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Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum, Pittsburgh

4.3
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History Museum · Hidden Gem · Museum
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Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall and Museum (or often simply Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall) is a National Register of Historic Places landmark in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States. It is the largest memorial in the United States dedicated solely to honoring all branches of military veterans and service personnel.

It was conceived by the Grand Army of the Republic in the 1890s as a way for Pittsburgh and Allegheny County to honor the dwindling ranks of its American Civil War veterans; it was built on what had served as the army mustering ground during the Civil War. The Memorial today represents all branches of the service and honors both career and citizen soldiers who have served the United States throughout its history.

Architect Henry Hornbostel designed the memorial in 1907. Dedicated in 1910, the building is in the Beaux-Arts style and is heroic in scale. It is located in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh at 4141 Fifth Avenue (although the walkway leading to its main entrance is signed as "Matthew Ridgway Blvd." in honor of the World War II and Korean War hero who called Pittsburgh home) and adjacent to the University of Pittsburgh campus and its Cathedral of Learning. The building is set back from Fifth Avenue, featuring expansive and well-kept lawns dotted with large cannons and other war implements. Side streets flanking the building are Bigelow Boulevard and University Place; directly behind is O'Hara Street.

The Memorial houses rare and one-of-a-kind exhibits that span the eras from the Civil War to the present day conflicts. Since 1963 it has operated the "Hall of Valor" to honor individual veterans from the region who went above and beyond the call of duty. Today the hall has over 600 honorees among them are Medal of Honor, The Kearny Cross, Distinguished Service Cross, Navy Cross, Air Force Cross, Silver Star and Distinguished Flying Cross winners.

The building houses an auditorium seating 2,500, a banquet hall, and meeting rooms, in addition to its museum. The expansive lawn of the memorial sits on top of an underground parking garage operated under a long-term lease by the University of Pittsburgh.

It has served as host for many city, civic, university, and business events including the April 25, 1978 Gulf Oil Corporation shareholders meeting.
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Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum reviews

TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
65 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • The Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum functions as both a memorial to veterans of prior wars and as a museum. The displays in the museum contain artifacts and exhibits covering the period of....  more
    The Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum functions as both a memorial to veterans of prior wars and as a museum. The displays in the museum contain artifacts and exhibits covering the period of....  more »
  • This a free building for the public to access in downtown. Although not on any list of top things to see if you are interested in history I think it should be. This building dose have air... 
    This a free building for the public to access in downtown. Although not on any list of top things to see if you are interested in history I think it should be. This building dose have air...  more »
  • The building was dedicated in 1910 as a memorial to Civil War veterans and a meeting hall for the Grand Army of the Republic events. 25-30% of the displays relate to the Civil War, but others wars... 
    The building was dedicated in 1910 as a memorial to Civil War veterans and a meeting hall for the Grand Army of the Republic events. 25-30% of the displays relate to the Civil War, but others wars...  more »
Google
  • We had both our wedding ceremony and reception at Soldiers and Sailors, and it was absolutely stunning all around! The ceremony on the front patio was everything I'd hoped it would be, and the ballroom upstairs was just beautiful! The coordinator we worked with (Angela) was EXTREMELY helpful and very communicative, and answered all of my questions very quickly along the way. I knew our day was in good hands with her! This is the perfect venue because both the patio and ballroom can be dressed up or kept simple, and you can't go wrong either way. It was the perfect size for us, and I wouldn't change a thing! HIGHLY recommend this venue for anyone looking for a classy, elegant venue!
  • This is one of my favorite locations in Oakland. Not only does it have a great concert hall that is great for all events, but it also has a great view of the Cathedral of learning. I like to come here to sketch and paint because the lawn is very quiet and relaxing. This is a great place to come to study, get some fresh air, and get away from a busy wife. Definitely consider spending some time here if you’ve never been to this venue.
  • Soldiers and Sailors was a great location to work with for my wedding reception (held in the ballroom/balcony area)! I worked with Angela from the very beginning who was an awesome communicator when it came to the various questions that I asked. The space itself is absolutely beautiful and overall doesn't take much decorating to enhance its beauty. Our guests also had fun looking at the Museum during cocktail hour! Soldiers & Sailors has you choose from a list of vendors for your different wedding needs that know how to successfully run a reception in the building. This made many decisions easy!
  • Visited during a recent trip to Pittsburgh and while I am not someone uniquely interested in military history, I enjoyed my visit and found the exhibits fascinating. The building is striking from a distance and the auditorium is as impressive as you would imagine.
  • Hello , this is an edited review.....Soldiers and Sailors built in 1908 , is a classic designated and celebrated landmark, in Oakland/ Pittsburgh, Pa.. I am here for a wedding reception. It has a beautiful , large hall, old style design, on the third floor.. on the 1st floor is an auditorium, and walking clockwise in the hall that surrounds it are the Historical displays, Starting with the Gettysburg room , Civil War , and each up.. There are Naval displays, including a huge model of the Battle Cruiser USS Pittsburgh no 72..There are Aviation displays , Army , Marine, Civil War, WW1, WW2, Korean, Vietnam Wars, up to the Gulf War.. It doesn't cost anything. We came for wedding reception and we're encouraged to walk around a view the displays until everything was ready.. Very nice people here!!! I'd you ever get a chance you have to stop in.. There is underground parking on the side street between Fifth Ave and Bigelow Blvd. Which was a plus!! Just going to show pictures of banquet hall. I don't want to spoil it for you on the beautiful displays..PS.. after reading some of the not so nice reveiws, I decided to show some pictures.. again.. this is a Historical place , that should be visited. When you walk in and view the exhibits, you get a sense of the enormity of these historical wars.. many precious lives lost to preserve freedom.. God Bless Keith.. Thank you to the owners for a very kind response!!!

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