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School Tours

Let us plan your field trip for any number of students (grades 2 and above) who want to explore the architecture and history of downtown Pittsburgh or of a local neighborhood. We have over 40 years of experience in planning school tours—and many creative ideas.

Typical school tour fee: $2 per student (member schools), $4 per student (non-members)

Join now and save money for your school!

For more information e-mail or call Karen Cahall at 412-471-5808

Click Here to see photos from our tours!

Policies

RESPONSIBILITIES

––School/Group: Teachers and group leaders are responsible for (1) obtaining required parental permission forms, if needed; (2) the safety and behavior of their students/participants throughout their time with PHLF; and (3) addressing any medical needs for their students/participants. Teachers and group leaders understand that PHLF field trips usually take place in an urban environment.

––PHLF: PHLF is responsible for providing knowledgeable tour guides and an engaging, educational field-trip experience within the specified time period. PHLF is not responsible for providing medical assistance to any of the group members or for any injury to person or property that may occur during the tour.

PHOTOGRAPHY

Teachers/Group Leaders: Please inform parents, guardians, staff, and chaperones that during the course of a tour, PHLF may take photographs of your group for use in communication material including, but not limited to, printed materials, web materials, and PHLF publications. On the day of the tour, please inform the PHLF photographer if anyone is not allowed to be photographed. Thank you.

Please note: when taking photos, the PHLF photographer usually shows people from the back so individuals are not recognizable.

Downtown Dragons… and Other City Creatures

Recommended for Grades 3-8

Students search for griffins, gargoyles, eagles, lions, dragons, and other creatures during this exhilarating two-hour walking tour along the streets of downtown Pittsburgh. Please see the Downtown Dragons page for complete details.

  • Tour Time: 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. or 10:00 a.m. – noon.
  • Group Size: 10-15 students per group. (maximum of 80 students on any given day)
  • Chaperones required: 1 adult per every 5 students.
  • Tour fee: $2 per student (member schools), $4 per student (non-members), plus light rail fares. Adults/chaperones are free, but must pay Port Authority fares.

Join now and save money for your school!

For more information e-mail or call Karen Cahall at 412-471-5808

Urban Survival: Revitalizing Downtown

Recommended for High School and College

What was the purpose of a city, historically, and what is the state of many American cities today? How does Pittsburgh compare with other cities? What plans are in the works for downtown Pittsburgh? These are some of the questions that students will discuss as they participate in an all-day tour, downtown, including time off for lunch. Students will become familiar with the City planning process and hear about—and evaluate—current plans for revitalizing downtown Pittsburgh.

  • Tour Time: 9:15 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
  • Group Size: 10-15 students per group. (maximum of 40 students on any given day)
  • Chaperones required: 1 adult per every 5 students.
  • Tour fee: $5 per student (member schools), $10 per student (non-member). Adults/chaperones are free.

Join now and save money for your school!

For more information e-mail or call Karen Cahall at 412-471-5808

Grant Street: Pittsburgh’s Grand Civic Boulevard

Recommended for Grades 3 and Above

Hear how a battlefield site has been transformed over 250 years into Pittsburgh’s showcase thoroughfare and explore historic landmarks that are among the city’s best. You’ll climb the grand stair in the Allegheny County Courthouse, see a colonnade of bronze columns in the City-County Building, and walk through the lobbies of three buildings commissioned by Henry Clay Frick: the Frick Building, Union Trust Building, and Omni William Penn Hotel. Towering over everything is the U.S. Steel Building, the city’s tallest skyscraper, at 841 feet.

  • Option: Bring a sketch pad and pencil and take time to sketch some of the details that give these buildings character.
  • Tour Time: 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. or 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.
  • Group Size: 10-15 students per group. (maximum of 80 students on any given day)
  • Chaperones required: 1 adult per every 5 students.
  • Tour fee: $2 per student (member schools), $4 per student (non-members). Adults/chaperones are free.

Join now and save money for your school!

For more information e-mail or call Karen Cahall at 412-471-5808

Transportation Tour: Mt. Washington and Downtown

Recommended for Grades 4-8

Bring your students to the observation deck atop Mount Washington near the Monongahela Incline. There you will meet our tour guides who will lead you on a two-hour tour, including rides down the incline to Station Square and on the light rail to Wood Street in downtown Pittsburgh.

  • Tour Time: 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
  • Group Size: 10-15 students per group. (maximum of 40 students on any given day)
  • Chaperones required: 1 adult per every 5 students.
  • Tour fee: $2 per student (member schools), $4 per student (non-members), plus incline and light rail fares. Adults/chaperones are free, but must pay Port Authority fares.

Join now and save money for your school!

For more information e-mail or call Karen Cahall at 412-471-5808

Summer Downtown Fountain Tour

Recommended for Grades 3-8

Explore some of Pittsburgh’s great buildings and green spaces on this refreshing, two-hour summer walk. In the Grant Street area, you’ll see fountains in Mellon Green, Mellon Square, and in the courtyard of the Allegheny County Courthouse. Then, escape the heat and ride the “T” for free from Steel Plaza to Wood Street. After exploring Market Square, the tour ends in the fountain at PPG Place.

  • Offered June, July, and August
  • Tour Time: 10:00 a.m. – noon.
  • Group Size: 10-15 students per group. (maximum of 40 students on any given day)
  • Chaperones required: 1 adult per every 5 students.
  • Tour fee: $2 per student (member schools), $4 per student (non-members). Adults/chaperones are free.

Join now and save money for your school!

For more information e-mail or call Karen Cahall at 412-471-5808

North Side’s Historic Neighborhoods and More

Recommended for Grades 6 and Above

There are so many areas to explore on the North Side, formerly the City of Allegheny until its annexation to Pittsburgh in 1907. Contact us so we can plan a tour that meets your interests. Tour choices include:

  • The Pittsburgh Children’s Museum and Allegheny Center (for tour fare and time, see below);
  • Allegheny Commons and the Mexican War Streets;
  • Allegheny West and two neighborhood churches: Calvary United Methodist and Emmanuel Episcopal; and
  • Liverpool Street in Manchester.

Options: as we tour, we can involve your students in finding matches to photographic details, sketching building details, and composing poetry.

  • Tour Time: 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
  • Group Size: 10-15 students per group. (maximum of 40 students on any given day)
  • Chaperones required: 1 adult per every 5 students.
  • Tour fee: $2 per student (member schools), $4 per student (non-members). Adults/chaperones are free.
  • Note: If your tour includes going inside the Pittsburgh Children’s Museum, the fee is $12 per student and the tour will run from 9 a.m. – noon.

Join now and save money for your school!

For more information e-mail or call Karen Cahall at 412-471-5808

Strip District Stroll

Recommended for Grades 4-12

Discover the world in just a few blocks on this walking tour. During your Strip District Stroll, you’ll visit St. Patrick’s Church—the first Roman Catholic parish in Pittsburgh—and you’ll stroll along several blocks in the Strip, seeing a variety of family-owned businesses with strong ethnic origins. You’ll discuss the urban character of the Strip: the street life, storefronts, and signage. If your students have read The Macaroni Boy by Katherine Ayres, our guides will connect the tour content to the book.

  • Tour Time: 9:30 – 11:00 a.m. or 12:30 – 2:00 p.m.
  • Group Size: 10-15 students per group. (maximum of 60 students on any given day)
  • Chaperones required: 1 adult per every 5 students.
  • Tour fee: $2 per student (member schools), $4 per student (non-members). Adults/chaperones are free.

Join now and save money for your school!

For more information e-mail or call Karen Cahall at 412-471-5808

Oakland’s Civic Center

Recommended for Grades 6-12

On this two-hour walking tour, students will learn about the City Beautiful movement, influenced by the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893, and see how the ancient civilizations of Greece and Rome and the Italian Renaissance influenced American architecture in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Students will explore the Carnegie Library and Frick Fine Arts Building, among others, and view Oakland from the 36th floor of the Cathedral of Learning.

  • Tour Time: 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
  • Group Size: 10-15 students per group. (maximum of 40 students on any given day)
  • Chaperones required: 1 adult per every 5 students.
  • Tour fee: $2 per student (member schools), $4 per student (non-members). Adults/chaperones are free.

Join now and save money for your school!

For more information e-mail or call Karen Cahall at 412-471-5808

CMU On Tour: Art, Architecture and Green-Building Design

Recommended for Grades 6-12

You’ll see how sculpture, art, landscape design, architectural landmarks, and “intelligent workplaces” come together to create an exciting urban campus. Featured sites include Douglas Cooper’s murals of Pittsburgh in the University Center; the Intelligent Workplace atop the historic Margaret Morrison building; a rooftop garden with a riddle to solve; and the College of Fine Arts.

Option: Stay for lunch on your own and continue exploring the campus.

  • Tour Time: 9:30 – 11:00 a.m. or 12:30 – 2:00 p.m.
  • Group Size: 10-15 students per group. (maximum of 40 students on any given day)
  • Chaperones required: 1 adult per every 5 students.
  • Tour fee: $2 per student (member schools), $4 per student (non-members). Adults/chaperones are free.

Join now and save money for your school!

For more information e-mail or call Karen Cahall at 412-471-5808

South Side’s East Carson Street and More

Recommended for Grades 6 and Above

Join us for a South Side Stroll along East Carson Street, a Great American Main Street, where one-of-a-kind businesses thrive in historic 19th- and 20th-century buildings. You’ll also see ethnic churches, workers’ row houses, art galleries, restaurants, and side streets full of houses, apartments, and condominiums. And, there are terrific views up to the South Side Slopes, where hillside houses seem to ride the ridges like boats on an ocean wave.

Options:

  1. If your school bus can carry everyone to Pius Street, we can climb up two flights of city steps for a good view of the city.
  2. Or, we can walk out onto the Birmingham Bridge for views of the Monongahela River, downtown, and Oakland.
  • Tour Time: 9:30 – 11:00 a.m. or 12:30 – 2:00 p.m.
  • Group Size: 10-15 students per group. (maximum of 60 students on any given day)
  • Chaperones required: 1 adult per every 5 students.
  • Tour fee: $2 per student (member schools), $4 per student (non-members). Adults/chaperones are free.

Join now and save money for your school!

For more information e-mail or call Karen Cahall at 412-471-5808

Eye Spy on the South Side (Grades 3-10)

PHLF and Silver Eye Center for Photography offer a tour for students that helps them develop an eye for photography and architecture, an ear for poetry, and a heart and mind for preservation. Click here for details and to make a tour reservation.

Main Street Match in Mt. Lebanon

Recommended for Grades 2-4

Meet our docents at Station Square and ride the “T” to Mt. Lebanon for a walk along Washington Road. Each student will be given a different worksheet and together the students will find matches to 105 building details. Students will see lions, eagles, snakes, and many other architectural details decorating the handsome commercial buildings from the late 1920′s and 1930′s. During this three-hour adventure, students sharpen their observation skills, learn to appreciate neighborhood main streets, and have fun riding the “T” back to Station Square.

  • Tour Time: 9:00 a.m. – noon.
  • Group Size: 10-15 students per group. (maximum of 60 students on any given day)
  • Chaperones required: 1 adult per every 5 students.
  • Tour fee: $3 per student (member schools), $6 per student (non-members), plus round-trip Port Authority fares. Adults/chaperones are free, but must pay Port Authority fares.

Join now and save money for your school!

For more information e-mail or call Karen Cahall at 412-471-5808

Station Square Tour

Recommended for Children, 6 to 8 Years Old

The 45-minute tour includes a walk through 3 former railroad buildings that now house shops and restaurants. You’ll also have the chance to walk part way out on the Smithfield Street Bridge for a view of the train tracks and river below. Children will learn how the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation worked with others to recycle the historic buildings in creating Station Square.

Options:

  1. On your own, take your students for a ride on the Monongahela Incline before or after the tour.
  2. Bring bag lunches and eat by the fountain in Bessemer Court. You’ll find yourself dancing to the music of the fountain.

Offered June, July, and August

  • Tour Time: 9:30 – 10:15 a.m. or 12:30 – 1:15 p.m.
  • Group Size: 10-15 students per group. (maximum of 60 students on any given day)
  • Chaperones required: 1 adult per every 5 students.
  • Tour fee: $2 per student (member schools), $4 per student (non-members). Adults/chaperones are free.

Join now and save money for your school!

For more information e-mail or call Karen Cahall at 412-471-5808

Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation

100 West Station Square Drive, Suite 450

Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Phone: 412-471-5808  |  Fax: 412-471-1633