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Pittsburgh 2016

Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3

Part 2

Leaving 5533 Walnut Street, our next stop was the Cathedral of Learning at the University of Pittsburgh.  I had heard much about the Cathedral from my friend Patrick, who grew up in Pittsburgh and went to Pitt, plus I got to see it from a distance in 2003, so it was great to finally get to see it on the inside.


Our view of the Cathedral from our parking space on Fifth Avenue.

Our view of the Cathedral from our parking space on Fifth Avenue.


Elyse poses for a photo in front of the Cathedral.

Elyse poses for a photo in front of the Cathedral.


The Cathedral of Learning is one of the most beautiful educational buildings that I’ve ever seen.  The main lobby, which extends up to the third floor, has beautiful Gothic-style arches in it and low lighting.  Elyse commented that it felt as if we had walked into a castle.


Gothic-style main lobby.

Gothic-style main lobby.


Hallway around the main lobby, in a similar style.

Hallway around the main lobby, in a similar style.


After getting our bearings, we went to see what the Cathedral had as far as views.  The elevator system, an Otis CompassPlus, was one that I had not seen before.  This is a destination dispatch system where each passenger enters their floor selection on a keypad outside of the elevator, and then is directed to wait for a specific elevator.  The idea is to get more efficient use of the elevators by grouping people together who are going to the same place, thereby reducing the number of stops along the way.


Touchscreen, where riders enter their destination floor, seen here on the main floor. Some floors used keypads instead of touchscreens, but the function is the same.

Touchscreen, where riders enter their destination floor, seen here on the main floor.  Some floors used keypads instead of touchscreens, but the function is the same.


Inside the elevator car. Note the lack of floor buttons, as floor selection is done off-board. That bar next to the screen shows the floors that this elevator is going to. Compare to what these used to look like.

Inside the elevator car.  Note the lack of floor buttons, as floor selection is done off-board.  That bar next to the screen shows the floors that this elevator is going to.  Compare to what these used to look like.


Elevator annunciator in the basement, showing the floor location of all of the elevators in the system.

Elevator annunciator in the basement, showing the floor location of all of the elevators in the system.


The Cathedral of Learning’s new elevator system, in a video by Andrew Reams (aka DieselDucy).


 

We went as far up as the 36th floor, which is as high as most people are allowed to go, and looked out some of the windows, taking in that magnificent view.  We went as far up as the 36th floor, which is as high as most people are allowed to go, and looked out some of the windows, taking in that magnificent view.

We went as far up as the 36th floor, which is as high as most people are allowed to go, and looked out some of the windows, taking in that magnificent view.

We went as far up as the 36th floor, which is as high as most people are allowed to go, and looked out some of the windows, taking in that magnificent view.  We went as far up as the 36th floor, which is as high as most people are allowed to go, and looked out some of the windows, taking in that magnificent view.

We went as far up as the 36th floor, which is as high as most people are allowed to go, and looked out some of the windows, taking in that magnificent view.


While we were up here, we also took a look at the fire alarm equipment in the Cathedral. The pull stations are your basic Cerberus Pyrotronics single-action station, either MS-51 or MS-57.  While we were up here, we also took a look at the fire alarm equipment in the Cathedral. The pull stations are your basic Cerberus Pyrotronics single-action station, either MS-51 or MS-57.

While we were up here, we also took a look at the fire alarm equipment in the Cathedral.  The pull stations are your basic Cerberus Pyrotronics single-action station, either MS-51 or MS-57.


The notification appliances, however, surprised me. They are Wheelock ET-1070-LSM-24, however, every strobe has white tape over the "FIRE" lettering. No matter where it was in the building, "FIRE" was taped over. When I later inquired with the university about this, the representative, from the facilities department, stated that this was done due to an unspecified manufacturer's design flaw.  The notification appliances, however, surprised me. They are Wheelock ET-1070-LSM-24, however, every strobe has white tape over the "FIRE" lettering. No matter where it was in the building, "FIRE" was taped over. When I later inquired with the university about this, the representative, from the facilities department, stated that this was done due to an unspecified manufacturer's design flaw.

The notification appliances, however, surprised me.  They are Wheelock ET-1070-LSM-24, however, every strobe has white tape over the “FIRE” lettering.  No matter where it was in the building, “FIRE” was taped over.  When I later inquired with the university about this, the representative, from the facilities department, stated that this was done due to an unspecified manufacturer’s design flaw.


We then went down to the third floor and looked at some of the Nationality Rooms.  These are relatively small classrooms that are styled to represent different nations and cultures.  When we asked about them, we were advised to check the peephole in the door first, in order to verify whether or not the room was occupied, so as not to disturb classes in session.


The first room that we visited was the Ukrainian Room, designed to resemble the reception room in the home of a Ukrainian nobleman.


Elyse sits in one of the wall seats in the Ukrainian room.

Elyse sits in one of the wall seats in the Ukrainian room.


The Austrian Room, designed in 18th-century Baroque style.  The Austrian Room, designed in 18th-century Baroque style.

The Austrian Room, designed in 18th-century Baroque style.


The Armenian Room, based on the architecture at Sanahin Monastery.  The Armenian Room, based on the architecture at Sanahin Monastery.

The Armenian Room, based on the architecture at Sanahin Monastery.

The Armenian Room, based on the architecture at Sanahin Monastery.


Elyse stands at the Armenian Room lectern.

Elyse stands at the Armenian Room lectern.


The Early American Room, based on a 17th-century New England kitchen-living room. Unlike the other nationality rooms that we saw, you couldn't freely walk into this one, but rather needed to arrange a guided tour with the information desk to access the room.

The Early American Room, based on a 17th-century New England kitchen-living room.  Unlike the other nationality rooms that we saw, you couldn’t freely walk into this one, but rather needed to arrange a guided tour with the information desk to access the room.


Then randomly in the midst of all of these nationality rooms was room 329, a standard classroom. I wonder if this will become a nationality room one day.

Then randomly in the midst of all of these nationality rooms was room 329, a standard classroom.  I wonder if this will become a nationality room one day.


The African Heritage Room, designed to resemble the central courtyard of an Asante temple in Ghana.  The African Heritage Room, designed to resemble the central courtyard of an Asante temple in Ghana.

The African Heritage Room, designed to resemble the central courtyard of an Asante temple in Ghana.


Elyse tries out the different chairs in the African Heritage Room.  Elyse tries out the different chairs in the African Heritage Room.

Elyse tries out the different chairs in the African Heritage Room.


The last room that we visited was the Israel Heritage Room, designed to resemble a 1st-6th century stone dwelling in the Galilee region.  The last room that we visited was the Israel Heritage Room, designed to resemble a 1st-6th century stone dwelling in the Galilee region.

The last room that we visited was the Israel Heritage Room, designed to resemble a 1st-6th century stone dwelling in the Galilee region.


Unlike the other nationality rooms, the Israel Heritage Room had stuff written on the chalkboard, presumably from a recently-given lecture.  Unlike the other nationality rooms, the Israel Heritage Room had stuff written on the chalkboard, presumably from a recently-given lecture.

Unlike the other nationality rooms, the Israel Heritage Room had stuff written on the chalkboard, presumably from a recently-given lecture.  Elyse and I viewed these notes completely out of context, leaving us to wonder just what the lecture was about.  I did learn a new word, though: equifinality, which is the idea that there are many different ways to reach the same end.


We only saw the rooms on the third floor, and there, we missed a few on account of classes in session.  So we definitely have something to do on a future visit.

From there, we visited the dining facility in the basement, where Elyse had a sandwich.


Cathedral of Learning basement corridor. Looks like a basement.

Cathedral of Learning basement corridor.  Looks like a basement.


Elyse prepares to order a sandwich.

Elyse prepares to order a sandwich.


Leaving the Cathedral, we did another walkaround like we did at the church.

Leaving the Cathedral, we did another walkaround like we did at the church.


  

  

  


A fountain on the outside of the building ran pink for breast cancer awareness.

A fountain on the outside of the building ran pink for breast cancer awareness.

A fountain on the outside of the building ran pink for breast cancer awareness.


A Port Authority bus, spotted here outside the Cathedral of Learning. Pittsburgh's buses are many different colors, with similar text on them. The 40-foot buses are Gillig Low Floor, while the artics are New Flyer D60LFR.

A Port Authority bus, spotted here outside the Cathedral of Learning.  Pittsburgh’s buses are many different colors, with similar text on them.  The 40-foot buses are Gillig Low Floor, while the artics are New Flyer D60LFR.

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Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3

Part 2