Welcome to the Pittsburgh Portal
Pittsburgh is the second largest city in Pennsylvania and its metropolitan area ranks as the largest in both Appalachia and the Ohio River Valley while being the 22nd largest urban area in the United States.
Pittsburgh is dominated by the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers which form the Ohio River. This strategic juncture was a major site of the North American theater of the Seven Years' War, with Great Britain winning control in 1758 to establish Fort Pitt in honor of "The Great Commoner", William Pitt. Following the American Revolution, the area grew as an important transportation center and primary gateway to the American frontier. 19th century coal and iron production made Pittsburgh into the world leader of steel and by 1910 the city was the eighth largest in the United States. With the collapse of American industries in the 1980s, Pittsburgh lost population but has successfully transitioned its economy into a world leader of healthcare, technology, education, and financial services.
Pittsburgh is known colloquially as "The Steel City", for its continued leadership in steel production, as well as "The City of Bridges" for its world record 466 structures. The city's official colors of black and gold are so symbolic that all pro-sports teams from the area, the Penguins, Pirates, and Steelers have also adopted them. Multiple publications have named Pittsburgh the "most livable city" in the United States for its low crime, affordability, and plentiful educational, cultural, and recreational amenities with its skyline vistas ranked by USA Today as second only to the Grand Canyon.
The Cathedral of Learning
, a Pittsburgh landmark listed in the National Register of Historic Places, is the centerpiece of the University of Pittsburgh
's main campus in the Oakland
neighborhood of Pittsburgh
. Standing at 535 feet (>163 m), the 42-story Late Gothic Revival
Cathedral is the tallest educational building in the Western hemisphere
and the second tallest university building (fourth tallest educationally-purposed building
) in the world. The Cathedral of Learning was commissioned in 1921 and ground was broken in 1926. The first class was held in the building in 1931 and its exterior finished in October 1934, prior to its formal dedication in 1937. Designed by Charles Klauder
, the Cathedral is a steel frame structure overlaid with Indiana limestone
and contains more than 2,000 rooms and windows. Open to tour for the public, it contains and Gothic-style hall that covers half an acre (2,000 m²) and extends upwards four stories, reaching 52 ft (16 m) in height. It also is the home to a collection of 27 Nationality Rooms
which are museum-quality functional classrooms each designed to celebrate a different culture that had an influence on Pittsburgh's growth. Containing significant works by stained glass artist Charles Connick
and ironworker Samuel Yellin
, it is an impressive scenic building that has been described as the figurative and literal culmination of Late Gothic Revival architecture.
Eugene Curran "Gene" Kelly
(August 23, 1912 – February 2, 1996) was an American dancer, actor, singer, film director and producer, and choreographer from Pittsburgh
. A major exponent of 20th century filmed dance, Kelly was known for his energetic and athletic dancing style, his good looks and the likeable characters that he played on screen. Although he is known today for his performance in Singin' in the Rain
, he was a dominant force in Hollywood musical films from the mid 1940s until this art form fell out of fashion in the late 1950s. His many innovations transformed the Hollywood musical film, and he is credited with almost single-handedly making the ballet form commercially acceptable to film audiences. Kelly, and alumnus of the University of Pittsburgh
, was the recipient of an Academy Honorary Award
in 1952 for his career achievements. He later received lifetime achievement awards in the Kennedy Center Honors
, and from the Screen Actors Guild
and American Film Institute
; in 1999, the American Film Institute also numbered him 15th in their Greatest Male Stars of All Time
The Mattress Factory
is a museum
of contemporary art
located in Pittsburgh
. It exhibits room-sized installation art
from across the country and around the world.
The Mattress Factory museum is named for its gallery buildings, housed since 1977 in the former Stearns & Foster mattress factory and warehouse buildings at 500 Sampsonia Way in the Mexican War Streets area of Pittsburgh's Central Northside.
The Mattress Factory hosts 16 continuous, permanent installations and receives about 38,000 visitors per year. It is considered an institutional leader for incorporating interactive technologies and social media networks into the physical museum space and the virtual world, and in 2009, it became the first museum in the United States to introduce the use of QR codes as a visitor engagement tool. Museum operating hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The Mattress Factory is closed on Mondays.
On this day in Pittsburgh history...
- (1755) Fort Duquesne is announced completed by the French commandant.
- (1865) America's first bessemer steel rail is rolled.
- (1884) The Pirates' 1st batter is hit by a pitch before the next 27 go down, ruining a no-hitter at the rival Phillies 10-1.
- (1889) At Washington, Pirates star Willie Kuehne fields 3 putouts & 10 assists for the MLB record.
- (1893) 
- (1933) David Lawrence & Joe Guffey are guests of President Roosevelt at the White House.
- (1943) War time gas rationing reduces the regions supply by 40% as 5 bus routes are eliminated, 9 are cut in half & taxis are suspended.
- (1958) 2127 Centre Avenue Hill District grocer killed.
- (1968) 
- (1984) US Steel closes 2 blast furnances & a basic oxygen mill at Duquesne, laying off 1,150.
- (1986) Homestead Works shuts down for the last time.
- (1988) Prince Hassan continues his 3 day visit with a conference at the Duquesne Club hosted by Westinghouse.
- (1988) Rockwell moves headquarters out of the US Steel Tower to El Segundo, California.
- (1990) Controller Flaherty holds a news conference about the "Hunky Steelworker" statue.
- (1993) Pitt & Duquesne alumnus Samuel Hazo is named Pennsylvania's 1st poet laureate.
- (2003) A Texas "missing person" drives a United Airlines van onto restricted runways at Pittsburgh International then boards an American Airlines jet.
- (2004) Mariss Jansons conducts his last concert as director of the Symphony.
- (2011) Steelers star Hines Ward is named Dancing with the Stars champion.
- (2012) Oxford Development announces the $250 millionia, 772,000²′, 33 floor 350 5th Avenue.
- (2013) Penguins star James Neal gets a hat trick to finish Ottawa 6-2 at CONSOL, to which Paul MacLean states "I hope they don't bill us for the clinic."
- ...that Litchfield Towers is the largest and tallest dormitory at the University of Pittsburgh's main campus, at 22 stories in height and housing over 1,850 residents?
- ... that Emil John Mihalik, the first Byzantine Eparch of Parma, was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania?
- ... that the 23 home runs hit by Johnny Rizzo in 1938 set a Pittsburgh Pirates team record at the time, and his nine RBI in a 1939 game set a single game team record that still stands today?
- ... that the American Iron and Steel Institute formed the Steelmark in 1960 to promote American steel, with the logo put on the helmets of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1962 to further publicize the program?
- ... that William J. Winter, while serving as auxiliary bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh, confirmed an estimated 45,000 Catholics?