Pittsburgh, PA – Cathedral of Learning (HDR)

This photo is from the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, PA.  The building is called the Cathedral of Learning.  I quickly visited this location and after just a few photos would enjoy going back with a little more knowledge for my next exploration.  These hallways are great in HDR!   I have a deep enjoyment of Pittsburgh due to being a Pittsburgh sports fan.  I usually go back to see either the Steelers, Pirates, or Penguins play.  But I see Pittsburgh has lots more to offer now looking through a lens!   Its a historic old city and the photo ops are endless.  I could spend a week in the Burgh and just shoot bridges!  One day hopefully a steel mill!  Now that would be cool in HDR!   I’ll try to find one this summer and ask permission to photograph it.    I will come back to Pitt this summer…this day if I recall I only had 1 hour to shoot as I had to get to the airport.

Here is some info from the web:  In 1921, John Gabbert Bowman traveled to the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to become the tenth chancellor of the University. At that time, the school consisted of a series of buildings constructed along Henry Hornbostel’s plan for the campus and included “temporary” wooden structures built during World War I. He then began to envision a “tall building”, that would be later termed the Cathedral of Learning, to provide a dramatic symbol of education for the city and alleviate overcrowding by adding much needed more space in order to meet present and future needs of the University.

His reasoning is summarized in this quote:

The building was to be more than a schoolhouse; it was to be a symbol of the life that Pittsburgh through the years had wanted to live. It was to make visible something of the spirit that was in the hearts of pioneers as, long ago, they sat in their log cabins and thought by candlelight of the great city that would sometime spread out beyond their three rivers and that even they were starting to build.

In attempting to find a suitable place for this building, Bowman’s eyes were drawn to a 14-acre (57,000 m²) plot of land named Frick Acres. In November 1921, with aid from the Mellon family, the University bought the plot, and began plans for a proper university building on the site. One of the foremost Gothic architects of the time, Philadelphian Charles Klauder, was hired to design the tower. The design took two years to finish, with the final plan attempting to fuse the idea of a modern skyscraperwith the tradition and ideals of Gothic architecture. The plans received strong resistance from the community and from some University officials, who felt it was too tall for the city.

Don’t you love when resistance from the people on new building projects end up being amazing!  If you are ever in Pittsburgh…10 minutes form downtown…stop on by the University…it is beautiful!!!

Talke Photography Settings:

  • Camera:  Nikon D300
  • Lens: Nikon 12-24 f/4
  • Setting: Aperture  Mode
  • Focal Length: 12.0mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Exposure:  HDR 5 exposures (+2 to -2)
  • Aperture:  f/4
  • Gear:  Tripod, Cable release
  • Post Process: Adobe CS4, Photomatix, Color Efex Pro