Pittsburgh, PA: Wikis


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—  City  —
City of Pittsburgh
From top to bottom, left to right: Pittsburgh skyline; Cathedral of Learning at the University of Pittsburgh; Carnegie Mellon University; PNC Park; Duquesne Incline


Coat of arms
Nickname(s): City of Bridges, Steel City,
City of Champions[1][2][3]
Motto: Benigno Numine ("With the Benevolent Deity" also translated as "By the favor of heaven")
Location in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh is located in Pennsylvania
Location in Pennsylvania.
Coordinates: 40°26′30″N 80°00′00″W / 40.44167°N 80°W / 40.44167; -80
Country  United States
Commonwealth  Pennsylvania
County AlleghenyCOA.png Allegheny
Settled 1717[4]
Incorporated April 22, 1794 (borough)
  March 18, 1816 (city)
 - Mayor Luke Ravenstahl (D)
 - City 58.3 sq mi (151.1 km2)
 - Land 55.5 sq mi (143.9 km2)
 - Water 2.8 sq mi (7.1 km2)
 - Metro 5,343 sq mi (13,839 km2)
Elevation 1,223 ft (372.77 m)
Population (U.S. Census Estimate, 2006)
 - City 316,718
 Density 5,636/sq mi (2,174/km2)
 Metro 2,462,571
 - Demonym Pittsburgher
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code(s) 15106, 15120, 15201, 15203, 15204, 15205, 15206, 15207, 15208, 15210, 15211, 15212, 15213, 15214, 15216, 15217, 15218, 15219, 15220, 15221, 15222, 15224, 15226, 15227, 15230, 15232, 15233, 15234, 15237, 15289
Area code(s) 412, 724, 878
FIPS code 42-61000[7]
GNIS feature ID 1213644[8]
Website www.city.pittsburgh.pa.us

Pittsburgh (pronounced /ˈpɪtsbərɡ/), Pennsylvania, located in the United States, is the second largest city in the state and is the county seat of Allegheny County.[9] Its population was 334,563 at the 2000 census; by 2006, it was estimated to have fallen to 312,819.[10] The population of the seven-county metropolitan area is 2,462,571.[11] Downtown Pittsburgh retains substantial economic influence, ranking at 25th in the nation for jobs within the urban core (and is 6th in job density).[12]

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,[13] 446 bridges,[14] 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 region is also becoming a hub for oil and natural gas companies' Marcellus Shale production.[15] The city has made great strides in redeveloping abandoned industrial sites with new housing, shopping and offices, such as the SouthSide Works. 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.[16] 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. The city is also headquarters to major global financial institutions PNC Financial Services (the nation's fifth largest bank), Federated Investors 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, in an eight-way tie, the 10th cleanest city,[17] and in 2008 Forbes listed Pittsburgh as the 13th best city for young professionals to live.[18] The city is consistently ranked high in livability surveys. In 2007, Pittsburgh was named "America's Most Livable City" by Places Rated Almanac.[19] Furthermore, in 2009, Pittsburgh was named most livable city in the United States and 29th-most-livable city worldwide by The Economist.[20]

Pittsburgh hosted a G-20 Summit meeting on September 24 and 25, 2009.[21]



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 Edinburgh as a Scotsman would pronounce it.[22][23][24][25] It was incorporated as a borough in 1794 and chartered as a city in 1816.[26]

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."[27]

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.[28] 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.[27]


The Fort Pitt Blockhouse, dating to 1764, is the oldest extant structure in the city of Pittsburgh.

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.[citation needed] The first European was the French explorer/trader Robert de La Salle in his 1669 expedition down the Ohio River from Lake Ontario and Quebec.[29] 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.[30] 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.[30] 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 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".[31]

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 Run 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.[32]

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".[33] 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 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 Pittsburgh) 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".[33][citation needed]

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 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 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 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 Island. During World War II, Pittsburgh produced 95 million tons of steel.[31] 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".[35]

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.[36]

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.[37]


According to the United States Census Bureau, Pittsburgh has a total area of 58.3 sq mi (151 km2), of which, 55.6 sq mi (144 km2) of it is land and 2.8 sq mi (7 km2) 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.

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. There are hundreds of 'paper streets' composed entirely of stairs and many other steep streets with stairs for sidewalks.[38] Many provide views of the Pittsburgh area.[39]

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 is connected to downtown Washington, D.C. (some 245 mi (394 km) 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.



Pittsburgh falls in the transition between humid continental and humid subtropical climates. It features four distinct seasons, with precipitation somewhat evenly spread throughout the year. Summers are hot and humid (with occasional heatwaves), while winters are cold and snowy. Fall and spring are mild to warm.

The warmest month of the year in Pittsburgh, as in most of the northern hemisphere, is July. The average high temperature is 83 °F (28.3 °C), with overnight low temperatures averaging 62 °F (16.7 °C). July is often humid, resulting in a considerable heat index. The coldest month of the year is January, when the average high temperature is 35 °F (1.7 °C). Overnight low temperatures average 20 °F (−6.7 °C). The highest temperature ever recorded in Pittsburgh was 103 °F (39.4 °C), on July 16, 1988, and the coldest temperature ever recorded was −22 °F (−30.0 °C), on January 19, 1994.[40]

Due to its position on the windward side of the Allegheny Mountains, Pittsburgh receives heavier precipitation than cities located further to the west, 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, 4.04 in (103 mm) of precipitation falls during this month. The driest month of the year is October, when 2.35 inches of rain falls. Annual precipitation is around 38 in (965 mm), while annual snowfall is around 41 in (104 cm).

Climate data for Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 74
Average high °F (°C) 37
Average low °F (°C) 20
Record low °F (°C) -19
Precipitation inches (mm) 2.59
Snowfall inches (mm) 12.3
Sunshine hours 93.0 110.2 155.0 183.0 217.0 243.0 254.2 229.4 198.0 167.4 99.0 74.4 2,023.6
Source: National Weather Service[41] December 7, 2009


Pittsburgh is home to 90 distinct neighborhoods.

The city can be broken down into the Downtown area, called the Golden Triangle,[42] and four main areas surrounding it. These four surrounding areas are further subdivided into distinct neighborhoods (in total, Pittsburgh contains 90 neighborhoods.[43]) 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 500 ft (152 m). U.S. Steel Tower is the tallest at 841 ft (256 m).[44] 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.[45] 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.

Street in Shadyside, a neighborhood in the East End
The Carnegie Library and Museums of Art and Natural History in the foreground and Carnegie Mellon University behind it
Pittsburgh's North Side Neighborhood

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[citation needed] 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.[46]

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, which is expected to benefit from the recent new construction of a new Children's Hospital. The Strip District is an open-air marketplace by day and a clubbing destination 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.

The city of Pittsburgh at dawn, as seen from Mt. Washington. The Monongahela River is in the foreground.


Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1800 1,565
1810 4,768 204.7%
1820 7,248 52.0%
1830 12,568 73.4%
1840 21,115 68.0%
1850 46,601 120.7%
1860 49,221 5.6%
1870 86,076 74.9%
1880 156,389 81.7%
1890 238,617 52.6%
1900 321,616 34.8%
1910 533,905 66.0%
1920 588,343 10.2%
1930 669,817 13.8%
1940 671,659 0.3%
1950 676,806 0.8%
1960 604,332 −10.7%
1970 520,117 −13.9%
1980 423,938 −18.5%
1990 369,879 −12.8%
2000 334,563 −9.5%

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.[47]

As of the census of 2000,[7] there were 334,563 people, 143,739 households, and 74,169 families residing in the city. The population density was 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. Hispanic or Latino of 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,[48] and also has the nation's fifth largest Ukrainian community.[49]

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 income for 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 income for 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.[50] 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%.[51]


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.[52] However, recent crime statistics show violent crime has risen.[53]

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.[54]

In 2009, Forbes ranked Pittsburgh the 7th safest city in terms of violent crime.[55][56] The Greater Pittsburgh Region was also subject to two high-profile shootings in 2009, a deadly attack on police in April and a murder-suicide in Collier Township in August, though the latter occurred in a suburb outside of the city's jurisdiction.

Birthplace of a Hasidut

Pittsburgh has the distinction of being one of the few American cities to have a Hasidic Jewish group named after it. (The others are Boston, Cleveland, Milwaukee and Philadelphia.) In 1924, Rabbi Yosef Leifer, a scion of the Nadvorna Hasidic dynasty of Europe, traveled from his home in Hungary to America to raise money to marry off his orphaned sisters. When he visited the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the local Hasidic community asked him to stay and serve as their leader. Rabbi Yosef agreed and brought over his entire family, naming himself the Pittsburger Rebbe. He served as Rebbe until his death in 1966.[57] His eldest son, Rabbi Avraham Abba Leifer, succeeded him. In 1970, Rabbi Avraham Abba relocated the Hasidut to Ashdod, Israel, where it flourishes today under his son, the third Pittsburger Rebbe, Rabbi Mordechai Yissachar Ber Leifer.[58]


Downtown Pittsburgh
BNY Mellon and U.S. Steel headquarters

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.[59] 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 500 companies calling the city home. This ranks Pittsburgh in a tie for the eighth-most Fortune 500 headquarters in the nation.[60] In 2006, Expansion Magazine ranked Pittsburgh among the top 10 metropolitan areas in the nation for climates favorable to business expansion.[61]

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 Pittsburgh (10,700 employees).[62]

2009 Fortune 500 Corporations[63]         
2009 Fortune 1000 Corporations

Pittsburgh is also home to Bayer USA and the operations center of Alcoa. Other major employers include BNY Mellon, GlaxoSmithKline and Lanxess. Pittsburgh and the neighboring townships serve as the Northeast U.S. regional headquarters for Nova Chemicals, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, FedEx Ground, Ariba, and Rand. 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.[64]


Entertainment and performing arts

Pittsburgh Children's Museum
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 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. 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 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 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, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts 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.

The city is also served by the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, and the National Aviary.

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 Learning and other locations for 20 years.


Pittsburgh is the birthplace of both Gertrude Stein and Rachel Carson, a Chatham College (now Chatham University) graduate from the Pittsburgh suburb of Springdale, Pennsylvania.[65] 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.[66] 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 Pittsburgh and mentions Pittsburgh in his books. Pittsburgh's unique literary style extends to playwrights,[67] 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,[68] film director and writer Rusty Cundieff[69] and makeup effects guru Tom Savini.[70] Today, the genre continues through the PARSEC writers organization[71] and several local Writer's Workshops including Write or Die,[72] The Pittsburgh SouthWrites,[73] and the Pittsburgh Worldwrights[74] founded by Mary Soon Lee[75] and continued by protegees Barton Paul Levenson, Kenneth Chiacchia, Pete Butler, Chris Ferrier, Robert L. Nansel and the poet Elizabeth Penrose. Mark Menold[76] 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, 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 "yinz" [var. yunz], 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 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".[77] The lexicon itself contains notable cognates borrowing from Croatian and other Slavic and European languages. Examples include babushka, pierogi, and halušky.[78]


Gateway Center, a high-rise building complex in the central business district.

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.[79] The survey's primary author, David Savageau, has noted that Pittsburgh is the only city to finish in the top 20 of every edition.[citation needed]

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,[citation needed] which is well below the national average of $264,540, as of October 2004, according to the Federal Housing Finance Board.[citation needed]

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.[55] 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 Ivan dumped record rainfalls on the region in 2004.[80]

In 2005, The Economist ranked Pittsburgh and Cleveland 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.[citation needed]

In 2008, the American Lung Association ranked the Pittsburgh area as the nation's third most polluted metropolitan area, behind Los Angeles and Bakersfield, CA.[81] 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 coke plant.[82]

In 2009, Pittsburgh was named most livable city in the United States and 29th-most-livable city worldwide by The Economist.[20]


Heinz Field, home of the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Pittsburgh Panthers (football).
Petersen Events Center, home of the Pittsburgh Panthers (basketball).

Pittsburgh's dedication to sports has a long history. All of its major professional sports teams—the Steelers of the National Football League, the Penguins of the National Hockey League, and the Pirates of Major League Baseball[83]—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 baseball team, often referred to as the Bucs or sometimes the Buccos (derived from buccaneer), are the city's oldest professional sports franchise having been founded in 1882, and play in the Central Division of the National League. The Pirates are nine-time National League Pennant winners and five-time World Series Champions. The Pirates played in the first World's Series in 1903, losing to the Boston Americans, but won in 1909, 1925, 1960, 1971, as well as in their most recent World Series appearance against the Baltimore Orioles in 1979. The Pirates play in PNC Park, which is annually ranked as one of the most beautiful Major League baseball parks because of its location on the banks of the Allegheny River and the view of the Pittsburgh skyline. An ESPN.com feature remarked that "[t]his is the perfect blend of location, history, design, comfort and baseball…The best stadium in baseball is in Pittsburgh."[84] Pittsburgh also has a rich history in Negro League baseball teams with the former Pittsburgh Crawfords and the Homestead Grays credited with as many as 14 league titles and 11 Hall of Famers between them. In addition, the Pittsburgh Pirates were the first Major League team to field an all-nonwhite lineup in 1971. One sportswriter claimed, "No city is more synonymous with black baseball than Pittsburgh."[85]

Football is 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 the majority of residents supporting the local Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) Panthers of the University of Pittsburgh who compete in the Big East Conference. Pitt's program has a storied tradition and claims nine national championships throughout its history, and most recently won the 2009 Meineke Car Care Bowl en route to a 10-3 record. Some Pittsburghers also cheer for the Division I FBS teams of Penn State University and West Virginia University, with both teams also receiving coverage in the local papers. Additionally, local universities Duquesne and Robert Morris field lower Division I Football Championship Division (FCS) teams. Arguably the most popular team in the city is the NFL's Pittsburgh Steelers, who have been owned by the Rooney family since the team's founding in 1933. The Steelers receive extensive media coverage and with a long waiting list for season tickets, have sold out every home game since 1972.[86] The team won four Super Bowls in a six-year span in the 1970s, a fifth Super Bowl in 2006, and a league record sixth Super Bowl in 2009. Both the Steelers and Pitt Panthers play home games at Heinz Field.

Hockey in Pittsburgh has become increasingly popular on both the amateur and professional levels since the Pittsburgh Penguins of the NHL were founded in 1967. The Penguins have won four Eastern Conference championships (1991, 1992, 2008, and 2009) and three Stanley Cup championships in 1991, 1992, and 2009. They are owned by Mario Lemieux, who was a pivotal player for the team from 1984–2006, and play their home games at Mellon Arena, which is being replaced by the Consol Energy Center that is slated to open for the 2010–2011 NHL season. Robert Morris University also fields a Division I college hockey team which plays at the RMU Island Sports Center.

Professional basketball has also played a role in the city's sports landscape since the 1910s with a five time national championship team among the "Black Fives" league, the Pittsburgh Ironmen for the inagurual season of the NBA, the Pittsburgh Rens in the early 1960's and the Pittsburgh Pipers a team that won the first American Basketball Association championship in 1968, Pittsburgh Piranhas playing to the CBA Finals in 1995 and more recently the Pittsburgh Xplosion.

Collegiate basketball's fanbase was fueled since the 1900's by both the Dukes of Duquesne University and the Panthers of the University of Pittsburgh. Duquesne was historically regarded as the city's most successful men's college basketball program (especially from the advent of tournament champions in the 1940's to the 1970's). In 1954 the Dukes were the city's first college basketball team to obtain a number one ranking in the AP Poll,[87] and remain the only city team to have won college basketball tournament national title, the 1955 NIT, it's second straight trip to the title game. The Pitt Panthers have won two pre-tournament era Helms Athletic Foundation National Championships in 1928 and 1930 and competed in another title game in 1934. Pitt has often found a place among the top 25 NCAA teams, including being ranked number one for several weeks in 2009, and has made the NCAA Men's basketball tournament for the past eight seasons, reaching the Elite Eight last season. Pitt plays at the Peterson Events Center, which has been sold out every season since its opening in 2002, and the school's student section refers to itself as the "Oakland Zoo", a reference to the Oakland section of the city where the university is located. Pitt and Duquesne play a heated inter-city rivalry, termed "The City Game", each season. Robert Morris University's Colonials have since the 1970s also competed in NCAA Division I basketball from its suburban campus adjacent to the airport. Starting in the 1980's the team has made the NCAA Tournament every decade and the NIT in 2008, while posting several conference titles.

Soccer in Pittsburgh is represented by the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, a professional soccer team playing in the second division of the United Soccer Leagues (USL). A first division team until 2004, the Riverhounds reached the 2001 US Open Cup quarterfinals after beating the Colorado Rapids of the Major League Soccer.

Pittsburgh also host several annual major sporting events, including the Pittsburgh Marathon, Three Rivers Regatta, Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix, and the Head of the Ohio Regatta. 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.

The Pittsburgh region also has developed many notable athletes that have gone on to outstanding careers in professional sports. The region has produced a multitude of NFL quarterbacks, giving Western Pennsylvania the nickname "Cradle of Quarterbacks."[88][89] 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, cornerbacks Ty Law and Darelle Revis, and linebackers LaVar Arrington and Myron Pottios. 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 Olympic gold medalists such as wrestler Kurt Angle, Roger Kingdom and John Woodruff and the region was where Jim Furyk, Rocco Mediate and Arnold Palmer learned to play golf. Notable NHL players from the Pittsburgh area include Ryan Malone of the Tampa Bay Lightning, R.J. Umberger of the Columbus Blue Jackets, John Zeiler of the Los Angeles Kings, and Bill Thomas of the Phoenix Coyotes. 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 Marchibroda and Art Howe.

Club League Sport Venue Established Championships
Pittsburgh Pirates MLB Baseball PNC Park 1882 1909, 1925, 1960, 1971, 1979
Pittsburgh Steelers NFL American Football Heinz Field 1933 1974, 1975, 1978, 1979, 2005, 2008
Pittsburgh Penguins NHL Ice Hockey Mellon Arena 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 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.).[90] 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 22 (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?[91]

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.[92] 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 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, The Silence of the Lambs, and Zack and Miri Make a Porno.[93][94] 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 Toronto.[95]

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.

However, national economic turmoil in the mid-1930s brought to an end Republican rule. In 1933, William N. McNair became the first Democrat to be elected to the office of Mayor. With the exception of the 1973 and 1977 elections (where life-long Democrats ran off the party ticket because of gamesmanship) Democratic candidates have been elected consecutively to the mayor's office since. Today, the ratio of Democratic to Republican registrations within the city limits is 5 to 1.[96]

The mayor and the nine-member council both serve a four-year term. The governments official offices are located in 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.[97] He served in this position until a special mayoral election was held in November 2007, when he was reelected.[98]

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), Natalia Rudiak (4), Douglas Shields (5), R. Daniel Lavelle (6), Patrick Dowd (7), Bill Peduto (8), and Rev. Ricky Burgess (9).[99] The current president of city council is Darlene Harris, who was elected to the position on January 4'th, 2010.[100]

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), Dominic Costa (21), Chelsa Wagner (22), Dan Frankel (23), Joseph Preston, Jr. (24), Dan Deasy (27), Paul Costa (34), and Harry Readshaw (36).

Federally, Pittsburgh is part of Pennsylvania's 14th congressional district, represented by Democrat Mike Doyle, elected in 1994.

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.[101] 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.[102] 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 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, The Pennsylvania Culinary Institute, and the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science. The greater Pittsburgh region boasts even more colleges and universities, including LaRoche College, Slippery Rock University, Westminster College and Grove City College north of the city, Robert Morris University and Geneva College west of the city, Washington & Jefferson College, California University of Pennsylvania and Waynesburg University to the south, and Seton Hill University, Saint Vincent College and Indiana University of Pennsylvania - 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 (CMU) 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.[103] Carnegie Mellon is known primarily for its computer science, engineering, business, economics, public policy, 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.[104][105] 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.[103][106][107][108][109] 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).[citation needed] Pittsburgh ranked fifth in the highest maximum salary offered to teachers with an MA ($66,380).[citation needed] 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, Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts 6-12, 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 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.[110]


View of Downtown from the Fort Pitt Bridge (I-376) immediately upon exiting the Fort Pitt Tunnel
Three Sister Bridges along the Allegheny River

Pittsburgh is a city of bridges—446 in total.[14] 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. Over 2,000 bridges dot the landscape of Allegheny County.[111]

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.[112] The projects are in the planning stages with some sections already open to traffic. The projects are being planned by The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission.[113]


The city is served by Pittsburgh International Airport (IATA: PIT) about 10 miles (16 km) to the west in Findlay Township.[114] The airport also promotes the region as a former focus city for US Airways. It was the major hub for the airline from the company's start in the 1940s to 2007. In 2000, US Airways and its regional affiliates operated over 500 daily departures from Pittsburgh to more than 110 destinations; by 2007 fewer than 70 departures to 21 destinations remained.[115] However, in 2007, US Airways chose the city 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 Phoenix, Arizona 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 Paris as well as JetBlue and Southwest Airlines expansion.

Art deco style Allegheny County Airport (AGC) handles 139,000 general aviation flights a year, and is located south of the city in West Mifflin. There are also smaller airports located near the city used primarily for corporate jets and other private aircraft: Rock Airport is northeast of Pittsburgh near the borough of Tarentum and Pittsburgh-Monroeville Airport is east of the city in Monroeville.

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

Public transportation

Pittsburgh intermodal transportation center, completed in 2008

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.[116] The Duquesne Incline is operated by a non-profit preservation trust,[117] 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 Station, also known as Union Station. Current freight railroads include CSX and Norfolk Southern. Enhancements to allow for highspeed rail transit connections to Philadelphia and the Northeast Corridor are underway as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Sister cities

Pittsburgh has nineteen sister cities:[118][119]

See also


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