53rd Street

From Pittsburgh Streets
See also 52nd Street, which was originally opened as 53rd Street.
53rd Street
Neighborhood Upper Lawrenceville
Origin of name Sequential numbering up the Allegheny River

The numbering of Pittsburgh's streets up the Allegheny River was done in 1868; these numbers extended as far as 50th Street.[1] Today's 51st Street also existed at the time, as Cochran Street,[2] but was apparently not given a number in 1868.

As additional streets were laid out in Upper Lawrenceville, there seems to have been some uncertainty about how they should be fit into the numbering scheme.

A city ordinance in 1871 opened "53d street, from Butler street to the Allegheny River,"[3] but this was the street that became modern 52nd Street (see 52nd Street for details).

In 1873 another ordinance was passed to establish the location of 53rd Street: "Starting at a point of intersection of north side of Butler street and line of McCandless avenue, deflecting to right 10 deg. 8 min., running thence to Allegheny river, a width of sixty (60) feet."[4] This description matches the part of McCandless Avenue north of Butler. Afterward it was apparently decided that this should just be part of McCandless Avenue, not a separately numbered street.

Eventually, by 1881, the ordinal 53rd had been applied to the street "from Butler street to Celandine [sic] street" that bears that number today.[5]


  1. "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
  2. 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
  3. "An ordinance authorizing the opening of 53d street, from Butler street to the Allegheny River." Pittsburgh city ordinance, 1871. Passed Feb. 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). Reprinted in the Pittsburgh Gazette, Mar. 4, 1871, p. 1 (Newspapers.com 85590545), Mar. 6, [p. 4] (Newspapers.com 85590595), and Mar. 7, [p. 4] (Newspapers.com 85590628). [view source]ordinance-1871-53rd
  4. "An ordinance locating Fifty-third street." Pittsburgh city ordinance, 1873, no. 308. Passed Dec. 15, 1873. Ordinance Book 4, p. 47. In The Municipal Record: Containing the proceedings of the Select and Common Councils of the City of Pittsburgh, together with the ordinances, &c.: With an index, vol. V, p. 133, Pittsburgh Daily Gazette, Pittsburgh, 1873 (Internet Archive pghmunicipalrecord1872). [view source]ordinance-1873-308
  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