Frank Nicolo employed the architectural firm of Rutan & Russell to develop a Beaux-Arts style hotel to be built near the bucolic Schenley Farms in 1898. The luxury hotel was visited by presidents Woodrow Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt, William Taft and Dwight Eisenhower, as well as First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt over the years. It's clientele changed in 1909 when the new home to the Pittsburgh Pirates, Forbes Field was built nearby and the University of Pittsburgh relocated to Oakland the same year. It now hosted visiting professors and ball players, such as Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Casey Stengel and Rogers Hornsby.
Pitt purchased the hotel in 1956 and it underwent a major renovation from 1980-1983. It now serves as the home to numerous student and university offices, meeting space, an art gallery, dance studio, Louis XV style ballroom and the International Academy of Jazz Hall of Fame.