preservation successes each May. I have been posting about a different historic building each day since the beginning of the month. Have a building you would like to learn more about? Know of a history lovers we should follow on Instagram? Leave a comment below.