Gulf Tower

at 707 Grant St, Pittsburgh, 15219 United States

Gulf Tower
707 Grant St
Pittsburgh , PA 15219
United States
Contact Phone
P: (412) 236-6000


Gulf Tower is a 44-story, 177.4m Art Deco skyscraper in downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The tower is one of the major distinctive and recognizable features of the city and is named for the Gulf Oil Corporation, which was one of the leading multinational oil companies of its time, consistently ranking among the largest 10 corporations in the country. In 1984, Gulf and Chevron took part in the world's largest merger to that time.Built as the headquarters for the Gulf Oil Company, and known as the Gulf Building, the structure was designed by the firm of Trowbridge & Livingston and completed in 1932 at a cost of $10.05 million. As late as 1981 Gulf Oil employed 3,100 within the building. Now called Gulf Tower, it has 44 floors and rises 177.4m above Downtown Pittsburgh. The crown of the skyscraper is modeled after the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus in the style of a step pyramid. The building was listed as a Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation Historic Landmark in 1973.On June 13, 1974, a bomb was detonated on the 29th floor of the Gulf Tower. The Weather Underground Organization took credit for the attack claiming it was in protest to Gulf Oil's involvement in the oil rich regions affected by the Angolan War of Independence.LightingPrior to the late 1970s, the entire multistory "step-pyramid/mausoleum" structure at the top of the building was neon-illuminated, changing colors to provide a weather forecast that could be seen for many miles. This concept was developed by the building manager Edward H. Heath. He used the Gulf Oil colors to create a simplified forecast: steady blue meant colder and fair; flashing blue meant colder with precipitation; steady orange meant warmer and fair; flashing orange meant warmer with precipitation. Subsequently, in an effort to conserve energy, the weather forecasting role had been limited to the weather beacon at the pinnacle of the pyramid, which would glow blue for precipitation and red for fair weather. Although the terraced sides were once again illuminated at night (by means of spotlights), the entire pyramid structure no longer changed color with the weather (the pinnacle beacon still had that function).

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