Members Only Travel Program: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Join us for an exclusive four-day, three-night experience featuring Pittsburgh's architectural treasures. Along the way, you’ll find out why "The New Yorker" magazine said, "If Pittsburgh were situated somewhere in the heart of Europe, tourists would eagerly journey hundreds of miles out of their way to visit it."
We'll visit the campus of Carnegie Mellon University and later explore architectural work by Henry Hobson Richardson, Frederick John Osterling and Daniel Burnham on a walking tour of downtown Pittsburgh. We'll also spend three nights in the renowned Omni William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh's premier hotel since 1916. Our trip ends with tours of two breathtaking Frank Lloyd Wright masterworks: the world-famous Fallingwater and Kentuck Knob homes.
Cost includes hotel, architectural tours, admission costs, transportation for tours in Pittsburgh, buffet breakfast each day, one lunch and two dinners. Transportation to and from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is not included.
Cancellation and Refund Policy (to be made in writing)
In the unfortunate event that you have to cancel your participation in the Pittsburgh travel program, the following terms will apply: Reservations cancelled up to and including 90 days prior to departure will incur a $50 administrative fee. Later cancellations will be subject to the following charges: 40 to 89 days before scheduled departure 50% of tour cost; 7 to 39 days prior to departure the total cost of the trip, less any recoverable sums from independent providers or services, accommodations and the like; 6 days or less, including no-shows, or early return from the trip will result in forfeiture of 100% of the trip cost.
With a population of 2.6 million, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is the 20th-largest city in the U.S. It's located at the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers, which meet to form the Ohio River. Pittsburgh is known as both "the Steel City" for its more than 300 steel-related businesses, and as "the City of Bridges" for its 446 bridges.
Pittsburgh's history, from military outpost to industrial giant, is on display in many of its historic structures. The three rivers and rolling hills provide a beautiful backdrop to the work of such architects as Frank Lloyd Wright, Henry Hobson Richardson and Philip Johnson. Some of the most beautiful architecture in the nation can be found in the Pittsburgh region. Its churches, mansions, theaters, skyscrapers and other historic buildings reflect the brilliance of architects of yesterday and today.
Our trip begins at the historic Omni William Penn Hotel. Designed by renowned architects Benno Janssen and Franklin Abbott, the hotel was the last building venture of Henry Clay Frick, one of Pittsburgh’s wealthiest industrialists. It was completed at a cost of $6 million. You’ll have a chance to explore and discover the hotel’s hidden charm and eclectic guest list.
Later in the afternoon, we’ll walk to Heinz Hall, originally the Loew's Penn Theatre, built in 1927 as an opulent movie house and regarded as the most magnificent theater between New York and Chicago. The Loew's Penn Theatre closed its doors for good in 1964 and was scheduled for demolition. John Heinz II and the Pittsburgh Symphony saw promise in the grand but aging building and undertook a three-year, $10-million reconstruction project. On September 10, 1971, the building reopened as the Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts.
After our tours, we’ll dine at Sonoma Grille.
Meals included: Dinner
Our morning starts with a visit to Carnegie Mellon University for a presentation on “The Evolution of Pittsburgh” with Don Carter, David Lewis Director of Urban Design and Regional Engagement of the Remaking Cities Institute. Don teaches in the Master of Urban Design program in the School of Architecture at Carnegie Mellon.
Next, we venture off to explore the campus. We’ll begin with the Beaux-Arts architecture style of Henry Hornbostel, winner of the 1904 competition to design the original institution and later the founder of what is now the Carnegie Mellon School of Architecture. We’ll discover how sculpture, art, landscape design, architectural landmarks and “intelligent workplaces” come together to create an exciting urban campus. After our tour, you can enjoy lunch on your own at our hotel or at one of several nearby restaurants.
In the afternoon, we’ll explore architectural work by Henry Hobson Richardson, Frederick John Osterling and Daniel Burnham on the Grant Street & Mellon Square Walking Tour, provided by Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation docents. With its concentration of major historic buildings and modern skyscrapers, Grant Street is downtown Pittsburgh’s showcase thoroughfare. In 2012, the American Planning Association named Grant Street one of America’s ten “Great Streets,” because of its exceptional character.
Next, we’ll enjoy a cocktail reception generously hosted by architect John A. Martine, Principal of Strada Architecture, and learn about the firm’s award-winning projects. Strada is a cross-disciplinary design firm where architects and interior designers regularly collaborate with urban designers, landscape architects and graphic designers to create unique spaces.
After the tour, you can enjoy dinner on your own at one of the many restaurants along Penn Avenue or Market Square.
Meals included: Breakfast
In the morning, we’ll enjoy a scenic ride to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Kentuck Knob. In 1953, I.N. and Bernardine Hagan purchased 80 acres in the mountains above Uniontown in Western Pennsylvania where their families had lived for generations. After falling in love with Fallingwater—home to their friends the Kaufmanns—they telephoned Frank Lloyd Wright and asked if he would design a house for them. His answer was: “Of course. Come on out!” Kentuck Knob would be one of the last homes completed by Wright.
After the tour, we’ll have lunch at the Stone House Inn. The Stone House Restaurant and Country Inn, located in Pennsylvania's scenic Laurel Mountains, is proud to continue a time-honored tradition of fine dining and rest for the weary traveler. One of the original wayside inns along the National Road, the Stone House first opened its doors in 1822 to wagoneers and travelers seeking renewed health in the waters of nearby Fayette Springs.
Next, we’ll make our way to Fallingwater, one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s most iconic homes. This organically designed private residence was intended to be a nature retreat for its owners. The house is well-known for its connection to the site; it is built on top of an active waterfall which flows beneath the house. Fallingwater stands as one of Wright's greatest masterpieces, both for its dynamism and for its integration with the striking natural surroundings. Fallingwater has been described as an architectural tour de force of Wright's organic philosophy.
You’ll have time to walk the grounds of Fallingwater and visit the gift shop, as the gift shop will be closed upon completion of our Sunset Tour of Fallingwater.
After our tour, we’ll dine at Treetops Restaurant, situated in Polymath Park. The restaurant’s decor exemplifies the ambiance of Frank Lloyd Wright and his belief in integrating nature within the space.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
On the last day of the trip there are no group activities planned. Please enjoy breakfast at your convenience; we also recommend that you explore Pittsburgh on your own before heading home. Please note that the hotel requires us to check out of our rooms by 12 noon on Sunday.
Happy and safe travels, everyone!
Meals included: Breakfast
Please note: There will be extensive walking during our Pittsburgh trip, as we will be walking on many different tours. Walking tours offer little to no time for sitting and some of our tours will take place on uneven terrain. Tours will depart rain or shine.