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New Castle, Pennsylvania
City of New Castle
Zambelli Plaza in Downtown recognizes the pyrotechnics industry in New Castle.
Zambelli Plaza in Downtown recognizes the pyrotechnics industry in New Castle.
Fireworks Capital of America,
Hot Dog Capital of the World
Location in Lawrence County, Pennsylvania
Location in Lawrence County, Pennsylvania
New Castle, Pennsylvania is located in Pennsylvania
New Castle, Pennsylvania
New Castle, Pennsylvania
Location in Pennsylvania
New Castle, Pennsylvania is located in the United States
New Castle, Pennsylvania
New Castle, Pennsylvania
Location in the United States
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
County Lawrence
Established 1798
Incorporated 1869 (city)
 • Type Home Rule Charter
 • City 8.54 sq mi (22.13 km2)
 • Land 8.31 sq mi (21.52 km2)
 • Water 0.24 sq mi (0.62 km2)
(middle of downtown)
805 ft (245 m)
Highest elevation
(near Mahoningtown)
1,160 ft (350 m)
Lowest elevation
(Beaver River (at confluence of Mahoning and Shenango Rivers))
780 ft (240 m)
 • City 21,926
 • Density 2,602.38/sq mi (1,004.78/km2)
 • Metro
Time zone UTC−5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP Code
FIPS code 42-53368

New Castle is the county seat of Lawrence County, Pennsylvania, United States. It is 50 miles (80 km) northwest of Pittsburgh, and near the Pennsylvania–Ohio border, just 18 miles (29 km) southeast of Youngstown, Ohio. As of the 2020 U.S. Census, the city had a population of 21,926. It is the commercial center of a fertile agricultural region, officially the New Castle, PA Micropolitan Statistical Area, which had a population of 86,070 in 2020. New Castle also anchors the northwestern part of the Pittsburgh-New Castle-Weirton, PA-WV-OH Combined Statistical Area.


City Rescue Mission - Front
City Rescue Mission located between Croton Avenue and Neshannock Creek.

In 1798, John Carlysle Stewart, a civil engineer, traveled to western Pennsylvania to resurvey the "donation lands," which had been reserved for veterans of the Revolutionary War. He discovered that the original survey had neglected to stake out approximately 50 acres (20 ha) at the confluence of the Shenango River and the Neshannock Creek, at that time a part of Allegheny County. Claiming the land for himself, he laid out what was to become the town of New Castle. Stewart laid out the town of New Castle in April 1798. It comprised approximately that same 50 acres (20 ha), in what was then part of Allegheny County.

In 1825, New Castle became a borough, having a population of about 300. The city later became a part of Mercer County. On April 5, 1849, the Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania signed an act creating Lawrence County named in honor of U.S. Navy Captain James Lawrence. New Castle became a city in 1869 and was headed by its first Mayor, Thomas B. Morgan. At that time, the population had increased to about 6,000.

In 1849, a group of Old Order Amish families from Mifflin County, Pennsylvania, settled just north of New Castle in New Wilmington. Later migrations from Holmes County, Ohio would make this Amish community one of the largest in Pennsylvania. Approximately 2,000 Amish live and work presently in the townships north of New Castle.

Business in New Castle began to flourish in the early 19th century with the construction of the canal system, which made its way through the city. Numerous manufacturing plants became located in New Castle because of the availability of transportation facilities and ready access to raw material markets. The canal system was later supplemented and then replaced by railroads which offered greater speed and capacity for freight, as well as year round service.

In the 1870s, the city became a major hub of the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad. New Castle's population swelled from 11,600 in 1890 to 28,339 in 1900, and to 38,280 in 1910, as immigrants, particularly from Italy, flocked to the city to work in the mills and nearby limestone quarries. Italian laborers of the era were frequent victims of the Black Hand society, which employed blackmail and extortion to rob the workers of their pay. In 1907 the headquarters of the Black Hand for the entire region was discovered in the village of Hillsville a few miles west of New Castle. By this time New Castle was one of the fastest-growing cities in the country, and with the construction of the largest tin plate mill in America, the city became the tin plate capital of the world. The tin plate industry marked a new increase in the city's prosperity.

In 1908 New Castle was linked to Pittsburgh by the Pittsburgh, Harmony, Butler and New Castle Railway, an interurban trolley line. Steel and paper mills, foundries, a bronze bushing factory, and car-construction plants contributed to the economy. In addition, the Shenango China produced commercial china and created the fine Castleton china line for the White House, including dinnerware for Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and Lyndon B. Johnson. Other ceramic factories produced bathroom fixtures and industrial refractory materials.

In the 1920s, New Castle enjoyed its greatest prosperity. The landscape of the city was transformed with the building of many beautiful structures, some of which still stand, such as The Cathedral, St. Mary's Church, and the Castleton Hotel. The city also established its identity. New Castle is known both as the "hot dog capital of the world" and the "fireworks capital of America". Its chili dogs are the product of Greek immigrants who came to New Castle in the early 20th century and established restaurants along with their homes. The notoriety for fireworks is credited to two local fireworks companies of international stature, S.Vitale Pyrotechnic Industries, Inc. (Pyrotecnico) and Zambelli Internationale.

In the 1930s, the city, along with most cities of America, suffered during the Great Depression. During this trying time, the federal government established the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). These programs offered jobs to many displaced workers. Many of the stone walls built by the WPA and the CCC still stand as a reminder of the historic demise of the economy.

In the 1940s, industry temporarily surged during wartime.

In 1950, the population peaked at 48,834, but became part of the rust belt, with population dwindling to 28,334 by 1990. New Castle is the County Seat of Lawrence County which has a population of approximately 100,000.

In 1998, the City of New Castle was a host city for the History Channel Great Race. Over 15,000 spectators gathered downtown for the festivities. The city celebrated its 200th birthday in 1998 with a downtown fireworks festival that attracted over 30,000 people.

The first fireworks manufacturer in New Castle was Leopold Fazzoni, who owned and operated the Fazzoni Brothers Fireworks Company. Mr. Fazzoni came to New Castle from Italy in 1886 and worked in the tin mills to earn enough money to start his own business. Mr. Fazzoni was issued the first certificate for fireworks manufacturing in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Of the people who worked with the Fazzoni family, many founded their own businesses, such as: Paul Rozzi, Jacob Conti, Constantino Vitale, and Joseph Zambelli.

Despite recent economic challenges, the city continues to serve as the headquarters of Pyrotecnico Fireworks, the winner of the 2008 Gold Jupiter, awarded at the world's most prestigious fireworks venue: LaRonde in Montreal, Canada. Started by Constantino Vitale in Italy in 1889, Constantino immigrated to New Castle continuing his business there in the 1920s. Five generations of the Vitale family have transformed the company. In the 1990s the company's name was changed to Pyrotecnico and has grown to be a world leader in the industry. Also located in New Castle is Zambelli Fireworks, which was founded in New Castle. Zambelli Fireworks is one of the world's leading fireworks and pyrotechnics companies. These fireworks companies have been featured in venues such as presidential celebrations and Super Bowls. Pyrotecnico and Zambelli Fireworks have changed the face of the fireworks industry. This has gained the city the nickname of "Fireworks Capital of America". New Castle has recently opened Zambelli Plaza near the Cascade Center in 2007 in honor of the Zambelli family's accomplishments.

The Lawrence County Courthouse, North Hill Historic District, and Scottish Rite Cathedral are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


New Castle is located at 40°58′50″N 80°20′40″W / 40.98056°N 80.34444°W / 40.98056; -80.34444 (40.997325, −80.344556), along the Shenango River at the mouth of Neshannock Creek.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 8.6 square miles (22 km2), of which, 8.5 square miles (22 km2) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) of it (0.47%) is water.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1840 611
1850 1,614 164.2%
1860 1,882 16.6%
1870 6,164 227.5%
1880 8,418 36.6%
1890 11,600 37.8%
1900 28,339 144.3%
1910 36,280 28.0%
1920 44,938 23.9%
1930 48,674 8.3%
1940 47,638 −2.1%
1950 48,834 2.5%
1960 44,790 −8.3%
1970 38,559 −13.9%
1980 33,621 −12.8%
1990 28,334 −15.7%
2000 26,309 −7.1%
2010 23,273 −11.5%
2020 21,926 −5.8%

As of the census of 2010, there were 23,273 people, 9,765 households, and 5,793 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,725.2 people per square mile. There were 11,304 housing units at an average density of 1,323.7 per square mile. 1,539 housing units were vacant. The racial makeup of the city was 83.2% White, 12.2% African American, 0.1% Native American, 0.4% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.4% from other races, and 3.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.6% of the population.

There were 9,765 households, out of which 24.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 34.8% were married couples living together, 18.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.7% were non-families. 28.4% of all households contained individuals under 18, and 15.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.3 and the average family size was 2.98.

In the city the population was spread out, with 25.1% under the age of 20, 5.9% from 20 to 24, 24.0% from 25 to 44, 26.7% from 45 to 64, and 18.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40.8 years old. For every 100 females, there were 85.3 males.

As of 2017 American Community Survey Estimates, the median income for a household in the city was $31,044, and the median income for a family was $42,807. The per capita income for the city was $13,730. About 23.3% of families and 27.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 40.8% of those under age 18 and 15.4% of those age 65 or over.


New Castle has public transportation in the form of the New Castle Transit Authority, which provides bus service to patrons around the city and makes three daily trips to Pittsburgh.

The city is served by numerous highways, with Pennsylvania Route 18 and U.S. Route 422 being the major routes running through the city, while Interstate 376 passes to the west of the city. Two more major routes — Pennsylvania Route 65 and U.S. Route 224 — terminate in the city. Pennsylvania Route 108 and Pennsylvania Route 168 also run through the city. U.S. 422 Business, a former alignment of U.S. 422, runs through the city, ending on each side of the city when the main 422 leaves the New Castle Bypass. I-376 and U.S. 422 are briefly concurrent with each other on the New Castle Bypass, though south of New Castle until Chippewa Township near Beaver Falls, I-376 is tolled by the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission. The city is located 12 miles (19 km) west of Interstate 79, 14 miles (23 km) south of Interstate 80, and 13 miles (21 km) north of Interstate 76, the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

The closest airport is the New Castle Municipal Airport, with no commercial service. Most residents of New Castle use Pittsburgh International Airport which is about 42 miles (68 km) south of downtown. Also, Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport, Akron-Canton Airport, and Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, are all within 100 miles (160 km) of the city center.

Waterfall at Cascade Park. A roller coaster once crossed the waterway just downstream from the falls.


The Pier I Complex Building in downtown New Castle

Downtown New Castle underwent a redevelopment centered around the Cascade Center. The downtown streets and sidewalks were rebuilt in the early 21st century in earlier styles. The revitalization of downtown also saw two major routes into the city, Pennsylvania Route 65 and U.S. Route 224, which had both had their termini extended into downtown in 2007.

InfoCision, a telemarketing services company, restored the former New Castle Dry Goods Co. building, into which it relocated its offices from their former location inside Cascade Galleria. The building had been vacant since the late 1980s when the Troutman's department store closed. The building is now known as the Pier I Complex Building.

The downtown area has also become the home of several bank offices, hosting the regional headquarters of Huntington and First Commonwealth (all descended from banks formerly based in the city but later acquired) as well as branches for PNC Bank and First National Bank. FirstMerit also had its regional headquarters in New Castle prior to their acquisition by Huntington, and that building is expected to be town down in 2020. Mellon Bank also had offices across the street from the current Zambelli Plaza before selling off its New Castle-area branches to First National Bank, which closed the office building since it already had the aforementioned branch in downtown.

As of 2018, New Castle employed 8,677 people. Industries employing the most were healthcare, social assistance, utilities, transportation and warehouses. Healthcare and social assistance employed 1,724 people, followed by retail trade with 1,172 employees and then manufacturing employing 1,012 employees. The highest paying occupations in this area are utility positions, having a median income of $72,917; professional scientific and technical services, with a median income of $45,125; and educational services, with a median income of $40,469. The current poverty rate in this city is 27.4%, with a median household income of $31,557. The 2017 unemployment rate was 8.1%, greater than the U.S. average of 5.2%. Over the past 40 years, New Castle has been transformed from an industrial economy to a more balanced economy based on manufacturing, retail, and service-related businesses. Many buildings and old homes were being renovated by incoming residents.

Tax rates

The current U.S. average sales tax rate was 6.0%, the same as New Castle's sales tax rate at 6.0%. The U.S. average income tax rate was 4.6%, slightly less than New Castle's 5.2%.

Income and salaries

Per year, the average income of a New Castle resident was $18,463 and the U.S. average income per resident was $28,555 per year. The median household income for a New Castle resident was $29,762. This came up short of the U.S. average at $53,482 a year. The current poverty rate in New Castle was 27.4%, much higher than the average for Pennsylvania at 13.3%.

Wages based on ethnicity

White workers made 1.66 times the amount of salary that African American workers made. African Americans make the second highest salary of any race or ethnicity in New Castle.

New Castle and nearby Pittsburgh are located in the Rust Belt.


Public schools

The city is served by the New Castle Area School District, which also serves nearby Taylor Township, including West Pittsburg . The Lawrence County Career and Technical Center is located in the city. As of 2017 the school district consisted of Croton Pre-Kindergarten, Harry W. Lockley Early Learning Center (K-1-2), George Washington Intermediate (3-5), and the New Castle Junior-Senior High School (6-12).

Private schools

New Castle Christian Academy on Albert Street between Sumner Avenue and Clen-Moore Boulevard serves students from Pre-K to 9th grade. St. Vitus Catholic School on South Jefferson Street and Home Street serves students from Pre-K to 8th grade.

Post-secondary education

New Castle is primarily served by five post-secondary education facilities: the New Castle Beauty School for cosmetology students in downtown, the New Castle School of Trades for technical trades in Pulaski Township, the Jameson School of Nursing (owned and operated by UPMC Jameson) within the city, and the Lawrence County branch of Butler County Community College, which opened in 2008 in Union Township and serves as a primary community college to Lawrence County.

Notable people

  • W. Thomas Andrews, Pennsylvania state senator
  • Joseph Baldwin, educator
  • Charlie Bennett, Major League Baseball catcher for four teams
  • Charles Joseph Carter, magician
  • George Chip, middleweight boxing champion of the world from 1913 to 1914
  • William C. Chip, Major general, USMC, son of George Chip
  • Ben Ciccone, NFL player for the Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Ralph J. Cicerone, scientist, president of the National Academy of Sciences
  • Bruce Clark, professional football player with the New Orleans Saints and Kansas City Chiefs and Penn State All-American
  • Jack Cole, cartoonist and creator of the superhero Plastic Man
  • Paul Cuba, American football player
  • Nick DeCarbo, NFL player
  • Matt DeSalvo (born September 11, 1980), Major League Baseball starting pitcher with the Florida Marlins and formerly the New York Yankees and Atlanta Braves
  • Darrell Dess (born July 11, 1935), former football player for the Pittsburgh Steelers, the New York Giants, and the Washington Redskins
  • Thomas Fee (August 6, 1931 – August 7, 2013), member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New Castle
  • Israel Gaither, National Commander of The Salvation Army in the United States, the first black person to serve in that capacity
  • Helen Thornton Geer, prominent librarian and academic
  • Louis E. Graham, member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania
  • Edmond Hamilton (October 21, 1904 – February 1, 1971), prolific science fiction author writing chiefly in the genre described as space opera
  • Gabbie Hanna, YouTuber, singer and author
  • Malik Hooker (born 1996), Indianapolis Colts safety, drafted 15th pick in 2017
  • Donnie Iris, born in New Castle (February 28, 1943), but grew up in nearby Ellwood City; rock singer and guitarist, best known for his work with the Jaggerz, Wild Cherry and Donnie Iris and the Cruisers.
  • Oscar Lawrence Jackson, member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania
  • John Kiriakou (born August 9, 1964), former CIA operative who in 2007 was the first to admit that the agency used waterboarding as a form of interrogation
  • Charles McMeen Kurtz (1855-1909), art critic, writer, museum curator
  • Donald N. Levine (1931–2015), sociologist, educator, social theorist and writer
  • Mark Mangino (August 26, 1956), former head coach of the University of Kansas football team
  • Mike Marshall, musician
  • Scott McCurley, NFL assistant coach with the Green Bay Packers
  • Bill McPeak, football player and National Football League coach
  • Andrew R. Morgan, US astronaut, selected in 2013
  • Lance Nimmo, NFL player with Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New York Jets, Cleveland Browns, New England Patriots
  • Thomas Wharton Phillips, member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania
  • Rick Razzano, professional football player
  • Trent Reznor, lead singer for industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails
  • Christopher Sainato, member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives
  • Ira D. Sankey (August 28, 1840 – August 13, 1908), gospel singer and composer
  • Raymond P. Shafer (March 5, 1917 - December 12, 2006), 39th governor of Pennsylvania from 1967 to 1971
  • Frank Shields (born 1945), former Oregon state senator
  • John W. Slayton, prominent socialist and labor union leader
  • Robert Sterling (November 13, 1917 – May 30, 2006), film and television actor who starred in many films including the 1951 MGM hit Show Boat
  • Chuck Tanner (July 4, 1929 – February 11, 2011), former left fielder and manager in Major League Baseball, and skipper of the Pittsburgh Pirates' 1979 World Series champion team
  • George Zambelli, Sr., Born in New Castle October 19, 1924 (d. December 25, 2003) was an American fireworks entertainer, and long-time president and manager of Zambelli Fireworks
  • Jack Zduriencik, Seattle Mariners general manager, former Pittsburgh Pirates scout

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: New Castle (Pensilvania) para niños

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