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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

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Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania.

 

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Pittsburgh is the second-largest city in the U.S. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the county seat of Allegheny County. Regionally, it anchors the largest urban area of Appalachia and the Ohio River Valley, and nationally, it is the 22nd-largest urban area in the United States.

The Culture of Pittsburgh stems from the city's long history as a center for cultural philanthropy, as well as its rich ethnic traditions. In the 19th and 20th centuries, wealthy businessmen such as Andrew Carnegie, Henry J. Heinz, Henry Clay Frick, and nonprofit organizations such as the Carnegie Foundation donated millions of dollars to create educational and cultural institutions.

Architecture

The Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece Fallingwater is about an hour's drive from Downtown Pittsburgh. The North Shore has an 1895 neogothic church, Calvary Methodist, with an interior designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany. The church's stained glass windows are some of the largest and most elaborate work Tiffany ever created. The Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Pittsburgh, an opulently decorated edifice with elaborate Old World flourishes is one of the finest examples of the so-called Polish Cathedral style, dominating the skyline over Polish Hill. The Allegheny County Courthouse (1886), designed by H.H. Richardson, is a unique and influential building. At 42 stories, the University of Pittsburgh's Cathedral of Learning (1937) is the second tallest collegiate building in the world. The tallest skyscraper in Pittsburgh is the triangular U.S. Steel Tower. Both Heinz Field (2001) and PNC Park (2001) are designed to give fans a view of the city skyline.

Gardens and parks

In addition to numerous large and small neighborhood parks, Pittsburgh has five large city parks covering hundreds of acres:

Schenley Park in the Oakland and Squirrel Hill neighborhoods. This park contains Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.
Frick Park in the Squirrel Hill and Regent Square neighborhoods
Highland Park in the neighborhood of the same name. This park contains the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium.
Riverview Park on the Northside, home to the historic Allegheny Observatory.
Grand View Scenic Byway Park circling the Mt. Washington and Duquesne Heights neighborhoods.

Several other parks and gardens are in Pittsburgh:

The National Aviary
Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium

Libraries

The city has an extensive library system, both public and university. Most notable are the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and the University of Pittsburgh's University Library System.

Many local history materials are available on-line at Historic Pittsburgh, a collection that includes materials from the University of Pittsburgh's University Library System, the Library & Archives of the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania at the Senator John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center, and the Carnegie Museum of Art. Pittsburgh History is an on-line service maintained by the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

Museums and art

Pittsburgh has several visual arts museums, including the Andy Warhol Museum, dedicated to the works of Pittsburgh native Andy Warhol. The Carnegie Museum of Art is home to works by such luminaries as Edgar Degas, Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet, Robert Adam and many others, along with galleries of sculpture, modern art, the Heinz Architectural Center, a large film and video collection, and various traveling exhibits. Installation art is featured outdoors at ArtGardens of Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh Center for the Arts shows contemporary art and provides resources for Western Pennsylvania artists.

The town's premier history museum is the Senator John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center with an annual attendance of 130,000.

The Carnegie Museum of Natural History, located in Oakland, has extensive dinosaur collections on display, including the most complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton ever discovered, and an Egyptian wing. The building may be distinguished by a life-size statue known as, "Dippy the Diplodocus" to the right of the main entrance. Other dinosaur statues are visible around the Pittsburgh area, these decorated by artists nationwide and sold as a benefit to the Carnegie Museums. The Carnegie Science Center, located in the North Side near PNC Park and Heinz Field, is more technology oriented.

Children's Museum of Pittsburgh, located on Pittsburgh's Northside, has a variety of interactive exhibits and programs for children and families including a multimedia art studio, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, water area and theater for performances.

Recreation

Close-by the Phipp's Conservatory is the Schenley Park Golf Course, a public golf links. Kennywood Park is widely regarded by rollercoaster enthusiasts to have some of the best rollercoasters in the world, including several early 20th century wooden coasters: the Racer, the Thunderbolt, and the Jackrabbit. A water park owned by Kennywood, Sandcastle, is another local amusement park.

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