38th Street

From Pittsburgh Streets
38th Street
Neighborhood Lower Lawrenceville
Origin of name Sequential numbering up the Allegheny River
Allen Street (until 1868)
Origin of name William Henry Allen or John Allen

The original name of 38th Street was Allen Street.[1][2]:14[3][4][5][6][7] It was probably named for William Henry Allen (1784–1813), a naval officer who was killed while in command of the USS Argus in the War of 1812, or for John Allen (1771–1813), a colonel killed in the Battle of Frenchtown during the same war. The other original streets of Lawrenceville, founded in 1814 during that war with an arsenal as its central feature,[8] were also named for military officers killed in 1813: Pike Street (today 39th Street), Covington Street (today 40th Street), and Burrows Street (today 41st Street). Lawrenceville itself was named for James Lawrence (1781–1813), the naval captain famous for his last words, "Don't give up the ship!"[9][10][11][12][2]:7[8]

In 1868, Pittsburgh's modern sequence of numbered streets was created by renaming all the streets perpendicular to the Allegheny River; Allen Street became 38th Street.[13][14][15]


  1. 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
  2. 2.0 2.1 Joann Cantrell and James Wudarczyk. Lawrenceville. Images of America. Arcadia Publishing, Charleston, S. C., 2015, ISBN 978-1-4671-2330-3. LCCN 2014958031. [view source]cantrell-wudarczyk
  3. 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
  4. Atlas of the Cities of Pittsburgh, Allegheny, and the Adjoining Boroughs. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 8.0 8.1 Tom Powers and James Wudarczyk. The Allegheny Arsenal Handbook: A guidebook to Pittsburgh's former military facility in stories, illustrations, maps, and photographs, pp. 3–6. Lawrenceville Historical Society, Pittsburgh, 2022, ISBN 978-0-9773469-3-6. [view source]powers-wudarczyk
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. Joseph A. Borkowski. Miscellaneous History of Lawrenceville, pp. 20, 25, 122. 1989. [view source]borkowski
  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. 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
  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. "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