Explore the History of Pittsburgh’s Buildings and Bridges — All By Boat

The newest tour offered by Doors Open Pittsburgh will set sail this fall.


Doors Open Pittsburgh is getting its sea legs — or rather, its river legs.

The organization, which offers behind-the-scenes tours of the city’s architecture, will soon offer a new tour called Bridges, Buildings and the Architecture of the Three Rivers. The tour will start and end at the Gateway Clipper Fleet Docks in Station Square. Its first stop will be at the Point, and then it will continue down the Monongahela River, eventually looping back around and picking up the Allegheny River toward the Strip District. Then, the tour will go beyond the traditional boundaries permissible for sightseeing cruises and continue to Washington’s Landing. 

All the while, local bridge expert Todd Wilson will share lesser-known stories about some of the city’s oldest, still-standing bridges as well as once-vital bridges that no longer exist. Mark Houser, a local building expert and contributing writer for Pittsburgh Magazine, will also share his knowledge about the histories of various buildings Downtown and along the South Side that hold special significance to Pittsburgh’s cultural heritage and economic development.

“Pittsburgh is currently in the midst of an expansive effort to reclaim our waterways with exciting new developments in the riverside trail systems and additional opportunities for residents to live river-adjacent, with great views and more access to water-based recreational activities,” said Bonnie Baxter, founder and executive director of Doors Open Pittsburgh, in a statement. 

She added that as the rivers receive more attention, opportunities like this help shed light on the infrastructure that “have been so integral to Pittsburgh’s story.” 

The tour, which requires pre-registration, will set sail only once this year, on Sept. 11 from 2-3:30 p.m. Tickets are available for presale now; until July 11, you can save $8 off general admission. Afterward, tickets will be $38 for adults and $12 for children.

Categories: The 412