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Pittsburgh Business Signs
The area of present day Pennsylvania where the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers join to form the Ohio was, in separate eras, inhabited by the Adena, Hopewell, and Iroquois cultures. That was, up until European contact in the early 1700s. The first Europeans to explore the area were French fur trappers. The township of Pittsburgh, founded on November 27th, 1758 by the future first President of the United States George Washington and General John Forbes, was named for British statesman and future Prime Minister of Great Britain William Pitt (the Elder), the 1st Earl of Chatham. Pittsburgh was incorporated into a city on March 18th, 1816.
Today, according to a 2013 US census bureau estimate, the city of Pittsburgh has a population of 305,841. This means that Pittsburgh is the 62nd most populous city in the country. The Pittsburgh, metropolitan area, on the other hand, is the 22nd most populous metropolitan area in the US, clocking in at 2,360,867 people.
Historically, Pittsburgh was a world leader in steel, aluminum, glass, shipbuilding, petroleum, foods, transportation, computing, autos, and electronic production, with the headquarters of Gulf Oil, Sunbeam, Rockwell, and Westinghouse in the area. However, during deindustrialization of the 1980s, all of these headquarters left. The population declined. However, according to NPR and the Pittsburgh business journal, today, tech giants such as Apple, Google, Bosch, Disney, Uber, Intel, and IBM “are among the 1,600 technology firms generating $20.7 billion in annual Pittsburgh payrolls.”
In fact, the Pittsburgh metropolitan area is currently home to six Fortune 500 companies: PNC Financial Services, PPG Industries, U.S. Steel, H.J. Heinz Company, WESCO International, and Dick’s Sporting Goods. Expansion Magazine listed Pittsburgh among the top 10 metropolitan areas within the United States for “climates favorable to business expansion” in 2006.
Pittsburgh isn’t just about business, though. The city boasts numerous cultural attractions such as the Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts. Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts was built by architects Rapp & Rapp in 1927 and has a 2,676 person seating capacity. It is home to the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Pittsburgh also serves as the location for the Benedum Center for the Performing Arts. Formerly the Stanley Theatre, it is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. The Benedum Center opened in 1928, has a 2,800 seating capacity, and features performances by the Pittsburgh Opera, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, and the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera.
Another building in Pittsburgh listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places is the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. This Victorian greenhouse, built by architects Lord & Burnham in 1893, contains thirteen rooms and six outdoor gardens.
As for higher learning, Pittsburgh is second to none. Its metropolitan area is home to 68 colleges and universities. Among these 68 colleges and universities are the esteemed research and development leaders Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh. The University of Pittsburgh football team has won nine national championships.
Pittsburgh is also known worldwide for its various professional sports team franchises. The NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins play in Consol Energy Center. They have three Stanley Cups to their names. The NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers, founded in 1933, now play their home games at Heinz Field. They, technically, were the victors in 6 Super Bowls, four of which they accumulated in the ‘70s. MLB’s Pittsburgh Pirates, whose current home is PNC Park, were founded in 1882, and have won 7 World Series Championship Titles since then.
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