HISTORY

“Pittsburgh entered the core of my heart when I was a boy and cannot be torn out.”

― Andrew Carnegie

DOORS OPEN Pittsburgh, Inc., a non-profit, 501(c)(3), was founded by native Pittsburgher Bonnie Baxter. Bonnie was inspired to do so after attending a similar event while living in Chicago. She realized that she had neglected to appreciate so many of her hometown buildings–often driving past, walking past, or, worse yet, had no idea they were even there!

She also realized that our buildings contain our City’s history and, for her, the most effective way to understand a City’s history was to be immersed inside these buildings and be provided some unique experiences while inside.

The Annual Event premiered in 2016 and opens the doors to 50-60 buildings in Downtown. Each year, hundreds of volunteers and thousands of people show up to explore these buildings. Behind-the-scenes access, a unique experience, or just the opportunity to explore is offered to the public. Currently, we continue to expand to include monthly tour and event offerings.

The year 2020 brought COVID-19.  Like so many other organizations, we had to temporarily suspend our Bus Tours. Instead, we began to offer DOP Stories–armchair Pittsburgh history and general interest  presented as a virtual storytelling experiences.

Since 2016, DOORS OPEN Pittsburgh has welcomed 16,000+ people into local landmarks, historic buildings, and cool spaces for purposes of igniting appreciation for our architecture, heritage, neighborhoods, and culture. 

The Organization

DOORS OPEN Pittsburgh is “grass-roots” in the most real sense, with Bonnie serving as the full-time Executive Director, responsible for all day-to-day activities necessary to develop and implement tours and events to financially sustain the organization.

We have been fortunate to have 300+ dedicated volunteers ready for tour and event-day needs.

Our organization is also fortunate to have the support of talented contractors and volunteers:

  • Nicole Roach, Social Media Manager/Community Outreach Coordinator
  • Michael Sanchez, Print Designer
  • Dr. Pam Gianni, Tour Curator
  • Nancy Fox, Webmaster

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