Abstract Avenue

From Pittsburgh Streets
Abstract Avenue
Neighborhood Brookline
Origin of name Conceptual theme, along with Dream Street and Harmony Avenue
Bailey Avenue (1893–1909)
Origin of name Developer of the plan of lots

Abstract Avenue was laid out in 1893 as part of a small development in the borough of West Liberty called the Bailey and Moon Plan No. 3; it was originally named Bailey Avenue after one of the developers.[1][2] In 1908, West Liberty borough (today's neighborhoods of Brookline and Beechwood) was annexed into the city of Pittsburgh.[3]:10,37[4] The next year, a Pittsburgh city ordinance officially established the name of the street as Abstract Avenue to avoid duplication with Bailey Avenue on Mount Washington.[5] The new name fit a kind of theme: the other streets in the subdivision were renamed Dream Street and Harmony Avenue.

Bob Regan includes "Abstract" in his "Streets of Pittsburgh" crossword puzzle, clued as "Existing only in the mind; separated from embodiment; or a summary of the main points of a theory."[3]:185 Unfortunately this is just a dictionary definition of the word abstract and gives no information about the origin of the street name.


  1. Chris Potter. "Photographer Eugene Smith's iconic portrait of 1950s Pittsburgh brought 'Dream Street' to life. Where is Dream Street located?" Pittsburgh City Paper, Oct. 8, 2009. https://www.pghcitypaper.com/pittsburgh/Content?oid=1342644. [view source]dream
  2. Real Estate Plat-Book of the Southern Vicinity of Pittsburgh, Penna. G. M. Hopkins & Co., Philadelphia, 1896. http://historicpittsburgh.org/maps-hopkins/1896%E2%80%93plat-book-southern-pittsburgh; included in the 1890 layer at Pittsburgh Historic Maps (https://esriurl.com/pittsburgh). [view source]hopkins-1896
  3. 3.0 3.1 Bob Regan. The Names of Pittsburgh: How the city, neighborhoods, streets, parks and more got their names. The Local History Company, Pittsburgh, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9770429-7-5. [view source]regan
  4. "West Liberty becomes Forty-fourth ward: Tunnel land enjoys prosperous era and comes into city without debt: John Price pioneered: Leads movement to bring borough close to city and now he seeks select council." Pittsburgh Post, Jan. 5, 1908, p. 5. Newspapers.com 86554144. [view source]west-liberty
  5. "An ordinance changing and establishing the names of certain avenues, streets, lanes and alleys in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth wards of the City of Pittsburgh (formerly known as the Boroughs of West Liberty and Beechview)." Pittsburgh city ordinance, 1909, no. 375. Passed Oct. 14, 1909; approved Oct. 20, 1909. Ordinance Book 20, p. 614. In Municipal Record: Minutes of the proceedings of the [Select and Common Councils] of the City of Pittsburgh for the years 1909–1910, appendix, pp. 146–150, Devine & Co., Pittsburgh, 1910 (Google Books doQzAQAAMAAJ; HathiTrust uiug.30112108223832; Internet Archive Pghmunicipalrecord1909). Reprinted in the Pittsburgh Post, Nov. 11, 1909, p. 8 (Newspapers.com 86421216), and Nov. 12, p. 11 (Newspapers.com 86421491). [view source]ordinance-1909-375