The Cathedral of Learning, a Pittsburgh landmark listed in the National Register of Historic Places, is the centerpiece of the University of Pittsburgh's main campus in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States. Standing at 535 feet (>163 m), the 42-story Late Gothic Revival Cathedral is the tallest educational building in the Western hemisphere and the second tallest university building (fourth tallest educationally-purposed building) in the World. The Cathedral of Learning was commissioned in 1921 and ground was broken in 1926.
The first class was held in the building in 1931 and its exterior finished in October 1934, prior to its formal dedication in June, 1937. The Cathedral is a steel frame structure overlaid with Indiana limestone and contains more than 2,000 rooms and windows. The building is often used by the University in photographs, postcards, and other advertisements. The Cathedral of Learning houses the Department of Philosophy, considered one of the top five in the United States, and the Department of History and Philosophy of Science, consistently ranked at the top of the field. Other departments in the Cathedral include English, Religious Studies, and the School of Social Work which maintains the highest classrooms in the building located on the 23rd floor.
Floors 37–40 are closed to the general public, as they contain electrical wiring for the building, as well as the Babcock Room, a large conference room on the 40th floor utilized for meetings, seminars, and special events and which provides a panoramic view of downtown Pittsburgh, the rest of the University, and Carnegie Mellon University. The 40th floor balcony also houses a nesting pair of Peregrine Falcons. A view from the top is available via a webcam. Golden lights, dubbed "victory lights," surround the outside of the highest floors and are lit following Pitt football wins and other notable victories, giving the upper part of the Cathedral an amber glow.