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Pittsburgh

History

George Washington established a British presence here in 1753, before the start of the French and Indian War, but the French wound up controlling the area until being ejected by the British, who renamed Fort Duquesne as Fort Pitt, after Prime Minister William Pitt the Elder. Eventually called Pittsburgh, the city became famous for iron and steel production during the 19th century, and the industry was furthered by the Civil War. Scottish-born immigrant Andrew Carnegie grew rich by modernizing steel production here, which dipped during the Great Depression but rose again because of mass-produced automobiles in the 1930s. An urban-renewal program in the 1990s transformed the downtown area, and today, despite lingering economic hardships, the place has had a growing ‘cool’ and artistic cachet, especially for folks seeking affordable urban real estate.