Founded in 1964, the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation (PHLF) works to identify and save historically significant places; renew historic neighborhoods, towns, and urban areas; preserve historic farms and historic designed landscapes; and educate people about the Pittsburgh region’s rich architectural heritage.
PHLF offers award-winning, interdisciplinary, hands-on educational programs for young people to explore their school, community, and city beyond the traditional classroom setting. In the process, participants learn more about the region’s significant history, architecture, and character, and take part in envisioning its future by making models or through creative writing assignments. They develop a sense of belonging and pride and strengthen academic, teamwork, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills.
In this rapidly changing, high-tech, global world, developing a sense of belonging is essential to the well-being of young people. Identity matters. PHLF provides programs for students ranging from pre-school through graduate school. Pre-school students can participate in a hands-on Building Downtown project with blocks on a map and learn about their city through the People, Buildings, & Pittsburgh program. Elementary, middle, and high school students in the Pittsburgh Public Schools participate in the Building Pride/Building Character program and learn how to channel their pride in their city into becoming good citizens. Students from other elementary schools attend walking tours, create poetry and art, experience history firsthand through a Portable Pittsburgh Artifact Kit, and participate in a hands-on career awareness program introducing them to professionals who work to improve their communities. Middle school students compete in Architectural Design Challenges and learn about the region through city and neighborhood walking tours. High school students explore careers in architecture through Architectural Design Challenges, Architectural Apprenticeships, and walking tours focusing on urban survival and green design. Graduating seniors may apply for the Landmarks Scholarship, an award of $6,000 over four years, payable to the winner’s college or university to help defray book and tuition expenses. College and graduate students may apply for volunteer internships and connect with their communities through city and neighborhood walking tours.