Both initiatives to advance implementation of the Foundation’s Strategic Plan
New visual identity honors Foundation’s 75-year history
PITTSBURGH – The Richard King Mellon Foundation today launched a revamped website to make it easier for its partners to interact with the Foundation digitally. And the Foundation announced it will move to new offices later this year, to make it easier for partners to interact with the Foundation in person.
“These are necessary steps to implement fully the 10-year Strategic Plan we announced two years ago,” said Sam Reiman, director of the Richard King Mellon Foundation. “In that plan, we committed to greater interaction with our grantees and other partners, through convenings, communication and partnership-building. Our new website will advance that plan by creating a more positive digital experience for our community. And our new offices will further advance our Strategic Plan. It will be more accessible to our grantees and other partners, and will enable us, for the first time, to host group convenings in our offices.”
The new website went live this morning. The Foundation’s new offices will be in the historic Produce Terminal Auction House in Pittsburgh’s Strip District. The Foundation expects to move into its new offices in the fourth quarter of this year.
The Auction House is at 21st and Smallman streets in the Strip District, a Downtown peninsula that is becoming a centerpiece for the mixed-use development that modern cities crave, and a growing headquarters destination for many of the innovative industries the Foundation long has championed. The Foundation will occupy the entire second floor of the renovated Auction House, affording a striking view of the nearby Downtown; a readily accessible location for its partners; and also a venue for large-group convenings on important strategic initiatives. The Foundation’s lease is for 15 years.
As part of both initiatives, the Foundation also has revamped its visual identity. The Foundation’s new logo, featured on the new website, was designed to honor the Foundation’s 75-year history, while also reflecting its contemporary philanthropic leadership. The new logo takes its inspiration from the logo of the former Mellon Bank, where Foundation founder Richard King Mellon was longtime chair. The new Foundation logo repurposes the green rectangles of the former bank’s logo, rotating and repeating them to form a circle.
The new logo occasionally will be accompanied by a new tagline: “Visionaries Wanted.”
“Vision has been at the center of the Foundation’s work for 75 years,” said Reiman. “From our founder’s vision in leading Pittsburgh’s Renaissance, to the visionary work of our grantees ever since – we constantly are seeking out people with bold ideas to advance our plan and improve our communities. And this tagline captures that ethos in two simple words.”
The new website was designed through user-experience research, to determine the most effortless experience for Foundation website visitors.
“We are a lean organization,” said Reiman. “This has proven to be a virtuous approach, because it enables us to focus more of our available resources on grantmaking. But that lean approach makes it essential that our website functions efficiently and effectively, to maximize our administrative capacity. We believe this new research-based site will make interacting with the Foundation even easier for our grantees. And we will constantly monitor its utilization through robust analytics, so that we can make real- time improvements, based on our community’s experiences on the new site.”
The new site includes an optimized experience across all screens and simplifies the site’s architecture for ease of navigation. It includes more photography and video; an email newsletter sign-up; and a direct connection to the Foundation’s LinkedIn feed, which has become a primary resource for sharing Foundation news and information.
The Foundation’s new office was selected after an exhaustive search.
“With our current long-term lease nearing its end, we conducted a rigorous search of Downtown properties to determine what location might best advance our strategic goals,” Reiman said. “We wanted space that would help us to retain our talented employees and attract new ones. We sought a space that was constructed or renovated with “green” building standards, to reflect our commitment to conservation. And, ideally, we wanted a space with a history that reflects our founder’s commitment to free enterprise.
“And the Auction House met those important criteria better than any other.”
Like the adjacent Terminal building, the renovated Auction House is LEED Silver certified. It is at the center of the Strip District, which was designated a Historic District by the National Register of Historic Places in 2014. By the start of the 20th Century, Pittsburgh had grown to become one of the principal auction markets for produce in the United States, and the Auction House – formally known as the Pennsylvania Railroad Fruit Auction and Sales Building – was the hub of that vibrant marketplace. It is a history that reflects Richard King Mellon’s belief in the transformative power of free enterprise, and his belief in the essential role of personal interaction in commerce. During Richard King Mellon’s time leading the former Mellon Bank, entrepreneurs frequently would come to the bank to share their business ideas with bank executives. A 1967 article in Fortune magazine relates how R.K. made himself accessible for such meetings by keeping his desk in the open, on the bank’s main floor.
“We are delighted to welcome the Foundation as a tenant,” said Dan McCaffery, CEO of McCaffery, the property’s owner. “The Terminal Auction House meets all the Foundation’s strategic goals, offering a modern and light-filled workspace easily accessible from all parts of the region, as well as five blocks of exciting and convenient dining, shopping, fitness and entertainment venues at The Terminal next door. The Foundation is another powerful example of the leading-edge tenants who are drawn to this unique Downtown-adjacent area of the city. With this lease, the Terminal property now is 90% leased, reflecting this property’s unique attractiveness to a range of forward- thinking enterprises.”
The Foundation’s grantmaking staff currently operates from offices in the BNY Mellon Building on Grant Street, supplemented by administrative and operational support in Ligonier.
“The BNY Mellon Building is an exceptional locale,” Reiman said. “We’ve been proud to be tenants there, and we considered a new lease to remain there,” said Reiman. “But the master lease for this magnificent building ends in 2028, and so a long-term lease was unavailable. So we searched for other sites that might further advance our strategic goals.”
The second floor of the Auction House, where the Foundation will be located, is 18,000 square feet. The Foundation’s current space in the BNY Mellon Building is 10,000 square feet. The Foundation currently has 10 employees in Pittsburgh.
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ABOUT THE RICHARD KING MELLON FOUNDATION:
Founded in 1947, the Richard King Mellon Foundation is the largest foundation in Southwestern Pennsylvania, and one of the 50 largest in the world. The Foundation’s 2021 year-end net assets were $3.4 billion, and its Trustees in 2021 disbursed $152 million in grants and program-related investments. The Foundation focuses its funding on six primary program areas, delineated in its 2021-2030 Strategic Plan.
ABOUT THE TERMINAL
Located in Pittsburgh’s bustling Strip District neighborhood, the iconic Terminal was formerly the central hub for the regional wholesale produce industry. McCaffery, in partnership with the Urban Redevelopment Authority and the City of Pittsburgh, has restored the historic building’s energy and vitality. Offering approximately 160,000-square-feet of new retail and restaurant experiences, improved pedestrian access, and a hub for community events, the expansive structure is, once again, a commercial, people-centric destination. Visit StripDistrictTerminal.com.