University of Pittsburgh

Site Visits

The Homestead Steel Works Pump House

Homestead Steel Works Pump House

After the dismantling of the historic Homestead Steel Works in the 1980s, then-owner Park Corporation performed restorative work on the Pump House. In 1996, BHF was formed in response to Park’s efforts, developing plans for a minimalist interpretive program for the site. Park welcomed the initiatives, and subsequent owners and developers, Continental Real Estate, also proved hospitable. Today the site is owned and benevolently operated by Rivers of Steel National Heritage Corporation, who also offer many educational programs, tours, and events related to the Pump House as well as other local points of interest.

The Bost Building

Bost Building

Built in 1892 as a hotel for the rapidly growing worker’s ward of Homestead, the Bost Building was at the center of American labor history’s most dramatic episodes – the Homestead Lockout and Strike.
During the summer of 1892, the Bost Building served as headquarters for the Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers. Using the third floor of the building as a watchtower, steel union officials monitored activities in the mill site and along the Monongahela River.

The Bost Building also served as the base for American and British newspaper correspondents who filed their stories daily for a world that was hungrily following the events of the labor strike that pitted the Carnegie Steel Company against the strongest labor union at the time.

The building received a National Historic Landmark designation in 1999 and then underwent a $4 million renovation. It opened in 2002 as the Visitors’ Center for the Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area.

The Clayton mansion


The home of the Henry Clay Frick family from 1882–1905, this meticulously restored 23-room mansion features an impressive array of fine and decorative art objects purchased by the Fricks and provides a glimpse into day to day life in Pittsburgh during the Gilded age.

The riverboat, Explorer

River Tour

Docked on Pittsburgh’s North Shore near the headwaters of the Ohio River, the Explorer was designed and built to LEED standards to host the award-winning STEM student education programs now led by Rivers of Steel.  An excursion on Explorer offers unparalleled opportunities to become immersed in Pittsburgh’s rich history while being surrounded by its natural beauty.

Westmoreland Museum of Art building

Westmoreland Museum of Art

The Westmoreland Museum of American Art is an art museum in Greensburg devoted to American art, with a particular concentration on the art of southwestern Pennsylvania.

Carrie Furnaces

Carrie Furnaces

Towering 92 feet over the Monongahela River, constructed of 2.5" thick steel plate and lined with refractory brick, Carrie Furnaces #6 and #7 are extremely rare examples of pre-World War II iron-making technology. Since the collapse of the region’s steel industry in the 1970s and 1980s, these are the only non-operative blast furnaces in the region that remain.