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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

Scout Pittsburgh’s Emerging Art Scene

Visual artists are reclaiming the Steel City by turning its shuttered factories and abandoned warehouses into galleries and performance spaces.


1. Where to Stay

Outside and inside the opulent Omni William Penn Hotel.  

Victorian B&Bs can be stuffy, but the Parador Inn’s ($150) Caribbean theme enlivens an 1870s mansion with tropical tones and reggae music throughout the first floor. Each room is different, but all eight are equally priced and sizable (the smallest is 324 square feet), with high ceilings and working fireplaces. Seven rooms are in the mansion; if you seek privacy or are staying longer, ask for the detached carriage house.

Architecture aficionados stay downtown at the Omni William Penn Hotel (from $152 if you book three weeks in advance), now being restored to its original opulence. The ornate lobby (chandeliers, gilded mirrors) leads to 596 guest rooms and a 24-hour fitness center. Ask for one of the updated floors to get the new furnishings, pillow-top mattresses, and flat-screens.

The Priory (from $140), once a nineteenth-century home to Benedictine monks, is now a 25-room hotel just an eight-minute walk from the Andy Warhol Museum. There’s a highway nearby, so ask for a room facing the inner courtyard, where a gurgling fountain serves as white noise.

Published on May 7, 2009 as a web exclusive.

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