Unlike other attractions in the city, you’ll have no problem spotting Randyland from a distance. This outdoor art studio, if you can call it that, is quite possibly the most colorful spot in all of Pittsburgh- and that is only the first impression from looking at it on the outside.
Once you enter, a world of incredible art and whimsy is yours to explore.
The Backstory of Randyland
The space now known as Randyland started in 1995 when Randy Gilson purchased a few rundown buildings in the North Side, on credit card no less, and started turning it into an incredible art center. Over the years the installations have grown and the property has become a local treasure that receives national and international attention time and time again.
As popular of an attraction as it is, we do have to admit that it was one we had only recently heard of (I know, blasphemy!). It wasn’t until we moved to the North Side that we discovered Randyland, and after talking to many friends who live in the city, our visit was the first they heard of it as well.
Thankfully, this new found knowledge will allow us to return several times in the future as Randyland is one of those places you will want to visit anytime you need to smile. It is simply impossible to be unhappy when surrounded by so much color.
Our Favorite Art Installations
To be honest, you could probably spend several days inside Randyland and not fully see it all. The art installations are so abundant (and not to mention compact) that you will easily overlook many subtle details, and like most art pieces several can be appreciated from different angles.
As a photographer, my favorite pieces here are some of the more interactive ones where you and your subject (in this case Angie) can become part of the exhibit through simply sitting in the many chairs, benches, and stairs present in the inner courtyard. Just be sure to wear something colorful, as this is one place where a boring business suit just doesn’t cut it.
..although, now that I think about it, that would look pretty cool too.
Do you love Randyland as much as we do? Comment below to share your experience at this unique and unusual attraction!
Randyland is located at 1501 Arch Street in the North Side and is open “most everyday”, with somewhat variable opening hours based on Randy’s morning schedule. Randyland is free but accepts donations if you enjoyed your visit (please tip if you can). Be sure to spend some time talking to Randy if he is around as he is full of incredible stories and advice about the city! Note: Randyland may close during the winter depending on the weather.
For more attractions in Pittsburgh’s North Side, check out the Photo Antiquities Museum, Johnny Angel’s Ginchy Stuff, the Mattress Factory, or Bicycle Heaven. Or, if you’re looking for a restaurant, why not check out El Burro or Nicky’s Thai Kitchen!
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