Once upon a time…that’s usually how the story goes when a castle is involved. While most people may associate castles with fairy tales, some castles have been transformed into schools, bed and breakfasts, and other places we can all enjoy. Here are eight captivating castles near Pittsburgh that you’ll want to visit.
1. Buhl Castle
Castles aren't just for royalty anymore. Indulge in the ultimate luxury at the Buhl Mansion & Castle, currently a Guesthouse and Spa in Mercer County. The stunning castle turned guesthouse has won numerous awards, including Best Weekend Getaway by Dream Vacation Magazine in 2016. The Buhl Mansion & Castle provides the perfect backdrop for a relaxing getaway, a spa vacation, or a wedding ceremony.
2. Braddock Carnegie Library
The Braddock Carnegie Library boasts a fairy tale of its own. Dedicated by Andrew Carnegie, the beautiful castle opened as a library in 1889 and continued to serve the community until 1974 when it fell into disrepair. The community rallied together to revitalize the historic building and reopened it in 1983. Since then, it has been named a National Historic Landmark and has starred in several television and movie productions.
3. The Allegheny Courthouse & Jail
A National Historic Landmark, the Allegheny County Courthouse and Jail first made their debut on the city landscape in 1888. Designed by H.H. RIchardson, the buildings were fashioned in a Romanesque design. Visitors can visit the Allegheny County Courthouse and Old Jail, the latter of which currently houses the Family Division, during regular business hours.
4. Westinghouse Castle
The Westinghouse Castle first emerged in Wilmerding in the 1890s and served as the main offices for the Westinghouse Air Brake Company until the mid-1980s. Westinghouse Castle recently went on the auction block at a Sheriff's Sale and was sold for $100,000. Keep your eye on the Westinghouse Castle because the new owners plan to transform the beautiful spot into a hotel.
5. Nemacolin Castle
Step through the pages of time when you visit Nemacolin Castle - also known as Bowman's Castle - in Brownsville in Fayette County. Only one family called the majestic castle home during its history. The Bowmans lived in the castle from the 1790s until 1959. When the final Bowman passed away, the home was converted into a museum that now hosts tours. Some people visit the castle not to see the furnishings and that which the Bowmans left behind but to experience the paranormal. Nemacolin Castle is said to be haunted with visitors having heard footsteps when no one is there.
6. Carnegie Library of Homestead
A namesake of Andrew Carnegie, who introduced the castle-like library in 1898, the Carnegie Library of Homestead has become a vibrant part of the community, boasting a music hall, a public athletic club, and more than 35,000 books in the library. The National Historic Landmark has continuously operated since its opening in the late 1890s.
7. West Hall Castle – Community College of Allegheny County
Students at the Community College of Allegheny County, Allegheny Campus, may have the good fortune to attend classes in the West Hall Castle, a strikingly beautiful building that dates back to the early 20th century. Designed by Thomas Hannah, the castle has earned National Historic Landmark status.
8. Butler Street Gatehouse Castle
Allegheny Cemetery has been the final resting place for Pittsburghers since 1845. Today, it sprawls across 300 acres with more than 15 miles of roadway passing through it. Visitors often pass through the entrance near the Butler Street Gatehouse, a breathtaking castle dating back as far as the cemetery itself and that earned National Historic Landmark status in 1973.
How many of these castles near Pittsburgh have you visited? In addition to these castles, consider adding these
12 amazing places in Pittsburgh to your Western Pennsylvania bucket list.