Pittsburgh Streets

Sixth Street

Neighborhood: Central Business District

Sixth Street was originally named St. Clair Street, named for Major General Arthur St. Clair (1737–1818).[1, 3, 5, 10] This was one of the original streets of Pittsburgh, dating back to George Woods’ plan of 1784, between Pitt Street (today’s Stanwix Street to the west and Irwin Street (today’s Seventh Street) to the east.[11]

In 1868, Pittsburgh’s modern sequence of numbered streets was created by renaming all the streets perpendicular to the Allegheny River; St. Clair Street became Sixth Street.[1, 4, 9]

After the annexation of the city of Allegheny in 1907, it was renamed again to Federal Street by a 1910 ordinance to match the name of the corresponding street on the North Side.[2, 8] It was changed back to Sixth Street in 1915.[7]

Later the name St. Clair was reused for a street in East Liberty and Highland Park; see St. Clair Street.[5]

In a 2009 newspaper column about city council members who have streets named after them, Brian O’Neill jokes: “It would be a more memorable column if there were someone named, say, Jeremiah Horatio Sixth, who brought forth Pittsburgh’s first oversized, deep-fried fish sandwich and for whom a grateful city named Sixth Street, Sixth Avenue and the Sixth Street Bridge.”[6]


[1]Cridlebaugh, Bruce S. “Field notes: Changing Pittsburgh street names—from downtown to Lawrenceville.” Pghbridges.com: Bridges & tunnels of Allegheny County & Pittsburgh, PA, Feb. 9, 2000. http://pghbridges.com/articles/fieldnote_pghstnames.htm.

[2]Fleming, George T., ed. Pittsburgh: How to see it: A complete, reliable guide book with illustrations, the latest map and complete index. William G. Johnston Co., Pittsburgh, 1916, p. 47. Google Books 02NAAAAAYAAJ; Internet Archive bub_gb_02NAAAAAYAAJ.

[3]History of Pittsburgh and Environs, vol. 2. American Historical Society, New York and Chicago, 1922, p. 46. Google Books 3staAAAAYAAJ, TPUMAAAAYAAJ; HathiTrust 011262563.

[4]Killikelly, Sarah H. The History of Pittsburgh: Its rise and progress. B. C. & Gordon Montgomery Co., Pittsburgh, 1906, p. 534. DonsList.net HistPgh1909M; Google Books kXmloex-vr8C, poRU0YjqrzsC; HathiTrust 100122020; Historic Pittsburgh 00adc8925m; Internet Archive historyofpittsbu00kill, historypittsbur00killgoog.

[5]Miller, Annie Clark. Early Land Marks and Names of Old Pittsburgh: An address delivered before the Pittsburgh Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution at Carnegie Institute, Nov. 30, 1923. Pittsburgh Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution, 1924, pp. 23, 27. Historic Pittsburgh 00awn8211m; Internet Archive earlylandmarksna00mill.

[6]O’Neill, Brian. “Around town: In the good ol’ days, Pittsburgh Council had 108 guys. (OK, not so good.)” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Aug. 4, 2009, p. A-2. Newspapers.com 96487666; https://www.post-gazette.com/opinion/brian-oneill/2009/08/04/Around-Town-In-the-good-ol-days-Pittsburgh-Council-had-108-guys/stories/200908040244.

[7]“An ordinance changing the names of certain avenues, streets and ways in the City of Pittsburgh.” Pittsburgh city ordinance, 1915, no. 117. Passed Apr. 28, 1915; approved Apr. 29, 1915. Ordinance Book 26, p. 615. Reprinted in the Pittsburgh Post, May 8, 1915, p. 15 (Newspapers.com 88028802), and May 10, p. 11 (Newspapers.com 88030672).

[8]“An ordinance changing the names of certain avenues, streets, lanes and alleys in the City of Pittsburgh.” Pittsburgh city ordinance, 1910, no. 715. Passed Mar. 31, 1910; approved Apr. 5, 1910. Ordinance Book 21, p. 342. Google Books doQzAQAAMAAJ. Reprinted in the Pittsburgh Post, Apr. 19, 1910, pp. 10–11 (Newspapers.com 86611990, 86612022), Apr. 20, pp. 10–11 (Newspapers.com 86612278, 86612297), and Apr. 21, pp. 10–11 (Newspapers.com 86612601, 86612625).

[9]“An ordinance changing the names of streets.” Pittsburgh city ordinance, 1868. Passed Aug. 31, 1868. Reprinted in the Pittsburgh Gazette, Sept. 2, 1868, p. 5 (Newspapers.com 86347563), Sept. 3, p. 3 (Newspapers.com 86347623), and Sept. 4, p. 3 (Newspapers.com 86347714).

[10]Regan, Bob. The Names of Pittsburgh: How the city, neighborhoods, streets, parks and more got their names. The Local History Company, Pittsburgh, 2009, p. 62. ISBN 978-0-9770429-7-5.

[11]Woods, George. A draught of the town plat of Pittsburgh, surveyed for John Penn, Jr., and John Penn, by George Woods, May 31st 1784. 1784. Reproduced as “Original plan of Pittsburgh” in plate 19 of Atlas of the cities of Pittsburgh, Allegheny, and the adjoining boroughs, G. M. Hopkins & Co., Philadelphia, 1872 (Historic Pittsburgh 1872p019).