Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall and Museum

Coordinates: 40°26′42″N 79°57′23″W / 40.445116°N 79.956442°W / 40.445116; -79.956442
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40°26′42″N 79°57′23″W / 40.445116°N 79.956442°W / 40.445116; -79.956442

Soldiers and Sailors Military Museum and Memorial
Front view of the memorial and its lawn from Fifth Avenue
LocationPittsburgh, Pennsylvania
ArchitectHenry Hornbostel
Architectural styleBeaux-Arts
Part ofSchenley Farms Historic District (ID83002213)
NRHP reference No.74001746
Significant dates
Added to NRHPDecember 30, 1974
Designated CPJuly 22, 1983[3]
Designated CPHSFebruary 11, 1991[1]
Designated PHLF1970[2]

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

History and notable features[edit]

This historic building was conceived by the Grand Army of the Republic during the 1890s as a way for Pittsburgh and Allegheny County residents to honor the dwindling ranks of American Civil War veterans; it was built on what had served as a Union Army mustering ground during the war. The memorial now represents all branches of the service and honors career and citizen soldiers who have served the United States throughout its history.

Architect Henry Hornbostel designed this memorial in 1907. Dedicated in 1910, the building was created 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). Situated adjacent to the University of Pittsburgh campus and its Cathedral of Learning, the building is set back from Fifth Avenue. It features expansive, well-kept lawns with large cannons and other war implements. The side streets flanking the building are Bigelow Boulevard and University Place, with O'Hara Street directly behind the memorial.

It houses rare and one-of-a-kind exhibits that span the eras from the American Civil War to present-day conflicts. Since 1963, it has been home to the "Hall of Valor," an exhibit that honors individual veterans from the region who went above and beyond the call of duty. The hall currently pays tribute to more than six hundred honorees, including winners of the Medal of Honor, The Kearny Cross, the Distinguished Service Cross, the Navy Cross, the Air Force Cross, the Silver Star, and the Distinguished Flying Cross.

The building houses an auditorium that seats 2,500, a banquet hall, meeting rooms, and a 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 an April 25, 1978, Gulf Oil Corporation shareholders meeting.[4]

Filming location[edit]

  • The 1991 film Silence of the Lambs used the hall to fill in for the "Memphis Courthouse" scenes, including the escape scene. All were filmed completely at Soldiers and Sailors.
  • Sorority Row had graduation scenes filmed at the hall.
  • Dog Jack shot many scenes at the Memorial and hosted its premier in the Museum.

Famous visitors[edit]



  • Kidney, Walter C. (2002). Henry Hornbostel: An Architect's Master Touch. Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation & Roberts Rinehart Publishers. ISBN 1-57098-398-4.
  • Toker, Franklin (1994) [1986]. Pittsburgh: An Urban Portrait. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press. ISBN 0-8229-5434-6.
  1. ^ "Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation: Local Historic Designations". 2002-05-01. Archived from the original on 2011-07-21. Retrieved 2009-07-11.
  2. ^ "Internet Archive: Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation: PHLF Plaques & Registries". 2007-01-27. Archived from the original on 2007-01-27. Retrieved 2009-07-11.
  3. ^ "National Register Information System – (#74001746)". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. March 15, 2006.
  4. ^ Black, Harry (April 26, 1978). "Cash Short Gulf Cuts People, Oil Search Budget". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved January 25, 2013.
  5. ^ "The Pittsburgh Press - Google News Archive Search".
  6. ^ "GTA visits Pittsburgh" (PDF). Worldwide News. March 27, 1978.
  7. ^ "Noted Pastor to Speak Here", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, April 22, 1938.
  8. ^ Ackerman, Jan (August 13, 2001). "Soldiers & Sailors hall winning war on neglect". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Archived from the original on October 6, 2012. Retrieved February 10, 2013.

External links[edit]