Distrikt Hotel Pittsburgh | Curio Collection by Hilton
In the midst of Downtown, a former Salvation Army building continues its history of hospitality.
The building that is now the Distrikt Hotel was housing Downtown guests long before Hilton transformed it into a boutique hotel. The former Salvation Army building, which dates to 1924, contained a men’s dormitory that cost 25-to-35 cents per night — for those who could afford to pay.
Needless to say, the cost has gone up for a room at the Distrikt, which opened in 2017. Many traces of the building’s past have, however, been lovingly preserved. The Strada architectural firm turned what was once the chapel into a bright lobby. The stage now features seating and an expansive living plant wall, while the mezzanine houses The Boulevard Lounge.
Unlike many boutique hotels, there is an expansiveness to the public spaces of the Distrikt that is simultaneously inspiring and overwhelming. There’s so much space in the lobby that it’s easy to feel dwarfed.
That spaciousness does not carry over to a standard guestroom best described as cozy. What it lacks in space (and storage for clothes) it makes up for with a comfortable bed and a bathroom that almost doubles the size of the room. There is a Keurig coffee maker, a mini-fridge and a safe; also, surprisingly, a full-length mirror.
The hotel’s Downtown location is one of its biggest assets; during nice weather, you can walk almost anywhere. If there is rain in the forecast, the hotel will gladly loan you a large umbrella. And if you want to go a little further than your feet can carry you, there are bicycles to borrow. To really appreciate the location, visit the rooftop terrace with a scenic view of the city and Mt. Washington. There is even a viewfinder of the type typically found at scenic vistas. You don’t even need a quarter to use it.
The spaciousness of the lobby and cocktail bar means there are plenty of places to sit and recharge your batteries. Claim a spot by the living plant wall for a touch of nature in the winter or lounge on the rooftop when weather allows.
Take a loaner bicycle and explore Downtown, cross the bridge to Station Square or hop on the nearby trails. Distrikt allows pets up to 50 pounds for a $25 fee, so you can always bring Fido along on your excursions. If you prefer to get your exercise inside, there is a roomy and well-equipped gym.
A lot of hotels have a business center, but the Distrikt goes above and beyond with two large Apple computers and everything else you could want to get some work done. And a late checkout is no problem.
The former Salvation Army building is on the National Register of Historic Places. Signs of its past are found throughout the Gothic Revival hotel, including the original scoreboard from the gymnasium in the fitness center.
453 Boulevard of the Allies, Downtown | 412/339-1870 | distrikthotelpittsburgh.com
Valet parking is available for $35/night; self-parking is $22/night
(This article was updated in Dec. 2021)