When tourists visit Pittsburgh, only the most prolific museums are on their radar – however, were you aware that Pittsburgh is home to a bevy of underrated, incredible museums dedicated to the history and eccentricities of this beautiful metropolis? Visit one, or all, of the smaller, less trafficked museums this bustling city has to offer, and glean a world of knowledge about the city you call home.
Soldiers And Sailors Memorial Hall And Museum
4141 Fifth Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
The only military memorial in the entire nation, Soldiers and Sailors honors and memorializes every branch of the military. Free admission is offered to military members (and their families) serving on active duty, in the Guard and Reserve, and also to those veterans who are former military. This unique, and beautiful, museum houses touching exhibits covering all of America’s conflicts; it also offers a one-of-a-kind look into American history through displays of military equipment and personal mementos of these American heroes. Be sure to visit all four halls (North, South, East, and West), and also the Front Hall, Hall of Valor, and Gettysburg Room during your visit.
225 St. Charles Place
Fox Chapel, PA 15215
At a paltry $10 per person, the Bayernhof Museum is an affordable, interesting stop on your Pittsburgh museum tour, especially for the music aficionado. The 19,000 square foot museum houses an impressive collection of music boxes and other fascinating automatic musical instruments, as well as many other eye-catching items. The building itself provides guests with a most interesting experience as they pass from room to room, at times through secret passages and hidden compartments – much to the delight of the smaller participants in your group (12 and up only, please). Somewhat reminiscent of Falling Water, nearly 100 percent of the entire south side of the house is glass, affording breathtaking views of the Allegheny River. Be sure not the miss the primary focal point of the house — “The Cave”, a hidden passageway that takes the visitor from the lower level of the house to the main floor, which is accessed by a secret, unusual doorway.
The Frick Art And Historical Center
7227 Reynolds St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15208
This wonderfully appointed museum, and cultural center, rests on the lush landscape of Pittsburgh’s historic East End. Visit The Frick, as it’s lovingly referred to by Pittsburghers, and view multiple collections of the late Helen Clay Frick. Here, one can view fine and decorative arts and artifacts that once belonged to the Frick family, magnificent exhibitions and vintage cars and carriages. Visitors can even take part in educational programs and concerts, enjoy fine dining and shopping, all within one luxurious, aesthetically pleasing center.
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Society For Contemporary Craft
2100 Smallman St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Wholly focused on bringing the public’s attention to contemporary art in craft media by regional, international, and national artists since 1971, the SCC offers cutting edge exhibitions focused on multicultural diversity and non-mainstream art (i.e. no still life’s here). SCC also offers a bevy of classes, community outreach programs, and a unique retail shoppe. The SCC’s installations have even been likened to “fine art” by many patrons. Whether you’re a purveyor of art, or an artist yourself, there’s ample opportunity to appreciate, and even display your own masterpieces, at this one-of-a-kind museum.
The Clemente Museum
3339 Penn Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15201
Through the exhibit of photographs and artifacts, The Clemente Museum works to fulfill its mission of honoring the late baseball icon, Roberto Clemente. The museum strives to preserve his legacy by memorializing, and promoting the good deeds he accomplished in his short, but powerful, career. Clemente dedicated his 3000th hit to the Pittsburgh fans, which is prominently displayed in text and photographs in historic Engine House 25, located in Lawrenceville. Visit the baseball legend’s final tribute, and gaze upon the short, humble life of one of baseball’s greatest players.
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Nikki Tiani-Moroney is a full time mum of two boys, wife of a professional poker player/photographer/amateur pencil-sharpening competitor and writer from Pittsburgh, PA. When she isn’t studiously neglecting her housework in favor of a good book, she’s out simultaneously fighting crime and picking up sidewalk litter while savoring an occasional cigarette. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.