Our City’s Skyline

US Steel BuildingI was always impressed with the lack of signage on Pittsburgh’s skyline. For years 5th Avenue Place, PPG Place and the Steel Building, along with most of their fellow scrapers, were free of the clutter of advertising big local business. Of the major buildings, only Mellon Tower and the less prominent Federated Tower bore signs advertising their tenants.

I moved away for a few years and when I’d returned, 5th Avenue Place had been slapped with a big Highmark sign and its giant lighted top changed from pink to the company’s particular shade of blue. And now the Steel Building is getting a big UPMC sign…no wait, three big UPMC signs, one on each side of the building…to mar the tallest point of downtown’s skyline.

The triumvirate which defines Pittsburgh’s downtown skyline, 5th Avenue Place, the Steel Building and PPG place, now only the latter will be free of advertisements. Oh how I yearn for the day when we no longer put ads on buildings, but instead build the ads first and later add buildings onto those.

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