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National Register of Historic Places Program

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.


Property Name Pittsburgh Central Downtown Historic District (Boundary Increase and Additional Documentation)
Reference Number 13000251
State Pennsylvania
County Allegheny
Town Pittsburgh
Street Address Roughly bounded by Grant Street, Fourth Avenue, Wood Street, Sixth Avenue, Liberty Avenue, the former Pennsylvania Railroad tracks, and Seventh Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA
Multiple Property Submission Name N/A
Status Listed 05/02/2013
Areas of Significance Commerce, Architecture
Link to full file
The original nomination for the Pittsburgh Central Downtown Historic District established significance under NRHP Criterion A for commerce with the major concentration of prominent commercial and institutional historic buildings in Pittsburgh's central business district and under NRHP Criterion C for architecture as a cohesive concentration of resources reflecting nineteenth and twentieth century architectural styles (Aurand 1985:2). The newly contributing buildings of the listed district and boundary increase area similarly reflect bank, government, hotel, retail, and office buildings of pivotal importance to Pittsburgh's historic development and current health. .. [The buildings] represent the work of important architects and possess significant architectural qualities (Aurand 1985:4). They demonstrate the same wide variety of scale, age, style, materials, and function of the listed district with architecturally distinguished works. The amended period of significance for the district ranges from 1850 to 1962. It is amended because the period of significance in the earlier nomination (1850 to 1935) necessarily excluded resources that are of central importance to the commerce and architecture of the district but that were not yet fifty years old in 1985. This omission was noted in the original nomination, and the significance of the Alcoa Building and Mellon Square, in particular, were discussed at length (Aurand 1985). The amendment of the period of significance again defers to the fifty year cutoff date recommended by the NRHP for resources whose significance continues beyond the historic period. It acknowledges the continued importance of the district as the commercial heart of the city beyond 1962 demonstrated by the scope, scale, and variety of commerce that distinguishes this area from other parts of Downtown Pittsburgh. The amended period of significance also acknowledges that the newly contributing resources meet the standards established in the earlier nomination for high quality architecture with a role as a showplace for Pittsburgh's corporations and commercial enterprises.


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Properties are listed in the National Register of Historic Places under four criteria: A, B, C, and D. For information on what these criterion are and how they are applied, please see our Bulletin on How to Apply the National Register Criteria