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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Historical Organizations, History Museums

Mission: Our mission is to operate and maintain the Fort Pitt Block House as a historial site and museum, to maintain the surrounding grounds and to promote preservation, education, and public awareness of Pittsburgh's role in early American history.

Results: 2014 marks the 250th anniversary of the construction of the Fort Pitt Block House, our goals for this year are: - To utilize the celebration of Block House 250 to increase awareness in the community about the Block House and Pittsburgh's role in early American history. - To raise the funding needed to continue to operate the Fort Pitt Block House as a museum and historic site that is free and open to the public. Much of our activities and accomplishments in the past year focused on the planning and preparations for Block House 250: - A comprehensive restoration and preservation project was completed on the 250 year old structure to ensure it continues to stand for future generations. Funding for the project was provided through generous support from an anonymous donor and the Colcom Foundation; - The grounds of the Fort Pitt Block House received a much needed makeover highlighted by the Edith Ammon Memorial Garden. The garden was designed with two goals in mind: to create an attractive and welcoming outdoor space for visitors and to pay tribute to Edith Darlington Ammon and the other founding members of the Fort Pitt Society who were instrumental in saving the Block House from demolition in the early 20th century. Funding for the garden was provided by foundation and corporate support and the proceeds generated by the sale of fundraising bricks; - 2013 brought a record number of visitors to the Block House. 60,708, an incredible 67% increase over the previous year. About 20,000 of those visitors came during the four week stay of the giant rubber duck brought to Pittsburgh as part of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust's International Festival of Firsts. - Block House Curator, Emily Weaver, published the first comprehensive history of the Fort Pitt Block House. The book is sold in local bookstores, online and at the Block House. Emily does educational presentations about Block House history at local libraries and retirement communities as well as for other nearby historic sites and societies.

Target demographics: Everyone interested in American and British history, historic preservation, the history of Pittsburgh, the French and Indian War, and the American Revolution

Direct beneficiaries per year: more than 60,000 visitors

Geographic areas served: All residents of Pittsburgh, the surrounding region, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, United States as well as international visitors

Programs: The Fort Pitt Block House offers public as well as private guided tours, highlighting the building's construction, history, preservation, and its cultural significance. Curator available to provide lectures about the Fort Pitt Block House and its history to interested groups and schools.

Community Stories

14 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Donna50

Board Member

Rating: 5

Point State Park was designated as one of the top 10 outdoor spaces in the country and the Fort Pitt Block House shines in the center of the park. At 250 years it is a testament to the strengths of our city and of our country and hopefully will be there for future generations to explore and learn. History has made us who we are and must be preserved.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

When I joined the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution I was so excited to learn of their ownership of the Fort Pitt Block House. To hear the history of those brave, intelligent women who struggled to protect and preserve such a vital part of Pittsburgh history in a time when women had little or no voice in the world is truly awe inspiring. And what an important part of Pittsburgh and the nation's history they saved. Few realize that the tiny building is the oldest west of the Alleghenies. It was built in 1764, before the American Revolution, as a redoubt of Fort Pitt and was the gateway to the west in those times. It is of utmost importance to preserve this little jewel in the heart of beautiful Point State Park for years and years to come.

slice

Donor

Rating: 5

What city in America can boast about a historic structure that is 250 years old? The Fort Pitt Blockhouse, amazingly, through the hard work and efforts of the DAR, still stands, and is a testimony to the role that our great city placed in our country's founding. Imagine, like I do, all of the history that this building has witnessed and the famous people who have walked on its grounds. My MOST FAVORITE part of Pittsburgh.

Ed Urban

Review from The Pittsburgh Foundation

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Pittsburgh is blessed to have at its center, such a National Treasure as the Fort Pitt Block House. I've visited the block house my entire life and never get tired of looking at it and imagining the history that took place there. The block house has seen a new life in the preservation efforts and we are obligated to maintain its integrity for all future generations.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I live a few blocks from the Block House and visited last fall with my wife. I was astonished at the accessibility and relevance of the property to Pittsburgh's history. The docent was able to inform without interfering with our enjoyment of the visit, and to handle the needs of multiple sets of visitors at once (everything from manning the merchandise sales to answering architectural questions, explaining historical context, and describing preservation practices!). Really impressive, and the Ft Pitt Museum is about 15 feet away!!

Comments ( 1 )

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e.hoover18 04/10/2013

Thank you for your review - we're glad you enjoyed your experience at the Fort Pitt Block House!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

nice place to check out in Pitts. And wonderful people to help up.

Comments ( 1 )

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e.hoover18 04/10/2013

Thank you for the review! Glad you enjoyed your recent experience at the Fort Pitt Block House!

1 Susan199

Client Served

Rating: 5

Fabulous architectural witness to Pittsburgh history with lots of stories to tell, and the docents at Fort Pitt Block House are eager to engage and share those tales. Great experience!

Comments ( 1 )

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e.hoover18 04/10/2013

Thank you for the review - we're glad you enjoyed your experience at the Fort Pitt Block House!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer on the Ft.Pitt Board for many years. I was involved with the dig several years ago when many artifacts were found under the floor of the Fort Pitt Block House. We are soon to have the"gun loops" refurbished, and the satisfaction of being connected with the Block House is a parallel to the upkeep in your own home.

Arlene S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

What a treasure Pittsburgh has in the Fort Pitt Block House!! As a volunteer docent, I can attest to the large number of visitors to this historical gem. So many of the visitors are from out-of-town. Thanks to the DAR and the Fort Pitt Society, this building will be around for many, many years to come for all to enjoy!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Although small, the Fort Pitt Block House is one of the most important, if not the most important historical structure in Western Pennsylvania. As Pittsburgh's oldest building (1764) it has stood witness to the city's transformation from wilderness outpost, to industrial giant, to "green" innovator, and the extremely knowledgeable staff can share stories from each of these eras. Although originally a military building, the Block House's most fascinating stories come from the post-military period, illustrating how the building and it's residents adapted to the changing face of the city and local environment. ADMISSION IS FREE, SO NO VISITOR TO DOWNTOWN PITTSBURGH SHOULD MISS THIS REMARKABLE GEM!

Advisor

Rating: 5

I have been working with the Fort Pitt Block House for over a year, and in that short time I have learned so much about this fascinating structure and its significance to the City of Pittsburgh and surrounding region. When you think of everything that a city like Pittsburgh has been through in the last 248 years, it is hard to imagine that such a tiny building like the Block House could still be standing. Originally part of one of the largest British forts in 18th century North America, the Block House has witnessed Pittsburgh change over time from a frontier fortification to a major industrial center to the beautiful and modern city that it is today. Thanks to the outstanding efforts of the Fort Pitt Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Block House remains with us today - a testament to the past; a reminder of our earliest history and of how this region came into being. The Fort Pitt Society continues to serve as the steward of the Block House, a role it has played for the last 118 years. The Block House may be just a tiny building, but it has a very large and important past. We need to preserve our history here in the Greater Pittsburgh region, and the Block House is very much a part of that preservation. It is the oldest authenticated structure west of the Allegheny Mountains, the only structure remaining of Fort Pitt, and part of a National Historic Landmark. It is a symbol of our beginning here in Western Pennsylvania.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Very Cool place....never knew that Pittsburgh had such history....