The Cathedral of Learning

I’m at CMU today for the National Center of Women & Information Technology semi-annual meeting (I’m chairman).  We just had a fantastic keynote from Nick Donofrio – EVP of Innovation and Technology at IBM, a 42 year IBM veteran, and a strong supporter / advocate of woman in information technology.

After wandering around enemy territory (the CMU computer science and robotics buildings – as an MIT grad, I kept expecting someone to notice that a spy from another school was snooping around – they didn’t notice me, they were too busy looking at all the Google flyers advertising for jobs) I settled into the conference room at Newell Simon Hall.  I noticed this huge building out the window and overheard someone mention that it is called The Cathedral of Learning and was the second tallest academic building in the world.  A quick search on Wikipedia turned up an awesome amount of information on this building which was commissioned in 1921 and finished in 1937 (fundraising started in 1925 – I hope the money was raised before October 1929).  The building is on the University of Pittsburgh’s main campus and the view is stunning from the third flow of CMU’s Newell Simon Hall.

I love the idea of a building called “The Cathedral of Learning”, regardless of which campus it’s located on.

  • John

    It is also commonly referred to as the “tower of ignorance” by us CMU folk. It’s probably just jealousy, CMU has Hammershlag, Scaife and Wean, none of which are cathedral like of really even that interesting and CMU has a pretty good architecture program.

  • As a CMU grad student, I spent some time studying at the Cathedral of Learning on Pitts’s campus. For anyone who attended CMU, you know why we all felt the need to “study” off campus down by Pitt sometimes. The “scenery” was better. It is an incredible building to be in, especially when you notice the impact of the steel industry on the building with the building looking like it has a black soot all over it. While I was at CMU, they actually cleaned part of the Carnegie Museum, we were all suprised to find that it was actually white stone, not black.

  • It was even more cool going to school at CMU and occasionally doing the climb up to the top of The Cathedral of Learning just to say you did it. Of course being at CMU we always wondered why it was that Pitt had something called a Cathedral of Learning ’cause god knows there was no actual learning going on there…ah…ah…well never mind… 😉

  • Cathedral of Learning

    I love the idea of a building called “The Cathedral of Learning”, regardless of which campus it’s located on.
    Feld Thoughts
    It was the best place from which to shoot out paper airplanes… freshman year at CMU, good times…

  • Kat

    I AM glad to see that CMU students are continuing their history of willful ignorance and feelings of superiority. And the comment on ‘scenery’? Classic. Way to be snobby jackasses. You must feel so proud.

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