Highest Skywalk in City Dedicated at Duquesne University
Sklar Skywalk Becomes Fourth Pedestrian Bridge on Campus
The new Duquesne University Sklar Skywalk over Forbes Avenue, widely believed to be the highest pedestrian bridge in the city, was dedicated Friday, Sept. 28.
The skywalk pays homage to the history and future of Duquesne and the City of Pittsburgh with its contemporary arch frame design using steel, aluminum and glass. Two crosses are built into the towers of the newest skywalk on the campus of Duquesne, a Catholic University.
The pedestrian bridge will connect the heart of campus to the Power Center, the multipurpose recreational center under construction on Forbes Avenue. The skywalk allows the campus community and guests to enter on the fifth-floor ballroom of the Power Center.
Frank and Florence Sklar, the benefactors who committed funding for the construction, witnessed the unveiling of their nameplate and the blessing of the skywalk and its users, who will walk eight stories above Forbes Avenue.
Frank Sklar was born in 1921, the year that Duquesne started to build its campus. “And now a new era begins, as the University solidifies its presence across Forbes Avenue to better serve its students, the Uptown neighborhood and the entire city of Pittsburgh,” said President Charles J. Dougherty at the ceremony. “The generosity of Frank and Florence Sklar has made this bridge between the old and the new possible. The skywalk we dedicate in their name serves more than the obvious practical purpose. It stands as a testament to Duquesne’s continuing growth and its central place in the life of our community and our region.”
The Sklars, longtime leaders in the Pittsburgh business and philanthropic communities, are active in the Amen Corner, Syria Temple Shriners and Variety Children’s Charity, among others, and benefactors of Duquesne and several other local universities. Frank Sklar founded Camera Exchange Inc. and the Foto Hut film processing chain.
The skywalk, Dougherty said, “is quintessentially Pittsburgh: a bridge in the city of bridges, made of steel and glass in a city that brought steel and glass to the world. … In the spirit of its namesakes, it will attract and inspire photographers for generations to come.”
Some facts about the towering Sklar Skywalk follow:
Height above road: 80 feet
Span length: 138 feet
Construction began: April 2006
Construction completed: December 2006
Weight of steel used in freestanding towers and bridge: About 500,000 pounds
Materials used: Steel superstructure, metal roofing, aluminum window wall system, exposed aggregate concrete deck
Architects: WTW Architects
The Sklar Skywalk joins the Duquesne University family of bridges, which provide a practical means to connect campus on a hilly terrain, as they elicit a sense of style and community.
Other pedestrian bridges on campus are:
- Fisher Hall Skywalk over Forbes Avenue, connecting to the heart of campus, completed in 1998
- Rockwell Hall Skywalk over Locust Street, connecting to the main campus, completed in 1992
- Boulevard of the Allies Bridge, connecting the main campus to Second Avenue and the South Side area, completed in 1995.
Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 10,000 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.