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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh ((originally )) is the second largest city (after Philadelphia) in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania with a population of 312,819 in 55.5 sq mi. The population of the eight-county metropolitan area is 2,462,571. The city averages 5,636 people per sq mi and has an urban oriented job market ranking 6th in the nation for jobs within the urban core. Pittsburgh is the county seat of Allegheny County, which has a population of 1,281,666. Downtown is built on a triangular tract where the Allegheny River and Monongahela River meet to form the Ohio River. The skyline 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 it is largely based on healthcare, education, technology, robotics, fashion, and financial services. The city has made great strides in redeveloping abandonded industrial sites with new housing, shopping and offices, such as the SouthSide Works. While Pittsburgh faced economic troubles in the mid 1970s as the steel industry waned, modern Pittsburgh is economically strong. The housing market is relatively stable despite a national subprime mortgage crisis, and Pittsburgh has added jobs in 2008 even as the national economy is in a significant jobs recession. This positive economic news is in contrast to 30 years ago when Pittsburgh lost its manufacturing base as those jobs moved offshore.

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.

Etymology

Pittsburgh was named in 1758 by General John Forbes in honor of the British statesman, Sir William Pitt. Given that Forbes was a Scotsman, some speculate the intended pronunciation of the settlement was "Pittsburra", similar to the pronunciation of Edinburgh. 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 referred to as "Pittsburg" during the late 19th century, the Pittsburgh spelling was officially restored in 1911 after a public campaign by the citizens of the city.

History

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 Sieur de La Salle in his 1669 expedition down the Ohio River from Lake Ontario and Quebec. 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, French soldiers from Quebec launched a serious expedition to the forks in hopes of uniting French Canada with French Louisiana via the rivers. Governor Dinwiddie of Virginia sent Major George Washington to warn the French to withdraw. During 1753–1754, the English hastily built Fort Prince George, but a larger French expedition forced them to evacuate and constructed Fort Duquesne 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 Pitt, 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 Bouquet defeated the native forces in the Battle of Bushy Run just to the east of the forks.

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 Virginia 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 Line 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 Thos. Viceroy of Bedford County and approved by the attorney of the Penns in Philadelphia. The year 1794 saw the short-lived Whiskey Rebellion. 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."

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 Merthyr 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 J. Edgar Thomson Steel Works in North Braddock, 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 producing between a third and a half of the nation's steel. The city's population swelled to half a million, many of whom were immigrants from Europe who arrived via the great migration through Ellis Island. 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.

Geography

Pittsburgh is located at (40.441419, -79.977292). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city 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 Park, is referred to simply as "the Point." In addition to the downtown Golden Triangle, the city extends northeast to include the Oakland and Shadyside sections, which are home to the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, Carnegie Museum and Library, and many other educational, medical, and cultural institutions.

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. In fact, of all U.S. cities, only San Francisco and Seattle have more extreme terrain.

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, Cincinnati, and Portland, Oregon combined) for pedestrians to traverse its many hills. With the drop of pedestrian traffic across much of the city, and the fact that many of these stairs are outside nuclear neighborhoods, many have fallen into disrepair, covered with vines and weeds. 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. (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, about 95% of this trail has been completed.

Climate

Pittsburgh's climate is classified as a humid subtropical climate (Cfa) on the Koppen climate classification. This is a climate with 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 Ocean and mountains that block the advance of cold air from the north. However, Pittsburgh's average winter temperatures are notably lower 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 7°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 February, when most precipitation falls in the form of low moisture content snow. However, Pittsburgh's February precipitation, , is relatively 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.

Cityscape

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 Pittsburgh is tight and compact, featuring many skyscrapers, 9 of which top . U.S. Steel Tower is the tallest at . The Cultural District 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 Place 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 University, The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Culinary Institute, a Robert Morris University branch campus and Duquesne University which is located on the border of Downtown and Uptown.

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 Field, PNC Park, Carnegie Science Center, National Aviary, Andy Warhol Museum, Mattress Factory installation art museum, Children's Museum of Pittsburgh, Penn Brewery and Allegheny Observatory.

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 Works 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 Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, Carlow University, Chatham University, The Carnegie Institute's Museums of Art and Natural History, Frick Art & Historical Center (Clayton and the Frick art museum), Phipps Conservatory, Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall, and the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium. The neighborhoods of Shadyside and Squirrel Hill 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 Park and the Petersen Events Center. Bloomfield 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 District is a popular open-air marketplace by day and one of Pittsburgh's hottest clubbing destinations by night.

The West End includes Mt. Washington, with its famous view of the Downtown skyline and numerous other residential neighborhoods like Sheraden and Elliott.

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.

Demographics

According to the 2000 census there were 334,563 individuals, 163,739 households, and 74,169 families within the city limits. The population of the surrounding metropolitan area was 2,658,695. The largest groups in terms of race were 67.63% White, 27.12% African American, 2.75% Asian, and 1.32% Hispanic (of any race). The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.8 males. The median income for a household in the city was $28,588, with 20.4% of the population living below the poverty line.

Until the mid 1980s, Pittsburgh held second place. The 5 largest 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, 16% Italian, and 12% Irish. Pittsburgh has one of the largest Italian communities in the nation, and also has the nation's fifth largest Ukrainian community, as well as some of the largest Slovak, Slovenian, and Serbian communities.

As of 2002 Census data, Pittsburgh ranks 22nd of 69 urban places in the U.S. in terms of number of residents 25 years or older who have completed a Bachelor's degree, with 31% of such people having completed the degree. The same study ranks 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%.

Crime

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. But recent crime statistics show violent crime has risen, although most of the rising crime statistics reflect crimes committed against known assailants.

As of 2003, statistics indicate that the Pittsburgh murder rate is 2.61 times the national average, which is considered high for a city of its size. Overall, the ‘violent crime’ rate for the city is about twice the national average, while the ‘property’ or non-violent crime rate is about 1.11 times the national average.

Economy

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 region’s technology industries, when taken in aggregate, their total annual payroll 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 seven Fortune 500 companies calling the city home. This ranks Pittsburgh in a tie for the eighth-most Fortune 500 headquarters in the nation. In 2006, Expansion Magazine ranked Pittsburgh among the top 10 metropolitan areas in the nation for climates favorable to business expansion.

Major employers

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 (26,000 employees) and the University of Pittsburgh (10,700 employees).

Fortune 500 Corporations:

Fortune 1000 Corporations:

Pittsburgh is also home to Bayer USA and the operations center of Alcoa. Other major employers include Bank of New York Mellon, GlaxoSmithKline and Lanxess. Pittsburgh is the Northeast U.S. regional headquarters for Nova Chemicals, FedEx Ground, Ariba, Rand, and National City. Guru.com, 84 Lumber, Giant Eagle, Highmark, Rue 21, and GENCO 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.

Culture

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 Hall, and the Pittsburgh Opera performs in the Benedum Center. Both The Benedum Center and Heinz Hall provide venues for other groups, such as the River City Brass Band and the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra. Pittsburgh has a long tradition of jazz, blues and bluegrass music. Pittsburgh also has a large indie and punk rock scene. 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 Price in the world of opera.

Pittsburgh Dance Council and the Pittsburgh Ballet Theater host 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 Museum, the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Frick Art & Historical Center and the Mattress Factory. Installation art is featured outdoors at ArtGardens of Pittsburgh. The Carnegie Museum of Natural History has extensive dinosaur collections and an Ancient Egypt wing. The Carnegie Science Center 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 Museum 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 theatre show, Friday Nite Improvs, is an improv jam that has been performed in the Cathedral of Learning and other locations for 17 years.

Writing

Pittsburgh's most famous native writer was Rachel Carson, a Chatham College (now Chatham University) graduate from the Pittsburgh suburb of Springdale, Pennsylvania. Modern writers include Pulitzer Prize winning playwright August Wilson and Michael Chabon with his Pittsburgh-focused commentary on student and college life. Two-time Pultizer Prize winner and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, David McCullough was born and raised in Pittsburgh. Annie Dillard, a Pultizer Prize winning writer, was born and raised in Pittsburgh. New writers include Chris Kuzneski who attended the University of Pittsburgh 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, macabre and science fiction genre popularized by film director George Romero, television personality Bill Cardille's Chiller Theatre, film director and writer Rusty Cundieff and 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 Show and by holding the annual "Zombie Fest".

Local dialect

The Pittsburgh English dialect, which may be popularly referred to as, "Pittsburghese", derives from influences from the Scottish-Irish, Welsh, German, Central European and Eastern European immigrants. Locals who speak in this dialect are sometimes referred to as "Yinzers" (from the local word for "you guys/people", yinz [var. yunz]). The dialect has some tonal similarities to other nearby regional dialects (ie, Erie, Baltimore), but is noted for its somewhat staccato rhythms. 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 Times described Pittsburgh as, "the Galapagos Islands of American dialect. The lexicon itself contains notable cognates borrowing from Serbian and other Slavic and European languages. Examples include babushka, pierogi, and halušky.

Attractions

Pittsburgh houses the country's National Aviary. The Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens features a Victorian-style greenhouse. The Botanic Garden of Western Pennsylvania and Rodef Shalom Biblical Botanical Garden are also located in the area.Lord Venkateswara temple is another major attraction and is one of the biggest Hindu temples in USA

Other attractions include:

Livability

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.

In 2005, The Economist ranked Pittsburgh and Cleveland the top most livable cities in the United States, and tied the cities for 26th worldwide. In the 2004, 820-page book by Bert Sperling and Peter Sander, "Cities Ranked and Rated", Pittsburgh came in at #28.

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.

In 2007, the American Lung Association ranked the Pittsburgh area as the nation's second most polluted metropolitan area, behind Los Angeles,. This ranking is disputed by the Allegheny County Health Department since data from only one of Pittsburgh's 20 air quality monitors was used by the ALA, furthermore the monitor used is located downwind of U.S. Steel's Clairton Coke Works, the nation's largest coke plant .

Sports

Pittsburgh's dedication to sports has a long history. The Pitt Panthers have won multiple national titles in both football and men's basketball. .

Baseball

As home to two of the most successful teams in baseball's former Negro League, the Pittsburgh Crawfords and the Homestead Grays (credited with as many as 14 titles between them and with 11 hall of famers), as well as the first Major League Baseball team to field an all-black lineup, the 1971 Pittsburgh Pirates, "no city is more synonymous with black baseball than Pittsburgh.

PNC Park is annually ranked as one of the best if not the best Major League parks.

Basketball

Professional basketball has also played a role in the city's sports landscape since the 1960s. The Pittsburgh Pipers, Pittsburgh Condors, Pittsburgh Rens, Pittsburgh Hard Hats, and the Pittsburgh Pit Bulls have all called the Steel City their home. Currently, the Pittsburgh Xplosion, a member of the Continental Basketball Association and the city's only present pro basketball franchise, calls the Mellon Arena and Petersen Events Center its home.

IRL/NASCAR team owner Chip Ganassi is from the Fox Chapel area of Pittsburgh. Randy Claypoole, also from Fox Chapel owns ISCARS DASH Touring, former NASCAR Goody's DASH Series.

Football

Football is by far the most popular sport in the region, with high school games routinely getting over 10,000 fans per game as well as extensive press coverage. College football is also popular, with residents predominantly being fans of Pitt, Penn State, or West Virginia. The NFL's Pittsburgh Steelers have been owned by the Rooney family since the team's founding in 1933. The team won four Super Bowls in a six-year span in the 1970s as well as a fifth championship in 2006.

The Pittsburgh region also has developed several NFL quarterbacks, 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 Steelers backup quarterback Charlie Batch are from the area. Several famous running backs, including Tony Dorsett, Curtis Martin, Kevan Barlow, Mercury Morris, Larry Brown, Ernie Davis, Cookie Gilchrist and Joe Marconi are also from Pittsburgh. Several former offensive line greats, including Jim Covert, Russ Grimm, Reggie Wells, and Bill Fralic also hail from the area. Several notable defensive players are from the Pittsburgh area, including Pro Hall of Famers Joe Schmidt and Randy White, defensive end Jason Taylor, cornerback Ty Law and linebacker LaVar Arrington. Notable NHL players from the Pittsburgh area include Ryan Malone of the Tampa Bay Lightning and R.J. Umberger of the Columbus Blue Jackets. 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 Olympic gold medalists such as wrestler Kurt Angle, Roger Kingdom and John Woodruff and was where Jim Furyk and Arnold Palmer learned to play golf. Pittsburgh also claims many professional sports coaching legends as its own including George Karl, Marvin Lewis, Mike Ditka, Marty Schottenheimer, Mike McCarthy, Bill Cowher, Joe Walton, Barry Alvarez, Chuck Knox, Terry Francona, Chuck Daly, Ken Macha, Dick Nolan, Sean Miller, Chuck Tanner and Art Howe.

Pittsburgh is the only city where all major sports teams (Steelers, Penguins, Pirates, and Xplosion) share the same two colors, black and gold. The Passion use these colors as well. Although unofficial, the color scheme is used by the city's police department, fire department and are the dominant colors on the flag and seal. Many downtown fire hydrants use the same color scheme.

Mellon Arena, home of the Pittsburgh Penguins, introduced the retractable dome to world sporting events when the complex was completed in 1961. It is slated to be replaced in the 2010-11 season after serving its golden anniversary.

Pittsburgh has been home to the Pittsburgh Marathon, which will resume in May 2009, and still hosts the Great Race 5 & 10K mile run and walk.

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

Club Sport League Venue Major Championships
Pittsburgh Steelers American Football National Football League Heinz Field Super Bowl Champions: 1974, 1975, 1978, 1979, 2005
Pittsburgh Penguins Ice Hockey National Hockey League Mellon Arena Stanley Cup Champions: 1990–91, 1991–92
Pittsburgh Pirates Baseball Major League Baseball PNC Park National League Champions (pre-World Series): 1901, 1902;
World Series Champions: 1909, 1925, 1960, 1971, 1979
Pittsburgh Xplosion Basketball Continental Basketball Association Mellon Arena
Petersen Events Center
Pittsburgh Riverhounds Soccer USL Second Division Chartiers Valley High School Stadium
Pittsburgh Passion American Football National Women's Football Association George K. Cupples Stadium NWFA World Champions: 2007
Pittsburgh Harlequins Rugby Union Mid-Atlantic Rugby Football Union Founders Field

Media and popular culture

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 Pittsburgh, The Tartan of Carnegie Mellon University, and The Globe of Point Park University.

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-TV 2 (CBS), WTAE 4 (ABC), WPXI 11 (NBC), WPGH-TV 53 (FOX), WPCW 19 (CW), WQEX 16 (ShopNBC), WPMY (MyNetworkTV), and WPCB 40 (Cornerstone). WBGN 59 is an independent station owned and operated by the Bruno-Goodworth Network.

WQED 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 Geographic specials, and Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?

There are a wide variety of radio stations serving the Pittsburgh market. The first was KDKA 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), WXDX 105.9 FM (modern rock), and WAMO 106.7 (hip-hop, rap). There are also three public radio stations in the area; including WDUQ 90.5 FM (National Public Radio affiliate operated by Duquesne University), WQED 89.3 FM (classical), and WYEP 91.3 FM (adult alternative). Three non-commercial stations are run by Carnegie Mellon University (WRCT 88.3 FM), the University of Pittsburgh (WPTS 92.1 FM), and Point Park University (WPPJ 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, and The Silence of the Lambs.

Showtime Networks, a premium cable and satellite tv content provider, made Pittsburgh the setting of the hugely popular and groundbreaking series Queer as Folk. The series now runs edited versions on the Logo Network. While Queer as Folk was filmed in nearby Toronto, Ontario, Canada; the setting in Pittsburgh has given the city noticed publicity in the gay community.

Government and politics

From the American Civil War to the 1930s, Pittsburgh was a Republican stronghold. Democratic candidates have been elected consecutively to either the mayor's office or city council since 1933, when David L. Lawrence was able to lead the party to power due to the alleged corruption and fraction of the Pittsburgh Republican Party and the election of President Roosevelt whose New Deal began the recovery from the Great Depression, by which the workers of Pittsburgh were especially hard hit. Today, the ratio of Democratic to Republican registrations within the city limits is 5 to 1.

The mayor, like the nine-member council, serves a four-year term. The seat of government is the Pittsburgh City-County Building. 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), Daniel Deasy (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), Thomas C. Petrone (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 County, 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 will annex the entire land of Allegheny County in a Metropolitan Government, and the population will stand at 1.4 million making it the 7th largest city in the United States.

Education

The City of Pittsburgh is home to many colleges, universities and research facilities, the most well known of which are Carnegie Mellon University, Duquesne University, and the University of Pittsburgh. Also located in the city are Carlow University, Chatham University, Point Park University, The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, and a branch campus of suburban Robert Morris University as well as the Community College of Allegheny County and the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science. The greater Pittsburgh region boasts even more colleges and universities, including LaRoche College and Slippery Rock University north of the city, Robert Morris University and Geneva College west of the city, Washington & Jefferson College and California University of Pennsylvania to the south, and Seton Hill University and Saint Vincent College 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, public policy, 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 science, engineering, business, law, medicine, and other biomedical and health-related sciences. Carlow University is a small private Roman Catholic university that while coeducational, has traditionally educated women. Chatham University, 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 University, a private Catholic university, is located in the Bluff 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 University, 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 University is based in the suburb of Moon Township, Pennsylvania and maintains a satellite center in downtown Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh Public School 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 School (computer and technology focused), Pittsburgh Montessori School (formerly Homewood Montessori), Pittsburgh Gifted Center, Frick International Studies Academy, Rogers Middle School for the Creative and Performing Arts, Pittsburgh High School for the Creative and Performing Arts, and several schools for blind, deaf, or otherwise challenged children. Private schools in Pittsburgh include Bishop Canevin High School, Seton-La Salle Catholic High School, Central Catholic High School, Oakland Catholic High School, Winchester Thurston School, and The Ellis School. Shady Side Academy, whose main campuses are located in Fox Chapel, has a junior high school in the neighborhood of Point Breeze.

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

Transportation

Pittsburgh is a city of bridges—446 in total. Pittsburgh has more bridges than Venice, Italy, 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 Bridge carries the Port Authority's 42-S/47-L/52 subway lines across the Monongahela River. All told, 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", while I-279 (called either the "Parkway North" or the "Parkway West", depending on its location relative to Downtown) connects the city with points north and west. 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.

Airports

The city is served by the highly-ranked Pittsburgh International Airport about to the west in Findlay Township. The airport also promotes the region as a focus city for US Airways and has been a major operation for the airline since the company's inception in the 1940s with the city being recently chosen by the airline to house its entire dispatch center, relocating it from its headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona. Art deco style Allegheny County Airport (AGC) handles 139,000 general aviation flights a year, and is located south-southeast of the city in West Mifflin. There are a few smaller airports located near the city as well. Rock Airport is a small airport located northeast of Pittsburgh in Tarentum, and is used primarily for corporate jets and private aircraft. Pittsburgh-Monroeville Airport is another airfield located east of the city in Monroeville, Pennsylvania.

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 Incline 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 Incline 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 at Pennsylvania Station, as well as various freight railroads. Current railroads include Norfolk Southern, CSX and Amtrak.

Sister cities

Pittsburgh has sixteen sister cities:

See also

References

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