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Exterior Architecture

The building's signature pyramidal roof is 124-feet tall and consists of four individual prisms clad in granite. Besides providing the complex with a distinctive landmark, the pyramidal rooftop also serves as an enclosed mechanical penthouse for the building's cooling towers and elevator machine room.

Towering from the Fifth Avenue Place rooftop peak stands the building's trademark, a 178-foot tall mast manufactured by Meyer Industry of Minnesota. Despite its rounded appearance, the 13-story steel structure is actually 12-sided and measures four feet in diameter.

The mast's hollow interior contains a ladder which provides ready access to the aircraft warning light located at the top. In extremely high winds, the mast's design allows for up to a three-foot sway in any given direction.

Because Pittsburgh zoning ordinances mandate a decrease in the height of high-rise office towers progressing from Grant Street down to Point State Park, the building's pyramidal peak and mast were designed to provide the structure with a greater sense of height as well as a unique architectural identity.

The majority of the facade is covered with Spanish pink granite mined in Porrino, Spain. Darker colored Taivassalo granite, imported from Finland, accents the building's entryways and windows.

In contrast to the pink granite, Pittsburgh Plate Glass Industries manufactured blue-green glass windows, reminiscent of old fashioned soda bottles.

A dramatic three-story glass and brass arch and distinguished illuminated clock mark the center's main retail entrance at the corner of Fifth & Liberty Avenues. Lush floral beds, tree-lined terrazzo sidewalks, and awning-trimmed windows also serve to accentuate the center's charismatic retail presence.

During the evening, Fifth Avenue Place dominates the city skyline with its formidable design and creative exterior lighting. The pyramidal rooftop peak and office tower walls are illuminated with more than 44,000 watts of light generated by 64 strategically positioned flood lamps.

For further information on the lighting, please see Rooftop Lighting Recognition Program.