The Priory

Carefully restored to modern standards, the Priory Hotel is a 42-room historic boutique hotel located in Pittsburgh’s thriving North Shore, just minutes from downtown Pittsburgh. Once a Benedictine monastery, the Priory Hotel features all of the amenities of a large downtown property with the personality and personal service that only a smaller, European style hotel can offer. When you stay at the Priory, you know you’ve stayed at a place like no other.

Just ask the experts: The Zagat Survey of Top U.S. Hotels, Resorts & Spas calls the Priory “a cozy [property] filled with a combination of monastic charm and modern elegance that is within walking distance to the Warhol Museum.” Other features include a “congenial” staff, a new hotel bar, complimentary parking with easy in and out privileges, and a “wonderful courtyard garden.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

The Priory
614 Pressley Street
Pittsburgh
(412) 231-3338

A former Benedictine monastery, the Priory is a 42 room family owned and operated boutique hotel nestled in the historic Deutschtown section of Pittsburgh’s North Side — an easy walk to downtown Pittsburgh, PNC Park, the Andy Warhol Museum, and Heinz Field. Built in 1888, the Priory’s then-25 guestrooms were lovingly restored to 19th century elegance by the Graf family in 1986, weaving Edwardian era antiques and reproductions to accent the building’s remarkable architectural and interior design features.

In 2011, the Graf family unveiled the Priory Hotel’s new wing, a $2.7 million project which added 17 guestrooms to the existing property and which seamlessly blended the new construction with the original building. The construction project also added a new, larger front desk and a cozy pub — the Monks’ Bar – in the original building. Last, the project debuted a brand new Fitness Center and Business Center, as well as state of the art meeting space in the new wing.

The Priory Hotel also boasts one of the region’s premier ballrooms, the Grand Hall at the Priory Hotel, which is set in the adjoining former church, hosting numerous business events, weddings and charity functions.

HISTORY

The Priory Hotel began its existence in 1888 as just that – a priory. The St. Mary’s Priory, to be exact. What is a priory, one might wonder? It is a place where clerics gather and live, communally, like a monastery or convent. In the case of the St. Mary’s Priory, the clerics were Benedictine monks and priests, some of whom lived in residence, some of whom ministered to the adjacent St. Mary’s Church (now our Pittsburgh’s Grand Hall at The Priory), and some of whom would stay between clerical assignments. The St. Vincent’s Arch abbey, located in nearby Latrobe, is the seat of authority for the Benedictine Order in the United States. Many of the Benedictine priests and brothers traveling to Latrobe would rest their heads at the St. Mary’s Priory.

The St. Mary’s Parish and Church

The St. Mary’s Parish was founded in 1848 by German, Austrian and Swiss immigrants living in a neighborhood then known as “Deutschtown” (or “Germantown”). (Since that time the neighborhood was rechristened as “East Allegheny,” but has recently re-adopted the Deutschtown moniker in commemoration of the area’s German heritage.) St. Mary’s was the first Roman Catholic parish founded in what was then Allegheny City, a city separate and apart from the City of Pittsburgh and which now comprises Pittsburgh’s North Side.

In 1850, parishioners began to build their own church, a towering edifice build in the Italiante style. They completed the project in 1854, a massive structure with over 10,000 square feet of floor space and space for more than 900 parishioners. Many of the parishioners were Germanic speaking immigrants, and masses were routinely said in German.

Notably lacking in the 1854 design were stained glass windows. These were purposely omitted for fear of vandalism by the infamous Know Nothing Party – a terroristic socio-political organization reminiscent of the 20th Century Ku Klux Klan. One of the main activities of the notorious group was breaking the windows of Catholic churches. The stained glass windows which now grace the Church (Pittsburgh’s Grand Hall at The Priory Hotel) were placed in 1912. They were crafted by the Tyrolese Art Glass Company of Innsbruck, Austria, and were lovingly restored in 1995 as part of the Grand Hall renovation project.