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Fort Pitt Block House

601 Commonwealth Pl, Building C, Pittsburgh, PA 15222
+1 412-471-1764
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The Point with a touch of history

The real attraction here is the Point. This place is a bonus. Unless you are an avid history buff... read more

Reviewed yesterday
Bob D
,
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Tiny But Mighty!

This little building, the oldest structure in Pittsburgh, is awesome! Gives you a real, tactile... read more

Reviewed yesterday
Zemo T
,
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Read all 95 reviews
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The Fort Pitt Block House was originally constructed in 1764 as a defensive redoubt for Fort Pitt, a key British fortification during the French and Indian War. As the Block House is the only surviving structure left of Fort Pitt, it holds much significance to Pittsburgh and the surrounding area. The oldest authenticated structure in Western Pennsylvania, it is part of the National Historic Landmark of the Forks of the Ohio.The building was first used to defend the fort from Native American Indian attacks during the mid-18th century. After the British abandoned Fort Pitt in 1772, the Block House was used as a trading post for a number of years. During the American Revolution Fort Pitt served as the western headquarters for the Continental Army. Following the Revolution the United States Army decided to slowly dismantle the fort and replace it with a smaller garrison called Fort Fayette.The Block House survived the demolition of Fort Pitt because it was converted into a single-family dwelling in 1785. Over the next one hundred years, different families of various sizes, classes and backgrounds lived in the Block House. In the 1840s it became a multi-family tenement with a family living in the upstairs room and another family living downstairs. During the 19th century the Point District, the former area of Fort Pitt and where the Block House is located, became one of the poorest and most densely populated neighborhoods of Pittsburgh. In 1894 the Block House was gifted to the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) by the structure’s owner, Mary Schenley. An extensive initial restoration was needed to convert the Block House back to its original form. In 1902, the structure faced possible demolition to make way for the construction of warehouses and railway terminals. The Fort Pitt Society, an all-female and all volunteer group, stood up to the Pennsylvania Railroad and powerful industrialists such as Henry Clay Frick to save the Block House – something unheard of at the time. The Block House has survived numerous floods throughout its history, most recently in 2004 during Hurricane Ivan when the water reached halfway up the building’s stone foundation.Under the guardianship of the Fort Pitt Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution of Allegheny County the Block House has remained free and open to the public as a historical site and museum for almost 120 years. Privately owned and operated the Block House receives no state or federal funding and each year welcomes more than 20,000 visitors from local school children to international tourists. It has been described by many as the “jewel of Point State Park.”
  • Excellent45%
  • Very good38%
  • Average14%
  • Poor2%
  • Terrible1%
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LOCATION
601 Commonwealth Pl, Building C, Pittsburgh, PA 15222
CONTACT
Website
+1 412-471-1764
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"point state park"
in 17 reviews
"piece of history"
in 7 reviews
"american revolution"
in 5 reviews
"oldest building"
in 4 reviews
"original structure"
in 3 reviews
"worth a stop"
in 4 reviews
"room building"
in 2 reviews
"big history"
in 2 reviews
"historical significance"
in 2 reviews
"free admission"
in 4 reviews
"great history"
in 3 reviews
"quick visit"
in 2 reviews
"step back in time"
in 2 reviews
"small museum"
in 2 reviews
"for sale"
in 2 reviews
"blockhouse"
in 13 reviews
"surviving"
in 8 reviews
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1 - 10 of 92 reviews

Reviewed yesterday

The real attraction here is the Point. This place is a bonus. Unless you are an avid history buff, I would not recommend that you go out of your way for a visit.

Thank Bob D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed yesterday

This little building, the oldest structure in Pittsburgh, is awesome! Gives you a real, tactile experience of what past eras were like, and it is free! You can stand up on the board steps and peer through the tiny holes the muskets were aimed out,...More

Thank Zemo T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 days ago

The blockhouse is right outside the Ft Pitt Museum at no charge for entry and is an well maintained structure from the past. The blockhouse is the focal point of “The Point State Park” and thus the sole remnant of Fort Pitt. The guide noted...More

Thank Tommy599
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
See more reviews
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

So much to see. The only remaing structure of Fort Pitt. Volunter was sitting inside and explains the history, construction, design, the use of the rifle platforms. Memorable stop to see the uniforms, weaponry, the view out the shooting window.

Thank M-F_Trackers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Definitely a pace to visit because of it's historical significance for Pittsburgh. The visit the museum next door to put it all in perspective.

Thank Kitty5466
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

Quite interesting historical monument. Docent was very informative about history of the house and the area. Well preserved.

Thank Angela P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 April 2018 via mobile

A small building with big history. The oldest building in Pittsburgh owned by the DAR who are credited with fighting the 1800s railroad monopoly to save the blockhouse. The attendant was friendly & loaded with facts & info about the original fort. Fun & informative...More

1  Thank Terry H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 April 2018

Free - except for parking- which you pay for everywhere in Pittsburgh. Interesting site. Oldest structure in Pittsburgh.

Thank dmc42467
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 December 2017 via mobile

Nice photo opportunity at oldest house in town. Admission is free. The whole park is nice to walk around. Make sure to go to Fort Pitt Museum if you have the time. Nice city views.

Thank Sheryl B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 November 2017

On a whim my travel companion and I decided to stick our heads in here to see what this was about. We were pleasantly surprised with the history, artifacts and their relation to the area. I could have spent another hour enjoying and reading if...More

Thank AJVaughnDOTcom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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