General Robinson Street

From Pittsburgh Streets
Not to be confused with Robinson Street.
General Robinson Street
Neighborhood North Shore
Origin of name William Robinson, Jr.
Robinson Street (until 1910)
Origin of name William Robinson, Jr.
Reliance Street (1910–1913)

General Robinson Street was originally named simply Robinson Street.[1][2] It passed the site of the first cabin on the north side of the Allegheny River, built by James Robinson.[2] This cabin was the birthplace of General William Robinson, Jr. (1785–1868),[2][3]:4 who, in 1841, became the first mayor of Allegheny City.[4][5][2][6][7][8][3]:22,131[9][10] Many sources say that he was the first white child born there.[4][5][11][6][7][3]:4[9][10]

In 1910, after the annexation of Allegheny into the city of Pittsburgh, over 900 streets were renamed in order to fix duplication. There was another Robinson Street in Oakland, so Robinson Street on the North Side was renamed Reliance Street.[2][12]

Just three years later, it was changed back to its original name of Robinson, but now as General Robinson Street, specifically in honor of William Robinson, Jr.[4][5][2][11][13][6][14][7][8][3]:131[9][10]


  1. Wm. Darby. Plan of Pittsburg and Adjacent Country. R. Patterson and W. Darby, Philadelphia, 1815. Historic Pittsburgh DARMAP0197, DARMAP0198. Reproduced in John W. Reps, The Making of Urban America: A history of city planning in the United States, p. 207, Princeton University Press, Princeton, N. J., 1965 (LCCN 63023414); and in Bruce J. Buvinger, The Origin, Development and Persistence of Street Patterns in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, p. 24. Also reproduced as "Plan von Pittsburg und Umgebungen" in Bernhard, Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach (Heinrich Luden, ed.), Reise Sr. Hoheit des Herzogs Bernhard zu Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach durch Nord-Amerika in den Jahren 1825 und 1826, vol. II, following p. 200, Wilhelm Hoffmann, Weimar, 1828 (Internet Archive reisesrhoheitdes00bern, reisesrhoheitdes00inbern). [view source]darby
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 George T. Fleming. "History told in Pittsburgh street names: Some commemorative designations have been lost, but others are still in use to recall the story of their selection: Haphazard municipal nomenclature." Pittsburgh Gazette Times, Nov. 29, 1914, fifth section, p. 2. 85906737. [view source]fleming-history-told
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Dan Rooney and Carol Peterson. Allegheny City: A history of Pittsburgh's North Side. University of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, 2013, ISBN 978-0-8229-4422-5. LCCN 2012047727. [view source]rooney-peterson
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Margaret Carlin. "How our streets got their names." Pittsburgh Press, Feb. 6, 1966, Pittsburgh's Family Magazine, p. 10. 149098376. [view source]carlin
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 James K. DeLaney. "Spectres of past haunt Pittsburgh's corner signposts: Street names 'pennants of tribute.'" Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Mar. 30, 1967, [p. 41]. 88235360. [view source]delaney
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Annie Clark Miller. Early Land Marks and Names of Old Pittsburgh: An address delivered before the Pittsburgh Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution at Carnegie Institute, Nov. 30, 1923, p. 34. Pittsburgh Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution, 1924. Historic Pittsburgh 00awn8211m; Internet Archive earlylandmarksna00mill. [view source]miller
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Torsten Ove. "Site names here are out of sight: From Swamp Poodle Road to Grant Street, locales in the region bear names that are little understood or largely forgotten." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 8, 1998, pp. A-1, A-6. 94754709, 94754864. [view source]ove
  8. 8.0 8.1 Bob Regan. The Names of Pittsburgh: How the city, neighborhoods, streets, parks and more got their names, pp. 72, 183, 186. The Local History Company, Pittsburgh, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9770429-7-5. [view source]regan
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 "Street names sketch history of city: Tribute to many pioneers dimmed by time." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Sept. 26, 1936, anniversary section IV, p. 16. 88921069. [view source]street-names
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Lillian Thomas. "City plays the name game." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Mar. 26, 2001, pp. C-5, C-8. 90410524, 90410540. [view source]thomas-city
  11. 11.0 11.1 Gilbert Love. "How names came." Pittsburgh Press, Aug. 11, 1952, p. 11. 141584890. [view source]love
  12. "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; Internet Archive Pghmunicipalrecord1909). Reprinted in the Pittsburgh Post, Apr. 19, 1910, pp. 10–11 ( 86611990, 86612022), Apr. 20, pp. 10–11 ( 86612278, 86612297), and Apr. 21, pp. 10–11 ( 86612601, 86612625). [view source]ordinance-1910-715
  13. Gilbert Love. "What's in a name? A lot!: Titles of city streets recall persons famed in U. S. history: From Golden Triangle eastward, thoroughfares list great and near great of colonial and revolutionary days." Pittsburgh Press, Feb. 12, 1944, p. 9. 147946752. [view source]love-titles
  14. "An ordinance changing the name of Reliance street, from Scotland street in the Twenty-second ward to Hope street in the Twenty-third ward, to 'General Robinson Street.'" Pittsburgh city ordinance, 1913, no. 326. Passed July 8, 1913. Ordinance Book 25, p. 359. In Municipal Record: Minutes of the proceedings of the Council of the City of Pittsburgh for the year 1913, appendix, p. 198, Arlington Printing Co., Pittsburgh, 1913 (Google Books WngzAQAAMAAJ; Internet Archive Pghmunicipalrecord1913). Reprinted in the Pittsburgh Post, July 22, 1913, p. 10 ( 87969128), and July 23, p. 11 ( 87969347). [view source]ordinance-1913-326