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Allegheny county, southwestern Pennsylvania,
U.S., consisting of a hilly region on the
Allegheny Plateau bounded to the
southeast by the Monongahela and
Youghiogheny rivers and to the
northeast by the Allegheny River. The
Ohio, Allegheny, and Monongahela
rivers converge in the centre of the county to form an area
known as the Golden Triangle; this was a strategic point of
contention between the French and the English, who fortified
the area with Fort Duquesne (1754) and Fort Pitt (1761),
respectively. With the defeat of Pontiac's warriors (1763), the
area opened up to settlers who founded Pittsburgh Pennsylvania (1764),
which became the county seat when Allegheny county was
formed in 1788. The county's name is derived from the
Delaware Indian word oolikhanna, meaning "good river." The
Triangle is now Pittsburgh Pennsylvania's central business district and the
location of the popular Point State Park.
western section of the Appalachian Mountains, U.S., extending southwestward from the Mohawk River valley in central New York to the Cumberland Plateau in southern West Virginia. Generally sloping toward the northwest, the plateau has been dissected by streams to form the Catskill, Allegheny, and other mountain ranges. The Allegheny, Delaware, and Susquehanna rivers drain its northern portion, while the Ohio River system drains the southern part. The plateau is mainly covered by hardwood forest.
With the discovery of coal, a large influx of settlers led to an early breakdown of the isolation of this part of the Appalachians. The regional economy depends heavily upon the extraction of coal, natural gas, and petroleum.
river rising in the hilly plateau region of Potter county, Pa., U.S., and flowing generally northward for about 80 miles (130 km). The river enters New York state where the Allegheny Reservoir is impounded at Allegany State Park; turning southwest, it continues for 120 miles (190 km), meandering to the southeast and again southwest and eventually joining the Monongahela River at Pittsburgh Pennsylvania to form the Ohio River. In its total length (325 miles [523 km]), it drains an area of 11,700 square miles (30,300 square km). Its chief tributaries are the Kiskiminetas, Clarion, and Conemaugh rivers and Red Bank, Oil, and French creeks. The Allegheny was important for keelboat navigation before the beginning of railway competition in the mid-19th century. Several dams were built (1903 - 38) to make the river navigable from Pittsburgh Pennsylvania to East Brady. Flood-control dams have been built on many of its major tributaries.
The Allegheny Mountains, also called Alleghenies, mountainous eastern part of the Allegheny Plateau in the Appalachian Mountains, U.S. The Allegheny range extends south-southwestward for more than 500 miles (800 km) from north-central Pennsylvania to southwestern Virginia. Rising to Mount Davis (3,213 feet [979 m]; highest point in Pennsylvania) and Spruce Knob (4,862 feet [1,482 m]; highest point in West Virginia), the mountains consist of nearly parallel northeast - southwest ridges that are drained through the gorges cut by the North Branch of the Potomac and the New rivers. Parts of the Monongahela, George Washington, and Jefferson national forests encompass the mountains, which are noted for their scenic beauty. Once forming a barrier to western communication, they are now crossed by many railroads and highways. The name Alleghenies is also used in reference to the Allegheny Plateau (q.v.).
The city of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania is the seat (1788) of Allegheny county, southwestern Pennsylvania, U.S. The city is located at the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers , which unite at the point of the "Golden Triangle" (the business district) to form the Ohio River . A city of hills, parks, and valleys, it is the centre of an urban industrial complex that includes the surrounding cities of Aliquippa, McKeesport, New Kensington, and Washington and the borough of Wilkinsburg.
The conflict between the British and French over territorial claims in the area was settled in 1758, when General John Forbes and his British and colonial army expelled the French from Fort Duquesne (built 1754). Forbes named the site for the British statesman William Pitt the Elder. To ensure their dominance at the source of the Ohio, the British built Fort Pitt (1761). After the defeat of Pontiac's Indian forces (1763), a later agreement with Indian tribes by the Penn family, and the end of a boundary dispute between Pennsylvania and Virginia, settlers began arriving. Pittsburgh Pennsylvania was laid out (1764) by John Campbell in the area around the fort (now the Golden Triangle). Following the American Revolution, the town became an outfitting point for settlers traveling westward down the Ohio River.
Pittsburgh Pennsylvania's strategic location and wealth of natural resources spurred its commercial and industrial growth in the 19th century. A blast furnace, erected by George Anschutz about 1792, was the forerunner of the iron and steel industry that for more than a century was the city's economic mainstay; by 1850 Pittsburgh Pennsylvania was known as the "Iron City." The Pennsylvania Canal and the Portage Railroad, both completed in 1834, opened vital markets for trade and shipping. After the American Civil War, great numbers of European immigrants swelled Pittsburgh Pennsylvania's population, and industrial magnates such as Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick, and Thomas Mellon built their steel empires there. The city became the focus of historic friction between labour and management, and the American Federation of Labor was born there in 1881.
By 1900 Pittsburgh Pennsylvania's population had reached 321,616. Growth continued nearly unabated through World War II, the war years bringing a particularly great boon for the economy. The population crested at more than 675,000 in 1950, after which it steadily declined; by the end of the century, it had returned almost to the 1900 level. During the period of economic and population growth, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania had come to epitomize the grimy, polluted industrial city. After the war, however, the city undertook an extensive redevelopment program with emphasis on smoke-pollution control, flood prevention, and sewage disposal. In 1957 it became the first American city to generate electricity by nuclear power.
By the late 1970s and early '80s, the steel industry had virtually disappeared as a result of foreign competition and decreased demand. Many of the surrounding mill towns were laid waste by unemployment. Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, however, successfully diversified its economy through more emphasis on light industries - though metalworking, chemicals, and plastics remained important - and on such high-technology industries as computer software, industrial automation (robotics), and biomedical and environmental technologies. Numerous industrial research laboratories were established in the area, and the service sector became increasingly important. Pittsburgh Pennsylvania long has been one of the nation's largest inland ports, and it remains a leading transportation centre.
Much of the Golden Triangle has been rebuilt and includes the Civic Arena, Point State Park (containing Fort Pitt Blockhouse and Fort Pitt Museum), and the Gateway Center (site of several skyscrapers and a garden). The University of Pittsburgh was chartered in 1787. Other educational institutions include Carnegie Mellon (1900) and Duquesne (1878) universities, Chatham (1869), Carlow (1929), and Point Park (1960) colleges, and two campuses of the Community College of Allegheny County (1966).
Central to the city's cultural life is the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania (formerly Carnegie Institute), an umbrella organization consisting of a number of institutions. Its museums include those for the fine arts and natural history (both founded in 1895); the Carnegie Science Center (1991), which now also houses the Henry Buhl, Jr., Planetarium and Observatory (1939); and the Andy Warhol Museum, exhibiting works of the artist and filmmaker, a Pittsburgh Pennsylvania native. Other institutions in the organization are the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, containing more than 3.3 million volumes, and the Carnegie Music Hall. The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra performs at Heinz Hall, a restored movie theatre. Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens (1893) is noted for its extensive greenhouses, covering 2.5 acres (1 hectare). Pittsburgh Pennsylvania has three professional sports teams: the Pirates (baseball), Steelers (American football), and Penguins (ice hockey). Inc. borough, 1794; city, 1816. Pop. (1990) city, 369,879; Pittsburgh MSA, 2,394,811; (2000) city, 334,563; Pittsburgh MSA, 2,358,695.
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO)
American symphony orchestra based in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. It was founded as the Pittsburgh Orchestra in 1896; its first conductor was Frederick Archer (1896 - 98). Music director Victor Herbert (1898 - 1904) was followed by permanent conductor Emil Paur (1904 - 10), after which the orchestra was disbanded until 1926, when the newly formed autonomous Pittsburgh Symphony Society presented a concert conducted by Richard Hageman. From 1927 through 1930, the PSO was led by Elias Breeskin, concertmaster and later conductor, and by such guest conductors as Eugene Goossens and Walter Damrosch. Permanent conductor Antonio Modarelli (1930 - 37) was succeeded by Otto Klemperer (1937 - 38), who reorganized the membership and revitalized the orchestra. Music directors have been Fritz Reiner (1938 - 48), William Steinberg (1952 - 76; emeritus 1976 - 78), Andre Previn (1976 - 84), and Lorin Maazel (affiliated from 1984; music director from 1988).
From 1936, PSO concerts were broadcast nationwide over radio. During Reiner's tenure the PSO made its first foreign tour and its first commercial recording. Steinberg continued Reiner's work of building the PSO into one of the finest orchestras in the United States, expanding its repertoire to include music from the Baroque period through such central European modernists as Arnold Schoenberg, Alban Berg, Anton Webern, and Gustav Mahler. Under Previn and Maazel the PSO made international tours and championed English, Russian, and late 20th - century music. From the 1960s the orchestra made successful tours of Europe, Asia, and South America. The PSO offered community outreach programs, children's concerts, and great-performers series. From 1994 Marvin Hamlisch was principal conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Pops.
Pittsburgh, University of
The University of Pittsburgh is a coeducational state system of higher learning in Pennsylvania, U.S., comprising a main campus in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and branches in Bradford, Greensburg, Johnstown, and Titusville. The Pittsburgh Pennsylvania campus is a comprehensive research institution of higher learning and includes 16 schools that offer more than 360 degree programs. Among these schools are those of Medicine, Dental Medicine, Law, Engineering, and Social Work. The university offers a broad range of undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree programs. Research facilities affiliated with the main campus include the Learning Research and Development Center and the Pymatuning Laboratory of Ecology. The Johnstown campus is a four-year college with a liberal arts and sciences and engineering curriculum. The branches in Bradford and Greensburg are both four-year liberal arts colleges. The Titusville branch is a junior college. Total enrollment for the system is approximately 31,400.
The university began in 1787, in a three-room log schoolhouse, as Pittsburgh Academy. In 1819 it became the Western University of Pittsburgh. The School of Medicine, originally chartered in 1886 as the Western Pennsylvania Medical College, joined the university in 1892. The school's name was changed to the University of Pittsburgh in 1908. The central feature of the main campus is its Cathedral of Learning, a 42-story Gothic skyscraper. Notable alumni include dancer Gene Kelly, filmmaker Werner Herzog, and philanthropist Andrew Mellon. Jonas Salk conducted his polio-vaccine research while on the medical school faculty.
Above articles are courtesy Encyclopedia Britannica.com
Allegheny County PA
Pittsburgh, city in western Pennsylvania and seat of Allegheny County. Pittsburgh Pennsylvania was the nation's foremost industrial city of the 19th century and was famous for its steel production. Beginning in the 1970s it underwent severe deindustrialization as its massive steel complexes began to close. Today Pittsburgh Pennsylvania is a postindustrial city, with an economy based on services, especially medical, financial, corporate, and educational, rather than steel.
Pittsburgh Pennsylvania sits astride the Monongahela and Allegheny rivers where they unite to form the Ohio River. Much of the city lies on hills surrounding this historic river junction, although Pittsburgh Pennsylvania's downtown core is clustered on a wedge of level ground framed by the rivers and dubbed the "Golden Triangle." Winters in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania can be cold and snowy and summers hot and humid, but seasons are usually moderate. The average high temperature in January is 1กใ C (34กใ F) and the average low is -7กใ C (19กใ F); the average high in July is 28กใ C (83กใ F) and the average low is 17กใ C (62กใ F). The city annually receives about 940 mm (about 37 in) of precipitation, with accumulations evenly distributed throughout the year.
The city developed around a frontier fort used by both the British and the French in the 18th century. In 1794 Pittsburgh Pennsylvania was incorporated as a borough and in 1816 the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania granted it city status. It is named after William Pitt, prime minister of Great Britain in the late 18th century.
Pittsburgh PA / Pennsylvania and its Metropolitan Area
Pittsburgh Pennsylvania occupies a land area of 143.7 sq km (55.5 sq mi). Over the years it has grown primarily by annexation. Between 1868 and 1900, for example, the city increased its land area nearly 16 fold to 73 sq km (28 sq mi). In 1907 it annexed the neighboring industrial city of Allegheny, increasing its land area by 21 sq km (8 sq mi) and its population by 150,000. Average elevation of the city is 226 m (743 ft).
Pittsburgh Pennsylvania is the center of a metropolitan area covering Allegheny, Westmoreland, Washington, Beaver, Butler, and Fayette counties, a region of 11,976 sq km (4624 sq mi). The metropolitan area has several small cities and substantial towns, including Butler, Greensburg, McKeesport, Uniontown, and Washington. Among Pittsburgh's suburbs are Bethel Park, Fox Chapel, McCandless, Monroeville, Mount Lebanon, Penn Hills, and Sewickly. Pittsburgh Pennsylvania has many distinct neighborhoods; 90 are officially recognized.
The city is remarkable for its grand entrances, especially if approached from the west through the Fort Pitt tunnel and bridge or from the north on Interstate 279 and the Fort Duquesne or Veterans bridges. The city's core remains hidden by hills until travelers come upon its central business district, the Golden Triangle, centered where the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers join to form the Ohio River. Greeting visitors is Point State Park, with its tall lighted fountain at the triangle's tip, and a number of uniquely designed skyscrapers.
Notable among Pittsburgh Pennsylvania's buildings are the Gateway Center Complex (1950-1953), the Gothic towers of the PPG World Headquarters (1984), One Mellon Bank Center (1983), One Oxford Centre (1983), the Columbia Natural Gas Building (1987), Fifth Avenue Place (1987), and the U.S. Steel Building (1971), at 64 stories the tallest building between New York and Chicago. Other architectural landmarks within the Golden Triangle include the Allegheny County Courthouse and Jail (1888), designed by the noted American architect Henry Hobson Richardson; the Trinity Cathedral (1872); the First Presbyterian Church (1905); and the Union Trust Building (today Two Mellon Bank Center, 1916).
Pittsburgh PA / Pennsylvania Population
The population of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania has steadily declined since 1950, when it peaked at 676,806 residents. While some people left the city proper for suburban communities within the region, many moved out of the area in search of jobs.
According to the 1990 census, the city had 369,879 persons, a decrease of 12.8 percent from its population of 423,938 in 1980. Pittsburgh Pennsylvania was the nation's 30th largest city in 1980 and the 40th largest city in 1990. In 1994 it ranked 45th. The estimated population of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania in 1994 was 358,883.
The population of Allegheny County dropped from 1,450,085 in 1980 to 1,336,449 in 1990. The number of residents in the six-county metropolitan area fell from 2,571,000 in 1980 to 2,395,000 in 1990. However, the decline in population in the metropolitan area halted in the 1990s, with estimates of the 1995 population virtually unchanged from the count five years earlier.
Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and Allegheny County have a relatively elderly population compared to many other cities-in 1990 some 17.9 percent of city residents were age 65 years or older, compared to 12.5 percent for the country as a whole.
Pittsburgh Pennsylvania had large immigration from Great Britain, Ireland, and Germany through the first century or so of its existence. Later the nationalities of those arriving shifted to Poles, Hungarians, Serbs, Croatians, Italians, and Russian Jews. Most emigration to the city halted at the outbreak of World War I in 1914. Since then relatively few people have come to Pittsburgh Pennsylvania from other countries, even though the nation as a whole has seen a large increase in Hispanic and Asian immigration.
While foreign-born persons made up only 4.6 percent of the city's population in 1990, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania retains a strong ethnic character. Many neighborhoods have a clear ethnic identification, such as Bloomfield (Italian), the South Side and Polish Hill (Polish), and Squirrel Hill (Jewish). The eastern neighborhoods of Point Breeze, Shadyside, and Squirrel Hill are attractive city living areas, while other sections of the city afford views of the rivers and the Golden Triangle from houses constructed on steep slopes.
Pittsburgh Pennsylvania's black population began to arrive far back in the city's history, but its biggest growth came in the first half of the 20th century largely through migration from the South. Blacks predominate in several areas throughout the city, the largest being Beltzhoover, the Hill, Homewood-Brushton, and Manchester. The black community possesses a rich cultural heritage in jazz and art, as well as having been the sponsor of the two of greatest baseball teams in the former Negro League, the Crawfords and the Homestead Grays.
According to the 1990 census, whites are 72.1 percent of the population, blacks 25.9 percent, Asians and Pacific Islanders 1.6 percent, and Native Americans 0.2 percent. The remainder are of mixed heritage or did not report ethnicity. Hispanics, who may be of any race, are 0.9 percent of the people.
Pittsburgh PA / Pennsylvania Education and Culture
Pittsburgh Pennsylvania is a major educational center. The city's most prominent universities are Carnegie Mellon University (founded as the Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1900 by Andrew Carnegie); the University of Pittsburgh (founded as Pittsburgh Academy in 1787); and Duquesne University (1878). The Mellon Research Institute, at one time the largest private industrial research laboratory in the United States, is now part of Carnegie Mellon University. The University of Pittsburgh campus features the 42-story Cathedral of Learning, the tallest school building in the United States and a major medical center. Other educational institutions in the city are Point Park College (1960); the women's schools Chatham College (1869) and Carlow College (1929); Robert Morris College (1921), in nearby Coraopolis; and the Community College of Allegheny County (1966), with branches in the city and suburbs.
Pittsburgh Pennsylvania has many outstanding cultural institutions. The Oakland district, where Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh are located, is also the home to the Carnegie cultural complex. The Carnegie Museum of Art (including the Scaife Galleries) holds a distinguished motion-picture and video collection and a unique study of architecture; the Carnegie Museum of Natural History displays an extensive collection of dinosaurs, gems, and Greek and Roman sculpture; the Carnegie Library is one of the nation's most important; and the Carnegie Music Hall is noted for its opulent foyer.
Across from the Pittsburgh Point on the north shore of the Ohio River is the Carnegie Science Center. Associated with the Carnegie is a museum of the works of Andy Warhol, an influential 20th-century artist and Pittsburgh native; it is on the northwest bank of the Allegheny River across from the downtown. Also on the city's North Side, in the old Allegheny city post office, is the Pittsburgh Children's Museum, and the Mattress Factory, exhibiting contemporary art. In the Point Breeze neighborhood are the Frick Art Museum and Clayton, the former home and estate of industrialist Henry Clay Frick, now open to the public.
A major development in recent years has been the construction of the Pittsburgh Cultural District in the center of the downtown. It includes the Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts, home of the Pittsburgh Symphony; the Benedum Center, where ballet and live theater are performed; and the Byam Theater, featuring live theater and cultural films. All three theaters are redesigned and redecorated movie palaces from the 1920s. Other cultural features include the City Theatre (South Side), the Pittsburgh Playhouse (Oakland), the Pittsburgh Public Theater (downtown), the Bach and Mendelssohn choirs, and the Nationality Rooms of the University of Pittsburgh's Cathedral of Learning.
Notable as memorials to men who made their fortunes in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania are the Phipps Conservatory (1893) in Schenley Park and the 77-m (253-ft) tall Heinz Memorial Chapel (1938) on the University of Pittsburgh campus.
Pittsburgh PA / Pennsylvania Recreation
Pittsburgh Pennsylvania is home to many professional and college sports teams. The Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League and Pittsburgh Pirates of the National Baseball League play in Three Rivers Stadium (1971). The Pittsburgh Penguins of the National Hockey League play in the Civic Arena (1962). All three professional teams have won world championships.
The city possesses a number of large parks. Ball fields and trails can be found in Frick and Highland parks; Riverview Park contains an observatory; and Schenley contains a golf course as well as hiking trails.
Use of the rivers for recreational purposes has increased in recent years, and the city has improved river access by building marinas and boat launching sites, converting former railroad lines to trails, and sponsoring riverfront housing. Notable among the developments is Washington's Landing on a former industrial island in the Allegheny River about 3 km (about 2 mi) from the Point. Marinas, the Three Rivers Rowing Club, tennis courts, and housing have been developed on the island as well as light industry, in addition to the preservation of large natural public areas for hiking and jogging.
The Pittsburgh Zoo was rebuilt in the early 1990s and offers a wide variety of animals in natural habitats. The National Aviary, located on the city's North Side, has major bird collections in natural settings.
The South Side, a former steelmaking area, boasts a shopping area for arts and crafts and has many restaurants. Station Square, a rehabilitated railroad station and freight center, offers numerous restaurants and shops set the river across from downtown. Visitors to Station Square can take one of the city's two inclined plane railroads to the top of a bluff, called Mount Washington, that provides dramatic views of the Golden Triangle.
Pittsburgh PA / Pennsylvania Economy
Because of its location west of the Allegheny Mountains, excellent river transportation, and high quality bituminous coal deposits, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania in the 19th century became one of the nation's most industrialized cities. It was best known for its steel production, but it also produced many other products. Manufactures included aluminum (from the Aluminum Company of America, now ALCOA); electrical generators and appliances (Westinghouse Electric); glass (Pittsburgh Plate Glass, now PPG Industries); coke-making machinery (Koppers); railroad cars and locomotives (Pressed Steel Car Company and Pittsburgh Locomotive); coke and coal chemicals (H. C. Frick & Company and Pittsburgh Coal Company); and food products (H. J. Heinz). Extensive coal mining was also carried on in the Pittsburgh Pennsylvania area as well as the processing of coke, essential to the steelmaking process, from soft coal.
By the mid-1980s, however, many of the region's manufacturing plants had gone out of business or left the area. The greatest losses were in steel, with the elimination of over 100,000 steel and steel-related jobs between 1978 and 1983. By the mid-1990s what once was the world's greatest steelmaking complex had been reduced to only one major integrated mill (the Edgar Thompson Works); a specialty steel plant (Allegheny Ludlum); a strip mill (the Irwin Works); and two plants where coke was produced as a by-product. A dramatic sight is the empty land lining the river banks in the Monongahela Valley where steel mills formerly stood. Numerous projects, however, are planned for these sites. For example, the Pittsburgh Technology Park was built on a former industrial site on the north side of the Monongahela River.
The economy of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania is now based on services rather than manufacturing. The region's largest employer is the University of Pittsburgh, especially the University Health Center. Other universities and colleges, such as Carnegie Mellon University and Duquesne University, are major employers. In addition, the region's corporate headquarters, as well as branch offices of other firms, provide considerable employment. Pittsburgh Pennsylvania also serves as the U.S. center for a number of foreign corporations. The region's high-technology sector has grown, as has the number of firms involved either in environmental cleanup or the manufacture of pollution control equipment. Today the number of workers in service jobs far exceeds those in manufacturing.
Pittsburgh Pennsylvania's transportation network includes a new airport, opened in 1992, that serves as a major airline hub. Principal highways are the Pennsylvania Turnpike (Interstate 76 running east and west), Interstate 376 (the Parkway East), Interstate 279, Interstate 79 (connecting with Interstate 279), and State Route 28 (from the north) as well as on other state roads. Amtrak provides rail passenger service east to New York and west to Chicago. Freight lines still carry large amounts of coal and other heavy goods in and out of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. The Port of Pittsburgh is a leading inland port. City and county residents are served by Port Authority Transit of Allegheny County, which operates an extensive network that includes two major busways and a light-rail system with a downtown subway loop.
Pittsburgh PA / Pennsylvania Government
Pittsburgh Pennsylvania has a mayor-council form of government, with the mayor acting as chief executive and the nine-member council setting city policy. All are elected to four-year terms. The Port Authority Allegheny County (urban transit) and the Allegheny County Sanitary Authority (waste disposal) offer service throughout the county, while the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority and the Pittsburgh Parking Authority operate only in the city.
Pittsburgh PA / Pennsylvania History
Pittsburgh Pennsylvania has undergone a number of striking changes in identity throughout its history. The site was originally occupied by the Shawnee and Delaware peoples. In the late 18th century it served as the location for a frontier fort for both the British and the French. In 1753 George Washington surveyed the area for the Ohio Land Company of Virginia and described the land where the Allegheny and Monongahela converge as "extremely well situated for a fort, as it has the absolute command of both rivers." The only Native American settlement in the area at that time was a small Shawnee village on the Allegheny. The British began building a fort, but before they could complete it the French captured the point and built Fort Duquesne. General John Forbes reestablished British control in 1758, renamed the site Pittsburgh, in honor of the British prime minister William Pitt the Elder, and built Fort Pitt, the largest structure the British constructed in North America. Although Native American uprisings delayed white settlement until the 1770s, by 1783 there were about 100 families living in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania.
Pittsburgh Pennsylvania developed initially as a commercial city because of its location west of the Allegheny Mountains at the headwaters of the Ohio River, a major transportation route. In 1811 the first steamboat to ply the Mississippi River system was built in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, and the New Orleans steamed down the Ohio and Mississippi rivers to its namesake city in Louisiana. The Pennsylvania Mainline Canal reached Pittsburgh in 1837 and the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1851. As the 19th century progressed, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania became one of the nation's greatest industrial cities, and was a leading producer of glass, iron, and textiles. Cheap energy in the form of high-quality bituminous coal found nearby in a coal field called the Pittsburgh Seam played a major role in the city's rise.
During the American Civil War (1861-1865) Pittsburgh Pennsylvania became a major supplier of ordnance to the Union, and its iron industry and its shipyards benefited accordingly. In the 1870s Andrew Carnegie pioneered the integrated steel mill (a mill that has all the material and equipment needed to produce steel from ore), and Pittsburgh became the world's leading steel producer. Transportation improvements facilitated the growth, and by 1900 nine railroad lines entered the city. Pittsburgh Pennsylvania also became a major inland port due to construction by the Army Corps of Engineers of an extensive series of locks and dams that improved shipping. Pittsburgh Pennsylvania's industrial expansion produced vast fortunes for entrepreneurs such as Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick, Charles Michael Schwab, and George Westinghouse.
Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, like other industrial cities, suffered from strife between workers and industrialists. Several major strikes occurred in the second half of the 19th century, the most severe of which were the 1877 railroad strike and the 1892 Homestead Strike. In the violent Homestead Strike, Carnegie and his partner Frick, with the help of hundreds of hired Pinkerton Agency detectives and the Pennsylvania State Militia, defeated the Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers. The defeat of the workers halted the formation of unions in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania steel companies until the 1930s. While the steel industry, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania's largest employer, generally prospered before 1930, it lost market share compared to steel producers further west. The Great Depression of the 1930s dealt the city crippling blows, but even before it began Pittsburgh Pennsylvania was declining as an industrial leader. In 1936 the city suffered one of the worst floods in its history, causing many millions of dollars in damage.
World War II (1939-1945) and the industrial demand it created boosted Pittsburgh Pennsylvania's industry temporarily. But at the war's end conditions in the city were grim, as Pittsburgh Pennsylvania suffered from heavy smoke pollution, poor services, and deteriorating housing. A pall of heavy smoke frequently required that the street lights be turned on during midday. In response, business and political leaders, led by banker Richard King Mellon and Mayor David L. Lawrence, in 1945 launched what became known as the Pittsburgh Renaissance, a unique attempt to renew a major industrial city. The Renaissance was the product of a new type of partnership that combined public authority with private funding. It was directed by the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, a nonprofit committee with the city's most powerful business leaders as members. The goals of the Renaissance were environmental improvement (controlling smoke pollution and floods and treating sewage), downtown renewal, and transportation revitalization. The city undertook urban renewal projects in the Lower Hill, the North Side, and East Liberty, removing slums but also causing major social dislocations.
The Pittsburgh Renaissance lasted until 1969, when Mayor Peter H. Flaherty ended the public-private partnership and instead advocated neighborhood renewal and tax reduction. Richard S. Caliguiri became mayor in 1976 and restored the public-private partnership with the beginning of Renaissance II in 1980. As a result, Pittsburgh's downtown remained viable and service jobs grew, despite a severe downturn in the steel industry. Pittsburgh Pennsylvania in the 1990s is both a modern postindustrial city and a city that retains remnants of its industrial past. Pittsburgh Pennsylvania was once called the "Smoky City," but today the "Renaissance City" is still in the making.
Contributed By: Joel A. Tarr
"Pittsburgh," Microsoft(R) Encarta(R) 98 Encyclopedia. (c) 1993-1997 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.