The historical 12-story “Modern Movement” building now Co-Exists as a luxury Apartment and a High School immersed in the downtown professional world.
Purchased from the Equitable Life Assurance Society, 201 Stanwix Street would become the home of the The Bell Telephone Company of Pennsylvania Building.
Construction began September 27, 1956 and was completed in 1957. The Bell Telephone Building was part of the Renaissance 1 urban renewal program to renovate the Point into a mid-century modernist office district. The new buildings in the Renaissance 1 renewal program would replace run-down commercial buildings and a one-time population of rail freight houses.
Designed by Press C. and William C. Dowler, The Bell Telephone Building was designed with an aluminum curtain walls and steel frame design “constructed into the side walk”. The exterior is covered with a red granite base cladding, including a main entrance of red granite pillars and flowerbeds that establish the front entrance. From the base to the second floor are large blocks of grey granite that house window systems of three, decorated with a wide strip of pink ceramic tiles that breaks up the tall windows with alternating panels of grey granite on either side. Spaced around the base of the exterior granite are modern round lamps with a modern design that is repeated into the interior of the building. Upward a modern aluminum design is alternated with windows.
Inside the walls are paneled in granite with suspended modern propel like acoustic insets ceiling tiles and terrazzo floors. Upstairs floors elevators are separated by vintage inset aluminum mail chutes.
Costing $8.5 million the Bell Telephone Building of Pennsylvania ‘showcases the historical investor’. A granite relief map of Pennsylvania depicting a historical scene and an “inset spinning globe and clock which was installed as a tribute to the global reach of the Bell Telephone system”. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on December 15, 2011.
In 2012 City Charter High School found its new home in the historical Bell Telephone Building coexisting in a modern format with the luxury apartments in the front and City High students in the back. City High students are proud to be immersed in the business setting of the Pittsburgh Community, with many continuing in Pittsburgh for college life and employment.
Photo Credits: Allegheny Conference on Community Development Photographs, Detre Library & Archives, Heinz History Center
Fitzpatrick, Dan . “The story of urban renewal.” Post-Gazette. N.p., n.d. Web. http://old.post-gazette.com/businessnews/20000521eastliberty1.asp.