Pittsburg, California

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City of Pittsburg
(formerly) Black Diamond and New York of the Pacific[1]
Evening train out of PH BART.jpg
Location in Contra Costa County and the state of California
Location in Contra Costa County and the state of California
Coordinates: 38°01′41″N 121°53′05″W / 38.02806°N 121.88472°W / 38.02806; -121.88472Coordinates: 38°01′41″N 121°53′05″W / 38.02806°N 121.88472°W / 38.02806; -121.88472
Country United States
State California
County Contra Costa
Incorporated June 25, 1903[2]
 • Type General Law City
 • Mayor Nancy Parent[3]
 • State Senator Mark DeSaulnier (D)[4]
 • State Assembly Jim Frazier (D) and
Susan Bonilla (D)[5]
 • U. S. Congress George Miller (D)[6]
 • Total 19.154 sq mi (49.610 km2)
 • Land 17.218 sq mi (44.595 km2)
 • Water 1.936 sq mi (5.015 km2)  10.11%
Elevation[8] 26 ft (8 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 63,264
 • Density 3,300/sq mi (1,300/km2)
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP code 94565
Area code(s) 925
FIPS code 06-57456
GNIS feature IDs 1659783, 2411430
Website www.ci.pittsburg.ca.us

Pittsburg is an industrial city in eastern Contra Costa County, California in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area. The population was 63,264 at the 2010 census.


In 1849, Colonel Jonathan D. Stevenson (from New York) bought the Rancho Los Medanos land grant, and laid out a town he called New York of the Pacific.[9] By 1850, this venture failed.[9] With the discovery of coal in the nearby town of Nortonville, California, the place became a port for coaling, and adopted the name Black Diamond, after the mining firm[9] that built the Black Diamond Coal Mining Railroad from there to Nortonville.[10] Because of the industrial potential of the site, a name change to Pittsburg was proposed in 1909.[9]

Pittsburg, originally settled in 1839, was called first "New York Landing", then "Black Diamond", before citizens voted on "Pittsburg" on February 11, 1911. The name "Pittsburg" has at least two origins. First, it was the name of a coal mining company that built a railroad in 1865 on the eastern edge of what is now the city.[11] Second, some citizens wanted to honor Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, (without the "H"), because of the city's relations with the steel building industry, which was first established by the Columbia Geneva Steel Company.[12] The original town site fronts on the Sacramento River Delta, reflecting its origins as a deep water channel river port. (As of January 1, 2007, state legislation [Assembly Bill 2324] enabled the city to manage its own riverfront for commercial development and subsequent port operations).

Since the early 1900s, the city has grown inland to the south, then spread east and west along State Route 4, now a freeway carrying resident commuters to jobs in the San Francisco Bay-Oakland Region. In the process, the former town of Cornwall, California was absorbed. The city has enjoyed continued residential redevelopment growth near its northern boundary, as well as ongoing construction of major subdivisions in the southwest hills, including San Marco Villas.[citation needed] As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 56,769.[13]

Camp Stoneman, located in the area, was a major staging area for the United States Army during World War II and the Korean War.

The post office first opened in 1868 as Black Diamond, and changed its name with the town's in 1911.[9]


  • August 31, 1954 - Camp Stoneman was officially deactivated by the Army.
  • 1987 – On the night of a city council meeting that approved the funds to restore the former Railroad Depot, the Pittsburg Railroad Depot burned down.
  • 2012 - The original Brenden Theater Corporation theater closed after 22 years, then reopened August 3 as Maya Cinemas.


The city has an extensive history of coal mining and industrial development since the late 1800s, with USS-POSCO Industries (a joint venture between US Steel and POSCO of South Korea) and Dow Chemical Company maintaining substantial plants in Pittsburg.[citation needed] Ramar International manufactures Magnolia Dairy Ice Cream, a Philippine specialty brand, in Pittsburg.

Top employers[edit]

According to the City's 2009 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[14] the top employers in the city are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 Pittsburg Unified School District 965
2 USS-POSCO Industries 700
3 Los Medanos College 640
4 Dow Chemical Company 400
5 City of Pittsburg 268
6 Mi Pueblo Foods 250
7 Angelica 220
7 Ramar Foods 220
7 Wal-Mart 220
10 WinCo Foods 200



Pittsburg experiences a warm summer Mediterranean climate (Köppen climate classification Csa) bordering on the Semi-arid climate because of the Mt. Diablo rain shadow in East Contra Costa County.[15]

Climate data for Pittsburg, California
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 57.6
Average low °F (°C) 37.9
Precipitation inches (mm) 2.72
Source: [16]


Pittsburg/Bay Point BART Station

The city has one BART station, the Pittsburg/Bay Point Station located in Pittsburg near Bay Point. Service will be extended further into the city via DMU train with a Railroad Avenue station.[17]


Pittsburg is home to Los Medanos College,[18] a two-year community college that is part of the Contra Costa Community College District. The college's name is derived from that of the Rancho Los Medanos, one of the land grants made by the Mexican Government during its sovereignty over California from 1821 to 1846; Los Medanos, loosely translated from Spanish, means The Sand Dunes. Construction on Los Medanos College was completed in early 1974 and the campus opened its doors in the spring semester of 1974.[citation needed]

Pittsburg is served by three School Districts: Pittsburg Unified School District, Mt. Diablo School District, and Antioch Unified School District. All but one of the following schools listed are in the Pittsburg Unified School District boundary. All listed are in the City of Pittsburg city limits.

Pittsburg has two public high schools, one a continuation school:[19]

The public Junior high schools in Pittsburg are

  • Martin Luther King Jr. Junior High School
  • Hillview Junior High School
  • Rancho Medanos Middle School

The public elementary schools in Pittsburg are:

  • Delta View Elementary School (Mt. Diablo Unified School District)
  • Foothill Elementary School
  • Heights Elementary School
  • Highlands Elementary School
  • Los Medanos Elementary School
  • Marina Vista Elementary School
  • Parkside Elementary School
  • Stoneman Elementary School
  • Willow Cove Elementary School
  • Synergy Charter School

Private schools in Pittsburg include the Christian Center, School of Saint Peter Martyr and Spectrum Center.

Public libraries[edit]

The Pittsburg Library of the Contra Costa County Library is located in Pittsburg.[20]

Redevelopment projects[edit]

  • The city is currently in the process of redeveloping the older downtown. In November 2010 The Railroad Book Depot opened. The bookstore is owned and operated by the non-profit Pittsburg Arts & Community Foundation.[21]
  • A new Marina Master Plan is under development along Pittsburg's waterfront which includes a pedestrian promenade with subsequent commercial construction and development planned.[22]
  • An extension of the existing Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) rapid transit system, which includes a Pittsburg BART station at Railroad Avenue.[23]
  • A Civic Center Master Plan by the city will promote transit-oriented and mixed-use development to coincide with the construction of the new BART station adjacent to the current Civic Center.[citation needed]
  • The Black Diamond Project will provide services to residents on the north side.


The Pittsburg Delta View Golf Course has a back nine originally built in 1947, and a front nine completed in 1991.[24]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1890 300
1900 603 101.0%
1910 2,372 293.4%
1920 4,715 98.8%
1930 9,610 103.8%
1940 9,520 −0.9%
1950 12,763 34.1%
1960 19,062 49.4%
1970 21,423 12.4%
1980 33,034 54.2%
1990 47,564 44.0%
2000 56,769 19.4%
2010 63,264 11.4%


The 2010 United States Census[27] reported that Pittsburg had a population of 63,264. The population density was 3,302.8 people per square mile (1,275.2/km²). The racial makeup of Pittsburg was 23,106 (36.5%) White, 11,187 (17.7%) African American, 517 (0.8%) Native American, 9,891 (15.6%) Asian (9.9% Filipino, 2.0% Indian, 1.2% Chinese, 1.1% Vietnamese, 0.2% Korean, 0.2% Japanese, 1.1% Other), 645 (1.0%) Pacific Islander, 13,270 (21.0%) from other races, and 4,648 (7.3%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 26,841 persons (42.4%).

The Census reported that 62,973 people (99.5% of the population) lived in households, 153 (0.2%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 138 (0.2%) were institutionalized.

There were 19,527 households, out of which 8,837 (45.3%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 9,833 (50.4%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 3,583 (18.3%) had a female householder with no husband present, 1,420 (7.3%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 1,432 (7.3%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 194 (1.0%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 3,446 households (17.6%) were made up of individuals and 1,067 (5.5%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.22. There were 14,836 families (76.0% of all households); the average family size was 3.64.

The population was spread out with 17,385 people (27.5%) under the age of 18, 6,823 people (10.8%) aged 18 to 24, 18,319 people (29.0%) aged 25 to 44, 15,298 people (24.2%) aged 45 to 64, and 5,439 people (8.6%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32.5 years. For every 100 females there were 94.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.4 males.

There were 21,126 housing units at an average density of 1,102.9 per square mile (425.8/km²), of which 11,490 (58.8%) were owner-occupied, and 8,037 (41.2%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 3.8%; the rental vacancy rate was 6.8%. 37,078 people (58.6% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 25,895 people (40.9%) lived in rental housing units.

Demographic profile[28] 2010
Total Population 63,264 – 100.0%
One Race 58,616 – 92.7%
Not Hispanic or Latino 36,423 – 57.6%
White alone 12,684 – 20.0%
Black or African American alone 10,756 – 17.0%
American Indian and Alaska Native alone 202 – 0.3%
Asian alone 9,654 – 15.3%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone 614 – 1.0%
Some other race alone 177 – 0.3%
Two or more races alone 2,336 – 3.7%
Hispanic or Latino (of any race) 26,841 – 42.4%


As of the census[29] of 2000, there were 56,769 people, 17,741 households, and 13,483 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,639.0/mi² (1,405.0/km²). There were 18,300 housing units at an average density of 1,173.1/mi² (452.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 36.53% White, 25.89% Black or African American, 0.75% Native American, 12.65% Asian, 0.86% Pacific Islander, 16.11% from other races, and 7.22% from two or more races. 32.21% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 17,741 households out of which 42.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.5% were married couples living together, 17.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.0% were non-families. 18.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.17 and the average family size was 3.59.

In the city the population was spread out with 30.8% under the age of 18, 10.4% from 18 to 24, 31.2% from 25 to 44, 19.4% from 45 to 64, and 8.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 96.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $50,557, and the median income for a family was $54,472. Males had a median income of $39,111 versus $31,396 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,241. About 8.7% of families and 11.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.1% of those under age 18 and 7.6% of those age 65 or over.

Notable people[edit]

  • Eddie Hart (born April 24, 1949) is a former American athlete, winner of gold medal in 4x100 m relay at the 1972 Summer Olympics. Born in Martinez, California, Eddie Hart won, as a University of California student, the NCAA championships in 100 yd dash in 1970. Mr. Hart is a Pittsburg High School graduate and active community member. Another notable alum is John Henry Johnson a member of the golden backfield on the San Francisco 49ers and was elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
  • Regan Upshaw (born August 12, 1975 in Berrien Springs, Michigan) is a retired American football lineman who played in the National Football League between 1996 and 2004. He was selected by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first round of the 1996 NFL Draft out of the University of California, Berkeley. Reagan Upshaw played for the Pittsburg Pirates (Pittsburg, California), helping defeat the previously undefeated De La Salle in the 1991 NCS championship game played at the Oakland Coliseum. The final score was 35-27. This was the last defeat De La Salle suffered before setting a national high school record of 151 continuous victories. As a member of the Oakland Raiders he played in Super Bowl XXXVII; a game in which the Raiders were defeated by the Buccaneers by a score of 48-21.
  • John Henry Johnson (born November 24, 1929 in Waterproof, Louisiana) was an American football fullback who played professionally from 1954 to 1965 for the San Francisco 49ers, Detroit Lions, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Houston Oilers. When he retired after the 1966 season, his 6,803 career rushing yards ranked him behind only Jim Brown, Jim Taylor, and Joe Perry as the top ground gainers of all time. Johnson also was an excellent pass receiver with 186 receptions for 1,478 yards. He scored 330 points on 55 touchdowns in his career. He was an integral part of the "Million Dollar Backfield” that included future Hall of Famers Hugh McElhenny, Y. A. Tittle, and Perry. Johnson was traded to Detroit in 1957 and then to Pittsburgh in 1960. It was with the Steelers that John Henry enjoyed his finest seasons. In both 1962 and 1964, he broke the 1,000-yard rushing barrier, the first Steeler to achieve that lofty level. It was with the Lions, however, that he participated in his only NFL title game, the 1957 contest that saw Detroit overwhelm the Cleveland Browns, 59-14. Johnson was a key figure in the Lions’ title drive that year and wound up as the club's leading rusher with 621 yards. Johnson was selected to play in the 1955, 1963, 1964, and 1965 Pro Bowl Games.
  • Ken Simonton (born June 7, 1979) was a two-sport (football and baseball) star for the Pittsburg High School Pirates. As a sophomore, Simonton rushed for 1,135 yards in 10 games on 105 carries for an average of 10.8 yards per carry. In his junior year, he rushed for 785 yards in eight games on 47 carries for an average of 16.7 yards per carry. For his senior season, Simonton rushed for 960 yards on 92 carries for a 10.4 yard average and scored 23 touchdowns. Simonton was a three-time all-league selection as a running back and he was also named all-league as a defensive back in his senior year. He was a first-team All-Northern California selection, a first-team all-region selection by the Contra Costa Times and was named Offensive Player of the Year in the region by Sports Focus. Simonton played outfield for the Pirates baseball team and was all-league as a sophomore, junior and senior. He was listed in Parade Magazine in 1996 as one of the top 100 college baseball prospects in the nation. He attended Oregon State where he led them to a 41-9 victory over Notre Dame and an 11-1 record. He holds the all-time rushing record at Oregon State with 5,044 yards. He was an undrafted rookie who played in the NFL with the San Francisco 49ers, Buffalo Bills, Detroit Lions and with the CFL's Calgary Stampeders.
  • Richard Poe (born January 25, 1946) After graduating from PHS in 1963, Richard went on to appear in many movies, TV programs, and on Broadway. He may be best known for his role as the Cardassian Gul Evek on Star Trek: the Next Generation (1987), Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993) and Star Trek: Voyager (1995).

Sister cities[edit]


  1. ^ "Pittsburg". Geographic Names Information System, U.S. Geological Survey. 
  2. ^ "California Cities by Incorporation Date" (Word). California Association of Local Agency Formation Commissions. Retrieved March 26, 2013. 
  3. ^ "City of Pittsburg : City Council". Retrieved March 10, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Senators". State of California. Retrieved March 26, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Members Assembly". State of California. Retrieved March 26, 2013. 
  6. ^ "California's 11th Congressional District - Representatives & District Map". Civic Impulse, LLC. Retrieved March 9, 2013. 
  7. ^ "U.S. Census". Census.gov. Retrieved 2014-01-09. 
  8. ^ "Pittsburg Post Office". Geographic Names Information System, U.S. Geological Survey. 
  9. ^ a b c d e Durham, David L. (1998). California's Geographic Names: A Gazetteer of Historic and Modern Names of the State. Quill Driver Books. p. 681. ISBN 9781884995149. 
  10. ^ Third Annual Report of the Board of Railroad Commissioners of the State of California for the Years ending December 31, 1880-81-82, pages 345–348.
  11. ^ Traci Parent and Karen Terhune, Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve, Arcadia Publishing, 2009, pages 15, 46 and 50.
  12. ^ "History of Our City". Archived from the original on October 17, 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-03. 
  13. ^ "Pittsburg city, California profile". Retrieved 2007-12-03. 
  14. ^ "City of Pittsburg CAFR". Retrieved 2014-01-09. 
  15. ^ http://www.co.contra-costa.ca.us/depart/cd/water/hcp/archive/downloads/wetland_report/Ch03_Hydrogeomorphic_Setting_10_14_04.pdf
  16. ^ "Pittsburg historic weather averages". Intellicast. Retrieved February 10, 2010. 
  17. ^ "Pittsburg/Bay Point Station overview". Retrieved 2007-12-03. 
  18. ^ "Los Medanos Community College". Retrieved 2007-12-03. 
  19. ^ "City of Pittsburg". PUSD High Schools. Archived from the original on April 16, 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-05. 
  20. ^ "Pittsburg Library." Contra Costa County Library. Retrieved April 1, 2010.
  21. ^ "Railroad Book Depot". Retrieved 2012-12-28. "The Railroad Book Depot is owned and operated by the Pittsburg Arts and Community Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to improving the quality of life and availability of opportunities for everyone in the Pittsburg area." 
  22. ^ "About « Old Town Pittsburg Business District". Retrieved 2012-12-28. 
  23. ^ "East Contra Costa BART Extension (eBART)". BART. Retrieved 2010-12-28. 
  24. ^ "City of Pittsburg: Delta View Golf Club: General Info". Retrieved 2012-12-28. 
  25. ^ Moffatt, Riley. Population History of Western U.S. Cities & Towns, 1850–1990. Lanham: Scarecrow, 1996, 50.
  26. ^ "Subcounty population estimates: California 2000–2007" (CSV). United States Census Bureau, Population Division. March 18, 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-10. 
  27. ^ All data are derived from the United States Census Bureau reports from the 2010 United States Census, and are accessible on-line here. The data on unmarried partnerships and same-sex married couples are from the Census report DEC_10_SF1_PCT15. All other housing and population data are from Census report DEC_10_DP_DPDP1. Both reports are viewable online or downloadable in a zip file containing a comma-delimited data file. The area data, from which densities are calculated, are available on-line here. Percentage totals may not add to 100% due to rounding. The Census Bureau defines families as a household containing one or more people related to the householder by birth, opposite-sex marriage, or adoption. People living in group quarters are tabulated by the Census Bureau as neither owners nor renters. For further details, see the text files accompanying the data files containing the Census reports mentioned above.
  28. ^ "Demographic Profile Bay Area Census". 
  29. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  30. ^ "Evan Pilgrim". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 17, 2013. 

External links[edit]