Photo Spots

Are you looking for a picturesque new location where you can take a photo of your new Pitt graduate? Or are you the new grad who wants to snap photos of your friends and relatives? We’ve combed the campus and selected some particularly photogenic spots to try.

Panther Statue
(outside the Petersen Events Center)

The panther, once indigenous to southwestern Pennsylvania, was adopted as Pitt’s mascot by students and alumni in fall 1909. This statue stands atop a mosaic depiction of Pitt Stadium (1925-1999) and is located outside the south gate of the Petersen Events Center. The center is the home of the men’s and women’s basketball teams, and provides an on-campus venue for the commencement as well as concerts and conventions.


Panther Statue
(outside the William Pitt Union)

A point of convergence for Pitt students, faculty, and staff since it was erected in fall 2001, this panther statue greets those who enter the south side of the University’s William Pitt Union. The bronze statue was cast in Parma, Italy, and serves as both a tribute to Pitt and a reminder of the University’s fierce Panther Pride. A time capsule, to be opened in 2051, lies buried beneath the statue.


William Pitt Union
(flowers in foreground)

This beaux-arts building now known as the William Pitt Union opened as the Hotel Schenley in 1898 and hosted many celebrities including Presidents Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, Woodrow Wilson, and Dwight Eisenhower, and visiting baseball greats Babe Ruth, Casey Stengel, Ty Cobb, and Rogers Hornsby. The University purchased the hotel in 1956, and it became the site of Pitt’s student union. The main floor has been painstakingly restored, and what used to be a seldom-used basement now serves as a functional lower level.


Hillman Library

Hillman Library, Pitt’s central and largest library, is located at 3960 Forbes Ave. and was dedicated in 1968. It houses 1.9 million volumes, the Stark Music Library, and several special archives, including the African American Collection, the East Asia Collection (one of the largest in North America) the Eduardo Lozano Latin American Collection, and the Buhl Social Work Collection.


University of Pittsburgh portal
(corner Fifth and Bellefield avenues)

Two 18-foot portals erected in 2001 help define the University of Pittsburgh campus in the city’s Oakland section. This portal, at the corner of Fifth and Bellefield avenues, serves as a gateway to three historic Pitt buildings: (from left to right) Heinz Memorial Chapel, the Cathedral of Learning, and Alumni Hall. At far right is Clapp Hall. The second portal is at the corner of Forbes and Bellefield avenues.



Cathedral of Learning

Pitt’s Cathedral of Learning— at 525 feet and 42 stories tall, the second-tallest educational building in the world—was completed in 1937 with the help of the entire community: Pittsburgh-based corporations and foundations contributed generously, and more than 97,000 schoolchildren donated 10 cents each to fund the Cathedral’s construction.


Cathedral of Learning (railing)

This patio outside the entrance to the Cathedral of Learning Commons Room is a popular meeting place for Pitt students. Here, students gather at the ornate railing overlooking the fountain on the Bigelow Boulevard side of the Cathedral, a historic landmark and the traditional heart of Pitt’s campus. The fountain empties into a shallow base surrounded by flowers and shrubbery.


Litchfield Towers

The largest University of Pittsburgh housing complex, Litchfield Towers, is the campus home of many of Pitt’s freshmen. The Towers are co-ed and house approximately 1,800 Pitt undergraduates. Tower A (pictured here) and Tower B offer double rooms, while Tower C offers singles. The Towers Lobby, a social crossroads, connects all three buildings and also contains the student mailroom, vending area, laundry facilities, and Pitt’s Housing and Food Service offices. On the lower level of the Towers is one of the main food service areas. The buildings were named the Litchfield Towers in 1971 following the death of former Pitt Chancellor Edward H. Litchfield. The complex’s design has won several architectural awards.


Log Cabin

Transported to Pittsburgh in 1986 to commemorate the University’s approaching bicentennial, this 19th-century log cabin—located along Forbes Avenue in the shadow of Pitt’s Cathedral of Learning—symbolizes the University’s original log-cabin home in what is now downtown Pittsburgh. This particular cabin, from Yatesborough, Pa., was purchased at an auction for $1,000 by Charles Fagan III, who donated it to the University because his wife Ann Ebbert Fagan (CAS ’62) graduated from Pitt.


Stephen Foster Memorial
(red doors)

Since the Middle Ages, red doors have been a symbol of refuge. These doors grace the rear of the Stephen Foster Memorial and face the south side of the Cathedral of Learning; they were part of the memorial’s original 1937 construction, and feature wrought-iron details by famed Philadelphia metalworker Samuel Yellin. In spring, the area behind the Stephen Foster Memorial provides students with a quiet, shady place to pause between classes.


Stephen Foster Memorial
(sign in foreground)

The landmark Stephen Foster Memorial, designed by architect Charles Klauder to accompany his Cathedral of Learning (in background), stands at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Bigelow Boulevard as a tribute to Pittsburgh-born composer Stephen Collins Foster (1826-1864). The memorial’s Foster Hall Collection includes a massive assortment of manuscripts, photos, first editions of sheet music, rare books, letters, and personal possessions of the composer. The building also houses Pitt’s Center for American Music, one of the nation’s most significant collections of 19th century American music; the 478-seat Charity Randall Theatre; and the 151-seat Henry Heymann Theatre.