Cessna Way

From Pittsburgh Streets
Cessna Way
Neighborhood Central Lawrenceville
Origin of name John Cessna
Chislett Alley (until 1881)
Origin of name John Chislett
Cottage Alley (1881–1910)
Cessna Alley (1910–1914)
Origin of name Maybe John Cessna

Cessna Way was originally named Chislett Alley, for John Chislett, who laid out the surrounding plan of lots.[1] This name conflicted with Chislett Street in Morningside, so it was renamed in 1881 to Cottage Alley.[2][3]

In 1910, after the annexation of the North Side into the city of Pittsburgh, over 900 streets were renamed to fix duplication. Cottage Alley now conflicted with Cottage Place in Brighton Heights, so it was changed to Cessna Alley.[4]

Today the name Cessna is most famously associated with the Cessna Aircraft Company, but that cannot possibly be the source of the name of this alley, as Clyde Cessna did not build his first airplane until 1911, and the Cessna Aircraft Company was founded 16 years after that.[5][6]

The name of the alley may refer to John Cessna (1821–1893), a member of the United States House of Representatives from Pennsylvania.[7]

Cessna Alley became Cessna Way in 1914 when a city ordinance changed all alleys to ways.[8]


  1. 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
  2. "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
  3. Atlas of the City of Pittsburgh, vol. 3. G. M. Hopkins & Co., Philadelphia, 1890. http://historicpittsburgh.org/maps-hopkins/1890-volume-3-atlas-pittsburgh; included in the 1890 layer at Pittsburgh Historic Maps (https://esriurl.com/pittsburgh). [view source]hopkins-1890-vol-3
  4. "An ordinance changing the names of certain avenues, streets, lanes and alleys in the City of Pittsburgh." Pittsburgh city ordinance, 1910, no. 715. Passed Mar. 31, 1910; approved Apr. 5, 1910. Ordinance Book 21, p. 342. 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. 312–328, Devine & Co., Pittsburgh, 1910 (Google Books doQzAQAAMAAJ; HathiTrust uiug.30112108223832; Internet Archive Pghmunicipalrecord1909). Reprinted in the Pittsburgh Post, Apr. 19, 1910, pp. 10–11 (Newspapers.com 86611990, 86612022), Apr. 20, pp. 10–11 (Newspapers.com 86612278, 86612297), and Apr. 21, pp. 10–11 (Newspapers.com 86612601, 86612625). [view source]ordinance-1910-715
  5. Kansas Historical Society. "Clyde Cessna." Kansapedia, May 2019. https://www.kshs.org/kansapedia/clyde-cessna/12006. [view source]cessna-kansas
  6. Keith Tolman. "Cessna, Clyde Vernon." Oklahoma Historical Society, The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture. https://www.okhistory.org/publications/enc/entry.php?entry=CE009. [view source]cessna-tolman
  7. A. K. M'Clure. "John Cessna's part in Pennsylvania politics." Pittsburgh Gazette, Nov. 20, 1904, editorial section, p. 7. Newspapers.com 86268260. [view source]mclure
  8. "An ordinance changing the name 'Alley' on every thoroughfare in the City of Pittsburgh, to 'Way.'" Pittsburgh city ordinance, 1914, no. 402. Passed Nov. 10, 1914; approved Nov. 16, 1914. Ordinance Book 26, p. 360. Reprinted in the Pittsburgh Post, Nov. 23, 1914, p. 11 (Newspapers.com 86505785), and Nov. 24, p. 12 (Newspapers.com 86505809). [view source]ordinance-1914-402