Carnegie Mellon's 140-acre (0.57 km2) main campus is three miles (5 km) from downtown Pittsburgh, between Schenley Park and the Squirrel Hill, Shadyside, and Oakland neighborhoods. Carnegie Mellon is bordered to the west by the campus of the University of Pittsburgh. Carnegie Mellon owns 81 buildings in the Oakland and Squirrel Hill neighborhoods of Pittsburgh.
For decades the center of student life on campus was "Skibo Hall", the University's student union. Built in the 1950s, Skibo Hall's design was typical of Mid-Century Modern architecture, but was poorly equipped to deal with advances in computer and internet connectivity. The original Skibo was razed in the summer of 1994 and replaced by a new student union that is fully wi-fi enabled. Known as University Center, the building was dedicated in 1996.
A large grassy area known as "the Cut" forms the backbone of the campus, with a separate grassy area known as "the Mall" running perpendicular. The Cut was formed by filling in a ravine (hence the name) with soil from a nearby hill that was leveled to build the College of Fine Arts building.
The northwestern part of the campus (home to Hamburg Hall, Newell-Simon Hall, Smith Hall, and Gates Hillman Complex) was acquired from the United States Bureau of Mines in the 1980s.
In 2006, Carnegie Mellon Trustee Jill Gansman Kraus donated the 80-foot (24 m)-tall sculpture Walking to the Sky, which was placed the lawn facing Forbes Ave between the University Center and Warner Hall. The sculpture was controversial for its placement, the general lack of input that the campus community had, and its aesthetic appeal.
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