No, no nononono. No!

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center President Jeffrey Romoff confirmed today that he wants a UPMC logo atop the 64-story U.S. Steel Tower as part of his agreement to move the headquarters of the Oakland hospital conglomerate Downtown and fill five floors in the city’s largest office building.

I am not cool with the US Steel Tower being branded with the UPMC logo … and I have no idea why.

That’s the big black tower.  That’s the tower by which I learned to navigate the not-at-all confusing streets of downtown.  It’s like home base.  Once you spot it, you kind of get your bearings back and can figure out where the hell you are.

It’s the tower that when you bring people into town you point to it and say, “That there’s the US Steel Tower.”

Now when you point and say, “That there’s the US Steel Tower.” your friend will go, “What’s UPMC stand for?”

Here’s hoping my remote-controlled pigeons don’t mind too much when I direct them to shit all over those signs.

Also?  Twenty bucks says the new Penguins arena will be either the UPMC Arena or the Highmark Arena.


  1. Woy
    April 10, 2007 3:23 pm

    Are you kidding? It’ll be the Ravenstahl Arena. Complete with his mug on the side of the building.

    And lots of signs saying “Please move forward.”

  2. Bram R
    April 10, 2007 3:52 pm

    So if I get this straight … UPMC does not want to PURCHASE the signage rights from the city of pittsburgh or the owners of the USX Bldg … they want to be GIVEN the signage for the gift of moving themselves downtown, using all kinds of city services, and paying no city taxes because they’re a “non-profit.”

    Unless UPMC changes its logo to some kind of leggy chick silhouette, I’m going to have to veto this bunghole maneuver on several general principles.

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  4. Mac
    April 10, 2007 4:19 pm

    I had no idea you had veto power over downtown signage, Bram.

    This would be perfectly Pittsburgh: You start at the U.S. Steel Building, I will start at Gimbels, and we can meet under the Kaufmann’s clock. Then we will walk up to the Civic Arena together.

  5. Kat
    April 10, 2007 4:40 pm

    Is the UPMC move really such a boon for the city? They’re moving from one part of the city to another. If they were moving from, say, Monroeville or Cranberry to Downtown, that would actually be good. Oakland to Downtown, not so much.

  6. Susanne
    April 10, 2007 9:41 pm

    Let’s think this one through.
    US STEEL, what have they done for us lately? They do have the stigma of “global warming, pollutant, ugly city sky line, has been industry lay off lots of people” While UPMC, a teaching hospital bringing young people to the city to discover the wonder of it all. Most large renters get huge incentives to move into spaces. I dont get the hate there. You have to think, Oakland already has the colleges and such….might be a good move for downtown. If you want to make a bigger impact, why not move it to one of the very econcomically depressed towns outside of the city to generate some business for those hurting towns? Otherwise, why not fill a expensive piece of downtown realestate and keep the town hoppin? Nothing says loser like a empty has been town center. Ever been to Detroit?

  7. Zsa
    April 11, 2007 10:24 am

    I work in the US Steel Tower (which I lovingly refer to as “the big brown thing”). FYI Susanne, the building is already at 90% capacity. The only favor UPMC is doing them is moving into the top floors, which obviously declined in prestige or desirability post-9/11.

    PNC has at least 5 floors here, as does (duh) US Steel. Not to mention it also houses offices for Attorney Edgar Snyder.

    There’s no reason UPMC should put their bleeping sign on the top of the building when there are other companies with their HQ here. Hopefully it’ll get derailed due to air traffic regulations or something.

  8. DW
    April 11, 2007 11:25 am

    UPMC would be pleased as punch to have their sign higher than Highmarks….

  9. Bram R
    April 11, 2007 1:56 pm

    … and clearly visible from half the beds at Allegheny General.

  10. Kayla
    April 11, 2007 3:31 pm

    God I hate UPMC – please tell me that there are reasonable people out there who DO have veto power. They won’t be happy until they own the whole freakin’ city…

  11. Pinto Alegre
    April 11, 2007 4:39 pm

    I’m betting it’s almost a certainty that the new arena will be UPMC Arena. Hopefully, that will be enough for them so that we don’t have to add yet another f&%king logo on top of a building downtown.

    Man, all of those beautiful pictures of our city from Mt. Washington and the West End Overlook are now going to be crappy with all of the corporate logos all over the place!

  12. Susanne
    April 11, 2007 6:08 pm

    It does tick you off. A beautiful concert venue here in NJ used to be The Garden State Arts Center…now is PNC BANK ARTS CENTER. I delared NEVER to call it by its pimped out name. Until my teenage daughter wanted to be dropped off to see “Gwen Stafani at PNC, MOM GAAAWWD!”” I got used to it and know how bad i would feel if that place went dark due to state cuts, no funding or what have you. I also support a small theatre in town “the Count Basie” with my own time and money. It feels good to see a beauty from back in the day restored. Gets good big name performers. Takes alot of people to keep the good ones UNPIMPED though.

  13. Mark Rauterkus
    April 13, 2007 11:34 am

    I’d not think a UPMC sign on the top of the US Steel Building is a good idea.

    I could see it now — a husband in a panic drives his wife and about to be delivered baby off of I 279 and pull up under the UPMC sign expecting hospital services.

    Talk about bait and switch.

    Folks there with gunshot wounds and bleeding to death run into see Edgar Snyder.

    Old folks with fleeting mental capacity go to the UPMC building because broken bodies are full of rust and decay and not steel-like.

    What’s worse, however, is telling others what they can do with their own properties.

  14. spoon
    April 13, 2007 12:23 pm

    Actually Mark what they’re going to do is use it as a beacon so when you arrive there will be a pullup window that you can state what your emergency says and then directions to the correct hospital will be given either via paper or a hot sync for your pda/gps/cell phone.

    UPMC: “Hi, welcome to the wonderful world of UPMC. Please state your emergency”
    Dude: “yeah I’ve been shot, my wife is in labor and my son drank paint. where do I go?”
    UPMC: Thank you. based on your needs the idea location is UPMC Pres… Sir, do you have insurance?
    Dude: No..
    UPMC: Are you a Steeler?
    Dude: No…
    UPMC: In that case your number is 876934795. ER is now server #4. Please follow these directions to Mercy Hospital. Have a nice day!