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East Pittsburgh (Self Guided), Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh’s eastern region offers various attractions of interest, including city landmarks and historic sites. East Pittsburgh is home to the outstanding Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Schenley Park, Stephen Foster Memorial Museum, Mary Schenley Memorial fountain, and two of the Carnegie Museums.
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East Pittsburgh Map

Guide Name: East Pittsburgh
Guide Location: USA » Pittsburgh (See other walking tours in Pittsburgh)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 9
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles
Author: leticia
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Soldiers & Sailors National Military Museum Memorial
  • Nationality Rooms at the Cathedral of Learning
  • Stephen Foster Memorial
  • Carnegie Museum of Natural History
  • Heinz Memorial Chapel
  • Carnegie Museum of Art
  • Mary Schenley Memorial Fountain
  • Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
  • Schenley Park
Soldiers & Sailors National Military Museum Memorial

1) Soldiers & Sailors National Military Museum Memorial (must see)

Soldiers and Sailors National Military Museum and Memorial is the largest memorial in the United States dedicated solely to honoring all branches of military veterans and service personnel. It was conceived by the Grand Army of the Republic in the 1890s as a way for Pittsburgh and Allegheny County to honor the dwindling ranks of its American Civil War veterans.

Architect Henry Hornbostel designed the memorial in 1907. Dedicated in 1910, the building is in the Beaux-Arts style and is heroic in scale. It is located in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh at 4141 Fifth Avenue. The Memorial houses rare and one-of-a-kind exhibits that span the eras from the Civil War to the present day conflicts. Since 1963 it has operated the "Hall of Valor" to honor individual veterans from the region who went above and beyond the call of duty.

The building houses an auditorium seating 2,500, a banquet hall, and meeting rooms, in addition to its museum. The expansive lawn of the memorial sits on top of an underground parking garage operated under a long-term lease by the University of Pittsburgh.

Operation hours: Monday – Saturday 10 am – 4 pm; Thursday: 12 pm- 8 pm.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Nationality Rooms at the Cathedral of Learning

2) Nationality Rooms at the Cathedral of Learning (must see)

The Nationality Rooms are a collection of 29 classrooms in the University of Pittsburgh's Cathedral of Learning depicting and donated by the ethnic groups that helped build the city of Pittsburgh. The rooms are designated as a Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation historical landmark and are located on the 1st and 3rd floors of the Cathedral of Learning, itself a national historic landmark, on the University of Pittsburgh's main campus in the Oakland neighborhood.

Although of museum caliber, twenty-seven of the 29 rooms are in almost constant use as functional classrooms and utilized daily by University of Pittsburgh faculty and students, while the other two (the Early American and Syrian-Lebanon) are display rooms which can be explored only via guided tour. The Nationality Rooms also serve in a vigorous program of intercultural involvement and exchange in which the original organizing committees for the individual rooms remain as participants and includes a program of annual student scholarship to facilitate study abroad. In addition, the Nationality Rooms inspire lectures, seminars, concerts exhibitions and social events which focus on the various heritages and traditions of the nations represented.

The various national, traditional and religious holidays of the nations represented are celebrated on campus and the rooms are appropriately decorated to reflect these occasions. The Nationality Rooms are available daily for public tours as long the particular room is not being utilized for a class or other university function.

Operation hours: Monday - Saturday 9 am - 4 pm, Sunday 11 am - 4 pm.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Stephen Foster Memorial

3) Stephen Foster Memorial

The Stephen Collins Foster Memorial is a performing arts center, museum and archive at the University of Pittsburgh. The main structure houses the two theaters that serve as performance spaces for the university's Department of Theatre Arts: the 478-seat Charity Randall Theatre and 151-seat Henry Heymann Theatre.

The left wing of the building houses the Stephen Foster Memorial Museum and the Center for American Music which contains the University of Pittsburgh's Foster Hall Collection that includes manuscripts, copies of over 200 of his musical compositions, examples of recordings, songsters, broadside, programs, books, various memorabilia, and several musical instruments, including one of Foster's pianos. The memorial is also home to the university's Ethelbert Nevin Collection and the Society for American Music.

The Stephen Foster Memorial, dedicated in 1937, is a steel-framed structure faced with the same Indiana Limestone used for the university's Cathedral of Learning. It is one of two buildings, the other being Heinz Memorial Chapel, designed by its architect, Charles Klauder, to accompany his centerpiece Cathedral of Learning on the Gothic revival portion of the university's campus.

Operation hours: Monday - Friday 9 am - 4 pm.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Carnegie Museum of Natural History

4) Carnegie Museum of Natural History (must see)

Carnegie Museum of Natural History, located at 4400 Forbes Avenue in the Oakland neighborhood, was founded by the Pittsburgh-based industrialist Andrew Carnegie in 1896. It maintains an international reputation for research and is ranked among the top five natural history museums in the United States.

The museum consists of 115,000 square feet (10,700 m2) organized into 20 galleries as well as research, library, and office space. It holds some 22 million specimens, of which about 10,000 are on view at any given time and about 1 million are cataloged in online databases. In 2008 it hosted 386,300 admissions and 63,000 school group visits. Museum education staff also actively engage in outreach by traveling to schools all around western Pennsylvania.

The museum first made history in 1899 when its scientists unearthed the fossils of Diplodocus carnegii. Today its dinosaur collection includes the world's largest collection of Jurassic dinosaurs and its Dinosaurs in Their Time exhibition offers the third largest collection of mounted, displayed dinosaurs in the United States.

Operation hours: Sunday- Wednesday, Friday, Saturday: 10 am - 5 pm, Thursday: 10 am - 8 pm.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Heinz Memorial Chapel

5) Heinz Memorial Chapel (must see)

Heinz Memorial Chapel is a Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation Historic Landmark and a contributing property to the Schenley Farms National Historic District. The neo-Gothic chapel was designed by Charles Klauder who also designed the Cathedral of Learning and the Stephen Foster Memorial on Pitt’s campus. It form is that of a modified cruciform plan, stone vaults, high ceilings, repeated arches, and extensive use of glass that were typical of American academic and religious architecture of this period. It is 146 feet long, 55 feet wide at the transept, and 100 feet high at the nave with its steeple reaching 256 feet above the ground.

The Chapel’s walls, inside and out, are of Indiana Limestone. Both inside and out, the walls of the Chapel are of grey Indiana limestone. The interior ceiling is lined with a structural acoustical tile which, although it is a ceramic product, approximates stone. The Chapel’s wall carvings, by master stoneworker Joseph Gattoni of New York, follow the Gothic tradition of pictorial instruction and express the Chapel’s theme of spiritual values in education. Charles Connick’s studio, who is best known for designing the stained glass windows, also designed a large portion of the chapel’s stonework, including the Gothic-style shields adorning the stone walls and the tympanum above the main door that portrays the figure of Jesus with symbols of the Alpha and the Omega.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
Carnegie Museum of Art

6) Carnegie Museum of Art (must see)

The Carnegie Museum of Art, located in the Oakland neighborhood, is an art museum founded in 1895 by the Pittsburgh-based industrialist Andrew Carnegie. The museum holds a distinguished collection of contemporary art, including film and video works.

The museum's origins can be traced to 1886 with Andrew Carnegie's initial concept: "I am thinking of incorporating with the plan for a library that of an art-gallery in which shall be preserved a record of the progress and development of pictorial art in America". The museum presents as many as 15 changing exhibitions annually. Its permanent collection comprises roughly 35,000 works and includes European and American decorative arts from the late seventeenth century to the present, works on paper, paintings, prints (notably Japanese prints), sculptures and installations. The museum has notably strong collections of both aluminum artifacts and chairs. Approximately 1,800 works are on view at any given time.

In 2001, the museum acquired the archive of African-American photographer Charles "Teenie" Harris, consisting of approximately 80,000 photographic negatives spanning from the 1930s to the 1970s.

Operation hours: Monday - Sunday: 10 am - 5 pm; Tuesday: closed.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Mary Schenley Memorial Fountain

7) Mary Schenley Memorial Fountain (must see)

The Mary Schenley Memorial Fountain, or A Song to Nature, is a 1918 landmark public sculpture in bronze and granite by Victor David Brenner. It sits in Schenley Plaza at the entrance to Schenley Park and directly in front of the University of Pittsburgh's Frick Fine Arts Building. The fountain is designated as a contributing property to the Schenley Farms Historic District.

The work of art comprises two major figures: a reclining Pan, the Greek god of shepherds, and above him a female singer playing a lyre. From crevices along the fountain's rim four turtles spew water into the basin. An inscription on the pedestal reads, "A Song of Nature, Pan the Earth God Answers to the Harmony and Magic Tones Sung to the Lyre by Sweet Humanity." The basin of the fountain is 15 feet high, above which the figures rise another 15 feet.

The fountain honors Mary Schenley. In 1889, after intensive lobbying by Edward Manning Bigelow, director of parks for the City of Pittsburgh, Schenley donated the land for the park named in her honor. Upon her death, Pittsburgh City Council sponsored a national competition for the memorial. The judges selected this design by Brenner, who is famous today for his design of the Lincoln cent, which is still in circulation. In June 2008, restoration efforts were begun that include repairs, cleaning, plumbing, paving, and landscaping. A gift from the Benter Foundation will provide lighting for the fountain and plaza.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

8) Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens (must see)

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is a complex of buildings and grounds set in Schenley Park. It is a City of Pittsburgh historic landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The gardens were founded in 1893 by steel and real-estate magnate Henry Phipps as a gift to the City of Pittsburgh. Its purpose is to educate and entertain the people of Pittsburgh with formal gardens (Roman, English, etc.) and various species of exotic plants (palm trees, succulents, bonsai, orchids, etc.).

Currently the facilities house elaborate gardens within the thirteen room conservatory itself and on the adjoining grounds. In addition to its primary flora exhibits, the sophisticated glass and metalwork of the Lord & Burnham conservatory offers an interesting example of Victorian greenhouse architecture. The entrance pavilion of the Phipps Conservatory has silver-level LEED certification.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
Schenley Park

9) Schenley Park (must see)

Schenley Park is a large municipal park located between the neighborhoods of Oakland, Greenfield, and Squirrel Hill. It is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a historic district. The park is made up of 300 acres (120 ha) donated by Mary Schenley in 1889 and another 120 acres (49 ha) that the city subsequently purchased from her. Another 36 acres (15 ha) were acquired at a later date, bringing the park's total size to 456 acres (185 ha), and making it the second largest municipal park in Pittsburgh, behind Frick Park.

The park borders the campuses of Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh. Schenley Park features a grand entrance, Schenley Plaza, and several miles of hiking trails and a large lake in Panther Hollow. Across from the Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens is Flagstaff Hill, a popular place to watch outdoor movies in the summer. Schenley Park also contains the Schenley Park Golf Course. The golf course includes an indoor practice facility where golfers can play a "virtual" round on Pebble Beach and other famous courses. Since 1983, Schenley Park has been home to a vintage motor sports car race, the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix, that takes place annually in mid-July.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Create Your Own Walk in Pittsburgh

Create Your Own Walk in Pittsburgh

Creating your own self-guided walk in Pittsburgh is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Pittsburgh Museums and Galleries

Pittsburgh Museums and Galleries

Pittsburgh is home to various museums which depict everything from history to modern art. Visitors may learn about the city’s early history at Senator John Heinz History Center and Fort Pitt Museum, appreciate installation art at Mattress Factory Museum, admire works of Andy Warhol at Andy Warhol Museum, and have fun at two other Pittsburgh museums dedicated to children. Pittsburgh is also home...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 7.0 Km or 4.3 Miles
Pittsburgh Introduction Walk

Pittsburgh Introduction Walk

Pittsburgh appears trough its history as a city built on coal and steel. Today Pittsburgh will impress you with its exhibits of contemporary art and rides on antique cable cars. Downtown Pittsburgh, the "Golden Triangle" as it's often called, blends the historic, administrative, economic, and cultural diversity into the heart of the city. Rediscover Pittsburgh trough its fascinating...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.0 Km or 3.1 Miles
Pittsburgh Downtown Architecture Walk

Pittsburgh Downtown Architecture Walk

The city of Pittsburgh offers amazing architecture composed of stylish contemporary buildings, as well as buildings which date back to the 18th century. Fort Pitt Blockhouse, one of the many brilliant structures in the city, is the oldest of Pittsburgh’s buildings and an outstanding landmark.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 Km or 1.9 Miles
Pittsburgh Religious Buildings

Pittsburgh Religious Buildings

Pittsburgh features a rich history and is home to various religious buildings and places of worship. Several of the city’s churches represent historic landmarks and date back to the 19th century. Religious buildings like these are open to the public and highly recommended during your visit.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 Km or 1.3 Miles