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Concrete houses in the Cement City neighborhood
|Etymology: portmanteau of "William Donner" and "Nora Mellon"|
Location of Donora in Washington County, Pennsylvania.
|• Mayor||James McDonough II|
|• Total||2.05 sq mi (5.30 km2)|
|• Land||1.90 sq mi (4.92 km2)|
|• Water||0.15 sq mi (0.38 km2)|
|• Density||2,426.54/sq mi (936.65/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-4 (EST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-5 (EDT)|
|Area code(s)||724 Exchange: 379|
Donora is a borough in Washington County, Pennsylvania, United States, approximately 20 miles (32 km) south of Pittsburgh on the Monongahela River.
In the U.S. commonwealth of Pennsylvania, a borough is a self-governing municipal entity, best thought of as a town, usually smaller than a city, but with a similar population density in its residential areas. Sometimes thought of as "junior cities", boroughs generally have fewer powers and responsibilities than full-fledged cities.
Washington County is a county located in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. As of the 2010 census, the population was 207,820. Its county seat is Washington. The county was created on March 28, 1781, from part of Westmoreland County. The city and county were both named after American Revolutionary War leader George Washington, who eventually became the first President of the United States.
Pennsylvania, officially the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is a state located in the northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The Appalachian Mountains run through its middle. The Commonwealth is bordered by Delaware to the southeast, Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, Lake Erie and the Canadian province of Ontario to the northwest, New York to the north, and New Jersey to the east.
Donora was incorporated in 1901. It got its name from a combination of William Donner and Nora Mellon, banker Andrew W. Mellon's wife. The borough's nickname is "The Home of Champions", mainly because of the large number of famous athletes who have called Donora their home.
William Henry Donner (1864–1953) was an American businessman and philanthropist, born in Columbus, Indiana. He graduated from Hanover College in 1887.
Agriculture, coal-mining, steel-making, wire-making, and other industries were conducted in Donora early in its history.
In 1910, 8,174 people lived in Donora; in 1920, 14,131; and in 1940, 13,180. According to U.S. census figures, the population was 5,653 in 2000 and 4,781 in 2010.
Donora is a Rust Belt location which has lost most of its industrial capacity.
The Rust Belt is a derogatory term for an informal region of the United States that experienced industrial decline starting around 1980. It is made up mostly of places in the Midwest and Great Lakes, though definitions vary. Rust refers to the deindustrialization, or economic decline, population loss, and urban decay due to the shrinking of its once-powerful industrial sector. The term gained popularity in the U.S. in the 1980s.
It is in the "Mon valley", 5 miles (8.0 km) downriver from Charleroi and 25 miles (40 km) upstream of Braddock.
The Monongahela River — often referred to locally as the Mon — is a 130-mile-long (210 km) river on the Allegheny Plateau in north-central West Virginia and southwestern Pennsylvania. The river flows from the confluence of its west and east forks in north central West Virginia northeasterly into southwestern Pennsylvania, then northerly to Pittsburgh and its confluence with the Allegheny River to form the Ohio River. The river is navigable its entire length via a series of locks and dams.
Charleroi is a borough in Washington County, Pennsylvania, along the Monongahela River, 21 miles south of Pittsburgh. Charleroi was settled in 1890 and incorporated in 1891. The 2010 census recorded a population of 4,120.
Braddock is a borough located in the eastern suburbs of Pittsburgh in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, 10 miles (16 km) upstream from the mouth of the Monongahela River. The population was 2,159 at the 2010 census. The borough is represented by the Pennsylvania State Senate's 45th district, the Pennsylvania House of Representative's 34th district, and Pennsylvania's 18th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives.
In 1794, the Whiskey Insurrectionists held several meetings at Fells Church, approximately 1 mile (1.6 km) east of Donora.
The Whiskey Rebellion was a tax protest in the United States beginning in 1791 and ending in 1794 during the presidency of George Washington, ultimately under the command of American Revolutionary war veteran Major James McFarlane. The so-called "whiskey tax" was the first tax imposed on a domestic product by the newly formed federal government. It became law in 1791, and was intended to generate revenue for the war debt incurred during the Revolutionary War. The tax applied to all distilled spirits, but American whiskey was by far the country's most popular distilled beverage in the 18th century, so the excise became widely known as a "whiskey tax". Farmers of the western frontier were accustomed to distilling their surplus rye, barley, wheat, corn, or fermented grain mixtures into whiskey. These farmers resisted the tax. In these regions, whiskey often served as a medium of exchange. Many of the resisters were war veterans who believed that they were fighting for the principles of the American Revolution, in particular against taxation without local representation, while the federal government maintained that the taxes were the legal expression of Congressional taxation powers.
A trolley line opened in Donora on December 15, 1901, linking First and McKean, and Fifteenth Street and Meldon.It was extended in 1911 to Black Diamond to connect to the Charleroi to Pittsburgh interurban trolley. The line was abandoned on May 5, 1953.
The town was the scene of the infamous Donora Smog of 1948. Between October 26 and October 31, 1948, an air inversion trapped industrial effluent (air pollution) from the American Steel and Wire plant and Donora Zinc Works. During this spike in air pollution, 6,000 people suffered respiratory problems and extreme discomfort."In three days, 20 people died... After the inversion lifted, another 50 died, including Lukasz Musial, the father of baseball great Stan Musial. Hundreds more finished the rest of their lives with damaged lungs and hearts." The incident made national headlines. Today, the town is home to the Donora Smog Museum which tells the impact of the Donora Smog on the air quality standards enacted by the federal government in subsequent years.
Donora's neighborhood known as "Cement City" is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.The homes built in the neighborhood are completely made out of pre-formed and poured concrete. This structural building technique was championed by Thomas Edison, and was used by neighborhoods throughout the United States. The homes were built as employee housing for the Donora Wire and Steel Mill in the early 1900s.
The Cement City Historic District and Webster Donora Bridge are also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Donora is located at(40.175879, −79.861264).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 2.0 square miles (5.2 km2), of which 1.9 square miles (4.9 km2) is land and 0.2 square miles (0.5 km2) (7.32%) is water.
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Donora has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.
|Climate data for Donora, Pennsylvania|
|Average high °C (°F)||4.6|
|Average low °C (°F)||−4.9|
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||66|
Donora is only bordered by land with Carroll Township to the north, south and west. Across the Monongahela River to the east, Donora runs adjacent with Rostraver Township in Westmoreland County.
Donora is a borough and consists of an elected mayor and an elected borough council.
Mayor Donald "Piglet" Pavelko was recently appointed to the position of mayor by the Donora Borough Council after the previous mayor John "Chummy" Lignelli resigned in order to better enjoy his retirement. Lignelli served for nearly three decades. At age 92 when he retired, he was one of the oldest seated mayors in the United States.
Chief of Police is James Brice.
Council President is Dennis Gutierrez.
Donora is part of Ringgold School District, which includes the municipalities of Donora, Monongahela, Carroll Township, Nottingham Township, New Eagle, Finleyville, and Union Township. As of 2011, the district no longer operates any facilities within the borough that house academic classrooms for students.
Donora's youth sports mascot is the Donora Dragon and its colors are orange and black. Since the merge of the elementary and middle schools, there is no longer Donora Dragon football or cheerleading.
As of the censusof 2000, there were 5,653 people, 2,469 households, and 1,434 families residing in the borough. The population density was 2,973.8 people per square mile (1,148.8/km²). There were 2,958 housing units at an average density of 1,556.1 per square mile (601.1/km²). The racial makeup of the borough was 82.10% White, 14.84% African American, 0.14% Native American, 0.27% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.32% from other races, and 2.32% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino people of any race were 2.02% of the population.
There were 2,469 households out of which 23.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.9% were married couples living together, 16.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.9% were non-families. 37.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 21.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.23 and the average family size was 2.95.
In the Washington County borough the population was spread out with 21.7% under the age of 18, 6.4% from 18 to 24, 25.5% from 25 to 44, 21.4% from 45 to 64, and 25.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females, there were 82.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 78.4 males.
The median income for a household in the borough was $27,939, and the median income for a family was $37,176. Males had a median income of $33,725 versus $22,346 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $17,893. About 12.4% of families and 16.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 28.2% of those under age 18 and 14.0% of those age 65 or over.
Though many group Donora in a class of Western Pennsylvania towns and cities known collectively as the "rust belt" because of the demise of the once prolific steel industry, the town continues to be a center for industry and manufacturing. On the site of the former steel mills now stands a large industrial park that is managed by MMIDA (Mid Mon Valley Industrial Development Authority).
Major companies that have facilities in the Donora Industrial Park include A-1 Babbit company, Apex N.A., Area Agency on Aging, Bergen Power Pipe Supports, BMA of Donora, HYTEC Inc., Dyno-Nobel Inc, Eastern Alloy, Eastern Hydraulic & Machine, Elizabeth Milling Corporation, Elliott Support Services, Glosser MFG, Industrial Nonferrous Casting Company, K-Z Tool Company, Airgas Specialty Products, Inc. (formerly LaRoche Industries), McGrew Welding Fabrication, Metalife Resources, MIDA Inc., Mon Valley Child Care, Mon Valley Sewage Authority, Monessen Ambulance Service, Nitrous Oxide Corporation, Power & Industrial Services Corporation, Nichols Miniatures, Pittsburgh Post Gazette Distribution Center, RAS Industries Inc., Regal Industries Inc.and Spartech Polycom.
Donora is home to the world's second largest "Cement City" housing tract, innovated by Thomas Edison. The neighborhood consists of 80 "poured in place" homes.
Blawnox is a borough in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 1,432 at the 2010 census.
Elizabeth is a borough in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, on the east bank of the Monongahela River, where Pennsylvania Route 51 crosses, 15 miles (24 km) upstream (south) of Pittsburgh and close to the county line. The population was 1,493 at the 2010 census. The borough of Elizabeth is entirely contained within the 15037 USPS ZIP code. The local school district is the Elizabeth Forward School District.
Forward Township is a township in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 3,376 at the 2010 census. The township is named after Walter Forward, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury from 1841 to 1843.
Glassport is a borough in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United States, approximately 10 miles (16 km) south of Pittsburgh and the confluence of the Monongahela and Allegheny rivers where they form the Ohio River. Glassport lies along the east side of the Monongahela River in the "Mon valley", where many blue-collar municipalities have suffered severe economic decline in the wake of the loss of steel-making throughout the Greater Pittsburgh area. In 1910, the population of Glassport was 5,540. By 1940, it had risen to 8,748, but has since declined to 4,483 as of the 2010 census.
Homestead is a borough in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, USA, in the Monongahela River valley 7 miles (11 km) southeast of downtown Pittsburgh and directly across the river from the city limit line. The borough is known for the Homestead Strike of 1892, an important event in the history of labor relations in the United States. The population of Homestead was 3,165 at the 2010 census.
Leetsdale is a borough in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, along the Ohio River. It is part of the Pittsburgh Metro Area. The population was 1,218 at the 2010 census.
McKees Rocks, also known as "The Rocks", is a borough in Allegheny County, in western Pennsylvania, along the south bank of the Ohio River. The borough population was 6,104 at the 2010 census.
Munhall is a borough in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, on the west bank of the Monongahela River, 8 miles (13 km) south of the confluence of the Monongahela and the Allegheny rivers where the Ohio River begins. It abuts the borough of Homestead.
North Braddock is a borough in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United States. North Braddock was organized from a part of Braddock Township in 1897. The borough prides itself in being the "Birth Place of Steel" as the home of Andrew Carnegie's Edgar Thomson Steel Works that opened in 1875. North Braddock is a suburb 11 miles (18 km) east of Pittsburgh with a 15-minute travel time to the city. The borough is located in the valley along the Monongahela River, and is made up of three jurisdictional voting wards.
Swissvale is a borough in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, 9 miles (14 km) east of downtown Pittsburgh. Named for a farmstead owned by James Swisshelm, during the industrial age it was the site of the Union Switch and Signal Company of George Westinghouse. The population was 8,983 at the 2010 census. In 1940, 15,919 people lived there.
Tarentum is a borough in Allegheny County in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. It is 22 miles (35 km) northeast of Downtown Pittsburgh, along the Allegheny River. Tarentum was an industrial center where plate glass and bottles were manufactured; bricks, lumber, steel and iron novelties, steel billets and sheets, sack and wrapping paper were also produced. The Pennsylvania Railroad operated a station in Tarentum; its rail line ran through the town. The population was 4,530 at the 2010 census. Two statues of Hebe, the Greek goddess of youth, are displayed by the borough in Tarentum.
Turtle Creek is a borough in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, 12 miles (19 km) southeast of Pittsburgh. The population was 5,349 at the 2010 census. George Westinghouse gave life to the place by constructing a manufacturing plant nearby. Turtle Creek takes its name from a small stream that flows into the Monongahela River. Before white settlers arrived, there was a small village of Native Americans living there from the Turtle Clan of the Iroquois Nation.
West Homestead is a borough in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, 8 miles (13 km) southeast of Pittsburgh, on the Monongahela River. Heavy industries associated with nearby steel mills existed here. Established were axle works, brickworks, and manufactories of machinery, car wheels, etc. The largest concern was Mesta Machinery which was one of the world's leading industrial manufacturers from 1898 until 1983. The population was 1,929 at the 2010 census.
Whitaker is a borough in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United States, and is on the Monongahela River 3 miles (5 km) upriver from Pittsburgh. The population was 1,271 at the 2010 census.
Kittanning is a borough and the county seat of Armstrong County in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. It is situated 44 miles (71 km) northeast of Pittsburgh, along the east bank of the Allegheny River.
Ambridge is a borough in Beaver County, Pennsylvania, United States. Incorporated in 1905 as a company town by the American Bridge Company, Ambridge is located 16 miles (25 km) northwest of Pittsburgh, along the Ohio River. The population was 7,050 at the 2010 census.
Fayette City is a borough in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 596 at the 2010 census, down from 714 at the 2000 census. It is served by the Belle Vernon Area School District. Some buildings in the town date to before 1820.
California is a borough on the Monongahela River in Washington County, Pennsylvania, United States, and part of the Pittsburgh metropolitan area since 1950. The population was 6,795 as of the 2010 census and was estimated at 6,805 in 2011. California is the home of California University of Pennsylvania. Founded in 1849, the borough was named for the territory of California following the Gold Rush. The borough has had two notably young mayors — Democrat Peter Daley, who was 22 at his election, and Republican Casey Durdines, who was 20 at his election.
The 1948 Donora smog was a historic air inversion that resulted in a wall of smog that killed 20 people and caused respiratory problems for 6,000 people of the 14,000 population of Donora, Pennsylvania, a mill town on the Monongahela River 24 miles (39 km) southeast of Pittsburgh. The event is commemorated by the Donora Smog Museum.