Join DRS as we celebrate each decade of our 60 years of design excellence!
1959 | Mellon Square | Allegheny General Hospital | Washington Plaza Apartments | Presbyterian University Hospital | 1968
Mellon Square
Mitchell & Ritchey, a predecessor firm to Deeter & Ritchey, were the architects for Mellon Square along with landscape architects Simonds & Simonds. Mellon Square, championed by Richard K. Mellon, was instrumental in the revitalization of downtown Pittsburgh. This resurgence included Alcoa’s new corporate headquarters, which overlooked the landscaped plaza below. Mitchell & Ritchey served as associate architects to Harrison & Abramovitz on the design of the Alcoa building. Mellon Square was the first modern plaza built above a parking garage in the country.

In 1985 Mellon Square was listed on the National Historic Register of Historical Places and in 2008 it was named one of “America’s Ten Greatest Public Spaces” by the American Planning Association. In 2018 Mellon Square and the Alcoa Building received the 50 Year Timeless Award from the American Institute of Architects, Pennsylvania. The award is given to architecture that has endured the test of time and still resonates with the design community and the public.
1959 -- | --- Auditorium Authority -- | -- Ketchum MacLeod & Grove -- | --- Eye & Ear Hospital --- | -- Equitable Gas | CMU -- | -- 1968
Civic Arena
The Civic Arena was designed by Mitchell & Ritchey and completed in 1961 after the firm became Deeter & Ritchey. Edgar J. Kaufman was a strong proponent of the Civic Light Opera and wanted to have a retractable roof so concerts could be enjoyed outdoors. His substantial financial contribution ensured that the Civic Arena would have the world's first retractable roof on a major public venue. The six moveable roof sections, supported by a 260' cantilevered external arm, took two and a half minutes to fully retract.

The interior provided excellent column-free viewing of a wide range of activities including NHL Hockey, concerts, basketball games, ice shows and circuses. Seating capacity was 17,500 depending on the type of event being held. Through hydraulic lifts, sections of the arena seating decks could be elevated to form a full-size stage area. The Arena was featured in numerous articles across the world and was named one of the 10 best venues in the nation by Billboard Magazine in 1976. The arena also received an award for Aesthetic Design in Structural Steel from the American Institute of Steel Construction. 
1959 ---- | --- University of Pittsburgh -- | -- Convent of the Immaculate Conceptio n -- | -- Allegheny Center Garage --- | ---- 1968
University of Pittsburgh Litchfield Towers & Trees Hall
DRS developed a solution to house 1,800 students on an irregular one and a half acre site in the heart of the Oakland campus. The architectural challenge was solved with three circular towers. This approach provided the most efficient use of space and maximum exterior exposure for rooms, while maintaining an open airy site. The concept for student housing in a high rise dormitory is maintained by dividing the towers into “houses” of three stories, each served by elevators to the center floor, which contains common spaces. Under the podium on which the Towers sit is a cafeteria to serve 1400 diners. This project received an Honor Award from the Pennsylvania Society of Architects.
Dividing an extensive building program into glass-walled "pavilions" set within landscaped courtyards, Trees Hall is urbane, expressive and human scaled - a classic example of mid-century modern architecture. Its principal program component contains a 50 meter Olympic-sized pool with diving platforms and an adjacent smaller pool.  When completed, it was celebrated as the largest indoor pool in the country. Trees pool was also one of the first with a 10-meter high-dive tower, underwater windows, and heated deck and benches. The other wing contains multiple gymnasiums spanned by 125’ long post-tensioned, folded-plate concrete roof. 
1959 - | -- NCR Pavilion, New York World's Fair -- | - One Allegheny Center - | -- Northview Heights Elementary School - | - 1968
NCR Pavilion
Day or night, the National Cash Register Pavilion was one of the most exciting and inviting venues at the 1964-65 World's Fair. Supported by three giant pylons, the “space frame” was a pragmatic approach to an irregular site and a most efficient way to provide 17,000 SF of column-free interior exhibit area. This expressionist structure demonstrated architectural and engineering innovation in both form and function.
1959 --- | -- Seton Hill University -- | - North Allegheny Joint School District x | -- Pittsburgh Board of Education - | --- 1968
DRS Architects is proud of our heritage which began when Russell Deeter (right of photo), Fellow American Institute of Architects (FAIA), and Dahlen Ritchey (left of photo), FAIA, merged their practices to form the modernist firm, Deeter Ritchey in 1959. Six years later, William Sippel, FAIA, was promoted to principal, and the firm became Deeter Ritchey Sippel. During our firm’s first decade, we made significant contributions to Pittsburgh’s Renaissance with the design of many landmark structures. 
This year, DRS Architects is celebrating 60 years of design excellence in architecture, planning and interior design.  We want to share the more than six decades of our history with you and thank our clients for their continued support. Please follow us as we celebrate projects completed in the next five decades.