43rd ½ Street

From Pittsburgh Streets
43rd ½ Street
Neighborhood Central Lawrenceville
Origin of name Location between 43rd Street and 44th Street
Snowden Alley (until 1871)
Origin of name H. Snowden
Snowden Alley (1881–1896)
Origin of name H. Snowden

This unusually numbered street was originally called Snowden Alley,[1][2] named for H. Snowden, who owned the property on both sides of the alley on the north side of Butler Street in 1852.[3] It was changed to 43rd ½ Street (or rather "Forty-third-and-a-half street") by a city ordinance in 1871.[4] This ordinance seems to have been forgotten, for another ordinance ten years later, establishing the names of all streets in the city, listed Snowden Alley.[5] In 1896, the name was changed again to "Forty-third and One-Half street."[6]

George T. Fleming joked about 43rd ½ Street in a 1915 column in the Pittsburgh Gazette Times. He said the street "surely [ . . . ] has a name and a half" and continued:

The possibilities that are presented on this fractional plan are really appalling. Imagine the terrifying look of an innocent inquirer when informed that you lived at Forty-second and Three-sixteenth street!

It is well that the street framers did not go farther than halves and omitted decimal forms. They were really wise in this.[7]

See also


  1. Ruth Ayers. "Half-pint street: Forty-third and Half unique thoroughfare in Lawrenceville: Though small in size and only half there, miniature avenue teems with excitement, life of other places." Pittsburgh Press, June 25, 1934, p. 21. Newspapers.com 146679419. [view source]ayers-half-pint
  2. Atlas of the Cities Pittsburgh and Allegheny. 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
  3. 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
  4. "An ordinance relative to a part of Snowden alley, in the 17th ward, and changing the name thereof." Pittsburgh city ordinance, 1871. Passed Mar. 27, 1871. In The Municipal Record: Containing the proceedings of the Select and Common Councils of the City of Pittsburgh: 1871, Pittsburgh Daily Gazette, Pittsburgh, 1871 (Internet Archive pghmunicipalrecord1868_20200904_2014). [view source]ordinance-1871-snowden
  5. "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 (Internet Archive pghmunicipalrecord1880). [view source]ordinance-1881-33
  6. "An ordinance changing the name of Snowden alley between Eden alley and the Allegheny Valley Railroad to 'Forty-third and One-Half street.'" Pittsburgh city ordinance, 1896, no. 188. Passed Nov. 30, 1896; approved Dec. 2, 1896. Ordinance Book 11, p. 254. In Municipal Record: Minutes of the proceedings of the [Select and Common Councils] of the City of Pittsburgh, for the year 1896–97, appendix, p. 61, Devine & Co., Pittsburgh, 1896–1897 (Internet Archive pghmunicipalrecord1896). Reprinted in the Pittsburg Press, Dec. 14, 1896, p. 10 (Newspapers.com 141580471). [view source]ordinance-1896-188
  7. George T. Fleming. "Stories of Lawrenceville: Part of the city which was once rich in names recalling the stirring days of early Pittsburgh." Pittsburgh Gazette Times, Jan. 24, 1915, sec. 5, p. 2. Newspapers.com 85751412. [view source]fleming-lawrenceville