Union Trust Building

at 501 Grant St, Pittsburgh , 15219 United States

Union Trust Building
501 Grant St
Pittsburgh , PA 15219
United States
Contact Phone
P: (412) 932-2800


The Union Trust Building, was erected in 1915–16 by the industrialist Henry Clay Frick. The Flemish-Gothic structure's original purpose was to serve as a shopping arcade.HistoryKnown as the Union Arcade, it featured 240 shops and galleries. The mansard roof is adorned with terra cotta dormers and two chapel like mechanical towers. The interior is arranged about a central rotunda, capped by a stained glass dome. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.Designed by Frederick J. Osterling, the building was constructed on the site of Pittsburgh's nineteenth century St. Paul's Catholic Cathedral. It is not known to have been modeled after any particular building, but Brussels Town Hall, Leuven Town Hall (both Brabantine Gothic) and the then-new Woolworth Building have been suggested as influences.The Union Trust Company purchased the structure in 1923, renaming it from the Union Arcade to the Union Trust Building, as well as remodeling the first four floors.Many people believe that the building's unique roof is the result of a restrictive covenant placed on the land by its previous owner, the Diocese of Pittsburgh. One story is that the bishop at the time (Rev. Richard Phelan) placed a restrictive covenant on the land when Frick purchased it so that, although it would now have commercial purposes, residents would always remember the cathedral that once stood there. Another story suggests that there is a requirement that a place of worship must be maintained perpetually on the site, and thus there is supposedly a chapel in one of the towers to comply. This is all urban legend - there was no restrictive covenant or other restriction in the original 1901 deed transferring ownership from religious to secular use.

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Historical Place category, Pittsburgh

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Union Trust Building is Pittsburgh based place and this enity listed in Historical Place category. Located at 501 Grant St PA 15219. Contact phone number of Union Trust Building: (412) 932-2800