Pittsburgh July 19, 2018
Most People Don’t Know The History Behind These 5 Famous Pittsburgh Streets
Do you ever stroll through downtown and just wonder about the history of the streets on which you’re walking? After all, we often pass historical plaques commemorating the history of buildings and landmarks. But, what about the streets? How, for example, did Grant Street get its name? What’s the story behind the oldest street in Pittsburgh? Here’s a bit of history about these five famous streets in Pittsburgh.
1. Roslyn Place – Shadyside
Roslyn Place in Shadyside is pretty famous. In fact, it's one of only
two exposed wooden streets that remain in the U.S. (The other is in Alaska.) Built in 1914, the historic street took six months to build and consisted of 26,000 hand-cut wooden bricks. Today, the road spans 250-feet and sits in front of 18 homes. It's also become a tourist destination for those who want to see, firsthand, one of the world's last wooden streets.
2. Canton Avenue – Beechview
Canton Avenue has gained fame for one simple reason: It's the
steepest street in the world. In fact, it boasts a 37 degree grade. And, it's made of cobblestone, making it a hefty challenge for anyone who dares walk or bike up it. If you decide to walk up it, you'll use stairs rather than a sidewalk.
3. Grandview Avenue – Mount Washington
Grandview Avenue earned its moniker for its, well, grand view. (If you've been atop Mount Washington, you can attest to the truthfulness of that one, right?) Before it became known as Mount Washington, the area overlooking Pittsburgh was known as Coal Hill. In the mid to late 1800s, Coal Hill housed iron workers who would travel down the side of the mountain, via one of the inclines, to get to and from work each day. At that time, Grandview Avenue was known as High Street.
4. Carson Street – South Side
Carson Street sits, of course, in the vibrant neighborhood of the South Side. Interestingly, the South Side was originally known as Birmingham. The neighborhood itself was predominately planned by Dr. Nathaniel Bedford, the first physician in Pittsburgh, in 1872. And, Dr. Bedford named many of the neighborhood streets after his friends, like Carson Street.
5. Grant Street – Downtown Pittsburgh
Grant Street is certainly one of the most famous streets in downtown Pittsburgh. Named after James Grant, a British Major, the street (and downtown Pittsburgh) once had a huge 15-foot hill in the middle of it. During the French and Indian War, Grant unsuccessfully fought to defend that hill. Eventually, in 1914, the hill was excavated, removing Grant's Hill for good.
What are some other famous streets in Pittsburgh that lay claim to a fascinating history? Share in the comments below. Then,
click here to read about seven historical restaurants in Pittsburgh.