Portal:Pittsburgh

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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.

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~ Katharine Hepburn, 1984

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Photo credit: Ddelbianco
The Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix on Serpentine Drive in Schenley Park

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Bricks mark the outline of where Fort Duquesne was located
Point State Park is a Pennsylvania state park on 36 acres (150,000 m2) in Downtown Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, USA, at the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers, forming the Ohio River.

Built on land acquired via eminent domain from industrial enterprises in the 1950s, the park opened in 1974 when construction was completed on its iconic fountain. Pittsburgh settled on the current design after rejecting an alternative plan for a Point Park Civic Center designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

The park also includes the outlines and remains of two of the oldest structures in Pittsburgh, Fort Pitt and Fort Duquesne. The Fort Pitt Museum, housed in the Monongahela Bastion of Fort Pitt, commemorates the French and Indian War (1754–1763), in which the area soon to become Pittsburgh was a major battlefield.

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Andrew W. Mellon
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, steel, shipbuilding, 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.

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The Mattress Factory building
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.

Sports

Pitt Panthers basketball at the Petersen Events Center
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.

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