The Grant Building

The Grant Building

The Grant Building is located on, and named for, Pittsburgh's Grant Street, which has historically been the hub of the city's corporate and governmental operations. When it was built in 1928, the Grant Building was the tallest and most prestigious building in the City of Pittsburgh. Construction of the thirty-seven story (485 feet) skyscraper was completed at a cost of $5,500,000.

The building facade is designed in the classic Beaux Arts style to compete with the great highrises of the twentieth century. It is built with Belgian granite, limestone, and brick. The Grant Building was renowned for it's neon beacon and radio antenna that rose over 100 feet from the roof of the tower. The aviation beacon spelled out:

.--. .. - - ... -... ..- .-. --. ....

The series of dots and dashes spelled P-I-T-T-S-B-U-R-G-H in Morse Code. The beacon could be seen as far away as 150 miles on clear nights.

The beacon atop the Grant Building
The Gulf Tower (left) and the Grant Building with
their distinctive and symbolic beacons.

Like the Empire State Building in New York, the Grant Building, with it's lighted mast, helped aviators to locate their way. Both buildings became iconic symbols of their cities. The flamboyant tower was eventually removed and replaced with a smaller version of the beacon, which still flashes out the name of the city to this day. The tower on the roof also served as the broadcast antenna for radio station KDKA Pittsburgh for many years.

The Grant Building still houses many of the successful power brokers in Pittsburgh. The building is home to several respected attorneys, judges, and financiers.

The Grant Building

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