Arts & Culture,
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.