Pittsburgh PA: The Hotel Schenley - 1947. The Hotel Schenley, opened in 1898, became the keystone of entrepreneur Franklin Nicola's dream of Oakland as a center for culture, art and education. Nicola had been instrumental in the formation of the Bellefield Company with the help of a few friends - Andrew W. Mellon, Henry Frick, Andrew Carnegie, George Westinghouse and H.J. Heinz were among the first stockholders who shared Nicola's vision for Oakland. In 1956, the then Schenley Park Hotel was sold to the University of Pittsburgh to serve, among other things, as its student union. While $1 million was spent to renovate the facility, it remained a hotel-turned-union for the next 25 years.