Property Watch: Bigelow project expands to WPU lawn


As the Pitt community heads out to holiday break, construction work continues to move forward in Oakland.

Bigelow Boulevard work

The fences have now been extended around the front of William Pitt Union on Fifth Avenue as work begins to redo the driveway area. A hardscaped and landscaped event space with more seating will replace the driveway and a drop-off area will be created on Bigelow.

Phase two of the Bigelow project will include extending the work done on Schenley Quad last year into the Union’s driveway area. The area is expected to be closed until the whole project is completed in August 2020.

The Fifth Avenue accessible entrance to the William Pitt Union remains open but can only be reached from Schenley Quad. The accessible entrance on Forbes Avenue will remain open throughout phase two of construction.

For updates on the Bigelow project, go to the Facilities Management website.

The future of Oakland icons

Three recognizable Oakland buildings have been in the news the past few weeks.

Twentieth Century Club: The Post-Gazette reported earlier this month that, according to several real estate sources, Pitt is in talks to buy the Twentieth Century Club building located at 4201 Bigelow Blvd. The club’s members voted to put the five-story building up for sale earlier this year. For some history of the building, check out this article in Next Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh Athletic Association: Again citing multiple real estate sources, the Post-Gazette reported Dec. 17 that Apple is talking to Walnut Capital about taking up to 90,000 square feet of space in the PAA building on Fifth Avenue. Pitt’s Learning Research & Development Center had been scheduled to move into the sixth floor of the PAA next year. Earlier this year, the Board of Trustees’ Property and Facilities Committee approved the lease of 30,199 square feet of space on the fifth and sixth floors at an annual rent of $1.2 million, starting June 1, 2020.

LRDC Building: The angular building on O’Hare Street is scheduled to be torn down, starting after graduation next spring. The Young Preservationists Association of Pittsburgh earlier this month cited the 1972 building in its 2019 list of top 10 buildings to preserve. The group said, “This distinctive modernist office building from 1972 is one of several Harrison and Abramowitz buildings in Pittsburgh, Abramowitz being known as an influential campus architect (Illinois and Brandeis). … It was built to mimic the slope of a hill as a modernism ode to Pittsburgh.” Pitt’s Facilities Management department has said that the LRDC building and Crawford Hall are the buildings in the worst condition on the Oakland campus.

Susan Jones is editor of the University Times. Reach her at or 412-648-4294.


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