You are here

Burke Building

-A A +A
1836, John Chislett. 209 4th Ave.
  • (Michelle Krone)

A survivor as hardy as the Blockhouse next to Fort Pitt (AL6), the Burke Building must have always been one of the most handsome buildings downtown. Built of cream-toned sandstone—luxurious for an office building—its Greek Revival design is taut and well proportioned. This five-bay, three-story pedimented structure, with its striking Doric-columned entrance, survived the onslaught of late-nineteenth-century revivals, escaped the ravages of the Great Fire of 1845 by not more than half a block, and, finally, has emerged as a surprisingly strong outbuilding to the PPG Place complex that engulfed it in the 1980s. In the 1990s, it was restored using renewable resources as the headquarters of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, which has since moved to 800 Waterfront Drive, thus opening a new chapter in the Burke Building's long history.

Writing Credits

Lu Donnelly et al.



  • 1836


What's Nearby


Lu Donnelly et al., "Burke Building", [Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

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, 56-57.

If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.

SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.