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Dominion Tower (Consolidated Natural Gas Tower)

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Consolidated Natural Gas Tower
1987, William Pedersen for Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates. 625 Liberty Ave.
  • Dominion Tower (Consolidated Natural Gas Tower)

Dominion Tower is an example of the corporate lavishness of the 1980s by a favored architectural firm of that decade. Like their Cincinnati headquarters for Procter and Gamble, Dominion is a richly detailed skyscraper carefully tailored to the shapes and sizes of neighboring buildings. An inviting plaza and pedestrian arcade outside and opulent use of traditional luxury materials inside give Dominion both distinctive character and human scale. These qualities make Dominion superior to Pittsburgh's other 1980s skyscrapers, particularly the unyielding coldness of PPG Place ( AL24) a few blocks away.

Clad in panels of brown and pink granite, this thirty-two-story tower is meant to be seen as much from a distance as close-up. At a distance, its most obvious feature is a barrel-vaulted roof framed by arched steel trusses that mimic the nearby Sixteenth Street Bridge ( AL80) over the Allegheny River. Closer, Dominion's complex massing and adroitly placed stone cornices align its bulk with the twenty-story Midtown Towers (former Keenan Building, 1907, Thomas Hannah) to the north. On its south side, the tower scales down to a four-story segment that keeps it from overwhelming Heinz Hall ( AL11) and an adjacent small park. The visual deference to Heinz Hall is appropriate, since Dominion stands on land owned by a Heinz foundation; its land rent supports the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust as the current overseer of the neighborhood.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Lu Donnelly et al.
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Citation

Lu Donnelly et al., "Dominion Tower (Consolidated Natural Gas Tower)", [Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/PA-01-AL10.

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of PA vol 1

Buildings of Pennsylvania: Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania, Lu Donnelly, H. David Brumble IV, and Franklin Toker. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2010, 49-50.

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