Fenway Street

From Pittsburgh Streets
Fenway Street
Neighborhood Marshall-Shadeland
Origin of name Probably Fenway–Kenmore or the Fenway, Boston
Ferry Lane (1788–1910)
Origin of name Daniel Elliott's ferry

This street was originally part of Ferry Lane,[1][2] named on November 28, 1788, by a resolution of the Supreme Executive Council of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.[3] It was named for Daniel Elliott's ferry, the north landing for which was at the foot of the lane.[3][4][2] The same resolution established the name of the town of Allegheny; the names Federal Street, Ohio Street, Sandusky Street and Beaver Street (today West Commons); and the names of six alleys and one other lane. The names were given by a committee consisting of "Mr. Woods, Mr. Redick and Mr. Dennison."[3]

Ferry Lane appears in the 1788 map of the "Reserve Tract of Land Opposite Pittsburgh" (as the North Side was originally called).[5] Most of Ferry Lane became modern Beaver Avenue.

J. F. Diffenbacher's 1882 directory correctly lists this street as Ferry Lane.[6] It appears as Perry Street (apparently an error) in the Hopkins atlas of that year;[7] in the 1890 edition, it is labeled Ferry Lane (and also Ferry Street, seemingly also an error).[8]

In 1910, three years after the annexation of Allegheny into the city of Pittsburgh, over 900 streets were renamed to fix duplicates. Ferry Lane conflicted with Ferry Street downtown (today the southern half of Stanwix Street), so it was renamed Fenway Street.[9]

Today the name Fenway immediately brings to mind Fenway Park, the home of the Boston Red Sox. But the development of Fenway Park did not begin until 1911,[10] so it cannot be the source of this street name. Instead, the street is likely named for the Fenway neighborhood of Boston (formally named Fenway–Kenmore, the location of Fenway Park) or for the Fenway, a parkway that runs along the edges of the Back Bay Fens in Boston and gives the neighborhood its name. The name Fenway Street is similar to the previous name Ferry and in particular preserves the first letter, a common pattern followed in the renamings. It may also have been influenced by nearby Boston Street (which, however, is probably not named for the city but for Leonard Boston, an early purchaser of lots on the street).


  1. George T. Fleming. "Old Allegheny families are honored: Pioneer rope makers' name given to prominent North Side street: Others on the list." Pittsburgh Gazette Times, July 2, 1916, sec. 5, p. 2. Newspapers.com 85766180. [view source]fleming-old-allegheny
  2. 2.0 2.1 Dan Rooney and Carol Peterson. Allegheny City: A history of Pittsburgh's North Side, p. 6. University of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, 2013, ISBN 978-0-8229-4422-5. LCCN 2012047727. [view source]rooney-peterson
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "Old state body laid out town of Allegheny: Executive council in 1788 fixed lot prices and furnished names for streets and alleys: Origin of the present parks." Pittsburg Press, Dec. 1, 1907, p. 32. Newspapers.com 142120163. [view source]old-state-body
  4. Writers' Program of the Works [sic] Projects Administration in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Story of Old Allegheny City, 1994 reprint ed., p. 15. American Guide Series. Allegheny City Society, Pittsburgh, 1994, ISBN 1-884856-01-2. LCCN 94070104. Originally published by the Allegheny Centennial Committee, Pittsburgh, 1941. [view source]old-allegheny-city
  5. Reserve Tract of Land Opposite Pittsburgh. L. J. Richards & Co., 1863. Historic Pittsburgh DARMAP0084. Reprinted in Dan Rooney and Carol Peterson, Allegheny City: A history of Pittsburgh's North Side, pp. 2–3, University of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, 2013, ISBN 978-0-8229-4422-5 (LCCN 2012047727). A variation entitled City of Allegheny 100 Years Ago is reprinted in Walter C. Kidney and Arthur P. Ziegler, Jr., Allegheny, p. 2, Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation, 1975 (LCCN 75-43276), and in Allegheny City Society, Allegheny City, 1840–1907, pp. 10–11, Images of America, Arcadia Publishing, Charleston, S. C., 2007, ISBN 978-0-7385-5500-3 (LCCN 2007927944). [view source]reserve-tract
  6. J. F. Diffenbacher. J. F. Diffenbacher's Directory of Pittsburgh & Allegheny Cities for 1882–'83: Embracing a general directory of residences of citizens, full classified business directory, register of public institutions, benevolent societies, and city government; directory of the streets, secret societies, schools and churches, twenty-sixth [sic] annual issue. Diffenbacher & Thurston, Pittsburgh, 1882, p. 50. Historic Pittsburgh 31735051650889. [view source]diffenbacher-1882
  7. Atlas of the Cities Pittsburgh and Allegheny, plate 35. 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
  8. Real Estate Plat-Book of the City of Allegheny, vol. 1, plates 16, 17. G. M. Hopkins & Co., Philadelphia, 1890. http://historicpittsburgh.org/maps-hopkins/1890-volume-1-plat-book-allegheny; included in the 1890 layer at Pittsburgh Historic Maps (https://esriurl.com/pittsburgh). [view source]hopkins-1890-allegheny-vol-1
  9. "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
  10. "Fenway Park timeline." Fenway Park Living Museum. https://www.mlb.com/redsox/ballpark/museum/timeline. [view source]fenway-timeline