Epiphany Street

From Pittsburgh Streets
See also Washington Place, which was named Epiphany Street from 1910 to 1911.
Epiphany Street
Neighborhood Central Business District
Origin of name Epiphany Church
Fate Eliminated in the late 1950s for the Civic Arena
Franklin Street (until 1910)
Foxhurst Street (1910–1911)

An 1845 map by R. E. M'Gowan shows Franklin Street running east from Washington Street (today's Washington Place) to an unlabeled street (today's Green Street). This route includes today's Linton Street.[1]

In 1910, over 900 streets were renamed to eliminate duplicates. Franklin Street was renamed Foxhurst Street to fix a conflict with Franklin Street on the North Side (today North Franklin Street). The same ordinance also renamed Washington Street to Epiphany Street.[2][3] The name Epiphany came from Epiphany Church, which stood at the corner of these two streets.[4] (The church occupies the former site of the Fort Pitt Glass Works; see Dithridge Street.)

However, these names did not last long. The next year, for whatever reason, city councils decided that the name Epiphany would be better applied to the old Franklin Street, so they passed two ordinances: one to rename Epiphany Street back to Washington (but now a Place rather than a Street), and another to rename Foxhurst Street to Epiphany Street.[5] Mayor William A. Magee vetoed the second of these ordinances, because he believed there was no reason for the change; he complained about the cost and confusion caused by the constant changing of street names.[6][7][8] Nevertheless, both ordinances were eventually approved.[9][10]

In the late 1950s, the Lower Hill District—the area bounded on the east by Tunnel Street (approximately today's Sixth Avenue), on the west by Crawford Street, on the north by Bigelow Boulevard, and on the south by Fifth Avenue[11]—was demolished as part of an urban renewal project to make way for the Civic Arena.[12][13][14][15]:70–71[16]:312–323 The demolition began on Epiphany Street: the first house to be razed was 1206 Epiphany.[11][17][16]:318 Eventually 1,300 structures in an area of 95 acres would be demolished, forcing the removal of some 400 businesses and 8,000 residents, most of whom were Black.[11][12][17][14][15]:55–56[16]:318 Nearly all of the streets within the redevelopment area, including Epiphany Street, were eliminated. The only building from the old Lower Hill that survives today is Epiphany Church.[14]

See also


  1. R. E. M'Gowan. Map of Pittsburgh & Vicinity: Designating the portion destroyed by fire, April 10, 1845. J. W. Cook, Pittsburgh, 1845. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pittsburgh_map_1845.jpg. Published in the front matter of J. Heron Foster, A Full Account of the Great Fire at Pittsburgh, on the Tenth Day of April, 1845: With the individual losses, and contributions for relief, J. W. Cook, Pittsburgh, 1845 (Internet Archive fullaccountofgre00fost) and of O. Ormsby Gregg, Isaac Gregg, and Moses F. Eaton, Pittsburgh, Her Advantageous Position and Great Resources, as a Manufacturing and Commercial City, Embraced in a Notice of Sale of Real Estate, Johnson & Stockton, Pittsburgh, 1845 (Google Books nrJs-DDEN1sC; Historic Pittsburgh 00afu7810m). [view source]mcgowin-1845
  2. "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
  3. George T. Fleming. "Colonial history recalled by street names: Doughty, Dinwiddie, McKean and Miffline are some of the interesting historical figures." Pittsburgh Gazette Times, Jan. 10, 1915, sec. 3, p. 6. Newspapers.com 85750887. [view source]fleming-colonial
  4. Atlas of Greater Pittsburgh. G. M. Hopkins & Co., Philadelphia, 1910. http://historicpittsburgh.org/maps-hopkins/1910-atlas-greater-pittsburgh; 1910 layer at Pittsburgh Historic Maps (https://esriurl.com/pittsburgh). [view source]hopkins-1910
  5. "Park improvement bills recommended." Pittsburg Press, May 3, 1911, p. 13. Newspapers.com 142925567. [view source]park-improvement
  6. "Mass of bills approved by Mayor Magee: Eight measures passed by the old councils were vetoed." Pittsburg Press, June 1, 1911, p. 9. Newspapers.com 142688542. [view source]mass-of-bills
  7. "Firemen get no increase: Mayor Magee vetoes bill to raise salaries: No money, he asserts: Eight measures are killed; 126 signed." Pittsburg Post, June 1, 1911, pp. 1, 4. Newspapers.com 86506085, 86506092. [view source]firemen-get-no-increase
  8. "Mayor signs 115 important ordinances: Measures include authorization of bond issues aggregating $1,065,000 to pay debts: Street improvement bills." Pittsburgh Gazette Times, June 1, 1911, p. 3. Newspapers.com 85904389. [view source]mayor-signs-115
  9. "An ordinance changing the name of Epiphany street, between Grant boulevard and Fifth avenue, to 'Washington place.'" Pittsburgh city ordinance, 1911, no. 144. Passed May 29, 1911; approved June 7, 1911. Ordinance Book 23, p. 166. Reprinted in the Pittsburgh Post, June 24, 1911, p. 12 (Newspapers.com 86506833), June 26, p. 3 (Newspapers.com 86506907), and June 27, [p. 9] (Newspapers.com 86506947). [view source]ordinance-1911-144
  10. "An ordinance changing the name of Foxhurst street, between Epiphany street and Fullerton street, to 'Epiphany street.'" Pittsburgh city ordinance, 1911, no. 145. Passed May 29, 1911; approved June 7, 1911. Ordinance Book 23, p. 167. Reprinted in the Pittsburgh Post, June 24, 1911, p. 12 (Newspapers.com 86506833), June 26, p. 3 (Newspapers.com 86506907), and June 27, [p. 9] (Newspapers.com 86506947). [view source]ordinance-1911-145
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Michelle Fanzo. "The Hill District: Part X in a series of neighborhood histories." Observer (Pittsburgh), June 1995, pp. 15–19. [view source]fanzo
  12. 12.0 12.1 Laurence A. Glasco and Christopher Rawson. August Wilson: Pittsburgh Places in His Life and Plays, 2nd ed., pp. 38–40. Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation, Pittsburgh, 2015, ISBN 978-0-9969372-0-7. LCCN 2015955039. [view source]glasco-rawson
  13. Walter C. Kidney. A Past Still Alive: The Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation celebrates twenty-five years, pp. 8–11. Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation, Pittsburgh, 1989, ISBN 0-916670-13-9. LCCN 89-62940. [view source]kidney-past
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Franklin Toker. Pittsburgh: An urban portrait, pp. 234–235. Pennsylvania State University Press, University Park, Penna., 1986, ISBN 0-271-00415-0. LCCN 85-71786. [view source]toker
  15. 15.0 15.1 Joe W. Trotter and Jared N. Day. Race and Renaissance: African Americans in Pittsburgh since World War II. University of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, 2010, ISBN 978-0-8229-4391-4. LCCN 2010011308. [view source]trotter-day
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Mark Whitaker. Smoketown: The untold story of the other great Black Renaissance. Simon & Schuster, New York, 2018, ISBN 978-1-5011-2242-2. LCCN 2017019428. [view source]whitaker
  17. 17.0 17.1 Mel Seidenberg. "Razing of old homestead starts 'New Hill' project: First of 1,300 houses to go tomorrow." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 30, 1956, p. 32. Newspapers.com 90818742. [view source]razing