Firm client Century Steel Erectors helping to change Pittsburgh skyline

Firm client Century Steel Erectors helping to change Pittsburgh skyline
July 9, 2014

Congratulations to Saul Ewing LLP client Century Steel Erectors for completing construction of the steel structure for the 33-story Tower at PNC Plaza in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  The Dravosburg, Pennsylvania-based company celebrated on June 24, 2014 with a topping off ceremony at the building site, located at Fifth and Wood streets in downtown Pittsburgh.

As is tradition in the construction industry, the celebration included the placement of an American flag and a pine tree on the last and highest beam for the project to signal completion of the steel structure.  A broom was also placed there to symbolize there were no fatalities on the job, known in the industry as a “clean sweep.”

Approximately 45-50 union ironworkers, represented by the Ironworkers Local Union No. 3, have been working on the structure since July 2013. The job has involved rigging, hoisting, setting in place, welding, tightening bolts, setting metal deck upon the steel super-structure and other tasks to fuse together 4- to 18-inch wide beams, which were lifted into place by a centrally-positioned tower crane.  As the building climbed skyward, the crane periodically had to be “jumped” to keep pace with the steel erection.  The largest beams used in the project weighed up to 37,000 pounds, which is heavier than two male African elephants.

Century Steel Vice President Darlaine Taylor said the company is the largest employer of union ironworkers in western Pennsylvania and has been the go-to company for other projects in the region such as Heinz Field, home of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the Pittsburgh Pirates’ PNC Park.  Darlaine’s father, Donn R. Taylor, is Century Steel’s president and an ironworker who rose from the field to lead the company to its respected position in the steel erection business.

Joseph H. Bucci, a partner in Saul Ewing’s Construction Practice and a former union tradesman himself, has a more than 20-year relationship providing legal advice to Century Steel on its endeavors in the construction industry.

Darlaine Taylor said Bucci’s background in the construction industry means he understands the pulse of projects and can speak the industry language when he counsels the company on legal issues.  “We don’t have to educate him,” she said. “He knows, and that is a tremendous benefit.”

While Century Steel’s role in building the approximately 800,000 square-foot skyscraper is coming to a close, work is expected to continue on the $240 million project for at least another year.  Summer 2015 is the projected opening for the building.