Pittsburgh Streets

Fort Duquesne Boulevard

Neighborhood: Central Business District

George Woods’ 1784 plan of Pittsburgh included Water Street (today’s Fort Pitt Boulevard) along the bank of the Monongahela River, but did not provide for a similar street along the bank of the Allegheny.[10] By the 1830s, many citizens felt the need for such a street. An act for the opening of a street along the Allegheny, to be called Duquesne Way in remembrance of Fort Duquesne, was passed by the Pennsylvania legislature in 1836.[3] This act left the precise location of the street up to the city, and this was the subject of public debate through the rest of the 1830s. The proposed route required fill to extend the Allegheny’s banks, thereby narrowing the river. This was opposed by some who predicted devastating floods, with the great flood of 1832 still fresh in the mind of the public, and led to heated debate in the newspapers.[4, 5, 6, 7, 9] Nevertheless, Duquesne Way was laid out by the city in 1839 on fill that was entirely outside the limits of Woods’ original plan.[2]

Duquesne Way was renamed Fort Duquesne Boulevard in 1952, after the City Planning Commission recommended that main thoroughfares should be given names of historical significance. Water Street was renamed Fort Pitt Boulevard at the same time.[1, 8]


[1]“Council runs boulevards into park: Changes names.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Sept. 16, 1952, p. 8. Newspapers.com 90005799.

[2]Dahlinger, Charles W. “Fort Pitt.” Western Pennsylvania Historical Magazine, vol. 5, no. 2, Apr. 1922, pp. 87–122. https://journals.psu.edu/wph/article/view/1281.

[3]“Extract of a letter to the editors: Harrisburgh, March 24, 1836.” Daily Pittsburgh Gazette, Mar. 28, 1836, [p. 2]. Newspapers.com 96048133.

[4]A Member of the Select Council. “Du Quesne way: For the Gazette.” Daily Pittsburgh Gazette, Dec. 27, 1837, p. 2. Newspapers.com 96045714.

[5]M’Gowin, William. “For the Gazette.” Daily Pittsburgh Gazette, Dec. 20, 1837, p. 2. Newspapers.com 96045553.

[6]M’Gowin, William. “For the Gazette.” Daily Pittsburgh Gazette, Dec. 26, 1837, p. 2. Newspapers.com 96045672.

[7]An Observer. “Duquesne Way.” Pittsburgh Advocate, Feb. 22, 1839. Reprinted in the Daily Pittsburgh Gazette, Feb. 23, 1839, p. 2 (Newspapers.com 96056595).

[8]“An ordinance changing the names of Duquesne Way, between Barbeau Street and Eleventh Street, to Fort Duquesne Boulevard, and Water Street, between the west line of Short Street and Grant Street, to Fort Pitt Boulevard.” Pittsburgh city ordinance, 1952, no. 337. Passed Sept. 15, 1952; approved Sept. 22, 1952. Ordinance Book 58, p. 246. Reported in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Sept. 24, 1952, p. 27 (Newspapers.com 90006522), and Sept. 25, p. 22 (Newspapers.com 89447679); and in the Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph, Sept. 27, 1952, p. 16 (Newspapers.com 524017067).

[9]Pitt, William [pseudonym]. “For the Gazette.” Daily Pittsburgh Gazette, Dec. 22, 1837, p. 2. Newspapers.com 96045606.

[10]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).