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.
Photo credit: Joe M500 from WEST LOOP CHICAGO
Dollar Bank in downtown Pittsburgh
The 2009 G-20 Pittsburgh Summit
was the third meeting
of the G-20
heads of state in discussion of financial markets
and the world economy
, which was held at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center
on September 24–25, 2009. Announced shortly after the April 2009 G-20 London summit
, U.S. President Barack Obama
volunteered to host this summit, initially planning to hold it in New York City and coordinating it with the opening of the United Nations General Assembly
. However, due to coordination issues, on May 28, 2009, the Obama Administration
announced a change of venue to Pittsburgh in order to highlight the city's economic recovery following the collapse of its manufacturing sector in the latter half of the 20th century. In response to the Global credit crisis
, a G20 summit in one year was proposed shortly after the London summit in April 2009.
Amongst the issues discussed was a proposal to radically reform the International Monetary Fund. French President Nicolas Sarkozy also suggested that there would be an evaluation of measures already taken.
The primary venue of the summit was the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, which was at one point the largest LEED certified building in the world. A working dinner for world leaders was held at the Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens, chosen to highlight its environmentally friendly features including an earth-sheltered welcome center and a Tropical Forest Conservatory described as the world’s most energy efficient. Other venues to be used around the city include The Andy Warhol Museum, the Pittsburgh High School for the Creative and Performing Arts and Rosemont, the working farm of Teresa Heinz Kerry.
The Pittsburgh Panthers
, commonly also referred to as the Pitt Panthers
, are the athletic teams of University of Pittsburgh
. Pitt fields 19 varsity
teams at the highest level of competitive collegiate athletics in the United States, NCAA Division I
, which compete as members of the Big East Conference
, Eastern Wrestling League
, East Atlantic Gymnastics League
, and Eastern College Athletic Conference
. The 26 time bowl qualifying football team
founded in 1889 and the thirty time tournament qualifying basketball team
founded in 1905, are the most popular sports Pitt fields and enjoy significant local and national followings. Heinz Field
hosts the football team and the Petersen Events Center
hosts the basketball team.
The university's athletic program is one of only five current NCAA Division 1A schools to have won multiple national championships in both football (9) and basketball (2), and the Panthers have been ranked as having among the best combinations of football and basketball programs by multiple publications. Pitt was ranked as having the fifth best combination of football and basketball programs in CBSSports.com's Flourishing Five ranking in 2010. In its "Hoops & Helmets" list of the best combinations, CollegeFootballNews.com has ranked Pitt fifth in 2010 and 3rd in 2009.
On this day in Pittsburgh history...
The Nationality Rooms
are a collection of 27 classrooms in the University of Pittsburgh's Cathedral of Learning
depicting and donated by the ethnic groups that helped build the city of Pittsburgh
. The rooms are designated as a Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation
historical landmark and are located on the 1st and 3rd floors of the Cathedral of Learning, itself a national historic landmark, on the University of Pittsburgh
's main campus in the Oakland
neighborhood of Pittsburgh
. Although of museum caliber, twenty-five of the 27 rooms are in almost constant use as functional classrooms and utilized daily by University of Pittsburgh faculty and students, while the other two are display rooms which can be explored only via guided tour. The Nationality Rooms also serve in a vigorous program of intercultural involvement and exchange in which the original organizing committees for the individual rooms remain as participants and includes a program of annual student scholarship to facilitate study abroad. In addition, the Nationality Rooms inspire lectures, seminars, concerts exhibitions and social events which focus on the various heritages and traditions of the nations represented. The various national, traditional and religious holidays of the nations represented are celebrated on campus and the rooms are appropriately decorated to reflect these occasions.
Andrew William Mellon
(March 24, 1855 – August 26, 1937) was an banker, industrialist, philanthropist, art collector and Secretary of the Treasury
from March 4, 1921 until February 12, 1932. Born in Pittsburgh
, he was educated at the Western University of Pennsylvania
. Mellon joined his father's banking firm, T. Mellon & Sons
, two years later and had ownership of the bank
transferred to him in 1882. He also helped organize the Union Trust Company and Union Savings Bank of Pittsburgh and branched into industrial activities including oil
, and construction
. His backing helped found several companies and entire industries. Mellon eventually became one of the wealthiest people in the United States. In the mid 1920s, he was the third highest income tax payer in the U.S. behind only John D. Rockefeller
and Henry Ford
. Mellon was appointed Secretary of the Treasury
by new President Warren G. Harding
in 1921. He served for ten years and eleven months; the third-longest tenure of a Secretary of the Treasury. His service continued through the Coolidge
administration and most of the Hoover
administration. During his retirement years, as he had done in earlier years, Mellon was an active philanthropist
, and gave generously of his private fortune to support art and research causes which included establishing the Mellon Institute for Industrial Research
and becoming a major benefactor of his alma mater, by then renamed to the University of Pittsburgh. In 1937, he donated his substantial art collection, plus $10 million for construction, to establish the National Gallery of Art
on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The Gallery was authorized in 1937 by Congress.