On March 18, 1816, Pittsburgh officially became a city when it received notice of incorporation, granting its citizens the right to local elections and self-governance.
Today, the city announced it would be celebrating the 200th anniversary of that milestone with a series of events throughout the year.
"We now today want to begin a year long celebration of Pittsburgh's 200th birthday," said Andrew Masich, president and CEO of the Senator John Heinz History Center and chair of the Bicentennial Commission. "And toward that end, the mayor has assembled a volunteer commission and 300 community organizations have rallied around the Pittsburgh bicentennial."
Photo by Aaron Warnick
Mayor Bill Peduto with members of the Pittsburgh Bicentennial Commission
When Pittsburgh turned 100, then mayor Joseph Armstrong commissioned the building of the City-County Building where today's press conference was held.
"That was the legacy of our first 100 years: this beautiful building," said Mayor Bill Peduto. "Well we don't have money, so we have to find more creative ways to celebrate."
The bicentennial celebration this year will begin with a kickoff celebration on March 18, the day of Pittsburgh's incorporation. Commemoration events will continue in July with an event at the John Heinz History Center, a Bicentennial Parade, a festival at Point State Park, and recognition of descendants of Pittsburgh's former mayors. There will also be smaller events in different city neighborhoods.
"We're going to give every city resident and those that come to visit the city a passport to see it. We often say we don't cross rivers, we don't go to other neighborhoods," said Peduto. "It will be a year of celebrating the greatness that is this city and that's its people."