Page:The New International Encyclopædia 1st ed. v. 16.djvu/94

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PITTI PALACE.

70

PITTSBURG.

PITTI PALACE. A celebrated Florentine palace of the Early Renaissance, now used as a royal residence. It is the largest palace except the Vatican in Italy, and one of the most imposing in the world. A typical Florentine palace of the fifteenth century, part fortress, part residence, it became a model for such structures. The imposing character of the façade is due to the use of rough-hewn stone, giving a massive effect, and to the simple and harmonious proportions of the three stories. This effect is heightened by its situation upon a hill on the left bank of the Arno; behind it are the beautiful Boboli Gardens.

The palace was designed in 1440 by Brunelleschi for Luca Pitti, then chief magistrate of the Republic. Brunelleschi lived to complete the first Story and after Luca's fall the building was not resumed until the palace was purchased by the ducal family and made their residence. In 1568 Ammanati was employed to make a new design to replace Brunelleschi's lost plan. To him is due the celebrated court of the palace—a rather unfortunate attempt to use rustic work with pilasters. The wings of the façade date from 1620, being an addition to Brunelleschi's more simple plan, and the building was not completed till 1839.

Within the palace, and open to the general public, is one of the most important collections of paintings in the world, although numbering but 500 specimens. It is especially rich in Florentine masters of the fifteenth century, and possesses fine examples of Andrea del Sarto, Giorgione, Titian, Tintoretto, besides six of the very best Raphaels. Other European schools are represented by Dürer, Rembrandt, Rubens, Van Dyek, Murillo, and Velazquez.

PITTS′BURG. The metropolis of western Pennsylvania, the second city of the State, and the county seat of Allegheny County. It is situated at the junction of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers where they unite to form the Ohio, in latitude 40° 32′ north and longitude 80° 2′ 18″ west (Map: Pennsylvania, B 3). It is 444 miles west of New York, 354 miles west by north of Philadelphia, and 468 miles east of Chicago. These distances are by rail. The mean average temperature is 53° F., the mean for January being 31° and for July, 75°. The altitude at the river level is 703 feet.

Although eleventh in population, according to the census returns. Pittsburg ranks fifth in commercial and industrial importance among the cities of the United States. This is due to the fact that surrounding the city proper are two other cities—Allegheny and McKeesport—and about fifty boroughs, at least thirty of the latter, as well as both cities, being closely allied with Pittsburg, and, for all business purposes, portions of it. An act of Legislature, approved in April, 1903, provides a method whereby these municipalities may be combined with Pittsburg. The ultimate aim of the bill is to make the city coextensive with the county, which now has a population of over 800,000. The city proper contains 38 wards and has an area of 28.39 square miles. The original city occupied restricted limits between the Allegheny and Monongahela, but absorption of territory lying to the east greatly enlarged its bounds. A number of boroughs on the south side of the Monongahela River were annexed in 1872, and are now connected with the old city by four free bridges. Several other boroughs have been since absorbed. Allegheny, which lies across the Allegheny River from Pittsburg, is connected with it by numerous toll bridges.

Pittsburg is the centre of the iron, steel, and glass industries of the United States. It is also the largest shipping point for bituminous coal, upon which its wealth is founded. The Pittsburg coal district, embracing an area of 14,000 square miles, is the richest coal field in the world. It is from the excessive consumption of coal in its mills and furnaces that Pittsburg derives its sobriquet, “The Smoky City.” As a manufacturing city Pittsburg is best known, and until recent years it possessed all of the unattractive characteristics of such a community. Recently, however, great progress has been made, and fine streets, splendid boulevards, a system of parks, costly residences, and other evidences of municipal and civic pride have come into existence. In the older portion of the city the streets are narrow, ill arranged, and much congested, owing to the restrictive limits placed upon the district by the rivers. The chief retail streets are Fifth Avenue, Sixth, Wood, and Smithfield streets. Lower Liberty and Penn avenues are largely devoted to wholesale houses. Fourth Avenue is the local Wall Street, and here, as on other principal thoroughfares, are many splendid buildings. The residential portions of the city, being of recent development and less confined by natural boundaries, have wide, well-shaded streets, arranged with some regard for system. The most costly residences are in the Bellefield, Shadyside, East Liberty, and Squirrel Hill districts. Among the finer streets are portions of Fifth and Penn avenues, the chief thoroughfares between the downtown and East End districts; North Highland, Ellsworth, and Center avenues.

The city has about 450 miles of streets, of which 256 miles are paved, principally with asphalt or block stone. There are 323 miles of sewers, including 45 miles of brick. All the streets are covered by city water mains, save those on the South Side, which is supplied by a private company. Natural and artificial gas is piped to all parts of the city. For a decade previous to 1895 natural gas was the principal fuel in the mills and factories, but, owing to a decrease in the supply, the larger factories have been forced to resume the use of coal. Natural gas still forms the favorite fuel for domestic purposes. An extensive system of street railways, operated by electricity, connects the city with the surrounding towns. All the lines in Pittsburg and Allegheny and many of those reaching to the boroughs have been consolidated under one management.

Buildings. Among the prominent public buildings are the Allegheny County court house and jail, erected in 1884 at a cost of $4,000,000, granite structures facing on Grant Street and connected by a ‘Bridge of Sighs’ across Ross Street. The post-office building on Smithfield Street is a splendid specimen of architecture. The rooms occupied by the United States Circuit and District courts are finished in mahogany, magnificently carved. The United States Engineer, Collector of Internal Revenue, Surveyor of the Port, and other Federal officials have their offices in this building. Chief among the many