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Pittsburgh ( ), Pennsylvaniamarker, located in the United Statesmarker, is the second largest city in the state and is the county seat of Allegheny Countymarker. Its population was 334,563 at the 2000 census; by 2006, it was estimated to have fallen to 312,819. The population of the seven-county metropolitan area is 2,462,571. Downtown Pittsburghmarker retains substantial economic influence, ranking at 25th in the nation for jobs within the urban core (and is 6th in job density).

The characteristic shape of the city's downtown is a triangular tract carved by the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers, where the Ohio River forms. The city features 151 high-rise buildings, 446 bridges, two inclined railways, and a pre-revolutionary fortification. Pittsburgh is known colloquially as "The City of Bridges" and "The Steel City" for its many bridges and former steel manufacturing base.

While the city is historically known for its steel industry, today its economy is largely based on healthcare, education, technology, robotics, and financial services. The city has made great strides in redeveloping abandoned industrial sites with new housing, shopping and offices, such as the SouthSide Worksmarker. While Pittsburgh faced economic troubles in the mid 1980s as the steel industry waned, modern Pittsburgh is economically strong. The housing market is relatively stable despite a national subprime mortgage crisis, and Pittsburgh added jobs in 2008 even as the national economy entered a significant jobs recession. This positive economic news is in contrast to the 1980s, when Pittsburgh lost its manufacturing base in Steel and Electronics and corporate jobs in the Oil (Gulf Oil), Electronics (Westinghouse), Chemical (Koppers) and Defense (Rockwell International) industries because of cheaper imports. Even though Pittsburgh fell from the third largest corporate headquarters city after New York and Chicago it has rebounded strongly, winning back Westinghouse and Koppers in the first decade of the 21st century as well as major offices for Google, RAND and attracting American Eagle Outfitters, and headquarters, while being able to retain U.S. Steel, the H. J. Heinz Company, PPG Industries, and Allegheny Technologies. The city is also headquarters to major financial institutions, including PNC Financial Services (the nation's fifth largest bank) and the regional headquarters of The Bank of New York Mellon, itself partially descended from Mellon Financial and once had strong ties to the Mellon family.

In 2007, Forbes magazine named Pittsburgh the 10th cleanest city, and in 2008 Forbes listed Pittsburgh as the 13th best city for young professionals to live. The city is consistently ranked high in livability surveys. In 2007, Pittsburgh was named "America's Most Livable City" by Places Rated Almanac. Furthermore, in 2009, Pittsburgh was named most livable city in the United States and 29th-most-livable city worldwide by The Economist.

Pittsburgh hosted a G-20 Summit meeting on September 24 and 25, 2009.


Pittsburgh was named in 1758 by General John Forbes in honor of the British statesman, Sir William Pitt. Given that Forbes was a Scotsman, it is possible that the intended pronunciation of the settlement was "Pittsburro", similar to the pronunciation of Edinburghmarker as a Scotsman would pronounce it. It was incorporated as a borough in 1794 and chartered as a city in 1816.

Pittsburgh was officially named with its present spelling on April 22, 1794, by an act of the Pennsylvania Department, stating, "Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, in General Assembly met, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same, that the said town of Pittsburgh shall be, and the same is hereby, erected into a borough, which shall be called the borough of Pittsburgh for ever."

Pittsburgh is one of the few American cities to be spelled with an h at the end of a burg suffix. This style is commonly used for many other cities and towns of Western Pennsylvania. While briefly named "Pittsburg" from 1890 to 1911 following a declaration by the United States Board on Geographic Names, the Pittsburgh spelling was officially restored after a public campaign by the citizens of the city.


The area surrounding the headwaters of the Ohio was inhabited by the tribes of Allegawis, Adena, Hopewell, Delaware, Jacobi, Seneca, Shawnee, and several settled groups of Iroquois. The first European was the French discoverer/trader Robert de La Salle in his 1669 expedition down the Ohio River from Lake Ontariomarker and Quebecmarker. This discovery was followed by European pioneers, primarily French, in the early 1700s and 1710s. Michael Bezallion was the first to describe the forks of the Ohio in a manuscript in 1717, and later that year European traders established posts and settlements in the area. In 1749, Frenchmarker soldiers from Quebecmarker launched a serious expedition to the forks in hopes of uniting French Canadamarker with French Louisiana via the rivers. Governor Dinwiddie of Virginia sent Major George Washington to warn the French to withdraw. During 1753–54, the British hastily built Fort Prince George, but a larger French expedition forced them to evacuate and constructed Fort Duquesnemarker on the site. With the French citing the 1669 discovery by LaSalle, these events led to the French and Indian War. British General Edward Braddock's campaign (with Washington as his aide) to take Fort Duquesne failed, but General John Forbes's subsequent campaign succeeded. After the French abandoned and destroyed Fort Duquesne in 1758, Forbes ordered the construction of Fort Pittmarker, named after British Secretary of State William Pitt the Elder. He also named the settlement between the rivers "Pittsborough".

During Pontiac's Rebellion, Ohio Valley and Great Lakes tribes besieged Fort Pitt for two months. The siege was ended after Colonel Henry Bouquet defeated the native forces in the Battle of Bushy Runmarker just to the east of the forks. This victory was facilitated by an early example of biological warfare. In July of 1763, Lord Jeffrey Amherst ordered the distribution of blankets inoculated with smallpox to the Native Americans surrounding the fort.

In the 1768 Treaty of Fort Stanwix, the descendants of William Penn purchased from the Six Nations western lands that included most of the present site of Pittsburgh. In 1769, a survey was made of the land situated between the two rivers, called the "Manor of Pittsburgh". Both Virginiamarker and Pennsylvania claimed the Pittsburgh area during colonial times and would continue to do so until 1780 when both states agreed to extend the Mason-Dixon Linemarker westward, placing Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania.

Following the American Revolution, the village of Pittsburgh continued to grow. One of its earliest industries was building boats for settlers to enter the Ohio Country. In 1784, the laying out of the "Town of Pittsburgh" was completed by Thomas Viceroy of Bedford County and approved by the attorney of the Penns in Philadelphia. In 1785 Pittsburgh became a possession of the state of Pennsylvania. The following year the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette was started, and in 1787 the Pittsburgh Academy (which would later become the University of Pittsburghmarker) was chartered. The year 1794 saw the short-lived Whiskey Rebellion. By 1797, glass began to be manufactured in the city as the population grew to around 1400. The Act of March 5, 1804, which modified the provision of the old charter of the Borough of Pittsburgh in 1794 (the original of which is not known to exist), refers throughout to the "Borough of Pittsburgh".

Downtown facade memorializing Pittsburgh's industrial heritage

The War of 1812 cut off the supply of British goods, stimulating American manufacture. By 1815, Pittsburgh was producing significant quantities of iron, brass, tin and glass products. The Act of March 18, 1816 incorporated the City of Pittsburgh. The original charter was burned when the old Court House was destroyed by fire. In the 1830s, many Welsh people from the steelworks of Merthyrmarker migrated to the city following the civil strife and aftermath of the Merthyr Riots of 1831. By the 1840s, Pittsburgh was one of the largest cities west of the Allegheny Mountains. A great fire burned over a thousand buildings in 1845, but the city rebuilt. By 1857, Pittsburgh's 1,000 factories were consuming 22,000,000 bushels of coal yearly.

The American Civil War boosted the city's economy with increased production of iron and armaments. Steel production began by 1875, when Andrew Carnegie founded the Edgar Thomson Steel Worksmarker in North Braddockmarker, which eventually evolved into the Carnegie Steel Company. The success and growth of Carnegie Steel was attributed to Henry Bessemer, inventor of the Bessemer Process.

In 1901, the U.S. Steel Corporation was formed, and by 1911 Pittsburgh was the nation's eighth largest city, producing between a third and a half of the nation's steel. The city's population swelled to over a half million, many of whom were immigrants from Europe who arrived via the great migration through Ellis Islandmarker. During World War II, Pittsburgh produced 95 million tons of steel. By this time, the pollution from burning coal and steel production created a black fog (or smog), which even a century earlier had induced author writer James Parton to dub the city "hell with the lid off".

Following the war, the city launched a clean air and civic revitalization project known as the "Renaissance." This much-acclaimed effort was followed by the "Renaissance II" project, begun in 1977 and focusing more on cultural and neighborhood development than its predecessor. The industrial base continued to expand through the 1960s, but beginning in the 1970s and 1980s, the steel industry in the region imploded, with massive layoffs and mill closures.

Beginning in the 1980s, the city shifted its economic base to education, tourism, and services, largely based on healthcare, medicine, and high technology such as robotics. During this transition, however, the city's population shrank from 680,000 in 1950 to 330,000 in 2000.

During the late 2000s recession, however, Pittsburgh remained economically strong, adding jobs when most cities were losing them, and becoming one of the few cities in the United States to see housing property values rise. This story of regeneration was the inspiration for President Barack Obama to personally select Pittsburgh as the host city for the 2009 G-20 Summit.


According to the United States Census Bureau, Pittsburgh has a total area of , of which, of it is land and of it is water. The total area is 4.75% water.

The city is on the Allegheny Plateau, where the confluence of the Allegheny River from the northeast and Monongahela River from the southeast form the Ohio River. The Downtown area between the rivers is known as the Golden Triangle, and the site at the actual convergence, which is occupied by Point State Parkmarker, is referred to simply as "the Point." In addition to the downtown Golden Triangle, the city extends northeast to include the Oakland and Shadysidemarker sections, which are home to the University of Pittsburghmarker, Carnegie Mellon Universitymarker, Carnegie Museum and Library, and many other educational, medical, and cultural institutions.

Pittsburgh's Northside Neighborhood
Pittsburgh occupies the slopes of the river valley on the opposite side of the Monongahela and the ridges beyond. Many of the city's neighborhoods, particularly the city's North Side and those areas south of the Bungalow, are steeply sloped.

This topography is often utilized for physical activity. The city has some 712 sets of stairs, comprising 44,645 treads and 24,090 vertical feet (more than San Francisco, Cincinnatimarker, and Portlandmarker, Oregonmarker combined) for pedestrians to traverse its many hills. There are hundreds of 'paper streets' composed entirely of stairs and many other steep streets with stairs for sidewalks. Many provide views of the Pittsburgh area.

The city has established bike and walking trails along its riverfronts and hollows, but steep hills and variable weather can make biking challenging. However, the city will be connected to downtown Washington, D.C.marker (some away) by a continuous bike/running trail through the Alleghenies and along the Potomac Valley. Known as the Great Allegheny Passage and Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Towpath, the trail has been completed.


Most people consider Pittsburgh to be part of the humid continental climate zone because it has colder and snowier winters than New York and Philadelphia, which are at the northern tip of the humid subtropical zone. Some debate exists about Pittsburgh's climate zone because the winter high temperatures rarely drop below the 27 F average threshold of the humid continental zone in January and the average daily temperature in July is rarely about the 77 F threshold of the humid subtropical zone. Its climate can be thought of as transitional between humid subtropical (Cfa) and humid continental (Dfa). The city averages about 40 inches of snow compared to Philadelphia which averages about 20 inches or less in the subtropical zone. The city's climate features abundant precipitation throughout the year and four defined seasons. While there are wide variations in seasonal temperature common to temperate climates, winters are somewhat moderated by both proximity to the Atlantic Oceanmarker and low mountains that to some degree block the advance of cold air from the north. However, Pittsburgh's average winter temperatures are notably lower and the city also has much more snowfall than that of Philadelphia. Overall, the city's climate features cold winters with snow, and warm, humid summers with frequent clouds and precipitation.

The warmest month of the year in Pittsburgh, as in most of the northern hemisphere, is July. The average high temperature is , with overnight low temperatures averaging . July is often humid, resulting in a considerable heat index. The coldest month of the year is January, when the average high temperature is . Overnight low temperatures average . The moderating influence of Pittsburgh's proximity to the Atlantic Ocean is evident in the fact that Chicago, which is less than north of Pittsburgh (and about west), experiences average January temperatures 5°F (4°C) colder on average. The highest temperature ever recorded in Pittsburgh was , on July 16, 1988, and the coldest temperature ever recorded was , on January 19, 1994.

Due to its position on the windward side of the Allegheny Mountains, Pittsburgh receives heavy precipitation, and many days are subject to overcast skies. Precipitation is greatest in May, due to frequent thunderstorms and more organized low pressure systems which track up the eastern coast of the United States. On average, of precipitation falls during this month. The driest month of the year is October, when 2.35 inches of rain falls. Pittsburgh's February precipitation, , is heavy compared to other cities located further inland, mainly because the city is east enough that it can be impacted by Nor'easters in some way, but usually lighter than in the central and eastern parts of the state.


The city can be broken down into the Downtown area, called the Golden Triangle, and four main areas surrounding it. These four surrounding areas are further subdivided into distinct neighborhoods (in total, Pittsburgh contains 90 neighborhoods.) These areas, relative to downtown, are known as the North Side, South Side/South Hills, East End, and West End.

Downtown Pittsburghmarker is tight and compact, featuring many skyscrapers, 9 of which top . U.S.marker Steel Towermarker is the tallest at . The Cultural Districtmarker comprises a 14 block area of downtown along the Allegheny River. It is packed with theaters and arts venues, and is seeing a growing residential segment. Most significantly, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is embarking on Riverparc, a 4-block mixed-use "green" community, featuring 700 residential units and multiple towers between 20–30 stories. The Firstside portion of downtown borders the Monongahela River and the historic Mon Wharf. This area is home to the distinctive PPG Placemarker Gothic glass skyscraper complex. This area too, is seeing a growing residential sector, as new condo towers are constructed and historic office towers are converted to residential use. Downtown is serviced by the Port Authority's light rail and multiple bridges leading north and south. It is also home to Point Park Universitymarker, The Art Institute of Pittsburghmarker, Pittsburgh Culinary Institute, a Robert Morris Universitymarker branch campus and Duquesne Universitymarker which is located on the border of Downtown and Uptown.
The Carnegie Library and Museums of Art and Natural History in the foreground and Carnegie Mellon University behind it
The North Side is home to various neighborhoods in transition. What is known today as Pittsburgh's North Side was once known as Allegheny City and operated as a city independently of Pittsburgh. Allegheny City merged with Pittsburgh under great protest from its citizens. The North Side is primarily composed of residential neighborhoods and is noteworthy for well-constructed and architecturally interesting homes. Many buildings date from the 19th century and are constructed of brick or stone and adorned with decorative woodwork, ceramic tile, slate roofs and stained glass. The North Side is also home to many popular attractions such as Heinz Fieldmarker, PNC Parkmarker, Carnegie Science Centermarker, National Aviarymarker, Andy Warhol Museummarker, Mattress Factorymarker installation art museum, Children's Museum of Pittsburghmarker, Penn Brewerymarker and Allegheny Observatorymarker.

The South Side was once an area composed primarily of dense inexpensive housing for mill workers, but has in recent years become a local Pittsburgher destination. In fact, South Side is one of the most popular neighborhoods in which to own a home in Pittsburgh. The value of homes in the South Side has increased in value by about 10 percent annually for the past 10 years. The South Side's East Carson Street is one of the most vibrant areas of the city, packed with diverse shopping, ethnic eateries, pulsing nightlife and live music venues. In 1993 the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh purchased the South Side Works steel mill property, and worked together with the community and various developers to create a master plan for a mixed-use development including a riverfront park, office space, housing, health-care facilities, and the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pitt Panthers indoor practice fields. Construction began in 1998, and the Southside Worksmarker is now open for business with many store, restaurants, offices, and the world headquarters for American Eagle Outfitters.

The East End is home to the University of Pittsburghmarker, Carnegie Mellon Universitymarker, Carlow Universitymarker, Chatham Universitymarker, The Carnegie Institute's Museums of Art and Natural History, Frick Art & Historical Centermarker (Clayton and the Frick art museum), Phipps Conservatorymarker, Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hallmarker, and the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquariummarker. The neighborhoods of Shadysidemarker and Squirrel Hillmarker are large, wealthy neighborhoods featuring large shopping/business districts. Oakland, heavily populated by undergraduate and graduate students, is home to most of the universities, Schenley Parkmarker and the Petersen Events Centermarker. Bloomfieldmarker is Pittsburgh's Little Italy and is known for its Italian restaurants and grocers. Lawrenceville is a revitalizing rowhouse neighborhood popular with artists and designers. The Strip Districtmarker is an open-air marketplace by day and a clubbing destination by night.

The West End includes Mt.marker Washingtonmarker, with its famous view of the Downtown skyline and numerous other residential neighborhoods like Sheradenmarker and Elliottmarker.

Pittsburgh's patchwork of neighborhoods still retain an ethnic character reflecting the city's immigrant history. These include:

Several neighborhoods on the edges of the city are less urban, featuring tree-lined streets, yards and garages giving a more characteristic suburban feel, while other aforementioned neighborhoods, such as Oakland, the South Side, the North Side, and the Golden Triangle are characterized by a more diverse, urban feel.


As of the American Community Survey 3-Year Estimate of 2005–2007, the city's population was 68.3% White (65.8% non-Hispanic White alone), 28.0% Black or African American, 1.0% American Indian and Alaska Native, 4.0% Asian, 0.1% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, 0.9% from some other race and 2.0% from two or more races. 1.9% of the total population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

As of the censusof 2000, there were 334,563 people, 143,739 households, and 74,169 families residing in the city. The population densitywas 6,019.0 people per square mile (2,324.1/km²). There are 163,366 housing units at an average density of 2,939.1/mi² (1,134.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 67.63% White, 27.12% African American, 0.19% Native American, 2.75% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.66% from other races, and 1.61% from two or more races. Hispanicor Latinoof any race were 1.32% of the population.

The five largest White ethnic groups in the city of Pittsburgh are German(19.7%), Irish(15.8%), Italian(11.8%), Polish(8.4%), and English(4.6%), while the metropolitan area is approximately 22% German, and 16% Italian, and 12% Irish. Pittsburgh has one of the largest Italian communities in the nation, and also has the nation's fifth largest Ukrainiancommunity.

There were 143,739 households out of which 21.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 31.2% were married couples living together, 16.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 48.4% were non-families. 39.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.7% had someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.17 and the average family size was 2.95.

In the city the population was spread out with 19.9% under the age of 18, 14.8% from 18 to 24, 28.6% from 25 to 44, 20.3% from 45 to 64, and 16.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 90.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.8 males.

The median incomefor a household in the city was $28,588, and the median income for a family was $38,795. Males had a median income of $32,128 versus $25,500 for females. The per capita incomefor the city was $18,816. About 15.0% of families and 20.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.5% of those under the age of 18 and 13.5% ages 65 or older.

In 2002, it was estimated that Pittsburgh ranked 22nd of 69 urban places in the U.S. in terms of number of residents 25 years or older who had completed a Bachelor's degree, with 31% of such people having completed the degree. The same study ranked Pittsburgh 15th of the 69 places in terms of number of residents 25 years or older who have completed a high school degree, with a figure of 84.7%.


Despite the high poverty rate, Pittsburgh once had one of the lowest property crime rates and a lower-than-average violent crime rate among cities of similar size. However, recent crime statistics show violent crime has risen, although most of the rising crime statistics reflect crimes committed by known assailants.

Statistics in 2003 indicated that the Pittsburgh murder rate was 2.61 times the national average, which was considered high for a city of its size. Overall, the "violent crime" rate for the city was about twice the national average, while the "property" or non-violent crime rate was about 1.11 times the national average.

In 2009, Forbes ranked Pittsburgh the 7th safest city in terms of violent crime. In 2008 Pittsburgh was ranked by CQ Press as the 61st most dangerous city in the United States. The Greater Pittsburgh Region was also subject to two high-profile shootings in 2009, a deadly attack on police in Aprilmarker and a murder-suicide in Collier Township in August, though the latter occurred in a suburb outside of the city's jurisdiction.


Downtown Pittsburgh

The growth of Pittsburgh and its economy was caused by the extensive trade in steel. Pittsburgh has since adapted to the collapse of the region's steel industry. The primary industries have shifted more to high technology, such as robotics, health care, nuclear engineering, tourism, biomedical technology, finance, and services. The total annual payroll of the region’s technology industries, when taken in aggregate, exceeds $10.8 billion. Education is also a major employer, from primary through magnet schools, specialized professional institutes and highly-ranked universities. In fact, Pittsburgh still maintains its status as a corporate headquarters city, with eight Fortune 500companies calling the city home. This ranks Pittsburgh in a tie for the eighth-most Fortune 500 headquarters in the nation. In 2006, Expansion Magazineranked Pittsburgh among the top 10 metropolitan areas in the nation for climates favorable to business expansion.

Pittsburgh has grown its industry base in recent years to include technology, retail, finance and medicine. The largest employer in the city is the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (48,000 employees) and the University of Pittsburghmarker (10,700 employees).

2009 Fortune 500 Corporations         

2009 Fortune 1000 Corporations:

Pittsburgh is also home to Bayer USAand the operations center of Alcoa. Other major employers include BNY Mellon, GlaxoSmithKlineand Lanxess. Pittsburgh and the neighboring townships serve as the Northeast U.S. regional headquarters for Nova Chemicals, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, FedEx Ground, Ariba, Rand, and National City., 84 Lumber, Giant Eagle, Highmark, Rue 21, and GENCO Supply Chain Solutions are major non-public companies with headquarters in the region. Other major companies headquartered in Pittsburgh include General Nutrition Center(GNC) and CNX Gas (CXG), a subsidiary of Consol Energy.

The nonprofit arts and cultural industry in Allegheny County generates $341 million in economic activity and supports over 10,000 full time equivalent jobs. Revenues of nearly $34 million are generated through local and state tax.


Entertainment and performing arts

Pittsburgh Children's Museum
Phipps Conservatory
Friday Nite Improvs at the Cathedral of Learning

In the 19th and 20th centuries, wealthy businessmen and nonprofit organizations donated millions of dollars to create educational and cultural institutions. As a result, Pittsburgh is rich in art and culture.

Among the professional music venues, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra performs in Heinz Hallmarker, and the Pittsburgh Opera performs in the Benedum Centermarker.Both The Benedum Center and Heinz Hall provide venues for other groups, such as the River City Brass Bandand the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra. Pittsburgh has a long tradition of jazz, blues and bluegrass music. Pittsburgh also has a large indieand punk rockscene. Additionally the National Negro Opera Company was founded in Pittsburgh, and was the first all African-American opera company in the United States. This led to the prominence of African-American singers like Leontyne Pricein the world of opera. Pittsburgh has a number of small and mid-size arts organizations supported by individuals, local foundations, and the Allegheny Regional Asset District. Examples include the Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre, the Quantum Theatre, and the early music ensemble Chatham Baroque.

Pittsburgh Dance Counciland the Pittsburgh Ballet Theaterhost a variety of dance events. Polka, folk, square and round dancing have a long history in the city and are celebrated by the internationally famous Duquesne University Tamburitzans, a multicultural academy dedicated to the preservation and presentation of folk songs and dance.

Pittsburgh museums include the Andy Warhol Museummarker, the Carnegie Museum of Artmarker, the Frick Art & Historical Centermarker, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts and the Mattress Factorymarker.Installation art is featured outdoors at ArtGardens of Pittsburgh. The Carnegie Museum of Natural Historymarker has extensive dinosaur collections and an Ancient Egypt wing.The Carnegie Science Centermarker is technology oriented.The Senator John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center and Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum are located in the Strip District. The unusual and eclectic Bayernhof Music Museummarker is six miles (9 km) from downtown.There is a quarterly Gallery Crawl in the downtown area's cultural district that is free and open to the public to enjoy the local art scene as well as the Three Rivers Arts Festival, which takes place in the same downtown area annually during the summer.

In theater, the Pittsburgh Playhouse of Point Park University has four resident companies of professional actors. Other companies include Attack Theatre, Bricolage Theater, Pittsburgh Playwrights Theater, City Theatre, Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre, Pittsburgh Musical Theater, Pittsburgh Public Theater, and Quantum Theater. The city's longest-running theater show, Friday Nite Improvs, is an improv jam that has been performed in the Cathedral of Learningmarker and other locations for 20 years.


Pittsburgh's most famous native writer was Rachel Carson, a Chatham College (now Chatham Universitymarker) graduate from the Pittsburgh suburb of Springdale, Pennsylvaniamarker.Modern writers include Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright August Wilsonand Michael Chabonwith his Pittsburgh-focused commentary on student and college life. Two-time Pultizer Prize winner and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, David McCulloughwas born and raised in Pittsburgh. Annie Dillard, a Pultizer Prize winning writer, was born and raised in Pittsburgh. Much of her memoir An American Childhood takes place in post-World War II Pittsburgh. New writers include Chris Kuzneski who attended the University of Pittsburghmarker and mentions Pittsburgh in his books.Pittsburgh's unique literary style extends to playwrights, as well as local graffiti and hip hop artists.

There is a Pittsburgh fantasy, macabreand science fictiongenrepopularized by film director George Romero, television personality Bill Cardille's Chiller Theatre, film director and writer Rusty Cundieffand makeup effects guru Tom Savini. Today, the genre continues through the PARSEC writers organization and several local Writer's Workshops including Write or Die, The Pittsburgh SouthWrites, and the Pittsburgh Worldwrights founded by Mary Soon Lee and continued by protegees Barton Paul Levenson, Kenneth Chiacchia, Pete Butler, Chris Ferrier, Robert L. Nansel and the poet Elizabeth Penrose. Mark Menold showcases the classic Pittsburgh zombie tradition through cinematic and televised works on The It's Alive Showand by holding the annual "Zombie Fest".

Local dialect

The Pittsburgh Englishdialect, popularly referred to as "Pittsburghese", derives from influences from the Scottish-Irish, Welsh, German, Central Europeanand Eastern Europeanimmigrants. Locals who speak in this dialect are sometimes referred to as "Yinzers" (from the local word "yunz" [var. yinz], a blended form of "you ones" similar to "y'all" and "you all" in the South). The dialect has some tonal similarities to other nearby regional dialects (ie, Erie, Baltimore), but is noted for its somewhat staccatorhythms. The staccato qualities of the Pittsburgh dialect have been suggested to originate either from Welsh or from Eastern European immigrants. It also has so many local peculiarities that the New York Timesdescribed Pittsburgh as, "the Galapagos Islands of American dialect". The lexicon itself contains notable cognatesborrowing from Croatianand other Slavicand European languages. Examples include babushka, pierogi, and halušky.


Pittsburgh often places high in lists of the nation's most livable cities. After placing fourth and first in the first two editions of Places Rated Almanac, Pittsburgh went on to finish third in 1989, fifth in 1993, 14th in 1997 and 12th in 2000, before reclaiming the number one spot in 2007. The survey's primary author, David Savageau, has noted that Pittsburgh is the only city to finish in the top 20 of every edition.

Livability rankings typically consider factors such as cost of living, crime, and cultural opportunities. Pittsburgh has a low cost of living compared to other cities in the northeastern U.S. The average price for a 3- to 4-bedroom, 2-bath family home in Pittsburgh is $162,000, which is well below the national average of $264,540, as of October 2004, according to the Federal Housing Finance Board.

Another factor enhancing Pittsburgh's livability is that area residents face very little risk of encountering a natural disaster such as an earthquake, hurricane, wildfire, or tornado. In 2009, Forbes ranked Pittsburgh as having the 2nd-lowest natural disaster risk in the nation compared to other cities. Pittsburgh is not entirely free of natural disasters, however. Residents living in extremely low-lying areas near the three rivers experience occasional floods, such as those caused when the remnants of Hurricane Ivandumped record rainfalls on the region in 2004.

In 2005, The Economist ranked Pittsburgh and Clevelandmarker the top most livable cities in the United States, and tied the cities for 26th worldwide.Pittsburgh ranked #28 in the book Cities Ranked and Rated(2004) by Bert Sperling and Peter Sander.

In 2008, the American Lung Associationranked the Pittsburgh area as the nation's third most polluted metropolitan area, behind Los Angeles and Bakersfield, CA. This ranking is disputed by the Allegheny County Health Department, since data from only one of Pittsburgh's 20 air quality monitors were used by the ALA. Furthermore, the monitor used is located downwind of U.S. Steel's Clairton Coke Works, the nation's largest cokeplant.

In 2009, Pittsburgh was named most livable city in the United States and 29th-most-livable city worldwide by The Economist.


Pittsburgh's dedication to sports has a long history. All of its major sports teams—the Steelersof the NFL, the Penguinsof the NHL, and the Piratesof the MLB—share the same team colors, the official city colors of black and gold. This tradition of solidarity is unique to the city of Pittsburgh. The black-and-gold color scheme has since become widely associated with the city and personified in its famous Terrible Towel.

The Pittsburgh Pirates play in the Central Division of the National League, and are five-time World SeriesChampions. The Pirates are also often referred to as the Bucs or sometimes the Buccos (derived from buccaneer). The franchise last won the World Series in 1979 against the Baltimore Orioles.

PNC Parkmarker is annually ranked as one of the best if not the best Major League park, because of the view of the Pittsburgh skyline.

Pittsburgh has a rich history in Negro Leaguebaseball teams with the former Pittsburgh Crawfordsand the Homestead Grays(credited with as many as 14 titles between them and with 11 hall of famers).Pittsburgh Pirates was then the first Major League Baseballteam to field an all-black lineup in 1971, "no city is more synonymous with black baseball than Pittsburgh."

The Pittsburgh Riverhoundsare a professional soccer team playing in the second division of the United Soccer Leagues(USL).

Professional basketballhas also played a role in the city's sports landscape since the 1960s. The Pittsburgh Pipers, Pittsburgh Condors, Pittsburgh Rens, Pittsburgh Hard Hats, Pittsburgh Piranhas, Pittsburgh Pit Bulls, and the Pittsburgh Xplosionhave all called the Steel City their home. The city has never been home to a National Basketball Associationteam.

The Dukes of Duquesne Universitymarker were the premier men's college basketball program up through and including the mid to late 1970s.The first African-American drafted in the NBA, Charles Cooper, played and attended Duquesne. Prior to 2009, it is the only city college basketball team to have been ranked #1 and remains the only city team to have won a major post season college basketball tournament.

The most successful basketball team in Pittsburgh since the 1984–1985 school year has been the Panthers of the University of Pittsburgh. The Pitt Panthersare currently ranked 4th in the nation in the Associated Press and Coaches polls (3/16/09), are a current #1 seed in the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championshipand in the last 15 years have been a perennial top 25 NCAA team. The Panthers have made 9 straight NCAA tournament trips. Pitt plays at the Peterson Events Center, and has a strong local following. The “Pete” has sold out every season since its opening.

Footballis the most popular sport in the region, with high schoolgames routinely getting over 10,000 fans per game as well as extensive press coverage. College footballis also popular, with residents supporting the local Pittsburgh Panthers, as well as the teams of Penn State, West Virginiaor even Ohio State. The NFL'sPittsburgh Steelershave been owned by the Rooney familysince the team's founding in 1933. The team won four Super Bowlsin a six-year span in the 1970s, a fifth championshipin 2006 and a sixth championshipin 2009.

The Pittsburgh region also has developed several NFLquarterbacks, giving Western Pennsylvania the nickname "Cradle of Quarterbacks." Dan Marino, Joe Montana, Joe Namath, Jim Kelly, Marc Bulger, George Blanda, Jeff Hostetler, Johnny Unitas, Bruce Gradkowski, Gus Frerotte, and recent Pittsburgh Steelersbackup quarterback Charlie Batchare from the area. Several famous running backs, including Tony Dorsett, Curtis Martin, Kevan Barlow, Mercury Morris, Larry Brown, Ernie Davis, Cookie Gilchristand Joe Marconiare also from Pittsburgh. Several former offensive line greats, including Jim Covert, Russ Grimm, Reggie Wells, and Bill Fralicalso hail from the area. Several notable defensive players are from the Pittsburgh area, including Pro Hall of Famers Joe Schmidtand Randy White, defensive end Jason Taylor, cornerback Ty Lawand linebacker LaVar Arrington. Several current NFL Players grew up in the Greater Pittsburgh, including Shawntae Spencer and Steve Breaston in addition to the aforementioned Ty Law, Jason Taylor and Charlie Batch. There is also a long list of baseball stars such as Ken Griffey, Jr., Ken Griffey, Sr., Stan Musial, and Honus Wagner, as well as numerous Olympicgold medalists such as wrestler Kurt Angle, Roger Kingdomand John Woodruffand was where Jim Furyk, Rocco Mediateand Arnold Palmerlearned to play golf. Pittsburgh also claims many professional sports coaching legends as its own including George Karl, John Calipari, Marvin Lewis, Mike Ditka, Marty Schottenheimer, Mike McCarthy, Bill Cowher, Dave Wannstedt, Joe Walton, Barry Alvarez, Chuck Knox, Terry Francona, Chuck Daly, Ken Macha, Dick Nolan, Sean Miller, Herb Sendek, Chuck Tanner, Jim Haslett, Ted Marchibrodaand Art Howe.

The Pittsburgh Penguinshave won four Eastern Conference championships in 1991, 1992, 2008, and 2009 and Stanley Cupchampionships in 1991, 1992, and 2009. They are owned by Mario Lemieux, who was a pivotal player for the team from 1984–2006. They play their home games at Mellon Arenamarker, the oldest arena in the NHL, but is being replaced by the Consol Energy Centermarker, slated to open for the 2010–2011 NHL season.Notable NHL players from the Pittsburgh area include Ryan Maloneof the Tampa Bay Lightning, R.J.Umbergerof the Columbus Blue Jackets, and Bill Thomasof the Phoenix Coyotes.

Pittsburgh is home to the Pittsburgh Marathon.

Pittsburgh has multiple mountain biking areas close to the city in area parks and in the surrounding suburbs. Frick Parkmarker has biking trails and Hartwood Acres Parkmarker has many miles of single track trails.A recent project, "Rails to Trails", has converted miles of former railroadsto recreational trails.

Club League Sport Venue Established Championships
Pittsburgh Pirates MLB Baseball PNC Parkmarker 1882 1909, 1925, 1960, 1971, 1979
Pittsburgh Steelers NFL American Football Heinz Fieldmarker 1933 1974, 1975, 1978, 1979, 2005, 2008,
Pittsburgh Penguins NHL Ice Hockey Mellon Arenamarker 1967 1991, 1992, 2009


There are two major daily newspapers in Pittsburgh; the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Alternative weekly papers in the region include the Pittsburgh City Paper, Pittsburgh Catholic, The Jewish Chronicle of Pittsburgh, The New People, and the Pittsburgh Courier. Independent student-written university based newspapers include The Pitt News of the University of Pittsburghmarker, The Tartan of Carnegie Mellon Universitymarker, and The Globe of Point Park Universitymarker.

The Pittsburgh metro area is served by many local television and radio stations. The Pittsburgh designated market area (DMA) is the 22nd largest in the U.S. with 1,163,150 homes (1.045% of the total U.S.). The major network television affiliates are KDKA-TVmarker 2 (CBS), WTAEmarker 4 (ABC), WPXImarker 11 (NBC), WPGH-TVmarker 53 (Fox), WPCWmarker 19 (CW), WQEXmarker 16 (ShopNBC), WPMYmarker 22 (MyNetworkTV), and WPCBmarker 40 (Cornerstone). WBGN 59 is an independent station owned and operated by the Bruno-Goodworth Network.

WQEDmarker 13 is the local PBS station in Pittsburgh. It was established on April 1, 1954, and was the first community-sponsored television station and the fifth public station in the United States. The station has produced much original content for PBS, including Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood, several National Geographicmarker specials, and Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?

There are a wide variety of radio stations serving the Pittsburgh market. The first was KDKAmarker 1020 AM, which is also the first commercially-licensed radio station in the United States, receiving its license on October 27, 1920. Other popular stations include KQV 1410 AM (news), WEAE 1250 AM (sports), WKST-FM 96.1 FM (pop and hip-hop), WZPT 100.7 FM (adult contemporary), WDVE 102.5 FM (album rock), WPGB 104.7 FM (talk), and WXDX 105.9 FM (modern rock). There are also three public radio stations in the area; including WDUQ 90.5 FM (National Public Radio affiliate operated by Duquesne Universitymarker), WQED 89.3 FM (classical), and WYEP 91.3 FM (adult alternative). Three non-commercial stations are run by Carnegie Mellon Universitymarker (WRCTmarker 88.3 FM), the University of Pittsburghmarker (WPTS 92.1 FM), and Point Park Universitymarker (WPPJmarker 670 AM).

According to the Pittsburgh Film Office, over 123 major motion pictures have been filmed, in whole or in part, in Pittsburgh, including the The Mothman Prophecies, Wonder Boys, Dogma, Hoffa, The Silence of the Lambs, and Zack and Miri Make a Porno. Horror director George A. Romero, a Pittsburgh native, has shot nearly all of his films in and around Pittsburgh, including the majority of his Living Dead series.

Showtime's popular series Queer as Folk is also set in Pittsburgh, although actual filming is done in Torontomarker.

Government and politics

Prior to the Civil War, Pittsburgh was noted for being largely in opposition to slavery. This sentiment ultimately culminated in Pittsburgh being selected as the birthplace of the national Republican Party, when the party held its first convention in February 1856. From the American Civil War to the 1930s, Pittsburgh was largely a Republican stronghold.
County Courthouse
However, national economic turmoil in the mid-1930s brought to an end Republican rule. In 1934, William N. McNair became the first Democrat to be elected to the office of Mayor. Democratic candidates have been elected consecutively to either the mayor's office or city council since. Today, the ratio of Democratic to Republican registrations within the city limits is 5 to 1.

The mayor and the nine-member council both serve a four-year term. The governments official offices are located in the Pittsburgh City-County Buildingmarker. After the death of Mayor Bob O'Connor in September 2006, City Council President Luke Ravenstahl was sworn as the new mayor of Pittsburgh. Sworn in at age 26, he is the youngest mayor in the history of any major American city. He served in this position until a special mayoral election was held in November 2007, when he was reelected.

City council members are chosen by plurality elections in each of nine districts. The current members of the city council are: Darlene Harris (1), Theresa Kail-Smith (2), Bruce Kraus (3), Jim Motznik (4), Douglas Shields (5), Tonya Payne (6), Patrick Dowd (7), Bill Peduto (8), and Rev. Ricky Burgess (9).

Pittsburgh is represented in the Pennsylvania General Assembly by three Senate Districts and nine House Districts. Pittsburgh's State Senators include Jim Ferlo (38th District), Wayne D. Fontana (42), and Jay Costa (43). Representatives in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives include Jake Wheatley (19th District), Don Walko (20), Lisa Bennington (21), Chelsa Wagner (22), Dan Frankel (23), Joseph Preston, Jr. (24), Dan Deasy (27), Paul Costa (34), and Harry Readshaw (36). In the United States House of Representatives, Pittsburgh is included in one Congressional District, the 14th District, and is represented by Mike Doyle (D).

The Pittsburgh Police Bureau is the law enforcement arm of the city and the Pittsburgh Fire Bureau is a major emergency response unit in Western Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh EMS provides heavy rescue and river rescue services to the city.

As of April 4, 2008, the city and Allegheny Countymarker, are discussing a plan to merge as early as 2009 in the interests of consolidating government and enhancing the status of the region. If approved, the city of Pittsburgh would annex the entire land of Allegheny County in a Metropolitan Government, and the population would stand at 1.2 million, making Pittsburgh the 10th largest city in the United States. However, opposition to this plan is concerned that inefficiencies and corruption that exist today will only be extended to the newly-annexed communities resulting in a loss of services and an increase in taxes.


The City of Pittsburgh is home to many colleges, universities and research facilities, the most well known of which are Carnegie Mellon Universitymarker, Duquesne Universitymarker, and the University of Pittsburghmarker. Also located in the city are Carlow Universitymarker, Chatham Universitymarker, Point Park Universitymarker, The Art Institute of Pittsburghmarker, and a branch campus of suburban Robert Morris Universitymarker as well as the Community College of Allegheny Countymarker and the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science. The greater Pittsburgh region boasts even more colleges and universities, including LaRoche Collegemarker, Slippery Rock Universitymarker and Grove City Collegemarker north of the city, Robert Morris Universitymarker and Geneva Collegemarker west of the city, Washington & Jefferson Collegemarker and California University of Pennsylvaniamarker to the south, and Seton Hill Universitymarker, Saint Vincent Collegemarker and Indiana University of Pennsylvaniamarker – the biggest state university to the east.

The campuses of Carlow University, Carnegie Mellon University, and the University of Pittsburgh are located adjacent to each other in the Oakland neighborhood that is the traditional cultural and education center of the city. Carnegie Mellon University is a private research university founded by Andrew Carnegie and is ranked #22 overall on US News & World Report list of America's Best National Universities. Carnegie Mellon is known primarily for its computer science, engineering, business and economicsmarker, public policy and information systems, and fine arts programs. The University of Pittsburgh, established in 1787 and popularly referred to as "Pitt", is a state-related school with one of the country's largest research programs. Pitt is ranked as the 19th national public university by US News & World Report and 57th overall, and is known for its programs in philosophy, international studies, information sciencemarker, engineering, businessmarker, lawmarker, medicinemarker, and other biomedical and health-related sciences. Carlow University is a small private Roman Catholic university that while coeducational, has traditionally educated women. Chatham Universitymarker, a liberal arts women's college with coeducational graduate programs, is located in the nearby Shadyside neighborhood, but also maintains a 400-acre Eden Hall Farm campus located in the North Hills. Duquesne Universitymarker, a private Catholic university, is located in the Bluffmarker neighborhood of Pittsburgh and is noted for its song and dance company, the Tamburitzans, as well as programs in law, business, and pharmacy. Point Park Universitymarker, which recently announced a major expansion of its downtown campus, is the youngest university in the city and well known for its Conservatory of Performing Arts and its operation of the Pittsburgh Playhouse. Robert Morris Universitymarker is based in the suburb of Moon Township, Pennsylvaniamarker and maintains a satellite center in downtown Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh Public Schoolmarker teachers are paid well relative to their peers, ranking 17th in 2000 among the 100 largest cities by population for the highest minimum salary offered to teachers with a BA ($34,300). Pittsburgh ranked fifth in the highest maximum salary offered to teachers with an MA ($66,380). Local public schools include many charter and magnet schools, including City Charter High Schoolmarker (computer and technology focused), Pittsburgh Montessori School (formerly Homewood Montessori), Pittsburgh Gifted Centermarker, Frick International Studies Academymarker, Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts 6-12marker, and a school for the blind, The Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf, or otherwise challenged children.

Private schools in Pittsburgh include Bishop Canevin High Schoolmarker, Seton-La Salle Catholic High Schoolmarker, Central Catholic High Schoolmarker, Oakland Catholic High School, Winchester Thurston Schoolmarker, and The Ellis Schoolmarker. Shady Side Academymarker, whose main campuses are located in Fox Chapelmarker, has a junior high school in the neighborhood of Point Breezemarker.

The city also has an extensive library system, both public and university. Most notable are the Carnegie Library of Pittsburghmarker and the University of Pittsburghmarker's University Library System, which rank 9th largest (public) and 18th largest (academic) in the nation, respectively.


Pittsburgh is a city of bridges—446 in total. Pittsburgh has more bridges than Venice, Italymarker, which has historically held the title of "City of Bridges". Around 40 bridges cross the three rivers near the city. The southern "entrance" to Downtown is through the Fort Pitt Tunnel and over the Fort Pitt Bridge. The Panhandle Bridgemarker carries the Port Authority's 42-S/47-L/52 subway lines across the Monongahela River. Over 2,000 bridges dot the landscape of Allegheny County.

The main highway connecting Pittsburgh to the Pennsylvania Turnpike (I-76) on the east is I-376, locally known as the "Parkway East". I-376 also connects to Interstate 79 to the west and is known as the "Parkway West". I-279, the "Parkway North", connects the city with points north. I-76 (Pennsylvania Turnpike), I-79, and I-70, roughly form a triangular-shaped "beltway". Navigation around Pittsburgh can also be accomplished via the Pittsburgh/Allegheny County Belt System.

A planned highway system called the Mon-Fayette/Southern Beltway project would allow access from the south and southwest of the city via a limited-access tolled expressway system. The projects are in the planning stages with some sections already open to traffic. The projects are being planned by The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission.


The city is served by Pittsburgh International Airportmarker about to the west in Findlay Townshipmarker. The airport also promotes the region as a former focus city for US Airways. It has been a major operation for the airline since the company's inception in the 1940s. In 2007, the city was chosen by the airline to house its new $25 million, 27,000 sq. ft. 600 employees strong Global Flight Operations Center, consolidating its two smaller (pre-merger) centers in Phoenixmarker, Arizonamarker and along I-376 in metro Pittsburgh. Currently, the largest promotions at the airport is the expansion of other airlines, particularly Delta Air Lines' new non-stop service to Parismarker as well as JetBlue and Southwest Airlinesmarker expansion. Art deco style Allegheny County Airportmarker (AGC) handles 139,000 general aviation flights a year, and is located south of the city in West Mifflinmarker. There are also smaller airports located near the city used primarily for corporate jets and other private aircraft: Rock Airportmarker is northeast of Pittsburgh near the borough of Tarentummarker and Pittsburgh-Monroeville Airportmarker is east of the city in Monroevillemarker.

Commercial service is also available at Arnold Palmer Regional Airportmarker in the metro area borough of Latrobemarker via Delta Airlines and formerly Northwest Airlines and US Airways commuter service.

Public transportation

Port Authority of Allegheny County, commonly known as the Port Authority, but sometimes referred to by its former nickname "PAT" or "PAT Transit", is the region's mass transit system. While serving only a portion of the Pittsburgh area's 20th largest metro area it is the 11th largest transit agency in the nation. Port Authority runs a network of inter- and intracity bus routes, the Monongahela Inclinemarker funicular railway (more commonly known as "inclines") on Mount Washington, a light rail system that runs mostly above-ground in the suburbs and underground as a subway in the city, and one of the nation's largest busway systems. The Duquesne Inclinemarker is operated by a non-profit preservation trust, but it does accept Port Authority passes and charge standard Port Authority tolls.

The city has Amtrak intercity rail service via the Capitol Limited and the Pennsylvanian at Pennsylvania Stationmarker, also known as Union Station. Current freight railroads include CSX and Norfolk Southern.

Sister cities

Pittsburgh has eighteen sister cities:

See also


External links

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