Alcoa Building

Submitted by Peng on Mon, 10/08/2012 - 08:03
Alternate Names: 
Regional Enterprise Tower
Architect Name: 
Harrison & Abramovitz with Altenhof & Brown & Mitchell & Ritchey
Downtown Pittsburgh


611 William Penn Place
United States
40° 26' 29.2704" N, 79° 59' 48.336" W

The Regional Enterprise Tower is a 410-foot-tall (120 m) skyscraper in Downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, formerly known as the Alcoa Building. It was completed in 1953 and has 30 floors. It is the 15th tallest building in the city and is adjacent to Mellon Square. A unique radiant heating and cooling system is contained in the ceiling: since there are no pipes, radiators, or air conditioning units along the exterior walls, an additional 15,000 square feet (1,400 m2) of rentable space was gained. Also, the windows rotate 360 degrees so they can be washed from the inside.
Originally the headquarters for the Aluminum Company of America (ALCOA), the unique aluminum walls of the building are 1/8 inch thick, which gives the building a very light weight and economical design. It was the first skyscraper with an all-aluminum facade. Upon ALCOA's 2001 relocation to a new headquarters building on Pittsburgh's North Shore near PNC Park, the old ALCOA building became a home to government entities, regional nonprofits and small start-up companies.

  • Carnegie Mellon University Architecture Archives: photographs, model, etc.
  • “Pittsburgh Renascent: Two New Skyscrapers of Smart, Clean Design will Flank a New Mid-City Park.”  Architectural Forum 91 (November 1949), 66-69, 110.
  • “Skyscraper Sheathed in Aluminum.”  Engineering News-Record, 148:14 (April 3, 1952), 67-71,
  •  “Alcoa Builds a Lightweight Building.” Charette 32:5 (May 1952), cover, 11-19.
  • “Faceted Metal Wall for Alcoa in Pittsburgh Sets New Style in Tall Buildings.” Architectural forum 97 (July 1952), 134-135.
  • “Alcoa Building: Innovations in Aluminum.  Architectural Record 112 (August 1952), 120-127.
  • Holmes, B. H.  “Alcoa Building: Lightweight Construction.”  Progressive Architecture 33 (August 1952), 87-91.
  • “Aluminum -- 234,000 sq. ft. of Stamping -- Production Feat.”  Light Metal Age11:3-4 (April 1953), 12-15.
  • “Alcoa Complete: Pittsburgh's 30-Story Aluminum Waffle is America's most Daring Experiment in Modern Office Building.”  Architectural Forum 99 (November 1953), 124-131.
  • “Building de l'Alcoa, Pittsburgh.”  L'Architecture d'Aujourd'hui 24 (December 1953), 78-85.
  • Aluminum Company of America.  Aluminum on the Skyline.  Pittsburgh: Aluminum Company of America, Pittsburgh, Pa. 1953.
  • Peter, John. Aluminum in Modern Architecture. 2 vols. Louisville: Reynolds Metals Company; distributed by Reinhold Publishing Corp., 1956. Vol. 1, p. 136-137.
  • “High-rise office buildings.”  Progressive Architecture 38 (June 1957), 159-191.
  • Spring, B. P.  “Alcoa's Big Experiment--Ten Years Later.”  Architectural Forum117 (December 1962), 112-14.
  • Hitchcock, Henry-Russell and Arthur Drexler.  Built in USA: Post-war Architecture.  New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1952.  26-27, 66-67.
  • Modern Architecture U.S.A.: Presented by the Museum of Modern Art and the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts.  New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1965.  n.p. [#34].
  • McCoy, Esther and Barbara Goldstein.  Guide to U.S. Architecture, 1940-1980.  Santa Monica, Calif.: Arts + Architecture Press, 1982.  63.
  • Aurand, Martin.  The Spectator and the Topographical City.  Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2006.
  • Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania: Records of the Aluminum Company of America (Pittsburgh, PA)
Alcoa Building
Alcoa Building
Alcoa Building
Alcoa Building


Javascript is required to view this map.