It is the mission of the Waldorf School of Pittsburgh to foster each child’s capacity to become an independent thinking, compassionate, and purposeful human being. We educate head, heart and hands.
Founded in 1993, the Waldorf School of Pittsburgh is located in the Bloomfield neighborhood of the city, housed in a Victorian-era mansion that is a city-designated historic landmark. The original residence, which was built circa 1867, was acquired by the Ursuline Sisters in the 1890s to be used as the Ursuline Young Ladies’ Academy, a Catholic girls’ school. The Ursulines made a number of additions to the original structure, including an auditorium/dormitory, chapel, and dining hall, but nonetheless maintained the integrity and beauty of the original building. The extensive walnut woodwork, decorative plaster ceilings, and other architectural details remain well preserved. The Ursuline Sisters finally sold the building in the early 1990s, leaving a nearly 100-year legacy of the building being used as a school.
That legacy lent itself well to the Waldorf School of Pittsburgh’s purchase of the building in 2003. With much of the original character of the Ursuline Academy intact, such as the classrooms and blackboards, combined with the integrity of the original residence, the building offered an excellent combination of both an academic and home-like environment. The purchase of this property ended an extensive five-year search for a new home for the school. Committed to remaining an urban school to better serve the needs of the greater Pittsburgh community and to attract a diverse student body, the school’s facility committee had put great effort into finding a suitable property that would support the needs of a growing school, plus would provide ample green space for play, gardening programs and a beautiful environment in keeping with the school’s philosophy.
During the summer of 2007 the exterior of the building underwent a significant renovation. The building was scraped, primed, and painted, and extensive repairs were made to exterior wood work and other architectural details. Great effort was made to preserve or replicate the original historic details. In addition the original box gutters were relined with copper and other roofing repairs were made. These efforts have contributed significantly to the long term stability of the building’s exterior envelope and maintain its historical integrity.
Our school serves children and parents coming from a rich variety of spiritual, cultural, social, and economic backgrounds. Indeed, this is an essential component of Waldorf education, where variety strengthens and enriches the spirit of brotherhood and community. Those drawn to the school find themselves and the world mirrored in the values and relationships that thrive here.
The Waldorf School of Pittsburgh owes its vitality to a lively interaction between teachers and parents. The school is administered by faculty members who make decisions which enhance the classroom experience. Parents play an integral part in the life of the school as committee members, classroom assistants, and participants in various volunteer projects. They are also very active in organizing our seasonal fairs and festivals.