Pittsburgh is a city of change, evolving from an industrial steel town into a high-tech, global city with the second-highest concentration of ‘green-certified’ buildings than any city in the country, including the world’s first and largest green convention center.
The many neighborhoods that make up the city of Pittsburgh have their own unique personalities, giving each a sense of community—a great model to learn from as a student of architecture. Visit Ellsworth Avenue in Shadyside for great desserts, boutique clothing and numerous art galleries. Stop by Murray Avenue in Squirrel Hill for Japanese, Chinese, Indian, Mediterranean, American, or Kosher food. Perhaps you're looking for a little nightlife? Head down to the Strip District for dancing, or cross the Birmingham Bridge to enjoy dinner and a show on the South Side. To see what else Pittsburgh has to offer, read on…
Area Attractions From the Andy Warhol Museum to the National Aviary, Heinz Field to the O'Reilly Theater, Pittsburgh offers an array of museums, parks, professional sports teams, theater, and more. With 10 colleges and 86,000 students, Pittsburgh is a true college town. Your Carnegie Mellon student ID will double as your bus pass complete with free bus travel throughout Allegheny County (including the Pittsburgh International Airport) and easy access to all the city has to offer. Carnegie Mellon students also receive free admission to the Carnegie Museum of Art, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Carnegie Science Center & Sportsworks, The Andy Warhol Museum, The Mattress Factory, The National Aviary, The Frick Art Museum, and Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens. Your student ID can also get you discounted tickets to the Pittsburgh Symphony and other cultural events in Pittsburgh. Located in the heart of downtown and within walking distance of most major hotels, restaurants and shopping, the Cultural District is the place for the best of musical theater, ballet, modern dance, classic and popular music, drama, and the visual arts. The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera (CLO), Pittsburgh Opera (the nation’s fifth oldest opera company), Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Pittsburgh Public Theater, and other cultural institutions can all be found in Pittsburgh’s Cultural District. Located in a previously depressed area of downtown, the cultural district is a lesson in urban revitalization.
Neighborhoods Pittsburgh neighborhoods make our city unique. Each has its own flavor and specialty. Carnegie Mellon University is located in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh. Also home to the University of Pittsburgh and the Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History, Oakland is an educational and cultural mecca. Students can take a tour of the twenty-seven nationality classrooms in the University of Pittsburgh's 42-story Late Gothic Revival Cathedral of Learning—the second tallest educational building in the world. Also within walking distance of Carnegie Mellon’s campus, the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens have delighted plant and flower enthusiasts for over 100 years. Housed in what is considered to be one of the largest and finest Victorian glasshouses in the country, the glass display rooms at Phipps feature tropical, desert, regional, flowering and fruit displays. New construction includes a tropical rainforest conservatory and state-of-the-art greenhouses.
Check out the Urban Design/Build Studio!
Shadyside is a hip, upscale area teeming with young professionals and students and is best known for its trendy Walnut Street clothing shops. Since the 1920s, Shadyside has been home to a mix of affluent families, young professionals, artists, students, and apartment dwellers. The residential areas of the neighborhood include well-maintained Victorian mansions along with modern apartments and condominiums. This affluent neightborhood maintains a diverse group of restaurants serving Italian, Thai, Peruvian, Mediterranean and French cuisine.
Squirrel Hill is usually the first shopping choice for Carnegie Mellon students running quick errands. You’ll find a complete set of commercial venues, including apparel stores, restaurants, amenities, grocery stores and two movie theaters.
The South Side is home to an eclectic collection of shops, restaurants and bars. On the eastern end of South Side you’ll find the newly opened SouthSide Works. Set on the site of a former steel mill, there’s more shopping and dining to explore including Urban Outfitters and the Cheesecake Factory. At the western end of the South Side is Station Square, a former train station turned tourist center. More restaurants and clubs are located here including Pittsburgh’s Hard Rock Café. You can ride one of Pittsburgh's famous funiculars (inclined railways) to the top of Mount Washington for a stunning view of the city’s skyline.
The Strip District is where much of the nightlife in the city is located. However, on Saturday mornings the city’s wholesale mecca comes alive with the feel of a European bazaar. Peruse fresh produce, fresh seafood and enough ethnic specialty shops to create a mini United Nations. Sample international flavors at one of the Strip’s ethnic restaurants or learn about local history at the Senator John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center.
On the North Shore, you’ll find PNC Park, Heinz Field, the Andy Warhol Museum and the Mattress Factory, hailed as one of the best facilities for installation art in the United States. You’ll also find the only National Aviary in the country. Stroll through the indoor tropical rain forest and come face to face with more than 600 species of exotic and colorful birds from around the world.
Livability Pittsburgh was recently named “America’s Most Livable City” for the second time (Places Rated Almanac)—the only city to earn this honor twice. Pittsburgh is also the only metro area in the United States to achieve a “5-Star Quality of Life” (Expansion Management) designation three years in a row (2005-2007). Moreso than other cities, Pittsburgh is keeping an eye toward a global and sustainable future. Pittsburgh ranked first in the nation and 26th in the world for “Global Livability” (The Economist). It has been named the tenth “World’s Cleanest City” (Forbes) and has the third lowest crime rate among the top 50 United States metro areas (Sperling’s Best Places). Downtown Pittsburgh’s Cultural District is in the top five in the nation for number of theaters per capita. Pittsburgh is also known for its stunning skyline. The view of downtown from Mt. Washington has been rated the second-best cityscape view in America (USA Today). Despite being one of the safest, cleanest, most attractive, and culturally rich cities in the country, Pittsburgh is a remarkably affordable place to live. It has been ranked ninth for “Lowest Cost of Living” (Forbes).