Response to COVID-19

History Center Now Open

In accordance with new guidelines set by state and local officials, the Senator John Heinz History Center and its family of museums – including the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum, Fort Pitt Museum, and Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village – are open to the public as of Wednesday, July 1.

The health and safety of our visitors and staff is the History Center’s top priority. The History Center and its museums have established new procedures and policies to ensure you and your family will feel safe upon entering our buildings and enjoying our exhibitions.

The Detre Library & Archives is open by appointment only as of Wednesday, July 1.  Please contact the Library at, 412-454-6364, or complete this online form for more information about scheduling an appointment.

Timed Tickets

Timed tickets to the Heinz History Center and Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum are now available for advance purchase. You can purchase tickets online.

Purchasing timed tickets in advance is strongly encouraged, but tickets will also be sold at the door, depending on availability and capacity limits.


Health & Safety Policies for Visitors and Staff

With the health and safety of visitors and staff in mind, new policies and procedures are now in place, including:

  • Requiring face coverings at all times inside the museums, while it remains a recommendation by the Pennsylvania Department of Health;
  • Operating at a reduced capacity (50%) and strongly encouraging all visitors and staff to practice social distancing (at least six feet apart at all times);
  • Providing hand sanitizing stations for visitors at the museum entrance and throughout the building;
  • Regularly cleaning and sanitizing high-touch surfaces (door handles, countertops, elevator buttons, etc.) and restrooms throughout the day; and
  • Regularly inspecting and monitoring HVAC HEPA/MERV filters and air exchangers.

Additionally, The Café at the History Center will be open in a limited capacity, serving snacks and beverages only.

Sanitation Procedures

Our museums are implementing extensive sanitation measures, including:

  • Providing hand sanitizing stations for visitors at the museum entrance and throughout the building;
  • Regular cleaning and sanitation of high-touch points (door handles, countertops, elevator buttons, etc.);
  • Thorough cleaning of restrooms throughout each day;
  • Deeper cleanings and sanitization during non-operating hours;
  • Routine monitoring, emptying, and cleaning of garbage receptacles throughout the day;
  • Regular inspection and monitoring of HVAC HEPA/MERV filters and air exchangers.

Café and Refreshments

The Café at the History Center will remain closed temporarily, but snacks and drinks will be available in the Museum Shop for visitors.

History at Home

Visitors who are uncomfortable returning to our physical space at this time can explore an array of virtual offerings on the museum’s History at Home page, which includes links for virtual exhibit tours, activities for kids, historic photos, fun videos, fascinating blogs, and so much more.

Be sure to check out our events page to register for our upcoming virtual programs.

And don’t forget to sign up for our Making History e-newsletter, featuring fresh history content and up-to-date information on our family of museums.

We thank you for your patience and continued support of the Heinz History Center – the Smithsonian’s home in Pittsburgh!