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Downtown Pittsburgh

Downtown Pittsburgh, colloquially referred to as the Golden Triangle and officially the Central Business District,[1] is the urban downtown center of George Westinghouse were made.

In 2013, Pittsburgh had the second-lowest vacancy rate for Class A space among downtowns in the United States.[1]


  • Location 1
  • Transportation 2
    • Public transportation 2.1
    • Highways 2.2
    • Local streets 2.3
  • Location 3
  • Transportation 4
    • Public transportation 4.1
    • Highways 4.2
    • Bridges 4.3
  • Downtown districts 5
    • Local streets 5.1
    • Bridges 5.2
  • Downtown districts 6
  • Economy 7
  • Economy 8
  • Major buildings 9
  • Hotels 10
  • Parks and plazas 11
  • Educational facilities 12
  • Residential areas 13
  • Surrounding neighborhoods 14
  • See also 15
  • References 16
    • Further reading 16.1
  • External links 17


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,"[2] 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.[4] 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.[4]


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. City-wide there are 446 bridges. In Allegheny County the number exceeds 2,200.

Downtown Bridges

Sixth Avenue in Downtown Pittsburgh

Bridges of Expanded Downtown

  • West End Bridge carries US Route 19 from the West End/South Shore to the North Shore/North Side just west of Downtown
  • 16th Street Bridge carries 16th Street from the Strip District to Chestnut Street on the North Side
  • West Penn Bridge (pedestrian/bike-only) is part of the Three Rivers Heritage Trail connecting the North Side to Washington's Landing on Herr's Island
  • 30th Street Bridge connects River Avenue on the North Side with Waterfront Drive on Washington's Landing at Herr's Island
  • 31st Street Bridge connects PA Route 28 on the North Side with 31st Street in the Strip District
  • 33rd Street Railroad Bridge connects the North Side to the Strip District and crosses Herr's Island
  • South 10th Street Bridge connects the Armstrong Tunnel at Second Avenue just east of Downtown with the South Side at South 10th Street
  • Birmingham Bridge connects East Carson Street on the South Side with Fifth and Forbes avenues in Uptown

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.

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