500 Smithfield: Inside the Former Mellon Bank Building
During the summer of 2012, PNC Financial Services Group asked PHLF what we knew about the former Mellon Bank building, a City of Pittsburgh Historic Structure. The building was designed and built 1923-24; the New York architects were Trowbridge & Livingston, who designed the Gulf Building, in association with E. P. Mellon (a family member).
The exterior retains its original character but the interior was drastically altered in 2000 when the building opened as a Lord & Taylor Department Store (which closed in 2004). The expansive building now serves as a customer care center for PNC Financial Services Group, which moved in a staff of approximately 700 employees in November 2013.
PHLF provided photos of the interior before alterations, reproductions of architectural renderings of the exterior and interior, and directed PNC to the Trowbridge & Livingston Collection at Columbia University.
Four of the massive original columns were retained by Lord & Taylor and PNC has reused architectural elements: marble check- writing desks now serve as tables in the employee cafeteria; bronze and brass grilles, doors, and railings have become wall art; and some of the original chandeliers, copies of the architect’s drawings, and historic photos hang in the office areas.
In this building, PNC has created an excellent example of how modern interior design can be enriched with historical elements.