Home > Museum Lab™ - A new museum for older kids opens April 27, 2019

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Museum Lab™ - A new museum for older kids opens April 27, 2019




Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh welcomes more than 306,000 visitors annually. Over the past 15 years, with the rapid growth in attendance and increasing national leadership in developing effective approaches to education, the Children’s Museum outgrew its space.


With the future in mind, the Museum made the decision to expand, by revitalizing Carnegie Free Library of Allegheny - a historic building on Pittsburgh’s North Side, next door to the Children's Museum - to become Museum Lab™. 


The revitalization builds on the Children’s Museum’s three decades of community development investments and create new opportunities to conduct robust learning research that informs the national conversation on education.  Museum Lab will be a stunning example of this region’s commitment to children. And with the creation of Museum Lab, the Children's Museum will have created the largest campus for children in the country. Right here in Pittsburgh!


Opening on April 27, 2019, Museum Lab is a place where kids ages 10 plus will have cutting-edge experiences in art tech and learning exploring real materials, tools and processes in three ne hands-on exhibits.  In Studio Lab, kids can discover interactive artwork and create new installations working hand-in-hand with artists-in-residence.  Make Lab will take the Children’s Museum’s award-winning MAKESHOP and scale it up with more complex experiences in woodworking, design and metalworking. In Tech Lab, visitors can work with Carnegie-Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology center to explore virtual world, coding, storytelling, education and more


Located in the historic Carnegie Free Library of Allegheny, the Children’s Museum has been working on Museum Lab and the revitalization for more than two years. This renovation celebrates the building’s original features such as soaring arches, a decorative terra cotta entryway and mosaic tile floors, while introducing modern features, including a new grand staircase and energy efficient windows. In March 2019 the Museum Lab project’s Universal Design Features were certified by isUD (Innovative Solutions for Universal Design) at the University of Buffalo. Upon opening, Museum Lab aim’s to achieve Gold LEED Certification and will have met the goals of the 2030 District.  


 New commissioned artworks from local and national artists complement Museum Lab’s unique mix of grit and grandeur and include.


·       Over View, a new installation created by design group FreelandBuck, adorns the ceiling of Museum Lab’s Grable Gallery. Made if intricately layered laser cut fabric, Over View invokes the pattern of the Library’s original glass skylight.


·       Gymlacium,  three-story art installation created by Artist Manca Ahlin,  will transform the steel Carnegie Library stacks - where the books were once stored – (and affectionately known as The Stacks) into a three-story artwork that visitors can climb, slide down, swing on and chill in. Manca weaves Gymlaciums rope sections using traditional bobbin lace techniques that she learned as a child in Slovenia. Gymlacium will open June 8, 2019.


Museum Lab (and Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh), space is shared with on-site partners who work with or on behalf of children and youth to enhance and diversify the programs and benefits offered to kids. Museum Lab’s cornerstone partner is Manchester Charter Middle School which will relocate its middle school in Museum Lab’s second floor starting in the 2019/2020 school year. Other Museum Lab partners include:  Allies for Children, the School of Education at the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie-Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center, and Carnegie-Mellon University’s Master of Arts Management program. Saturday Light Brigade Productions will also be a key partner. Together with its partners, Museum Lab (and Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh) will test ideas, research new approaches to education, and work together to change education for the better.

Museum officials, community leaders, along with the Manchester Academic Charter School’s Step Dance Team, will gather on the steps of the Lab  to make it “official” at a April 27, 9:30 AM  Grand Opening Ceremony. At 10:00 AM Museum Lab will open to the public to kick off an Opening Weekend of exploration of Museum Lab’s new exhibits including Studio Lab, Make Lab and Tech Lab, plus two days filled with performances including dance, drumming, slack line walking, music and much more.



Museum Lab

  •       is open Mon-Fri Noon–7:00 pm; Sat-Sun 10:00 am–5:00 pm


  •      admission is $14 for children 10-18 and senior citizens, $16 for adults; includes admission to the Children’s Museum; all memberships include access to Museum Lab and Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh.


  •      is located on Pittsburgh’s historic Northside in the former Carnegie Free Library of Allegheny, a historic building located adjacent to the Children's Museum in Allegheny Commons.



  •        is accessible  by foot, bike, pedicab using:   6 Allegheny Square East, Suite 101, Pittsburgh, PA 15212


  •         additional information available at 412.322.5058 or www.museumlab.org
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