High Point Pittsburgh Project: Future of the Steel Tower?

Aug 14, 2014

High Point Pittsburgh creator David Bear believes an observation deck atop the U.S. Steel Tower is a possible goal.
Credit Jorge Castro / Flickr

The Empire State Building and the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower) are famous tourist destinations for viewing their respective cities. Can the U.S. Steel Tower be added to that list?

That's what David Bear, creator of the High Point Pittsburgh Project, is hoping for. He says Pittsburgh should have an observation deck atop the building.

Bear said the Steel Tower was originally built as a luxury heliport. For this reason, the entire roof of the building is barren. Bear, former travel editor for the Post-Gazette, found out just how interesting the roof of the building truly is as he looked in to it for his columns.

“It turns out, that space is over an acre, and as I was doing research for the article, I found out that acre on the 65th floor is the largest, highest place on top of any building on Earth.”

Through the High Point Pittsburgh website, users can view a simulation of what the project would look like, as created by graduates and undergraduates of Carnegie Mellon University. Users can view the space and even simulate taking the elevator in between floors.

Bears said features that are not shown in the simulation are energy related, the Carnegie Mellon students designed a structure which would also harvest wind, solar power, and rainwater.

Bear has high hopes for the space that is the roof of the Steel Tower. His vision is that an observation deck would help define Pittsburgh, to be what the Space Needle is to Seattle.

“This is a grand vision," he said. "At the moment, you could take an escalator that goes all the way up to the rooftop from the 64th floor … the rooftop is there, now, and we could have a visit there this afternoon if were organized in that way. So, that is the primary goal we have, to make that rooftop accessible. Anything that happens after that is a real plus.”