Wesley W. Posvar Hall


Wesley W. Posvar Hall

Wesley W. Posvar Hall (WWPH), formerly known as Forbes Quadrangle, is a landmark building on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States. At convert|744695|sqft|m2 it is the largest academic-use building on campus, providing administrative offices, classrooms, lecture halls, a food court, and computer labs.

Posvar Hall houses Pitt's School of Education, the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, the University Center for International Studies, and the Social Sciences Departments.

Construction

The building sits beside Hillman Library on Schenley Plaza at the corner of Schenley Drive and Roberto Clemente Drive. Bouquet Street runs along its west side. Originally named Forbes Quadrangle, it was renamed on October 21, 1999 by the University's Board of Trustees in honor of Wesley W. Posvar (1925–2001), the 15th chancellor of the University. Construction began in 1975 [ [http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?index=0&did=1088035432&SrchMode=2&sid=16&Fmt=10&VInst=PROD&VType=PQD&RQT=309&VName=HNP&TS=1219113625&clientId=3748 PhotoStandalone 8 -- No Title; New Pittsburgh Courier (1969-1981); Dec 20, 1975; ProQuest Historical Newspapers Pittsburgh Courier: 1911-2002; accessdate=2008-08-18] ] and was completed in 1978.

Posvar Hall was designed in the Brutalist with a limestone exterior [ [http://mac10.umc.pitt.edu/u/FMPro?-db=ustory&-format=d.html&-lay=a&-sortfield=issueid%3a%3aissuedate&-sortorder=descend&keywords=acropolis&-max=50&-recid=34374&-find= University Times ] ] and its height was limited to five stories so it would not compete with The Carnegie Institute directly across Schenley Plaza. Construction costs exceeded $38 million. Its floor space slightly exceeds that of the Cathedral of Learning. It has 574 offices, 30 seminar rooms, 3 lecture halls, one mile of corridors, and nearly 500 parking spaces in its garage below the facility. Enclosed passageways connect it to David L. Lawrence Hall, the Law School, and the Litchfield Towers.

The building stands on the original site of Forbes Field, home of the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team from 1909–1970 and, at various times, the Pittsburgh Steelers, Homestead Grays, and Pitt's own football team. The stadium was dismantled starting in July 1971, and construction on the new building started soon afterwards and continued until 1974. The building incorporates many reminders of the famous ballpark—the home plate of Forbes Field remains near its exact spot, protected under lucite glass. The outfield wall is outlined in the sidewalk by bricks, and the portion of the famously deep left-center field wall still stands across the street, marked "457 Feet". Originally, the classrooms were numbered to reflect the seating section of the old stadium where each classroom was located. However, this system confused people, and was changed in 2004 to a standard four-digit numbering system.

Art

Virgil Cantini's colorful porcelain enamel on steel mural "Enlightenment and Joy" (1977) is on display on the ground floor. The piece is an example of Cantini's use of circles, representing the earth, moon, and sun, an artistic trend inspired by the Apollo moon landings. Cantini's 1965 steel rod and multicolored glass sculpture "Skyscape" is also on display near room 1500. [http://mac10.umc.pitt.edu/u/FMPro?-db=ustory&-lay=a&-format=d.html&storyid=4242&-Find]

One of two surviving Langley Aerodromes, Aerodrome No. 6 dating from 1896, is displayed there along with various artworks and sculptures. Tony Smith's 1971 20-foot-tall painted steel sculpture "Light Up!", commissioned by Westinghouse and originally displayed in downtown Pittsburgh [http://mac10.umc.pitt.edu/u/FMPro?-db=ustory&-lay=a&-format=d.html&storyid=4242&-Find] , can be found outside Posvar Hall in Forbes Quad between it and Hillman Library. [http://www.publicartpittsburgh.org/pdf_files/PAPP_Oakland_Walking_Tour.pdf] Donated to and re-installed at Pitt in 1988, it was temporarily loaned to the Museum of Modern Art and displayed in front of the Seagram Building in New York City for a 1988 Tony Smith retrospective. [http://mac10.umc.pitt.edu/u/FMPro?-db=ustory&-lay=a&-format=d.html&storyid=4242&-Find]

References

*cite book
last = Alberts
first = Robert C.
title = Pitt: The Story of the University of Pittsburgh 1787–1987
year = 1987
id = ISBN 0-8229-1150-7
publisher = University of Pittsburgh Press

External links

* [http://www.umc.pitt.edu/tour/tour-040.html Posvar Hall] on Pitt's [http://www.umc.pitt.edu/tour/ virtual tour]
* [http://www.umc.pitt.edu/tour/tour-040-map.html Campus map highlighting Posvar Hall]

Gallery


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