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20 Pittsburgh Destinations Sure to Delight Design Fans

January 28, 2020

From stylish, design-forward restaurants to historic architecture and amazing art spaces, HGTV's design experts choose the destinations on their radar.

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Photo: Carmine Sarazen / Visit Pittsburgh

Design Pittsburgh

Steel City is significantly shaking up its Rust Belt reputation. This hip haven has a funky vibe and a thriving arts scene thanks to institutions such as the iconic Andy Warhol Museum, as well as the Mattress Factory, a contemporary art museum that features site-specific installations by artists from around the world. There's also the Carnegie Museum of Art, the first museum of contemporary art in America.

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Photo: The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh ©

The Andy Warhol Museum

If your relationship with Pop Art’s crown prince is limited to Marilyn and Mao, it’s high time to pay an extended visit to all seven stories of The Andy Warhol Museum — which, as you might expect, has the largest collection of Warhol's art and archives in the world. The Warhol features a vast array of its namesake’s greatest hits, of course, but it also offers visitors the opportunity to sit for a screen test as his subjects once did, to pose on a curved velvet couch a la Andy in an iconic portrait, and to get up close and personal with some of his 612 "time capsules," cardboard boxes the artist filled with everything from plane tickets and A-list invitations to tchotchkes and half-eaten sandwiches.

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Photo: Derek Jensen

Gulf Tower

Built in 1932 as the headquarters for the Gulf Oil Company— on the same location as the U.S.’s first oil refinery — the Gulf Tower was Pittsburgh’s tallest building until 1970 (when the U.S. Steel Building was completed). It has long represented the intersection between classical ideals and industrial realities: The pyramid at its crown, designed to resemble the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus (one of the seven wonders of the world), has required extensive restoration to remove decades of thoroughly modern grime.

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Phipps Conservatory

The spirit of the World’s Fair also made its way to Pittsburgh via the philanthropist Henry J. Phipps, who wanted to “erect something that [would] prove a source of instruction as well as pleasure to the people.” Upon completion in 1893, Phipps Conservatory’s nine rooms contained plants that had been displayed in Chicago. 120 years later, it also plays host to art collections, parties, classes and even a greenmarket, and is open to visitors from 9:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily (with a few exceptions).

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