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Best Museums In Pittsburgh

March 31, 2011 6:00 AM

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Phipps Conservatory, and Botanical Gardens
The museums of Pittsburgh offer something for everyone’s interests! Whether you’re 9 or 99, like art or airplanes, there’s a museum around Pittsburgh for you.

Senator John Heinz History Center

1212 Smallman Street Pittsburgh, PA 15222
(412) 454-6000
www.heinzhistorycenter.org

The Heinz History Center is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. This 275,000-square-foot museum is the largest history museum in Pennsylvania. The museum boasts 6 floors of both long-term and changing exhibit space. It is also the home of the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania. Within the Heinz History Center, you can also find the Western PA Sports Museum and the Library & Archives. Here’s a link to their website: www.heinzhistorycenter.org/libraryArchives.aspx. You can also visit the Fort Pitt Museum at the Heinz History center. This two-floor, 12,000-square-foot museum features interactive exhibits and war-time artifacts. It was opened in 1969 and tells the story of western Pennsylvania’s role in the French & Indian War and the American Revolution. The Fort Pitt Museum is also part of the Heinz History Center. For information on the Fort Pitt Museum, you can visit them here: www.heinzhistorycenter.org/secondary.aspx?id=296.

warholmuseum Best Museums In Pittsburgh

credit: warhol.org

Andy Warhol Museum

117 Sandusky St.; North Shore
(412) 237-8300
www.warhol.org

The Andy Warhol Museum is one of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh. Learn about the life and art of Pittsburgh artist Andy Warhol, who influenced the world with his pop-art style. The museum features multimedia exhibits including film, video, performing arts, installation art, painting, and illustration. The 7-story museum is the largest dedicated to a single artist, although other artists are periodically featured.

Children’s Museum-Pittsburgh

10 Childrens Way; North Shore
(412) 322-5058
www.pittsburghkids.org

This museum has grown four times its original size since it’s been opened. The Children’s Museum features permanent exhibits which were founded on the idea of ‘Play with Real Stuff’. Each exhibit includes material to challenge children abilities to learn & understand the world. There are also areas in each exhibit to meet the developmental needs of infants and toddlers. The Children’s Museum also features temporary exhibits that change throughout the year, so there are many opportunities to learn something new!

Carnegie Museum of Art

4400 Forbes Ave. Pittsburgh, PA 15213
(412) 622-3131
web.cmoa.org

The Carnegie Museum of art is one of the 4 Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh. Founded in 1895 by Andrew Carnegie, this museum features both American and European pieces from the 16th century to present. The Heinz Architectural Center is within this museum.

Carnegie Museum of Natural History

4400 Forbes Ave. Pittsburgh, PA 15213
(412) 622-3131
www.carnegiemnh.org

The Carnegie Museum of Natural History is ranked among the top five natural history museums in the United States! The 115,000-square-foot museum is organized into 20 galleries, plus research, library, and office space. About 10,000 specimens are displayed at any given time out of the museum’s 21-million specimen collection. The admissions price includes both the Museum of Natural History and the Museum of Art, so you can visit two museums for one great price!

Phipps Conservatory

One Schenley Park Pittsburgh, PA 15213
(412) 622-6914
phipps.conservatory.org

This 13-room Victorian greenhouse was opened in 1893 as a gift by Henry Phipps to the city of Pittsburgh. It is one of the world’s greenest public gardens, and one of Pittsburgh’s largest green spaces. Exhibits at the Phipps Conservatory vary depending on the month & season, so there is always something new to see!

Mattress Factory Museum

500 Sampsonia Way Pittsburgh, PA 15212
(412) 231-3169
www.mattress.org

The Mattress Factory is a museum of contemporary art. Its exhibits are created on-site by artists, which result in room-sized installation art. All of your senses will be engaged in exhibits by means of a variety of media. The museum is housed in two buildings on the North Side, and both buildings have permanent collections as well as exhibits that change throughout the year. Each exhibition includes educational programs that include hands-on projects, workshops, tours, and more!

Carnegie Science Center

One Allegheny Ave. Pittsburgh, PA 15212
(412) 237-3400
www.carnegiesciencecenter.org

The Carnegie Science Center has four floors, each with different exhibits, theaters, and themes. Visitors can enjoy a miniature railroad, laser shows, and more! The Science Center includes the USS Requin Submarine, open from noon to 5 p.m. daily. There you can learn how 80 men used their expertise during their life on the submarine, which was used in defense and scientific missions near the end of World War II. Also on-site is the Highmark SportsWorks, which uses sports as a gateway to learn about physics, anatomy, and biology. SportsWorks alone has almost 30 interactive experiences in three different themed areas: LifeWorks, Physics of Sports, and Sports Challenge.

Photo Antiquities-Museum of Photographic History

531 East Ohio St. Pittsburgh, PA 15212
(412) 231-7881
www.photoantiquities.org

Photo Antiquities is dedicated to the preservation, presentation, & education of the history of photography. Their collection includes images, cameras and accessories that capture the earliest days of photography. The museum itself is Victorian in style, and period music plays in the background as you walk through the exhibits. Visitors get the feeling of journeying into the past into another era!

Air Heritage Museum

Beaver County Airport
Beaver Falls, PA
(724) 843-2820
www.airheritage.org/museum.html

This museum’s artifact features displays on aviation from its conception to present. It includes civilian, commercial, and military flying. There are also memorial displays for two soldiers killed in action during World War II: 1st Lieutenant Robert Marx and Staff Sergeant Charles Manchester Jr.

Frick Art & Historical Center

7227 Reynolds St. Pittsburgh, PA 15208
(412) 371-0600
www.frickart.org

Opened in 1970, the Frick Center came into being when Helen Clay Frick, daughter of Henry Clay Frick, wished to have the public enjoy her art collection. Visitors can walk through Clayton, home of the Frick family until they left Pittsburgh in 1905. 93 percent of the artifacts in the house are original, so you can get a sense for how the Fricks really lived! You can also view fine and decorative arts and exhibitions in the Frick Art Museum, where Helen Clay’s collection is housed along with traveling exhibits. Finally, there is the Car and Carriage Museum, built in 1997. This area presents the Frick family’s collection of cars and carriages while telling the history of the automobile.

Western Pennsylvania Model Railroad Museum

5507 Lakeside Dr. Gibsonia, PA 15044
(724) 444-6944
www.wpmrm.org

Founded in 1938, the Western Pennsylvania Model Railroad Museum is one of the oldest model railroad organizations in the nation. The displays vary depending on the season, but the 2nd floor of the museum houses the main attraction: the Mon Valley system, a fictitious railroad based in western Pennsylvania. It shows the typical railroading in the region using pieces from western Maryland, Baltimore, Ohio, Wabash, Pittsburgh, and Lake Erie railroads.

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