Cathedral of Learning

we’re ending this series from pittsburgh with the best bit (in my opinion). the cathedral of learning is the main attraction at the university of pittburgh’s oakland neighborhood campus, and is listed in the national register of historic places. this is the second tallest university building in the world, and was designed in the late gothic revival style. the “lobby” takes up 3 floors and has an impressive commons room which made me feel like i was at hogwarts! i pictured myself setting up camp in one of the many nooks, while studying art history.

this friend of mine had recommended visiting here and pointed out that the tour of the nationality rooms is a must! since i didnt really know what to expect, i was blown away.

the nationality rooms is a collection of 27 classrooms donated by the different ethnic groups that help build pittsburgh. located on the 1st and 3rd floors, each classroom is uniquely different. an audiotape-guided tour is available for $3/adult, and takes you around the 1st floor classrooms, which are locked to the public. the 3rd floor rooms can be toured for free (there are speakers in each room that broadcasts the tour). all rooms, except for two, are used as regular classrooms during the fall and spring terms.

here are some of my favorites rooms:

(above: swedish)

(above: yugoslav)

(above: norwegian)

(above: polish)

(above: irish)

(above: lithuanian)

(above: ukranian)

there have been “room reservation requests” made for additional nationality rooms and are in various stages of funding and design. i am curious to see how those turn out (especially looking forward to the philippine room).

i was more impressed with the 1st floor rooms (the earliest rooms being the german, russian, scottish and swedish, all dedicated on july 8, 1938). they were definitely more impressive (materials were even shipped in from the countries of origin). i guess it all depends on how much funding each room received. all in all, this is definitely a must while in pittsburgh.

you can view the rest of the photo set here.


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