Cathedral of Learning, from bottom to top

I walked into an office on the 30th floor of the Cathedral of Learning in October and asked the receptionist if there was anything interesting on the floor that might make for a good picture.

“No,” she said, laughing.

She was right, the 30th floor is probably the most boring floor in the 42-story structure. But even on floors of the building dominated by cubicles and fluorescent lights, the building’s character and personality is abundant.

In an effort to find and document that character, I traversed the building a few times this past week — from the basement to the highest accessible floor, the 36th. From vintage computers to religious comics, there are different sides of the building than just the nationality rooms and Gothic architecture.

Click for a link to the full story with all 38 photos.

  • Basement- Below the Cathedral Cafe and Cathedral Coffee is the Pitt Stages scene shop, where students and staff build the sets for upcoming plays.
  • First floor- Pitt Chancellor Patrick Gallagher walks down a first-floor hallway.
  • Third floor- A night class looks out onto the courtyard.
  • Fourth floor- Signs supporting the faculty and graduate student union sit on a window overlooking the roof.
  • Eighth floor- A map in the history and philosophy of science department’s office.
  • A huge window on the 10th floor fills this office with bright natural light.
  • 11th floor- One of two floors currently closed for construction.
  • 14th floor- An office in the communication offices sits temporarily vacant.
  • 15th floor- A student studies in the classics department.
  • 16th floor- An array of chairs sit in a classroom on the theatre department’s floor.
  • 21st floor- The faculty lounge in the School of Social work has a pretty nice view.
  • 23rd floor- Students in two classrooms listen to lectures.
  • 25th floor- Pitt’s Cyber Institute of Law and Politics features frosted windows and locked doors.
  • 27th floor- Plants soak up natural light and a great view of campus.
  • 35th floor- Students study in the University Honors College as they enjoy a view.
  • 36th floor- This is the highest floor open to the public and offers a great perspective of Oakland.