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Students Explore Fabric of Historic Pittsburgh Through “Experiencing Architecture” Program

Students from the University of Pittsburgh’s “Experiencing Architecture,” summer studio program (pictured here on Mount Washington) learned how to read the built environment from PHLF co-directors of education Tracy Myers and Sarah Greenwald over three afternoons in July.

A group of high school students spent three afternoons in July exploring the historic built environment of our city and region with the directors of our education team, as part of a four-week architectural studio program funded by the University of Pittsburgh’s Architectural Studies Program.

Tracy Myers and Sarah Greenwald, co-directors of our organization’s education department, guided the group on an exploration of the history and place, looking at how culture is reflected in our shared built environment, and how architecture and the principles of historic preservation in a city contribute to the aesthetics of our city neighborhoods, Downtown, and main street communities. As part of the tours, the students also learned about concepts of historic preservation as a tool of economic revitalization and community development.

The program was funded by the University of Pittsburgh’s Architectural Studies Department, which was awarded a seed grant from the Office of the Chancellor at the University of Pittsburgh to develop a summer architectural studio program for high school students. The four-week program took place in July.

“We are glad to work with community partners such as the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation to deepen students’ understanding and appreciation of the diverse array of landmark architecture found in Pittsburgh,” said program coordinator Sara Pettit.

“Getting out of the studio and into the real world is always important for students of architecture, regardless of their age or level of interest. Carefully studying buildings and their relationships to other elements of the built environment is absolutely essential to the design process, as is understanding that buildings embody lives and histories; they aren’t mere piles of material,” said Tracy Myers.

“Sarah and I were delighted to share our city’s rich architectural legacy with these sharp young people and explain to them how preservation continues to inspire and invigorate our communities,” she added.

If you are interested in having PHLF collaborate with you to enrich your education program, contact us at or For questions about The University of Pittsburgh’s “Experiencing Architecture” summer studio course, email

Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation

100 West Station Square Drive, Suite 450

Pittsburgh, PA 15219

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