The Pennsylvania Trolley Museum celebrated celebrated the start of construction for a new 21,000-square-foot welcome and educational center at its East Campus in Washington, Pa., on May 6, 2021. To be completed next year, the new welcome and educational center will contain the museum visitors’ center, museum store, interactive exhibits, class-rooms and space for events. The museum is working with the Carnegie Science Center on exhibits that will emphasize the links between trolleys and railroads to science, technology, engineering, and math.
The major expansion is enabled by a fundraising campaign that has brought in more than $14 million from corporations, individuals and foundations. Special thanks go to the Allegheny Foundation that committed to the project early on, providing a $5 million grant, of which $3.5 million was a challenge grant to attract support from a wide range of sources. The museum expects to raise an additional $2 million to cover the center’s opening and to enhance the site’s amenities. The Pennsylvania Economy League of Greater Pittsburgh estimated that the welcome and educational center will add $10 million to the region’s economy.
ABOVE: Dignitaries attend the PTM groundbreaking on May 6, 2021. Tom Pawlesh photo
PTM came to Chartiers Township, Washington County, in February 1954 with three trolleys and a dream that was born in 1941. Today, that dream is a reality. The musedum now boasts a collection of nearly 50 cars, over 600 members worldwide, 150 active volunteers, and over 30,000 visitors each year – expected to increase to a total of 53,000 patrons annually.