Self Guided Tours

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Questions or comments regarding tours should be directed to Mary Lu Denny @ 1-412-471-5808. Reservations for these events are limited and are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Downtown Walking Tours

Five Free Self-Guided Walking Tours

Allegheny County Courthouse and Jail Walking Tour

By Albert M. Tannler

A compact, illustrated architectural history of H. H. Richardson’s Allegheny County Courthouse and Jail. The book is organized as a walking tour around the exterior and within the public areas of both buildings. A map, three diagrams, and a bibliography facilitate the journey, which can be either pedestrian or virtual.

“The book really looks fantastic, it is well designed, clearly organized and readable. I found its approach of mixing quotes with text, and the sequencing of the actual tours very convincing. The photos, maps and graphics are also excellent.”

Dietrich Neumann, Professor, Yale and Brown Universities,
and President, Society of Architectural Historians

  • 68 pages, soft cover; 5″ x 8″
  • 25 b/w and 33 color photographs
  • $5.75

Old Allegheny County Jail Museum

Open Mondays, February through October (except on holidays)

Visit at your convenience between 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.

A PHLF docent is on hand to tell you the story of the place. Completed in 1886 to the designs of Boston architect H. H. Richardson and in use until July 27, 1995, the former Allegheny County Jail was renovated between 1999 and 2001 to house the Family Division of the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas. A portion of one of the cell blocks has been preserved as the “Old Allegheny County Jail Museum.” The Jail Museum was created through a grant from the Drue Heinz Trust to PHLF, in cooperation with the Allegheny County Juvenile Court and Curator Ed Urban, former Deputy Warden. The Jail Museum opened in 2005.

The Jail Museum is located in downtown Pittsburgh at 440 Ross Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15219 (Google Maps).

Enter the Family Court Facility through one of two entrances. In both cases, you must go through security and NO cameras are permitted.

  • Either enter through the main Ross Street entrance.
  • Or, enter through the great courtyard arch on Fifth Avenue.

For further information––or to double check that the Jail Museum will be open on a particular Monday––call 412-471-5808, ext. 527, or e-mail marylu@phlf.org.

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