Dawes Street

From Pittsburgh Streets
Dawes Street
Neighborhood Arlington
Origin of name Charles G. Dawes
Luther Street (until 1923)
Origin of name Martin Luther
Gunkel Street (1923–1924)
Origin of name William Gunkle or J. Gunkle

Dawes Street was originally named Luther Street.[1] The part of the street in Mount Oliver borough that runs along the northeast corner of First Saint Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery still has a street sign that says Luther Street. This location gives a clue to the origin of the name: Martin Luther (1483–1546), the German priest who sparked the Protestant Reformation and founded Lutheranism. The cemetery dates back at least to 1886.[2]

The street was renamed Gunkel Street by a city ordinance in 1923,[3] probably for William Gunkle, who owned a lot on the south side of the street, or J. Gunkle, who laid out a very small plan of lots just to the south of that.[4]

In December 1924 the street was renamed again to Dawes Street.[5] The name probably honors Charles G. Dawes (1865–1951), who had just been elected the 30th Vice President of the United States under Calvin Coolidge.

Bob Regan includes "Dawes" in a list of streets named for noted historical people, but unfortunately he gives no more details.[6]


  1. Real Estate Plat-Book of the Southern Vicinity of Pittsburgh, Penna., plate 7. 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
  2. Atlas of the Vicinity of the Cities Pittsburgh and Allegheny, Pennsylvania, plate 20. G. M. Hopkins & Co., Philadelphia, 1886. http://historicpittsburgh.org/maps-hopkins/1886-atlas-pittsburgh-allegheny; included in the 1882 layer at Pittsburgh Historic Maps (https://esriurl.com/pittsburgh). [view source]hopkins-1886
  3. "An ordinance changing the names of various streets, avenues, lanes, roads, alleys and ways in the Sixteenth Ward (formerly St. Clair Borough)." Pittsburgh city ordinance, 1923, no. 447. Passed Nov. 26, 1923; approved Nov. 30, 1923. Ordinance Book 35, p. 13. In Municipal Record: Minutes of the proceedings of the Council of the City of Pittsburgh for the year 1923, appendix, pp. 330–333, Kaufman Printing Company, Pittsburgh (Google Books XkEtAQAAMAAJ; HathiTrust uiug.30112108223980; Internet Archive Pghmunicipalrecord1923). [view source]ordinance-1923-447
  4. Real Estate Plat-Book of the Southern Vicinity of Pittsburgh, plate 2. G. M. Hopkins & Co., Philadelphia, 1905. http://historicpittsburgh.org/maps-hopkins/1905-plat-book-southern-pittsburgh; included in the 1903–1906 layer at Pittsburgh Historic Maps (https://esriurl.com/pittsburgh). [view source]hopkins-1905
  5. "An ordinance changing the name of Gunkel street, in the Sixteenth Ward (formerly St. Clair Borough), between Mountain street and the City Line, to 'Dawes street.'" Pittsburgh city ordinance, 1924, no. 491. Passed Dec. 15, 1924; approved Dec. 20, 1924. Ordinance Book 36, p. 59. In Municipal Record: Minutes of the proceedings of the Council of the City of Pittsburgh for the year 1924, appendix, p. 370, Kaufman Printing Company, Pittsburgh (Internet Archive Pghmunicipalrecord1924). [view source]ordinance-1924-491
  6. Bob Regan. The Names of Pittsburgh: How the city, neighborhoods, streets, parks and more got their names, p. 63. The Local History Company, Pittsburgh, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9770429-7-5. [view source]regan