Downtown Pittsburgh is a 300-acre triangle of land where the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers converge to form the mighty Ohio River. Between the rivers is a tiny spit of flat-bottom land once known as the gateway to the West, the portal to a vast, remote, unexplored wilderness. Ownership of this strategic wedge of land was fiercely contested for hundreds
of years. The powerful Iroquois Nation first invaded the area in the 1600s during the Beaver Wars. When the French planted their flag in 1749, they collided with the British Empire for control of the forks of the Ohio River and all of North America. One hundred years later, this swath of frontier wilderness became the "workplace of the world," the heart of the great Industrial Revolution. Immigrants arrived from around Europe to work in the glass, iron, and steel mills. Industrial giants such as Carnegie, Frick, Mellon, and Heinz forged their fortunes here.
Downtown Pittsburgh is the story of the great transformation of this city and its contributions to the world.
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The Forks of the Ohio
The Gateway to the West
A City Emerges from a Frontier Town
Immigrants and Industry
Getting Over and Getting Around
Fires Floods Riots and Smoke
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Allegheny River America Andrew Carnegie Archives Service Center arrived background Bank became blockhouse Bouef Boulevard Bridge was built British Carnegie Library Carnegie Museum cars coal construction courthouse demolished Diamond Market House Diamond Street downtown Pittsburgh Duquesne Exposition Hall feet Ferris Fifth Avenue fire flood Forks freight French frontier Gateway George Washington Grant Street Heinz Henry Clay Frick Historical Society hump cut image shows immigrants industry iron James Jones and Laughlin July Kaufmann's Laughlin Company Liberty Avenue Library of Pittsburgh located Manchester Bridge Market Square Market Street Mellon million mills Monongahela River Museum of Art Native Americans Ohio River opened Penn Avenue Pennsylvania Railroad Pitt Point Bridge restaurant seen Sixth Street Smithfield Street Bridge smoke Society of Western steel Street and Penn streetcars Theater toll bridge Tower town University of Pittsburgh Virginia Wabash Bridge wagon Water Street Western Pennsylvania Wharf William Wood Street workers wrote