As the name implies, the Doors Open festival opens the doors to Pittsburgh buildings normally closed to the public.
Making its Pittsburgh debut October 1-2, Doors Open invites you inside Pittsburgh's iconic architecture. The festival offers a full, free weekend of unique sightseeing in downtown Pittsburgh. Whether you're a life-long resident, an adopted Pittsburgher, or taking your first Pittsburgh excursion, Doors Open will give you an entirely new perspective on the city!
Plan your adventure with the list of participating sites on the Doors Open website. Because the event is self-paced, you choose what locations you want to explore. Most places will be open both days but a few will only be open on October 1 so be sure to note the specific days and hours for each site. Tour options will also differ with some locations offering structured, fully guided tours, others providing partial tours, and some offering completely self-guided access.
When you arrive, put your car in park because each site is located within Pittsburgh's comfortably walkable downtown! Walk or rent a bike with ease from Pittsburgh's Healthy Ride bike stations to travel to each location. After you've explored Doors Open, stick around and grab a bite to eat in Market Square or bike along the river to Point State Park. With so much to see and do, you'll fall in love with Pittsburgh all over again and likely want to spend the weekend!
Check out this small sample of places you can visit on your Doors Open adventure and be sure to explore the full list.
Explore unique gallery spaces and the visual masterpieces located within. Wood Street Galleries is located above Pittsburgh's light rail system (affectionately called "The T") and SPACE is an airy building with large windows located in the heart of the Cultural District. You'll also find 707-709 Galleries, two connected structures, on the list.
Spanning across religions, Pittsburgh's many impressive churches are open to all during Doors Open, including First Lutheran Church, First Presbyterian Church, Smithfield United Church of Christ, and the Trinity Episcopal Cathedral.
Pittsburgh is renowned for its dedication to environmentalism so don't miss the city's innovative, environmentally conscious spaces. A gem on the list is the spacious, LEED-certified, David L. Lawrence Convention Center with a scenic water walkway leading to a bike and walking trail.
You can tour these architectural wonders and stay in their impressive accommodations. The hotels on the list range from new, modern structures to historic buildings. The Embassy Suites, located inside the Oliver Building, is a new property within downtown that features a Sky Lobby, while the Omni William Penn Hotel is a long-loved Pittsburgh institution that hosted John F. Kennedy. Hotels open to tours also include the ornate Renaissance Hotel and the modern Fairmont Pittsburgh, conveniently located by Market Square.
Peek inside the life of a Pittsburgh government official. Take an hour-long tour of the Pittsburgh Mayor's Office, which features 1916 original furnishings, stories of past mayors, and more. Located in the City-County Building, a general space open during Doors Open, you'll also explore the City Council Chambers.
No tickets required during Doors Open! Head to the 14-square-block Cultural District to explore ornate theaters like Heinz Hall, home to the Pittsburgh Symphony, and the Benedum Center, host to Broadway productions and the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. Also on the list is the August Wilson Center that features both gallery and theater spaces and the beautiful Byham Theater, located close to the Roberto Clemente Bridge.
History and innovation expands to Pittsburgh's offices. Check out unique corporate spaces like BNY Mellon's Executive Floors and Innovation Center. Tour the homes of architectural firms like Perkins Eastman, STRADA ARCHITECTURE, and The Design Alliance Architects.
Gain members-only access to Pittsburgh's exclusive clubs including the Penn Society, the Rivers Club, the Allegheny HYP Club, and the Engineers' Society of Western Pennsylvania.
More spaces on display include the Museum Conservation Center at the Senator John Heinz History Center, the historic Dollar Bank decked out in old-school banking accessories, a former train station that now operates as a residential building, and more.
The Pittsburgh premier of Doors Open is a must-experience for the architecturally savvy, those interested in visual arts, history buffs, and people just looking for a unique fall adventure! With free admission and so much to explore, the festival makes for a great Pittsburgh getaway!