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“Interesting space but doesn't match expectations”

Senator John Heinz History Center
Ranked #10 of 181 things to do in Pittsburgh
Certificate of Excellence
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Attraction details
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Reviewed May 6, 2014

Stopped by for a visit based on the high ratings. While there are a few interesting exhibits (mostly on the first floor) the rest is an odd and end set of collectibles that are rather weakly assembled to fit a theme. Sports museum didn't offer much worth stopping to see in an era where there are videos of most of these sports heroes unless you are a hardcore Pittsburgh fan. I remember most of the athletes but still didn't hold my attention. The exhibit on the French and Indian war illustrates why we do such a poor job teaching history by making it dull and uninteresting.

Thank BobN06
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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699 - 703 of 1,052 reviews

Reviewed May 1, 2014

Our family is from Pittsburgh and returned for a "nostalgia tour." This museum would be of great interest for anyone with a love for or interest in Pittsburgh.

Thank Mac5Miami_FL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 27, 2014

Good luck finding a parking place. We enjoyed 4 floors of Pittsburgh history. Displays are very well done. Who knew some many famous people came from Pittsburgh. See all 57 varieties.

Thank elmo70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 24, 2014

My wife and I live in Northern Virginia and volunteer at one of the Smithsonian museums there. We are museum nerds. The Senator John Heinz History Center is the best regional/city museum I have ever seen. Europe, Asia, other US museums....none come close.

The museum covers six floors and incorporates the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum. The displays and artifacts are beautifully arranged, illuminated and presented to tell clear and accurate stories. Placards are clear and easy to read. Lighting is comfortable and facilitates photography. A casual visitor could easily spend 2-3 hours. Someone with a particular interest could spend an entire day.

Most noteworthy were the mannequins used in the dioramas and displays. These are Madame Tussaud-quality mannequins that add to the displays. Not merely serving as "clothes hanger.
but advancing the story.

There are numerous interactive stations for kids. And the displays offer an intimate feel. Many museums present artifacts in cases and behind barriers. These displays are "open" in ways most museums would never permit.

The Sports Museum is extraordinary, offering displays on scholastic and amateur as well as professional. Everything from marbles, to boat racing, to men and women's sports, it is truly exceptional.

As good as the museum is, and it is very good, there are areas that could use some help.

Docents or tour guides could expand on the displays. Some of the displays were a bit maze-like and tough to navigate.

The curatorial and collections staff have allowed many artifacts to deteriorate. Shoes are disintegrate in their case.Clothing improperly displayed are tearing and pulling apart at the seams. Someone seriously needs their butt kicked for allowing this to happen.

All that said, this is a great museum with a lot to offer the visitor. It should be on the must-see list for any visitor or resident.

2  Thank G C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 23, 2014

SO much to see; you can't see everything in one visit. Great if you love history or art or both. $5 to park in a lot across the street.

Thank Cynthia F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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