David L. Lawrence Convention Center – Things To Do With Your Team

The David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania has had a history of firsts. In November 2003, the convention center was awarded LEED Gold certification for New Construction Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, making it the first such convention center in the U.S. as well as the largest “green” building in the world at the time. Then, in May 2012, the David L. Lawrence Convention Center received a LEED Platinum certification for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance. It is the first convention center to achieve this ranking, and is also the first to earn certifications under two separate LEED rating systems. Such distinctions are not awarded to average facilities, and the David L. Lawrence Convention Center is certainly far from average. It features almost one and a half million square feet of enclosed space, housing 310,000 square feet of exhibition space, 53 meeting rooms, a 31,610-square-foot ballroom, and expansive outdoor spaces with views of both the Allegheny River and Pittsburgh’s beautiful downtown area.

Even before entering the David L. Lawrence Convention Center you’ll notice what a remarkable facility it is. Designed by prolific Uruguayan architect Rafael Viñoly Beceiro, the building’s exterior is marked by strong features like sloping, stainless steel roof panels situated between large glass divisions, which provide the interior of the convention center with ample natural light. All of the building’s features were designed to be tailored to the City of Pittsburgh, balancing aesthetic quality with operational efficiency. As extraordinary as the David L. Lawrence Convention Center is however, the true appeal of a visit to this facility is the fact that you’re in the heart of Pittsburgh’s Cultural District, with world-class dining and entertainment options abound.

Things to Do

Water Cube

Before setting out on your Pittsburgh adventure, bring an empty water bottle and stop by one of the city’s newest and most unique features: the Water Cube. This permanent public art piece, designed by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, favors function over form, serving the community as a water fountain unlike any other. Aside from its unconventional, strikingly geometric appearance, the Water Cube is also believed to be one of the first, if not the only, sparkling water fountain in the United States. In addition to its sparkling water dispenser, the Water Cube also features a still water dispenser and two water fountains. Subtle pulsating lights within the Water Cube make it easy to find even at night. 803 Liberty Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Senator John Heinz History Center

As the largest history museum in Pennsylvania and an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, the Senator John Heinz History Center showcases over 250 years of Western Pennsylvania history. The History Center features six floors and 370,000 square feet of temporary and permanent exhibitions that appeal to visitors of all ages. From George Washington’s first adventures in the region during the French and Indian War to the Steelers’ first Super Bowl victory, Pittsburgh’s greatest stories are told at the History Center. The History Center’s core exhibit, Pittsburgh: A Tradition of Innovation, recognizes the incredible impact that the region has had on the everyday lives of people everywhere. The two-story exhibition, which spans more than 16,000 square feet, highlights Western Pennsylvania’s contributions to art, medicine, industry, education, sports, technology, and much more. At the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum, a dynamic museum-within-a-museum, visitors can experience the thrill of Western Pennsylvania’s unmatched sports legacy. The glory of Super Bowl, World Series, and Stanley Cup victories; the grit and sweat of a high school football tradition; and much more is captured inside this 20,000-square-foot exhibit with more than 70 hands-on interactive exhibits, and 20 audio-visual programs. 1212 Smallman St, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

PNC Park

Even if you don’t have enough time to catch a Pittsburgh Pirates game during your visit to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, you can still get a behind-the-scenes look as you take a tour of their home field, PNC Park. The tour of PNC Park will take you through many areas of this intimate, 38,000-seat ballpark while providing you and your team with interesting fun facts that just might surprise even the most devoted baseball fanatics. Discounted rates are offered for groups of 25 or more, as well as for children under age 14 and seniors over age 55. 115 Federal St, Pittsburgh, PA 15212

Pittsburgh Water Steps

Located less than a five minute walk from PNC Park is yet another popular Pittsburgh destination: the Pittsburgh Water Steps. The Water Steps are an interactive water landscaping feature enjoyed by local residents and visitors alike. They are constructed from nearly 500 large blocks of sandstone as well as more 1,000 smaller pieces. The Water Steps are approximately 40 feet wide at the top, but broaden further as the steps descend. If you’re visiting the Water Steps on a hot day, feel free to dip your feet in the water and cool off as you admire picturesque views of the Pittsburgh skyline across the Allegheny River. North Shore, Pittsburgh, PA

Point State Park

Point State Park, located just under a 20 minute walk from the David L. Lawrence Convention Center at the confluence of the Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio Rivers, is at the tip of Pittsburgh’s “Golden Triangle.” A National Historical Landmark, Point State Park commemorates and preserves Pittsburgh’s historic involvement in the French and Indian War through 23 monuments, plaques, and markers located throughout the park. In addition to its well-documented historical significance, Point State Park also provides downtown Pittsburgh with a scenic, 36-acre getaway that’s a great way to spend a sunny afternoon outdoors with your team. 601 Commonwealth Pl, Pittsburgh, PA 15222 

Fort Pitt Museum

The Fort Pitt Museum is a 12,000-square-foot, two-story museum located in Point State Park. The museum tells the story of Western Pennsylvania’s pivotal role during the French and Indian War, the American Revolution, and as the birthplace of Pittsburgh. First opened in 1969 in a reconstructed bastion, the Fort Pitt Museum provides visitors with a rich understanding of the world-changing events that occurred right in Western Pennsylvania through their variety of interactive stations, life-like historical figures, and rare artifacts. 601 Commonwealth Place, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

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Places to Eat

Bea Taco Town

Started by Mexico City native Alberto Martinez and his wife, Gricelda, Bea Taco Town is a popular local eatery that’s serving up authentic Mexican cuisine right in the heart of downtown Pittsburgh. Their menu features a variety of Mexican favorites like tacos, burritos, and enchiladas; all prepared using traditional techniques and fresh ingredients. 633 Smithfield St, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Stone Neapolitan Pizzeria

Stone Neapolitan Pizzeria is the first fast casual Neapolitan pizzeria in Pennsylvania, offering locals and visitors a welcome departure from the average pie. How fortunate for you and your team that it’s close by the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. The centerpiece of the kitchen at Stone Neapolitan Pizzeria is their wood-burning oven imported straight from Italy, which allows for a quick, 90-second cooking time. The pizzas that they’re putting into this amazing oven are just as remarkable as the vessel used to cook them, featuring high-quality ingredients like dough and mozzarella made fresh daily. Their menu includes a variety of sandwiches and salads as well. Views of nearby Point State Park through their floor to ceiling windows provide the perfect complement to whatever it is you order at Stone Neapolitan Pizzeria. 300 Liberty Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Las Velas Mexican Restaurant

Las Velas Mexican Restaurant is the first restaurant of owner and chef David Montanez, who was born and raised in Mexico City before moving to the Riviera Maya, where his cooking was further influenced by the local cuisine and culture. It features a fun, lively atmosphere and a flavorful menu of recipes inspired by Montanez’s lifelong culinary journey. On the menu you’ll find dishes like tostadas, fajitas, burritos, and tacos filled with everything from succulent marinated pork to tender mahi-mahi. 21 Market Sq, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Diamond Market Bar & Grill

Set inside of the former Diamond Market Lunch Room that once served visitors to Pittsburgh’s Market Square for the first few decades of the 1900s, Diamond Market Bar & Grill brings together the past and present with black-and-white photographs on the walls and innovative takes on classic dishes on the menu. Burgers are their specialty, made with two-fisted, chargrilled patties served on toasted brioche buns and topped with a variety of eclectic ingredients like balsamic marinated tomatoes and bean sprouts. 430 Market St, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

No matter how busy your team’s schedule may be during your visit to Pittsburgh, make sure to do at least one thing while you’re there: explore! With so many fantastic attractions and restaurants located just minutes away from the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, it couldn’t be easier to make the most of any free time your team might have.