Downtown Pittsburgh

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  (Redirected from Downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)
Central Business District; Golden Triangle
Neighborhood of Pittsburgh
Iconic View of Downtown, From Mt. Washington
Iconic View of Downtown, From Mt. Washington
Pgh locator central business district.svg
Coordinates: 40°26′28″N 80°00′00″W / 40.44111°N 80.00000°W / 40.44111; -80.00000Coordinates: 40°26′28″N 80°00′00″W / 40.44111°N 80.00000°W / 40.44111; -80.00000
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
County Allegheny County
City Pittsburgh
Area[2][better source needed]
 • Total 0.64 sq mi (1.7 km2)
Population (2016)[2]
 • Total 14,395[1]

Downtown Pittsburgh, colloquially referred to as the Golden Triangle, and officially the Central Business District,[2] is the urban downtown center of Pittsburgh. It is located at the confluence of the Allegheny River and the Monongahela River whose joining forms the Ohio River. The "triangle" is bounded by the two rivers. The area features offices for major corporations such as PNC Bank, U.S. Steel, PPG, Bank of New York Mellon, Heinz, Federated Investors and Alcoa. It is where the fortunes of such industrial barons as Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick, Henry J. Heinz, Andrew Mellon and George Westinghouse were made. It contains the site where the French fort, Fort Duquesne, once stood.

In 2013, Pittsburgh had the second-lowest vacancy rate for Class A space among downtowns in the United States.[3]

Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1940 7,864 —    
1950 7,517 −4.4%
1960 2,211 −70.6%
1970 3,679 +66.4%
1980 3,220 −12.5%
1990 3,785 +17.5%
2000 2,721 −28.1%
2010 3,629 +33.4%
University of Pittsburgh[6]


The Central Business District is bounded by the Monongahela River to the south, the Allegheny River to the north, and I-579 (Crosstown Boulevard) to the east. An expanded definition of Downtown may include the adjacent neighborhoods of Uptown/The Bluff, the Strip District, the North Shore, and the South Shore.


The Smithfield Street Bridge
Famous mural on the 300 Sixth Street building

Public transportation

Downtown is served by the Port Authority's light rail subway system (known locally as the "T"), an extensive bus network, and two inclines (Duquesne Incline and Monongahela Incline). The Downtown portion of the subway has the following stations:

T Stations

  • Station Square on the South Shore in the Station Square development (street-level station)
  • First Avenue near First Avenue & Ross Street, Downtown (elevated station)
  • Steel Plaza at Sixth Avenue & Grant Street, Downtown (underground station)
  • Penn Plaza near Liberty Avenue & Grant Street, Downtown (underground, limited service)
  • Wood Street at the triangular intersection of Wood Street, Sixth Avenue, and Liberty Avenue, Downtown (underground station)
  • Gateway Center at Liberty Avenue & Stanwix Street, Downtown (underground station)
  • North Side near General Robinson Street & Tony Dorsett Drive on the North Shore (underground station)
  • Allegheny near Allegheny Avenue & Reedsdale Street on the North Shore (elevated station)

Downtown is also home to an Amtrak train station connecting Pittsburgh with New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. to the east and Cleveland and Chicago to the west. Greyhound's Pittsburgh bus terminal is located across Liberty Avenue from the Amtrak Station, in the Grant Street Transportation Center building.


Major roadways serving Downtown from the suburbs include the "Parkway East" (I-376) from Monroeville, the "Parkway West" (I-376) from the airport area, and the "Parkway North" (I-279) from the North Hills, and (I-579) in Downtown Pittsburgh. Other important roadways are Pennsylvania Route 28, Pennsylvania Route 51, Pennsylvania Route 65, and U.S. Route 19.

Three major entrances to the city are via tunnels: the Fort Pitt Tunnel and Squirrel Hill Tunnel on I-376 and the Liberty Tunnels. The New York Times once called Pittsburgh "the only city with an entrance,"[7] specifically referring to the view of Downtown that explodes upon drivers immediately upon exiting the Fort Pitt Tunnel. Also traveling I-279 south and I-376, the city "explodes into view" when coming around a turn in the highway.

Local streets

Wood Street.

Downtown surface streets are based on two distinct grid systems that parallel the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers.[8] These two grids intersect along Liberty Avenue, creating many unusual street intersections. Furthermore, the Allegheny grid contains numbered streets, while the Monongahela grid contains numbered avenues. And, in fact, there are cases where these numbered roadways intersect, creating some confusion (i.e. the intersection of Liberty Avenue and 7th Street/6th Avenue). This unusual grid pattern leads to Pittsburghers giving directions in the terms of landmarks, rather than turn-by-turn directions.[8]


At least seventeen of Pittsburgh's bridges are visible in this aerial photo.

Pittsburgh is nicknamed "The City of Bridges". In Downtown, there are 10 bridges (listed below) connecting to points north and south. The expanded definition of Downtown (including the aforementioned surrounding neighborhoods) includes 18 bridges. Citywide there are 446 bridges. In Allegheny County the number exceeds 2,200.

Downtown Bridges

Sixth Avenue in Downtown Pittsburgh

Bridges of Expanded Downtown

Downtown districts

Downtown contains a wealth of historic, cultural, and entertainment sites. While most people still consider the entire Downtown as one neighborhood, there are several significant subdistricts within the Golden Triangle.


Pittsburgh's number of jobs is generally stable.

Downtown Pittsburgh retains substantial economic influence, ranking at 25th in the nation for jobs within the urban core and 6th in job density.[10]

University of Pittsburgh economist Christopher Briem notes that the level of employment in the city has remained largely constant for the past 50 years: "[the] time series of jobs located in the City proper are about as stable as any economic metric in the region, or in any other Northeastern US urban core, over many decades. In 1958, [there were] 294,000 jobs located in the city proper…Those numbers are virtually identical today which tells me there is a certain limit to how many jobs can efficiently be located in what are some relatively (very) constrained areas."[11][better source needed] These numbers reflect employment in the city as a whole, not just the central business district; but the central business district has the highest density of employment of any Pittsburgh neighborhood.

Pittsburgh has long been a headquarters city, with numerous national and global corporations calling the Golden Triangle home. Currently, Downtown is still home to a large number of Fortune 500 companies (8 in the metro area, 6 of which are in the city in 2009, which ranks Pittsburgh high nationally in Fortune 500 headquarters):

– headquartered in PPG Place

– headquartered in the PPG Place

– headquartered in One PNC Plaza

– headquartered in PPG Place

– headquartered at Station Square

– headquartered at the US Steel Tower

Downtown is also home to GNC, Dollar Bank, Equitable Resources, Duquesne Light, Federated Investors and Highmark as well as the regional headquarters for Citizens Bank, Ariba, and Dominion Resources. Regional healthcare giant UPMC has its corporate headquarters in the US Steel Tower.

Major buildings

View of the sweeping roofline of the David L. Lawrence Convention Center on the Allegheny River


Downtown is home to the following hotels:

Parks and plazas

Market Square

Downtown is home to numerous parks, large and small:

  • Point State Park at the tip of the Golden Triangle
  • Mellon Square located in the square between Oliver & Sixth avenues and Smithfield Street and William Penn Place
  • Market Square at Forbes Avenue & Market Street
  • Mellon Green located at Grant Street & Sixth Avenue
  • FirstSide Park located between Grant & Ross streets and First & Second avenues.
  • Gateway Center plazas located around the Gateway Center skyscrapers near Liberty Avenue & Stanwix Street
  • Plaza at PPG Place near Third Avenue & Market Street
  • US Steel Tower Plaza at Grant Street & Sixth Avenue
  • Katz Plaza at Penn Avenue & Seventh Street
  • Triangle Park bounded by Liberty Avenue, Fifth Avenue & Market Street
  • Allegheny Riverfront Park along the Allegheny River below Fort Duquesne Boulevard
  • Mon Wharf Landing along the Monongahela River below Fort Pitt Boulevard (under construction)
  • North Shore Riverfront Park opposite Downtown along the Allegheny and Ohio rivers, part of the larger Three Rivers Park

Educational facilities

While Pittsburgh's Oakland neighborhood is known as the educational center of the city, Downtown is home to several higher education institutions as well as a branch of the city's Carnegie Library system and a Pittsburgh Public Schools 6–12 school:

Residential areas

Downtown has several condos, including Gateway Towers and Chatham Place dating to the 1960s [1] and more modern structures as well. There are over 5,000 apartment and condo units in Greater Downtown Pittsburgh.

Surrounding neighborhoods

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c "PGHSNAP 2010 Raw Census Data by Neighborhood". PGHSNAP Utility. Pittsburgh Department of City Planning. 2012. Retrieved 21 June 2013. 
  3. ^ Belko, Mark (May 14, 2014). "In The Lead: Low vacancy recorded in Downtown Pittsburgh". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved May 14, 2014. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Census:Pittsburgh" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on August 10, 2007. Retrieved 2 September 2012. [better source needed]
  6. ^ "Pittsburgh Census Tracts". Retrieved January 2, 2018. 
  7. ^ "Top Ten Reasons to Visit Pittsburgh". Retrieved 2007-06-28. 
  8. ^ a b Conti, John (January 22, 2012). "How a municipality is designed can create elegance or chaos". Pittsburgh Tribune Review. Archived from the original on January 31, 2013. Retrieved January 22, 2012. 
  9. ^ National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  10. ^ Miller, Harold (August 3, 2008). "Regional Insights: Pittsburgh is a national player in jobs per square mile but needs more population". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved August 6, 2008. 
  11. ^ Briem, Christopher (August 5, 2011). "hold em like they do in Texas plays". Nullspace. Retrieved August 6, 2011. 

Further reading

  • Franklin Toker (1994) [1986]. Pittsburgh: An Urban Portrait. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press. ISBN 978-0-8229-5434-7. 
  • Michael Pellas (2015). Why We Live in Downtown Pittsburgh

External links

  • Downtown Pittsburgh travel guide from Wikivoyage
  • Interactive Pittsburgh Neighborhoods Map
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