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University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown

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1966–present. 450 School House Rd.

The University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown is a four-year degree-granting institution with over 2,000 students on its suburban 650-acre campus. It began in 1927 as a two-year feeder college that was housed in a former high school and in several commercial buildings in downtown Johnstown. In the mid-1960s, a local coal company donated 136 acres of wooded land in Richland Township to the university, and the architectural firm of Hunter, Campbell and Rea of Altoona designed a student union, two gable-roofed classroom buildings, and three dormitories of wood and stone veneer. Between its opening in 1967 and 1993, nine new dormitories, library, sports center, aquatic center, chapel, and performing arts center were built, bringing the total number of buildings on campus to thirty-two and the acreage to 455. Landscape architects Sasaki Associates of Boston developed a master plan in 1990 to organize the growth process and take advantage of the unique natural environment.

In 1976 and 1978, Urban Design Associates of Pittsburgh designed seven “lodges,” or small living units, with kitchenettes. Zamias Aquatic Center (1990) was designed by L. Robert Kimball and Associates from Ebensburg. Certainly the crown jewel of the wooded campus, and the building used regularly by the general Johnstown population, is the Pasquerilla Performing Arts Center, designed by Damianos Brown and Andrews of Pittsburgh from 1990 to 1991. The 1,000-seat theater borrows directly from Frank Pasquerilla's Crown American headquarters designed by Michael Graves ( CA20), with its rhythmic fenestration and columned entrance rotunda. The building also houses the Johnstown branch of the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art, which has three other sites, in Ligonier (see WE31), Loretto (see CA5), and Altoona (see BL10).

Writing Credits

Lu Donnelly et al.


What's Nearby


Lu Donnelly et al., "University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown", [Johnstown, 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, 319-319.

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