50th Street

From Pittsburgh Streets
See also 49th Street, which was named 50th Street for less than a month in 1868.
50th Street
Neighborhood Central Lawrenceville
Origin of name Sequential numbering up the Allegheny River
Pawpaw Alley (1850s)
Origin of name Pawpaw tree, Asimina triloba
Jackson Street (until 1868)
Origin of name J. W. Jackson
51st Street (1868)
Origin of name Sequential numbering up the Allegheny River, including Fisk Street

This street appears as Pawpaw Alley in the 1852 map of R. E. McGowin.[1] The name likely refers to the pawpaw, Asimina triloba, a fruit-bearing tree native to southwestern Pennsylvania.[2][3]

The alley was later widened to a full street named Jackson Street, after J. W. Jackson, who owned the property on the northeast side of the street.[4][5][6]

In 1868, Pittsburgh's modern sequence of numbered streets was created by renaming all the streets perpendicular to the Allegheny River; Jackson Street became 50th Street.[6] The original renaming ordinance included Fisk Street in the list of streets to be renamed, which made Jackson Street 51st,[7][8] but this was apparently a mistake. Less than a month later, a supplementary ordinance repealed all of the name changes east of 40th Street and redid the numbering with Fisk Street omitted, which put Jackson Street at 50th.[9]


  1. 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. Charles Fergus. Amelia Hansen, illus. Trees of Pennsylvania and the Northeast, 1st ed., pp. 149–152. Stackpole Books, Mechanicsburg, Penna., 2002, ISBN 978-0-8117-2092-2. LCCN 2002021747. [view source]fergus
  3. Stan Tekiela. Trees of Pennsylvania Field Guide, 2nd ed., pp. 166–167. Adventure Publications, Cambridge, Minn., 2021, ISBN 978-1-64755-204-6. [view source]tekiela
  4. Atlas of the Cities of Pittsburgh, Allegheny, and the Adjoining Boroughs, p. 61. 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
  5. 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
  6. 6.0 6.1 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
  7. "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
  8. 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
  9. "An ordinance supplementary to an ordinance changing the names of streets." Pittsburgh city ordinance, 1868. Passed Sept. 28, 1868. Reprinted in the Pittsburgh Gazette, Oct. 1, 1868, p. 7 (Newspapers.com 86349783), and Oct. 2, p. 7 (Newspapers.com 86349850). [view source]ordinance-1868-name-changes-supplement