Carnegie Mellon University

Mark Houser

September 10, 2021

THIS WEEK!!! Osher at CMU Lecture Series presents "The World's Most Beautiful Antique Skyscrapers" by Mark Houser

CMU founding architect Henry Hornbostel did some of his best work in the “other” Oakland, where he designed an extravagant municipal building in 1914 that residents nicknamed “Mayor Mott’s wedding cake.” Mark Houser shares stories and photos from his visit to Oakland City Hall—including its top-floor jail—as well as other spectacular landmarks from coast to coast and beyond researching his new book, “MultiStories: 55 Antique Skyscrapers & the Business Tycoons Who Built Them.” Hear about Hornbostel and other colorful men and women from the Gilded Age, when the world’s first skyscrapers radically changed every downtown. Not only New York and Chicago, but Pittsburgh, Boston, Houston, Miami, San Francisco, Liverpool, and Buenos Aires. As Europe has its castles, so does America have its “cathedrals of commerce”—its antique skyscrapers. Discover the best ones to visit and learn the fascinating stories behind them.

Mark Houser is an award-winning journalist and frequent public speaker who has appeared on CNN, FOX, and NPR, and given a TEDx Talk. Hundreds of people have taken his "Antique Skyscraper Rooftops" guided tour in Pittsburgh. His story about trying unsuccessfully to stop the future president of France from scorching his mouth on a habanero salsa nacho chip has been published in The New Yorker.