Fort Pitt Block House

Rating: 5 stars   13 reviews

Issues: Arts & Culture

Location: 601 Commonwealth Place, Building C Pittsburgh PA 15222 USA

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.

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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

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

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Likely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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Review from The Pittsburgh Foundation
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

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.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

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!!

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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

Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

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

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Likely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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

Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

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!

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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

Rating: 5 stars  

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.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

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!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Some

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

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!

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Quite well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Some

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

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.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of advisors?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

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

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

The Fort Pitt Block House is a National Historic Landmark and it is a significant building in Point State Park. It has been carefully conserved and preserved by the Directors of the Fort Pitt Society. Being a member of this Society has educated me on the history of Pittsburgh and the role this tiny building played in the growth of our city. As we approach the 250th anniversary of the Block House, the Directors have chosen events to celebrate in 2013 and 2014. These events will be publicized locally and nationally. What an exciting time for all of us! Joanne Ostergaard

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Likely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful?