As part of DOORS OPEN Pittsburgh, an annual two-day event that provides unprecedented access to buildings around the city, we are featuring 20 of the many buildings participating.
Today’s building is Byers Hall.
A Brief History of Byers Hall
The historic Byers Hall was formerly known as Byers-Lyon House and is located in the Allegheny West neighborhood in Pittsburgh. The building dates back to 1898 and was added to the list of the City of Pittsburgh historic designations in 1974. That same year it was also added to the National Register of Historic Places.
For those who love a little haunted history, Byers Hall may be spooky to walk through during Doors Open Pittsburgh. Alexander Byers, who the building was named after, made lots of money in iron piping. He designed a mansion along what was known as Ridge Ave.’s “Millionaire’s Row” in 1898.
Byers and his wife and children lived on one side of the house while his adult daughter and her husband and kids lived on the other. Maude, Byers’ daughter, often left her children with a nanny while she went into town and worked as a social activist. Byers was not happy with this, as women back then were expected to be in the home, especially women with children.
One afternoon Byers’ granddaughter, 4, crawled onto a skylight and fell to her death when it broke. The nanny, who was napping, hanged herself from the main stairwell. Rumor has it some saw the ghost of the child watching her nanny hang from the stairs. “Please don’t blame me” was written in the dust on the stairwell.
The 90-room mansion is now CCAC’s student union and administrative offices. Students have reported seeing the girl and her nanny and sometimes hearing noises when all is silent.
For tickets to this outstanding event, you can visit Doors Open Pittsburgh here.
Buildings already featured here on Pittsburgh Beautiful: