Book about Architect of Pitt Buildings is Now Available

Alumni Hall in the sunlight

Free copies of the book, "The Architecture of Benno Janssen," by retired Pittsburgh Post-Gazette art and architecture critic Donald Miller are being made available to instructors, researchers and organizations. The book, written in 1997, is illustrated with photographs by Edward Massery. There are a limited number of copies available.

Janssen (1874-1964) was the highly-regarded American architect who designed a number of iconic Pitt buildings, including Alumni Hall (the former Masonic Temple), Bellefield Hall, the Pittsburgh Athletic Association, Falk Laboratory School and the newly-purchased Twentieth Century Club. Janssen also was the architect behind the Mellon Institute and the William Penn Hotel.

Post-Gazette reporter Marylynne Pitz, who benefited from Miller’s mentoring, arranged to have thousands of extra copies of the books shipped to Pittsburgh with the assistance of Tom Celli, the architect who designed the addition to Pitt’s Stephen Foster Memorial. Pitz is seeking out interested parties so that the books may have a good home, and is reaching out to libraries, architects associations and the like.

“I’m delighted that 4,000 copies of this book are being rescued and placed in the hands of Western Pennsylvanians so they can appreciate Janssen’s architectural talents,” she said.

Those interested in obtaining a copy of the book may contact Pitz at