36th Street

From Pittsburgh Streets
See also South 36th Street, which was named 36th Street until 1881.
36th Street
Neighborhood Lower Lawrenceville
Origin of name Sequential numbering up the Allegheny River
Wainwrights Lane (until 1851)
Origin of name Joseph Wainwright
Wainwright Street (1851–1868)
Origin of name Joseph Wainwright

The original name of 36th Street was Wainwrights Lane,[1] named for Joseph Wainwright, who operated a brewery on the Allegheny River that later became part of the Pittsburgh Brewing Company.[2][3][4] (Bruce S. Cridlebaugh names Zachariah Wainwright,[3] Joseph's son and a later proprietor,[4] whose name appears in the 1872 Hopkins atlas.)[5] In 1851, the heirs of Peter Dravo (eponym of Dravo Street, today 37th Street) laid out a plan of lots and widened Wainwrights Lane, renaming it Wainwright Street.[1][2][6][5][7]

Wainwright Island lay along the left bank of the Allegheny River at this point.[8][9][10][11][2][6][12] This island is thought to be where George Washington landed during his 1753 crossing.[3] The narrow channel separating the island from Lawrenceville seems to have been filled in sometime between 1872 and 1876.[5][7] The Hopkins atlases from 1872 and 1882 call it McCullough's Island,[5][13] named for Michael McCullough, Jr. (see Bessemer Street), but the name Wainwright Island appears again in the 1890 Hopkins atlas.[14]

In 1868, Pittsburgh's modern sequence of numbered streets was created by renaming all the streets perpendicular to the Allegheny River; Wainwright Street became 36th Street.[3][15][16]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Plan of lots in the borough of Lawrenceville: Being the subdivision of out lots No's. 18 & 19 in Wm. B. Foster's plan of Lawrenceville: Laid off at the request of Robert Robb for the heirs of Peter Dravo dec'd." Laid out Feb. 22, 1851; recorded Mar. 14, 1851, Plan Book 1, pp. 194–195. Allegheny County Recorder of Deeds 3778285. [view source]dravo-plan
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 R. E. McGowin. Map of the Cities of Pittsburgh and Allegheny and of the Boroughs of South-Pittsburgh, Birmingham, East-Birmingham, Lawrenceville, Duquesne & Manchester etc. Schuchman & Haunlein, Pittsburgh, 1852. https://collections.lib.uwm.edu/digital/collection/agdm/id/32269/. [view source]mcgowin-1852
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Bruce S. Cridlebaugh. "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. [view source]cridlebaugh
  4. 4.0 4.1 Robert A. Musson. Brewing in Greater Pittsburgh, pp. 10, 13–14, 26. Images of America. Arcadia Publishing, Charleston, S. C., 2012, ISBN 978-0-7385-9776-8. LCCN 2012941183. [view source]musson
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Atlas of the Cities of Pittsburgh, Allegheny, and the Adjoining Boroughs, p. 52. G. M. Hopkins & Co., Philadelphia, 1872. http://historicpittsburgh.org/maps-hopkins/1872-atlas-pittsburgh-allegheny; 1872 layer at Pittsburgh Historic Maps (https://esriurl.com/pittsburgh). [view source]hopkins-1872
  6. 6.0 6.1 R. E. McGowin. Pittsburgh: Engraved from R. E. McGowin's map for Geo. H. Thurston. Wm. Schuchman & Bro., Pittsburgh, 1856. Historic Pittsburgh DARMAP0091. [view source]mcgowin-1856
  7. 7.0 7.1 Atlas of the Cities of Pittsburgh, Allegheny, and the Adjoining Boroughs, p. 72. G. M. Hopkins & Co., Philadelphia, 1876. http://historicpittsburgh.org/maps-hopkins/1876-atlas-pittsburgh-allegheny; included in the 1872 layer at Pittsburgh Historic Maps (https://esriurl.com/pittsburgh). [view source]hopkins-1876
  8. Jean Barbeau and Lewis Keyon. Map of Pittsburgh and Its Environs. N. B. Molineux, Pittsburgh, 1830. Historic Pittsburgh DARMAP0576; https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/36c3ab00-57aa-0136-8f4f-08990f217bc9. [view source]barbeau
  9. S. N. & F. W. Beers. Map of Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. Smith, Gallup & Hewitt, Philadelphia, 1862. LCCN 2012592151; 1862 layer at Pittsburgh Historic Maps (https://esriurl.com/pittsburgh). [view source]beers
  10. Wm. Darby. Plan of Pittsburg and Adjacent Country. R. Patterson and W. Darby, Philadelphia, 1815. Historic Pittsburgh DARMAP0197, DARMAP0198. Reproduced in John W. Reps, The Making of Urban America: A history of city planning in the United States, p. 207, Princeton University Press, Princeton, N. J., 1965 (LCCN 63023414); and in Bruce J. Buvinger, The Origin, Development and Persistence of Street Patterns in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, p. 24. Also reproduced as "Plan von Pittsburg und Umgebungen" in Bernhard, Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach (Heinrich Luden, ed.), Reise Sr. Hoheit des Herzogs Bernhard zu Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach durch Nord-Amerika in den Jahren 1825 und 1826, vol. II, following p. 200, Wilhelm Hoffmann, Weimar, 1828 (Internet Archive reisesrhoheitdes00bern, reisesrhoheitdes00inbern). [view source]darby
  11. Lewis Keyon. Map of Pittsburgh and Its Environs. Johnston & Stockton, Pittsburgh, 1835. Historic Pittsburgh DARMAP0577; 1835 layer at Pittsburgh Historic Maps (https://esriurl.com/pittsburgh). [view source]keyon
  12. Sidney & Neff and S. McRea. Map of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, with the Names of Property-Holders. Philadelphia, 1851. LCCN 2012592150. [view source]sidney-neff
  13. Atlas of the Cities Pittsburgh and Allegheny, plate 8. G. M. Hopkins & Co., Philadelphia, 1882. http://historicpittsburgh.org/maps-hopkins/1882-atlas-pittsburgh-allegheny; 1882 layer at Pittsburgh Historic Maps (https://esriurl.com/pittsburgh). [view source]hopkins-1882
  14. Atlas of the City of Pittsburgh, vol. 3, plates 1–2. G. M. Hopkins & Co., Philadelphia, 1890. http://historicpittsburgh.org/maps-hopkins/1890-volume-3-atlas-pittsburgh; included in the 1890 layer at Pittsburgh Historic Maps (https://esriurl.com/pittsburgh). [view source]hopkins-1890-vol-3
  15. Sarah H. Killikelly. The History of Pittsburgh: Its rise and progress, p. 534. B. C. & Gordon Montgomery Co., Pittsburgh, 1906. DonsList.net HistPgh1909M; Google Books kXmloex-vr8C, poRU0YjqrzsC; HathiTrust 100122020; Historic Pittsburgh 00adc8925m; Internet Archive historyofpittsbu00kill, historypittsbur00killgoog. [view source]killikelly
  16. "An ordinance changing the names of streets." Pittsburgh city ordinance, 1868. Passed Aug. 31, 1868. In The Municipal Record: Containing the proceedings of the Select and Common Councils of the City of Pittsburgh: 1868, Pittsburgh Daily Commercial, Pittsburgh (Internet Archive pghmunicipalrecord1868_20200904_2014). 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). [view source]ordinance-1868-name-changes