340-342 S. Highland Avenue, Highland Towers
Historic Landmark apartment building containing 36 one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments.
Located in the heart of Shadyside’s East End, Highland Towers is only minutes from downtown Pittsburgh and major universities, such as the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University and Chatham University.
Situated near University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) area hospitals and just a few blocks from the retail shops and restaurants on Walnut Street, South Highland Avenue and Ellsworth Avenue, this residence allows quick, convenient access to the best that Pittsburgh has to offer. Not only is this building on the primary public bus transit lines (Port Authority of Allegheny County - PAT) that serve city neighborhoods, including Oakland and downtown, but grocery stores Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and Giant Eagle are within walking distance. The tree-lined and quiet, residential streets of this historic neighborhood lend a suburban feel to this urban area.
Considered one of the finest examples of early American Modern Architecture, Highland Towers was designed by Frederick G...
Considered one of the finest examples of early American Modern Architecture, Highland Towers was designed by Frederick G. Scheibler in 1913 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Landmarks. Over the years, much has been written about this building.
“Highland Towers,” wrote Martin Aurand in THE PROGRESSIVE ARCHITECTURE OF FREDERICK G. SCHEIBLER, JR. (University of Pittsburgh Press, © 1994), “was seemingly Scheibler’s most inventive design; but it had its sources. Scheibler, who ordinarily sought inspiration in foreign lands, occasionally looked over his shoulder to see what was being wrought in the American West. This time he saw the unmistakable figure of Frank Lloyd Wright.”
The 36 one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments contain the original stained glass windows, colorful painted murals, and built-in mahogany cabinetry. The walls of the apartments are constructed of concrete, “punctuated with at least one round concrete column and crossed overhead by concrete beams,” wrote Aurand. “These surfaces were coated with a cement-and-silica gravel concrete assuring a rough texture and a dark coloration.” Describing the interior architecture as “gritty,” Aurand noted that the art glass and “colorful painted murals provide a lighter touch.” The murals and art glass dividers feature dragons, butterflies, peacocks and other birds, and a variety of flowers and foliage, including water lilies and bamboo.
Today, individual apartments have been renovated to respect the rich architectural history. Please see the written descriptions, photographs and floor plans for each apartment.
Articles and Resources:
- Read about Highland Towers: Retropolitan Living
(distributed by permission from "The Pittsburgh Metropolitan", January/February 2006)
- View: 1913 Highland Towers Marketing Brochure
- Highland Towers in Fabulous Floors -- 2013