Gas up the car because it’s time for a…road trip! And, unlike some adventures, you should be able to complete this road trip to Pittsburgh’s most abandoned places (and a bit beyond) on a lone tank of gas. So…get ready to end your summer with a bang by hitting the road for a road trip to Pittsburgh’s most abandoned places. (Want personalized directions from your home?
Map out your road trip!
1. Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike
Hit the road and head two hours outside of Pittsburgh to a truly beautiful abandoned spot to start your road trip. (If you prefer not to drive too far from home, simply delete this stop and the next one from your directions on Google Maps. The directions are in the opening paragraph.) Thirteen miles of the Pennsylvania Turnpike have sat abandoned since the late 1960s. Hike along the now abandoned turnpike and take a peak inside the Rays Hill Tunnel. Tread carefully because the terrain can prove challenging.
2. Brownsville General Hospital
After exploring the abandoned stretch of the PA Turnpike, head to the former Brownsville General Hospital that, after shutting down in 1965, received a new lease on life when it reopened as the Brownsville Golden Age Nursing Home. The nursing home, however, came under federal and state scrutiny for serious violations and closed down in 1985. The former hospital and nursing home sits abandoned, although beds, suitcases, and countless other medical and personal belongings, although covered in dirt and debris, remain frozen in time.
3. Carrie Furnace
Head back toward the Burgh to your stop at Carrie Furnaces, which hold the distinction of being the only non-working blast furnaces in Pittsburgh. Although abandoned for years, the Carrie Furnaces are undergoing some renovations so visitors can explore Pittsburgh's rich iron-making past. Furnaces 6 and 7, which date back to before World War II, offer a glimpse at the pre-war technology used to make iron. Both of these furnaces are being restored so visitors can go inside. Tours of the Carrie Furnaces are currently offered from April through October.
4. Larimer Elementary School
Larimer Elementary School, the next stop on this road trip to Pittsburgh's abandoned places, offers a glimpse into the school's former glory. Designed by Ulysses S. Peoples in 1896, the elementary school earned its name from William Larimer, the founder of Larimer City, Nebraska. Larimer Elementary School thrived for decades until it permanently shut its doors in 1986. Although the elementary school currently sits abandoned, plans are in place to transform the old school into affordable housing for Pittsburghers.
5. St. Peter & Paul Church
St. Peter and Paul Church, not too far from Larimer Elementary School, has a pretty rich history of its own. The abandoned church became a community fixture when it opened in 1891. It thrived until tragedy struck in 1901 when lightening hit the church causing a devastating fire. The church was rebuilt around that which survived the fire and the parish continued serving the community of East Liberty. Due to a declining parishioner base, however, St. Peter and Paul Church permanently closed its doors in 1997.
6. Seldom Seen Greenway
Your final stop will take you to Beechview. Once a small rural village, Seldom Seen Greenway is slowly being reclaimed by Mother Nature. However, you can still see the remnants of the village, including old railroad tracks, as you stroll along a stream and through the woods.
Embark on this road trip to Pittsburgh’s most abandoned places for a glimpse into what some of the city once looked like. Then, if you want to go beyond Pittsburgh and explore Pennsylvania’s most abandoned places,
check out this fun road trip.