Doors Still Open in Pittsburgh — But a Mask is a Must

The annual tour through some of the area’s most iconic buildings is happening in 2020, but with COVID-19 restrictions in place.


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DOORS OPEN — the annual event that invites visitors into the inner sanctums of some of Pittsburgh’s most remarkable buildings — is back for 2020, but with COVID-19 restrictions in place. 

Now in its fifth year, the event — intended to celebrate the city’s heritage, architecture and communities — takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 3. 

“Now more than ever, we wanted people to feel connected to our city and to each other,” says Bonnie Baxter, DOORS OPEN founder and executive director. “We have plenty of building owners that felt the same way, and volunteers, so we are thrilled to be able to present the annual event again this year.” 

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Formatted as an open-house, the self-guided event allows participants to visit as many buildings as they wish, in the order of their choice. With that provision in place, there’s little chance of being forced into a large group of people, allowing visitors to enjoy the tour along with their “COVID-pods,” according to Baxter. 

Beyond showing a ticket for admittance, reservations are not required. However, participants must wear a mask. To ensure social distancing, Baxter adds, only a certain number of people will be allowed in each building at a time.  

“Most people spend typically 10 to 15 minutes inside a building, so mask-wearing should not be too cumbersome to enjoy this event,” she says.

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With more than 20 buildings opening their doors, this year’s tour focuses on iconic and newly designed spaces in Downtown, plus a few on the Northside. There are eight additions for 2020, among them the Drury Plaza Hotel Pittsburgh, the Midtown Towers, the Pittsburgh River Rescue Boathouse and the Diamond Building. 

If you’re interested in learning more about each building, Insider Tours led by local experts are available. If in-person isn’t your thing, DOOR OPEN is relaunching its virtual tours, called DOP Stories:  A Virtual Storytelling Experience,” on Nov. 2. 

General admission tickets for the Oct. 3 event are $10 to $12. Children’s tickets are $5 to $8. For more information, including a complete list of this year’s open buildings, visit here.  

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