National Geographic : 1949 Jul
125 Under Soaring Gothic Arches, University of Pittsburgh Students Work and Relax on Their Half-acre "Indoor Campus" Daily, at least 10,000 of Pitt's 23,000 students visit the four-story Commons Room to study, read, chat, or listen to organ music between classes (page 138). The room, a gift of Andrew W. Mellon, an alumnus, was dedicated in 1937, at the time of the University's sesquicentennial. Each arch isheld inplace byafive-ton keystone; no steel was used in construction of the room. Stone piers rise 52 feet to a vaulted ceiling. The Commons Room serves as thebase and heart oftheCathedral ofLearning, a 42-story skyscraper dominating Pittsburgh's Civic Center. Here are floor after floor of classrooms, faculty and administrative offices, more than 100laboratories, libraries, and social and assembly rooms. The Cathedral's 9,000,000 cubic feet, if spread out in the usual college buildings, would crowd the14acres surrounding thetallstructure.