Carnegie Mellon University
April 30, 2012

Press Release: Carnegie Mellon's High Point Pittsburgh Project Team To Present Web-based Simulation of US Steel Tower Rooftop Venue

Proposal Would Be Largest, Highest Space Atop Any Building on Earth

High point

Contacts: Pam Wigley / 412-268-1047 /
Byron Spice / 412-268-9068 /

PITTSBURGH—If you've ever imagined the view of Pittsburgh's Golden Triangle and beyond from the tallest point in town, virtual satisfaction is headed your way. 

A Carnegie Mellon University team of researchers and graduate students has created Virtually There — High Point Pittsburgh, an interactive experience that lets people envision a three-story addition to the U.S. Steel Tower.

The virtual reality program enables anyone with a computer and Internet access to explore the proposed one-acre space atop Pittsburgh's tallest building, which would be the largest, highest place atop any building on Earth.

A product of the High Point Pittsburgh Investigation, Virtually There (VT) was unveiled today in the Randy Pausch Studio of Carnegie Mellon's Entertainment Technology Center (ETC), where the project's producers, artists and programmers offered highlights of what they called a "destination in the sky." Along with accessing the virtual simulation's dozen interactive kiosks and exploring its media gallery and video theaters, visitors to the site could also check out the proposed restaurant/café/bar, central atrium and numerous panoramic viewing areas. VT also allowed site visitors to ride elevators or climb stairs to the rooftop promenade and enjoy a virtual fireworks extravaganza.

"The talents of many people have combined to create an exciting, interactive online environment unlike anything you've ever seen," said David Bear, a fellow in Carnegie Mellon's STUDIO for Creative Inquiry who has overseen the multi-year High Point Pittsburgh project. "It's a virtual destination that allows anyone to experience an imaginary place we hope one day might become a reality. In a very real sense, it provides a whole new way to see what can be."

The VT team includes producer Sean McChesney, programmers Siddhesh Vichare and Cintia Higashi, and artist/designer Sun-Moon Hwang, all ETC graduate students working under faculty advisers Mk Haley, ETC associate executive producer, and John Dessler, an ETC lecturer. CMU School of Architecture fourth-year students Richman Neumann, Daniel Rapoport and John Kim provided architectural design and décor concepts for the project.

The VT simulation can be accessed at

More information about the project is available at, on Facebook at and from David Bear at 412-731-8134 or

For a three-minute YouTube preview, go to For a 30-seond version, see