Pittsburgh - United States
Pittsburgh (/ˈpɪtsbɜːrɡ/ PITS-burg) is a city in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the United States, and is the county seat of Allegheny County. As of 2017, a population of 305,704 lives within the city limits, making it the 63rd-largest city in the U.S. The metropolitan population of 2,353,045 is the largest in both the Ohio Valley and Appalachia, the second-largest in Pennsylvania (behind Philadelphia), and the 26th-largest in the U.S.
Located at the confluence of the Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio rivers, Pittsburgh is known both as "the Steel City" for its more than 300 steel-related businesses and as the "City of Bridges" for its 446 bridges. The city features 30 skyscrapers, two inclined railways, a pre-revolutionary fortification and the Point State Park at the confluence of the rivers. The city developed as a vital link of the Atlantic coast and Midwest, as the mineral-rich Allegheny Mountains made the area coveted by the French and British empires, Virginians, Whiskey Rebels, and Civil War raiders.
Aside from steel, Pittsburgh has led in manufacturing of aluminum, glass, shipbuilding, petroleum, foods, sports, transportation, computing, autos, and electronics. For part of the 20th century, Pittsburgh was behind only New York and Chicago in corporate headquarters employment; it had the most U.S. stockholders per capita. America's 1980s deindustrialization laid off area blue-collar workers and thousands of downtown white-collar workers when the longtime Pittsburgh-based world headquarters moved out. This heritage left the area with renowned museums, medical centers, parks, research centers, libraries, a diverse cultural district and the most bars per capita in the U.S.
During Pontiac's Rebellion, native tribes conducted a siege of Fort Pitt for two months until Colonel Henry Bouquet relieved it after the Battle of Bushy Run. Fort Pitt is notable as the site of an early use of smallpox for biological warfare. Lord Jeffery Amherst ordered blankets contaminated from smallpox victims to be distributed in 1763 to the tribes surrounding the fort. The disease spread into other areas, infected other tribes, and killed hundreds of thousands.
During this period, the powerful nations of the Iroquois Confederacy, based in New York, had maintained control of much of the Ohio Valley as hunting grounds by right of conquest after defeating other tribes. By the terms of the 1768 Treaty of Fort Stanwix, the Penns were allowed to purchase the modern region from the Iroquois. A 1769 survey referenced the future city as the "Manor of Pittsburgh". Both the Colony of Virginia and the Province of Pennsylvania claimed the region under their colonial charters until 1780, when they agreed under a federal initiative to extend the Mason–Dixon line westward, placing Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania. On March 8, 1771 Bedford County, Pennsylvania was created to govern the frontier. On April 16, 1771, the city's first civilian local government was created as Pitt Township. William Teagarden was the first constable, and William Troop was the first clerk.
Following the American Revolution, the village of Pittsburgh continued to grow. One of its earliest industries was boat building for settlers of the Ohio Country. In 1784, Thomas Viceroy completed a town plan which was approved by the Penn family attorney. Pittsburgh became a possession of Pennsylvania in 1785. The following year, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette was started, and in 1787, the Pittsburgh Academy was chartered. Unrest during the Whiskey Rebellion of 1794 resulted in federal troops being sent to the area. By 1797, glass manufacture began, while the population grew to around 1,400. Settlers came via routes over the Appalachian Mountains or through the Great Lakes. Fort Pitt (now Pittsburgh) at the source of the Ohio River became the main base for settlers moving into the Northwest Territory.
The South Side was once the site of the Pennsylvania Railroad railyards and associated dense, inexpensive housing for mill and railroad workers. Since the late 20th century, the city undertook a Main Street program in cooperation with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, encouraging design and landscape improvements on East Carson Street, and supporting new retail. The area has become a local Pittsburgher destination. The South Side is one of the most popular neighborhoods in the city in which to own a home. The value of homes in the South Side has increased in value by about 10% annually for the past 10 years. East Carson Street has developed as one of the most vibrant areas of the city, packed with diverse shopping, ethnic eateries, vibrant nightlife, and live music venues.
In 1993 the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh purchased the South Side Works steel mill property. It collaborated with the community and various developers to create a master plan for a mixed-use development, to include a riverfront park, office space, housing, health-care facilities, and indoor practice fields for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pitt Panthers. Construction began in 1998. The SouthSide Works has been open since 2005, featuring many stores, restaurants, offices, and the world headquarters for American Eagle Outfitters.
Pittsburgh lies in the humid continental climate zone (Köppen Dfa). The city and river valleys lie in the USDA plant hardiness zone 6b while higher elevated areas lie in zone 6a. The area has four distinct seasons: winters are cold, cloudy, and moderately snowy, springs and falls generally mild with moderate levels of sunshine, and summers warm to hot and humid. As measured by percent possible sunshine, summer is by far the sunniest season.
The warmest month of the year in Pittsburgh is July, with a 24-hour average of 72.6 °F (22.6 °C). Conditions are often humid, and combined with highs reaching 90 °F (32 °C) on an average 9.5 days a year, a considerable heat index arises. The coldest month is January, when the 24-hour average is 28.4 °F (−2.0 °C), and lows of 0 °F (−18 °C) or below can be expected on an average 2.6 nights per year. Officially, record temperatures range from −22 °F (−30 °C), on January 19, 1994 to 103 °F (39 °C), which occurred three times, most recently on July 16, 1988; the record cold daily maximum is −3 °F (−19 °C), which occurred three times, most recently the day of the all-time record low, while, conversely, the record warm daily minimum is 82 °F (28 °C) on July 1, 1901. [b] Due to elevation and location on the windward side of the Appalachian Mountains, 100 °F (38 °C)+ readings are very rare, and were last seen on July 15, 1995.
Average annual precipitation is 38.2 inches (970 mm) and precipitation is greatest in May while least in October; annual precipitation has historically ranged from 22.65 in (575 mm) in 1930 to 57.41 in (1,458 mm) in 2004. On average, December and January have the greatest number of precipitation days. Snowfall averages 41.4 inches (105 cm) per season, but has historically ranged from 8.8 in (22 cm) in 1918–19 to 80 in (200 cm) in 1950–51. There is an average of 59 clear days and 103 partly cloudy days per year, while 203 days are cloudy. In terms of annual percent-average possible sunshine received, Pittsburgh (45%) is similar to Seattle (43%).
Pittsburgh has a rich history in arts and culture dating from 19th century industrialists commissioning and donating public works, such as Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts and the Benedum Center, home to the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Pittsburgh Opera, respectively as well as such groups as the River City Brass Band and the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra.
Pittsburgh has a long tradition of jazz, blues, and bluegrass music. The National Negro Opera Company was founded in the city as 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. One of the greatest American musicians and composers of the 20th century, Billy Strayhorn, grew up and was educated in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh has a number of small and mid-size arts organizations including the Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre, Quantum Theatre, the Renaissance and Baroque Society of Pittsburgh, and the early music ensemble Chatham Baroque. Several choirs and singing groups are also present at the cities' universities; some of the most notable include the Pitt Men's Glee Club and the Heinz Chapel Choir.
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 world-famous Duquesne University Tamburitzans, a multicultural academy dedicated to the preservation and presentation of folk songs and dance.
Hundreds of major films have been shot partially or wholly in Pittsburgh. The Dark Knight Rises was largely filmed in Downtown, Oakland, and the North Shore. Pittsburgh has also teamed up with a Los Angeles-based production company, and has built the largest and most advanced movie studio in the eastern United States.
Livability rankings typically consider factors such as cost of living, crime, and cultural opportunities. Pittsburgh has a low cost of living compared to other northeastern U.S. cities. According to the Federal Housing Board, the average price for a 3- to 4-bedroom, 2-bath family home in Pittsburgh for 2004 is $162,000, well below the national average of $264,540. Average 2010 rent for all bedrooms in Pittsburgh was $789. This compares to the nationwide average of $1,087. Pittsburgh has five city parks and several parks managed by the Nature Conservancy. The largest, Frick Park, provides 664 acres (269 ha) of woodland park with extensive hiking and biking trails throughout steep valleys and wooded slopes. Birding enthusiasts love to visit the Clayton Hill area of Frick Park, where well over 100 species of birds have been recorded.
Enhancing Pittsburgh's livability is the area faces little risk of natural disasters from such causes as earthquake, hurricane, wildfire, or tornado. Forbes ranked Pittsburgh as having the 2nd-lowest natural disaster risk in the nation for 2009. Greater Pittsburgh is not entirely free of natural disasters, however. Residents living in extremely low-lying areas near the rivers or one of the 1,400 creeks and streams may have occasional floods, such as those caused when the remnants of Hurricane Ivan hit rainfall records in 2004. River flooding is relatively rare due to federal flood control efforts extensively managing locks, dams, and reservoirs. Residents living near smaller tributary streams are less protected from occasional flooding. The cost of a comprehensive flood control program for the region has been estimated at a prohibitive $50 billion.
Pittsburgh has the most bars per capita in the nation.
The NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins have played in Pittsburgh since the team's founding in 1967. The team has won 6 Eastern Conference titles (1991, 1992, 2008, 2009, 2016 and 2017) and 5 Stanley Cup championships (1991, 1992, 2009, 2016 and 2017). Since 1999, Hall of Famer and back-to-back playoff MVP Mario Lemieux has served as Penguins owner. Until moving into the PPG Paints Arena in 2010 (when it was known as Consol Energy Center), the team played their home games at the world's first retractable domed stadium, the Civic Arena, or in local parlance "The Igloo".
Ice hockey has had a regional fan base since the 1890s semi-pro Keystones. The city's first ice rink dates back to 1889, when there was an ice rink at the Casino in Schenley Park. From 1896 to 1956, the Exposition Building on the Allegheny River near The Point and Duquesne Gardens in Oakland offered indoor skating.
The NHL awarded one of its first franchises to the city in 1924 on the strength of the back-to-back USAHA championship winning Pittsburgh Yellow Jackets featuring future Hall of Famers and a Stanley Cup winning coach. The NHL's Pittsburgh Pirates made several Stanley Cup playoff runs with a future Hall of Famer before folding from Great Depression financial pressures. Hockey survived with the Pittsburgh Hornets farm team (1936–1967) and their seven finals appearances and three championships in 18 playoff seasons.
Robert Morris University fields a Division I college hockey team at the Island Sports Center. Pittsburgh is a hotbed for semi-pro and amateur teams such as the top 50 ranked Junior Penguins, Predators and Viper Stars, with the Hornets a top 20 team for the last 7 years. Pro-grade ice rinks such as the Rostraver Ice Garden, Mt. Lebanon Recreation Center and Iceoplex at Southpointe have trained several native Pittsburgh players for NHL play. RMU hosted the city's first Frozen Four college championship in 2013 with the four PPG Paints Arena games televised by ESPN.