How I discovered it: I grew up in Pittsburgh and my father worked here.
What they say: "The ALCOA building was built from 1951-1953 as the corporate headquarters for the Aluminum Company of America. It is an internationally known example for a post-World War II International Style corporate tower by the architectural firm of Harrison and Abramovitz. Aluminum is used throughout the skyscraper to promote ALCOA's product." - Library of Congress
What I Say: When I was a kid, it was such a treat to visit my dad at his downtown office! Going downtown meant taking a trolley car from my suburban home - so much fun! I really don't remember thinking much about the building when I was little, other than that it seemed the highest of high skyscrapers (30-story - a tiddler these days!), but now, as an adult (and a fervent retro-modernist!), I absolutely love it!
In 1953 it must have been considered BREATHtakingly modern - particularly that beautiful, sweeping entrance. I love that the building is clad in aluminum - Alcoa's main product (reminds me a bit of the industrial glamour of Rearden Metal in Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged).
I'm so pleased that they recently renovated Mellon Square (on which the building sits) and hope they will always preserve this building as a beautiful example of mid-century modern design.
The verdict: Lorelei loves it!