37th Street

From Pittsburgh Streets
37th Street
Neighborhood Lower Lawrenceville
Origin of name Sequential numbering up the Allegheny River
Dravo Street (until 1868)
Origin of name Peter Dravo
Prospect Street (until 1868 or 1881)
John Street (until 1881)

The original names of 37th Street were Dravo Street north of Butler Street,[1][2] Prospect Street between Butler Street and Penn Avenue,[1][2][3][4] and John Street south of Penn.[5]:54[6]

Dravo Street was named for Peter Dravo, whose heirs laid out a surrounding plan of lots in 1851.[7] The Dravo mansion was on this street;[7] the 1852 map of R. E. McGowin labels it "Mrs. Dravo," i.e., Peter's widow.[1]

Bruce S. Cridlebaugh says that the original name of 37th Street was Lawrence Alley, named for "John Lawrence, naval commander."[8] Unfortunately there seem to be two errors here: the famous naval commander was James Lawrence (1781–1813), after whom Lawrenceville is named;[9][10][11][12] and Lawrence Alley was modern Ater Way, between 37th Street and 38th Street.[5]:52

In 1868, Pittsburgh's modern sequence of numbered streets was created by renaming all the streets perpendicular to the Allegheny River; Dravo Street became 37th Street, though Prospect Street was not mentioned by the renaming ordinance.[13][14] Prospect Street was labeled 37th Street in the 1872 Hopkins atlas,[5]:52 but it reverted to Prospect Street in the 1882 edition[15] and was labeled "(Prospect) 37th St." in the 1890 edition.[16] An 1881 ordinance establishing the names of all streets in Pittsburgh listed "Thirty-seventh street, from Neville street to Allegheny Valley Railroad, formerly part John street, Fifteenth and Sixteenth wards,"[6] which clearly renamed John Street and included the old Prospect Street too.

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 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
  2. 2.0 2.1 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
  3. 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
  4. Map of Pittsburgh and Environs: Published for the monthly magazine entitled The Iron City, a compendium of facts concerning Pittsburgh and vicinity. 1867. In The Iron City: A compendium of facts concerning Pittsburgh and vicinity, for strangers and the public generally, George W. Pittock and Kinsey McFall, Pittsburgh, 1867, following p. 132 (Internet Archive ironcitycompendi01pitt). [view source]iron-city-map
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Atlas of the Cities of Pittsburgh, Allegheny, and the Adjoining Boroughs. 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 "An ordinance establishing the names of avenues, streets, lanes and alleys of the City of Pittsburgh." Pittsburgh city ordinance, 1881, no. 33. Passed Feb. 28, 1881; approved Mar. 4, 1881. Ordinance Book 5, p. 212. In Municipal Record: Minutes of the proceedings of the Select and Common Councils of the City of Pittsburgh, for the year 1880, pp. 213–234, Herald Printing Co., Pittsburgh, 1881 (Internet Archive pghmunicipalrecord1880). [view source]ordinance-1881-33
  7. 7.0 7.1 "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
  8. 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
  9. Joann Cantrell and James Wudarczyk. Lawrenceville, p. 7. Images of America. Arcadia Publishing, Charleston, S. C., 2015, ISBN 978-1-4671-2330-3. LCCN 2014958031. [view source]cantrell-wudarczyk
  10. Edward M. McKeever. "Earlier Lawrenceville." Western Pennsylvania Historical Magazine, vol. 5, no. 4, Oct. 1922, pp. 277–286. https://journals.psu.edu/wph/article/view/1301. [view source]mckeever
  11. Annie Clark Miller. 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, p. 43. Pittsburgh Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution, 1924. Historic Pittsburgh 00awn8211m; Internet Archive earlylandmarksna00mill. [view source]miller
  12. Bob Regan. The Names of Pittsburgh: How the city, neighborhoods, streets, parks and more got their names, p. 43. The Local History Company, Pittsburgh, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9770429-7-5. [view source]regan
  13. "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
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. Atlas of the City of Pittsburgh, vol. 3, plate 3. 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