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Society of Architectural Historians Grant to Support Education Programs

A Legacy in Stone & Song brings to life the architecture and history of the National Negro Opera House and other significant African-American landmarks in Pittsburgh. After touring these places virtually, students will complete creative projects inspired by these landmarks.

The Society of Architectural Historians has awarded the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation a $5,000 grant to fund programs for students from two Pittsburgh public schools to explore the architecture and history of the National Negro Opera House in Pittsburgh’s Homewood neighborhood.

The grant, made possible by the Society’s American Architecture and Landscape Field Trip program, together with funding from the McSwigan Family Foundation Fund of The Pittsburgh Foundation, and PHLF, will fund this educational program and other significant African-American sites in Pittsburgh including the New Granada Theater, Crawford Grill, August Wilson House, and August Wilson African American Cultural Center.

The story of each of these places is important in the history of our region and our nation and will be shared by the people who know them best. After a virtual tour, Pittsburgh Public School students will develop inspiring creative projects based on these significant African-American landmarks.

The SAH American Architecture and Landscape Field Trip grant recognizes the value of our Legacy in Stone and Song field trip program. Every place has a story, and the National Negro Opera House (NNOH) is especially noteworthy. This Queen Anne style house was included on the list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 2020.

Owned by William “Woogie” Harris, the house served as a home for the National Negro Opera Company, the nation’s first permanent all-Black opera company, led by the indomitable Madame Mary Cardwell Dawson. It also served as a temporary haven for national luminaries in entertainment and sports, many of whom were barred from white accommodations when traveling in Pittsburgh. Today, the National Opera House survives as the physical embodiment of Pittsburgh’s vibrant African American heritage.

Our organization’s education programs are always in need of your help! To support this program, please click HERE, and direct your contribution to “Education Programs.”

Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation

100 West Station Square Drive, Suite 450

Pittsburgh, PA 15219

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