Court Place

From Pittsburgh Streets
Court Place
Neighborhood Central Business District

Two different one-block-long streets in Pittsburgh have borne the name Court Place, both as a result of petitions by lawyers.

The western end of Wylie Avenue, between Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenue, was renamed Court Place in 1930[1] for its location across Fifth Avenue from the Allegheny County Courthouse. The name change was urged by Louis Little, a lawyer whose office was on the street, because of the bad reputation of Wylie Avenue.[2][3] This street was eliminated in 1981 as part of the development of the Grant Street East project. The project, part of Mayor Richard Caliguiri's Renaissance II, included the construction of the Steel Plaza subway station and a 54-story skyscraper, today BNY Mellon Center, on the site where Court Place ran. The new street configuration, which also closed Tunnel Street and changed Sixth Avenue and Ross Street, was designed to simplify intersections, reduce odd-shaped blocks, and improve traffic flow.[4][5][6][7]

Three blocks south of the courthouse, on Second Avenue between Ross Street and Grant Street, is Pittsburgh's traditional Chinatown. It reached its peak in the early 1920s, but about half of its buildings were torn down in 1921 for the construction of the Boulevard of the Allies. This was followed by the Great Depression and the Japanese invasion of China, which stifled the community's growth. Chinatown went into a slow decline. In the 1970s, a wave of law firms moved into the district, and in 1984 the lawyers successfully petitioned the city to change the name of this block of Second Avenue, north of the Boulevard of the Allies, to Court Place.[8][9][10][11] This is the Court Place that exists today.


  1. "An ordinance changing the name of Wylie Avenue, between Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenue, to 'Court Place.'" Pittsburgh city ordinance, 1930, no. 11. Passed Feb. 3, 1930; approved Feb. 5, 1930. Ordinance Book 42, p. 244. Reprinted in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Feb. 10, 1930, p. 29 ( 89867379), and Feb. 11, p. 31 ( 89867451). [view source]ordinance-1930-11
  2. Roy McHugh. "Jury's in: a slow death for Court Place." Pittsburgh Press, Aug. 14, 1977, p. A-2. 142723458. [view source]jurys-in
  3. R. L. Polk & Co. Polk's Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania) City Directory, 1930: Including Brentwood and Mount Oliver Boroughs, Banksville and the recent annexations to the City of Pittsburgh known as Brierly Plan, Calhoun Park Plan, Carrick, Crafton Heights, Hays Borough, Knoxville, Lincoln Place, McElhany Plan, Mifflin Township, Overbrook, Parkview Plan, Penn Township, Ross Township and Westwood; containing an alphabetical directory of business concerns and private citizens, a directory of householders, occupants of office buildings and other business places, including a complete street and avenue guide and much information of a miscellaneous character; also a buyers' guide and a complete classified business directory, vol. LXXV. R. L. Polk & Co., Pittsburgh, 1930, p. 1352. Pgh1930CDM; Historic Pittsburgh 31735055722841. [view source]polk-1930
  4. Carl Morris. "Grant Street project agreement clears way for construction." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Oct. 16, 1980, p. 4. 88792311. [view source]grant-agreement
  5. Carl Morris. "Grant St. project wins test." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Oct. 23, 1980, pp. 1, 10. 88792554, 88792563. [view source]grant-wins-test
  6. David Nilsson. "Council OKs redesign of Grant St. traffic." Pittsburgh Press, Oct. 22, 1980, p. A-2. 146936107. [view source]nilsson
  7. "Paving the way." Pittsburgh Press, Oct. 23, 1980, p. A-16. 146938162. [view source]paving-the-way
  8. Barry Paris. "Links to the past: Two buildings are the last visible remnants of city's once-bustling Chinatown." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Nov. 4, 1985, Daily Magazine, pp. 9, 12. 88666920, 88666927. [view source]chinatown
  9. "Court Place on Downtown map." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Oct. 8, 1985, p. 14. 88181640. [view source]court-place-on-downtown-map
  10. Al Donalson. "Signing in: Names of city streets reflect colorful history." Pittsburgh Press, Mar. 19, 1985, p. A7. 146595524. [view source]donalson
  11. "Return of Court Place." Pittsburgh Press, June 9, 1985, p. K1. 146614845. [view source]return-of-court-place