University Place Office Building

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University Place Office Building
University Place Building at the University of Pittsburgh
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Built 1924
Architect Edward B. Lee and associate architect J. B. Blair
Architectural style Renaissance revival[1]
Demolished 2011
Part of Schenley Farms Historic District (#83002213[2])
Added to NRHP July 22, 1983

University Place Office Building was a 6-story building constructed in 1924[1][3] and had been a contributing property to the Schenley Farms National Historic District[4][5] on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States. Once located at 121 University Place (originally Natalie Avenue), the building was originally the Schenley Office Physicians Building designed by architect Edward B. Lee and associate architect J. B. Blair for the Physicians Land Company.[6] Long housing offices of physicians associated with the university's medical school and medical center, the building was acquired by the University in June 1983 for $1.25 million [7][8] and then housed a variety of University offices including the University Center for Social and Urban Research, until its demolition in 2011.[9]

University Center for Social and Urban Research

In its final years of use by the university, the University Center for Social and Urban Research (UCSUR) was housed within the University Place Office Building. Established in 1972, the UCSUR serves as a resource for researchers and educators interested in basic and applied social and behavioral sciences and serves as a hub for interdisciplinary research and collaboration.[10] Research of the UCSUR focuses on five principal areas including urban and regional analysis, survey research, qualitative data analysis, gerontology, and environmental decision support. The center also offers a graduate certificate in gerontology.[11] In early 2009 the center opened a multipurpose data center which is HIPAA and FISMA complaint. The UCSUR data center is monitored 24/7 by the UCSUR Information Technology department. The data center maintains a 99.3% up time as of the summer of 2010.

Replacement with Nordenberg Hall

File:Nordenberg Hall at Pitt.jpg
Nordenberg Hall on the former site of the University Place Office Building

University Office Place was demolished in August 2011, following the approval from the Pittsburgh Historic Review Commission, to make way for a new $59 million, 10-story, 559-bed university residence hall, named Nordenberg Hall that was designed by Mackey Mitchell Architects of St. Louis along with the Pittsburgh-based firm MacLachlan, Cornelius & Filoni Inc.[12] Nordenberg Hall, which opened for the 2013 fall semester, occupies the former footprints of 121 University Place and its former adjacent parking lot at the corner of Fifth Avenue and University Place. Former University Office Place resident UCSUR was relocated to the Gold Building (3343 Forbes Ave).[13] Nordenberg Hall includes ground floor retail space, a university pharmacy, and a second floor student wellness and counseling center.[14][15][16] The residence hall also contains two sound-proof music practice rooms, and on the third floor, a fitness room and an outdoor rooftop terrace.[16][17] The residence hall features 200-square-foot (19 m2) double-occupancy rooms that are equipped with small refrigerators, microwave ovens, and flat-screen TVs. Communal social spaces, study lounges, and bathrooms were intentionally designed to encourage students to leave their rooms to interact with other students and gain a sense of connectedness.[17] The residence hall was named in honor of Mark Nordenberg, the university's previous chancellor who retired in August, 2014.[18]

In literature

University Place Office Building is the namesake and a location setting of a book published in 2007 by Louis Panesi entitled 121 University Place: A Father's Abuse / A Doctor's Love.[19]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Emporis:UPOB
  2. Staff (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Browse Record". Retrieved 2011-10-11.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. [1]
  8. "Pitt Buys Building, Sells Another". The Pittsburgh Press. 1983-06-16. Retrieved 2010-02-01.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. Fennell, Kathleen (August 19, 2013). "Welcome Back: New dorm completed, students move in". Pittsburgh, PA. Retrieved August 20, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. Hart, Peter; Barlow, Kimberly K. (2011-09-01). "What's New: Places". University Times. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh. Retrieved 2011-10-10.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. Schackner, Bill (2011-10-04). "10-story freshman dorm tops Pitt's building plan". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Pittsburgh, PA. Retrieved 2011-10-11.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "Pitt gets approval to raze building for dorm". The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 2010-12-02. Retrieved 2011-02-09.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. 16.0 16.1 Riely, Kaitlynn (August 16, 2013). "Pitt's new Nordenberg Hall aims to prevent isolation". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved August 19, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. 17.0 17.1 Erdley, Debra (August 16, 2013). "Hall phones in new University of Pittsburgh dormitory recall earlier era". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Retrieved August 19, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. Erdley, Debra (2012-10-26). "Pitt trustees honor Chancellor Nordenberg with scholarship fund". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Retrieved 2012-10-26.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. Panesi, Louis (2007). 121 University Place: A Father's Abuse / A Doctor's Love- The Powerful Story of a Tortured Boy Who Prevailed With The Help of a Very Special Doctor. Pineville, NC: Pass It on Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9792166-0-2.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Preceded by
Thackeray Hall
University of Pittsburgh Buildings
University Place Office Building

Constructed: 1924
Succeeded by
Bellefield Hall