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Litchfield Towers

Litchfield Towers
Three cylindrical residential hall buildings known as Litchfield Towers
From left to right, Towers C, B, and A
Former names Tower Residence Halls
Alternative names the Towers
General information
Architectural style International Style[1]
Location Oakland neighborhood
Town or city Pittsburgh
Country United States
Current tenants ~1,850 students
Cost $14 million
Owner University of Pittsburgh
Height From lobby to roof:[2]
Tower A
198.3 feet (60.4 m)
Tower B
224.4 feet (68.4 m)
Tower C
171 feet (52 m)
Design and construction
Architect Dahlen Klahre Ritchey
Architecture firm Deeter & Ritchey

Litchfield Towers, commonly referred to on campus as "Towers", is a complex of dormitories at the University of Pittsburgh's main campus in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Litchfield Towers is both the largest and tallest dormitory at the University of Pittsburgh, housing approximately 1,850 students.[3]

Designed by the architectural firm of Deeter & Ritchey,[4] the complex was completed in 1963 and was named for former chancellor Edward Litchfield following his death in an airplane crash in 1968. The complex consists of three towers, which during construction were designated A, B, and C in the architectural plans.[3] The names stuck after the towers were completed, and the towers are still so named today.

Towers A, B, and C house mostly first-year freshmen. The towers are all of different heights, and differ slightly in their living accommodations. Tower B is the tallest of the three, at 22 stories.[5] Tower A is 19 stories tall, and Tower C is 16 stories in height. Rooms in Towers A and B are the same size, roughly 17 ft (5.2 m) by 11 ft (3.4 m).[6] These measurements are not exact, however, because the three towers are cylindrical in shape (although actually twenty-sided) and the rooms themselves are therefore somewhat trapezoidal.


  • History 1
  • Towers A and B 2
  • Tower C 3
  • Student services 4
    • Panther Central 4.1
    • Dining services 4.2
    • Security 4.3
  • References 5
  • External links 6


The original proposal for the "unusual skyscraper dormitory"[7] complex, designed by Dahlen Ritchey[8] of the architectural firm of Deeter & Ritchey, was unveiled in June, 1960 and called for three towers to contain living quarters with unobstructed views for 1,868 male students. The towers were preliminarily designated as A, B, and C, with undergraduates to occupy tower A and B and graduate students tower C. The towers would rise from a three story base that included a dining room accommodating 14,000 students, serving men from the towers and women from the nearby Schenley Quadrangle residences, as well a parking garage in its bottom level.[9] Construction was initially delayed a year due to perceived high expense,[10] but the dormitories opened in September, 1963 at a cost of $14 million[11] with initially 1,150 residents filling approximately two-thirds of the spaces.[12]

The reference to the three towers as A, B, and C, which originated in their designs, remains to this day, although from their inception, the towers have been designated with unofficial nicknames reflecting the similarity of their shape to the canister packaging of the coinciding to the commercial cleansing products Ajax, Bab-O, and Comet.[13] Due to the obscurity of Bab-O cleanser in more recent years, Tower B has often been referred to by the nicknames Bon Ami and Bounty.

Collectively, the dorms were at first simply referred to by the university as the Tower Residence Halls. In 1971, the university formally named the complex Litchfield Towers in honor of Edward Litchfield who had served as Pitt's chancellor during their construction and subsequently died in a tragic 1968 airplane crash.[14]

Towers A and B

Tower A (right) and Tower B (left)

Towers A and B are very similar to each other. All rooms in both towers are doubles, meaning that two people share each room. There is a lounge the size of three dorm rooms every third floor, containing a large television and several couches and tables for studying. Communal and university-sponsored events frequently take place in the various lounges throughout the towers. Every floor shares a communal bathroom, with several shower and restroom stalls. Each floor has twenty rooms, except for the lounge floors, which only have seventeen. Each floor's resident assistant lives alone in their respective room, meaning each floor houses 39 people. On the ground floor of Tower A there is a small fitness center containing treadmills, ellipticals, bikes, and weight equipment. A fully functioning post office and all student mailboxes are located on the ground floor of Tower B. Due to the fact that both Towers A and B are exclusively residences for first year students, they are both designated as alcohol-free.[15] Its distribution, sale, and consumption, is punished if discovered.

Previously, there had been several specialized student communities in Litchfield Towers which are set aside by the university, although they have since moved to other on-campus housing spaces. Students Pursuing Academics and Careers in Engineering, commonly referred to as the "SPACE" floors, was located on floors 8 through 11 of Tower A [16] until it was moved to Forbes Hall in 2011.[17] The University Honors College first-year Living Learning Community was housed on floors 11 and 12 of Tower B prior to 2005, and then on floors 11 through 14 after 2005,[18] and the University of Pittsburgh College of Business Administration Living Learning Community is located on floors 9 and 10 of Tower B.[18] After the 2006-2007 school year, The University Honors College First-Year Honors Community was moved to Forbes Hall until 2011 when it moved to Sutherland Hall,[19] while the College of Business Administration Living Learning Community was moved directly to Sutherland Hall in 2007.[20]

Tower C

Tower C, Floors 3-16

Tower C is different from Towers A and B in several ways, but primarily in the fact that its rooms are single occupancy. The rooms are 2/3 the size of rooms in Towers A and B, and like Tower A and Tower B, every third floor has a lounge containing a television, couches, and tables for extra study. In addition, each floor has 30 rooms, except floors containing a lounge, which have 27. No official specialized student communities are housed in Tower C, but designated male and female floors are 24-hour Quiet Living Communities.[21] Up until 2010-11, Tower C was open to students of any year,[22] however it now houses primarily first-year students.[23]

Student services

As the largest dormitory on the University of Pittsburgh's campus, Litchfield Towers is home to several student services in order to accommodate its large population.

Panther Central

Panther Central is the center for most basic student services. Some of these services include issuing of student

Preceded by
Trees Hall
University of Pittsburgh Buildings
Litchfield Towers

Constructed: 1963
Succeeded by
Forbes Hall
  • Litchfield Towers on Pitt's virtual Campus Tour
  • Litchfield Towers rooms on Pitt's virtual Campus Tour

External links

  1. ^ University of Pittsburgh Facilities Management Division; MacLachlan, Cornelius & Filoni, Inc. (2010-01-29), Proposed Institutional Master Plan Update University of Pittsburgh (Final Draft) (PDF), University of Pittsburgh, p. 41, retrieved 2011-01-23 
  2. ^ "Telefact: Pitt Building Info". Telefact. Retrieved 2012-04-03. 
  3. ^ a b "University of Pittsburgh Virtual Tour: Litchfield Towers". University of Pittsburgh. Retrieved 2010-02-23. 
  4. ^ "CMU ARCHNEW2 Database: Browse Record: Tower Dormitories". Carnegie Mellon University. Retrieved 2010-02-23. 
  5. ^ "Litchfield Towers, Pittsburgh -". Skyscraper Source Media. Retrieved 2010-02-23. 
  6. ^ "Housing Services: Litchfield Tower A". University of Pittsburgh. 2010-02-12. Retrieved 2010-02-23. 
  7. ^ "Pitt Dorm Gets Further Study". The Pittsburgh Press. 1960-06-17. Retrieved 2010-02-22. 
  8. ^ Allan, William (1961-10-22). "Entirely-New Golden Triangle Forecast For Next 50 Years". The Pittsburgh Press. Retrieved 2010-02-22. 
  9. ^ Eskey, Kenneth (1960-10-30). "No 'Ranches' As Pitt Aims Its Buildings At the Sky". The Pittsburgh Press. Retrieved 2010-02-22. 
  10. ^ "Pitt Delays New Dorm In Oakland". The Pittsburgh Press. 1961-07-19. Retrieved 2010-02-22. 
  11. ^ "1,100 to Live in New Pitt Dorms". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA). 1963-08-07. Retrieved 2010-02-22. 
  12. ^ The Owl. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh. 1964. p. 300. Retrieved 2010-02-22. 
  13. ^ The Owl. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh. 1963. Retrieved 2010-02-22. 
  14. ^ "Litchfield Towers". The Pittsburgh Press (Pittsburgh, PA). 1971-04-16. Retrieved 2010-02-22. 
  15. ^ University of Pittsburgh Residential Handbook 2009-2010 (PDF). University of Pittsburgh Department of University Marketing Communications. 2009. p. 5. Retrieved 2010-02-23. 
  16. ^ University of Pittsburgh Residential Handbook 2009-2010 (PDF). University of Pittsburgh Department of University Marketing Communications. 2009. p. 25. Retrieved 2010-02-23. 
  17. ^ Panther Central: Residence Hall Living (PDF). University of Pittsburgh. 2011. p. 22. Retrieved 2011-08-11. 
  18. ^ a b University of Pittsburgh 2006-2007 Residential Handbook. University of Pittsburgh. 2006. p. 25. 
  19. ^ "Honors Housing". University of Pittsburgh. 2009-10-09. Retrieved 2010-02-23. 
  20. ^ "College of Business Administration: Living Learning Community". University of Pittsburgh. 2010-02-05. Archived from the original on August 6, 2007. Retrieved 2010-02-23. 
  21. ^ University of Pittsburgh Residential Handbook 2009-2010 (PDF). University of Pittsburgh Department of University Marketing Communications. 2009. p. 48. Retrieved 2010-02-23. 
  22. ^ "Housing Services: Litchfield Tower C". University of Pittsburgh. 2010-02-12. Archived from the original on 2010-09-05. Retrieved 2011-11-26. 
  23. ^ "Housing Services: Litchfield Tower C". University of Pittsburgh. 2011-05-27. Retrieved 2011-10-26. 
  24. ^ University of Pittsburgh Residential Handbook 2009-2010 (PDF). University of Pittsburgh Department of University Marketing Communications. 2009. p. 39. Retrieved 2010-02-23. 
  25. ^ a b University of Pittsburgh 2006-2007 Residential Handbook. University of Pittsburgh. 2006. p. 11. 
  26. ^ "Dining Services: Market Central". University of Pittsburgh. Retrieved August 26, 2013. 
  27. ^ Blake, Sharon S. (August 20, 2013). "Changing Spaces: William Pitt Union Eatery and Litchfield Towers Food Court Get Facelifts". Pitt Chronicle (Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh). Retrieved August 26, 2013. 
  28. ^ Maier, Em (August 26, 2013). "Construction projects advance over summer". The Pitt News (Pittsburgh, PA). Retrieved August 26, 2013. 
  29. ^ University of Pittsburgh Residential Handbook 2009-2010 (PDF). University of Pittsburgh Department of University Marketing Communications. 2009. p. 4. Retrieved 2010-02-23. 
  30. ^ a b c d University of Pittsburgh Residential Handbook 2009-2010 (PDF). University of Pittsburgh Department of University Marketing Communications. 2009. pp. 51–52. Retrieved 2010-02-23. 
Tower A (right) and Tower C (left)


During the designated moving-in/moving-out periods at the beginning and end of semesters, the elevators in all three Towers can access the basement garage, allowing students and visitors the ability to travel freely between Towers.

Although Panther Central, the Towers Lobby which connects all three towers, and the dining services located on the ground floor are accessible to everyone, only residents are allowed in the individual towers and must present their student ID card to a 24-hour security guard to gain entrance.[29] Visitors to any of the Towers must be signed in by a resident of the Tower, and must present either their student ID card if they are a student or a valid form of photographic identification if they are not.[30] Guests signed in by residents must be signed out and leave the Tower by 2:00 AM.[30] If not, an overnight stay request must be completed, of which a student can only file a certain number each academic semester.[30] No resident is permitted to sign in more than five people at one time.[30]

Forbes Avenue entrance to the Litchfield Towers lobby during the 2009 orientation week.


For the fall of 2007, the Litchfield Tower dining facilities were completely remodeled. The newly renovated dining hall has been named "Market Central", and contains six new all-you-can-eat venues and two takeout areas ("Market-To-Go" and "Quick Zone"). Often referred to as just "Market" by campus residents, Market Central's venues offer a great deal of variety. The Flying S-T-A-R Diner, for example, offers around-the-clock breakfast while Magellan's serves up food from around the world such as eggrolls and other ethnic specialties. Upon entering, students present their campus IDs to gain access to all six venues for their entire duration in the facility. Meal passes or dining dollars can be used for admittance.[26] In 2013, renovations to Market Central included doubling the size of the Quick Zone and the addition of "Towers Treats" ice cream and dessert booth.[27][28]

Until the 2007 academic year, the ground floor of the Litchfield towers complex housed two University dining facilities, both run by the French food service conglomerate Sodexo. "The Marketplace" (formerly known as C-Side) was an all-you-can-eat buffet serving traditional foods such as pastas and salad.[25] The menu changed throughout the day, starting with breakfast foods such as waffles and cereal and ending with dinner dishes such as lasagna. The other, "Eddie's", was structured more like a food court, with several stand-alone food shops serving such foods as sandwiches, chicken, and hamburgers. Eddie's also contained a small grocery store mainly selling snack foods and pre-packaged dinners.[25] The grocery store offered a small selection of kosher foods. The small shop in the lobby of Towers, "Common Grounds", which sells coffee, juice, bagels, and various other baked goods still remains.

Pedestrian bridge connecting to the Towers' lobby from the Barco Law Building (left), David Lawrence Hall (right) and Posvar Hall. Tower A is seen center.

Dining services


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