Juliet Street

From Pittsburgh Streets
Juliet Street
Neighborhood South Oakland
Origin of name Juliet Semple, daughter of Samuel Semple, early landowner
Joliet Street (1870s)

George T. Fleming says that Juliet Street is named for Juliet Semple, the daughter of Samuel Semple (for whom Semple Street is named). Most of South Oakland and part of Central Oakland were part of two tracts of land surveyed in 1789, one under the name of Samuel Semple and another ostensibly under the name of Juliet Semple, who was just eight years old at the time.[1][2]

On a modern street map, it seems obvious that Juliet Street must be named for Juliet, the female protagonist in Shakespeare's tragedy Romeo and Juliet. Nearby streets in South Oakland also have Shakespearean names, including Romeo Street (parallel to Juliet Street), Hamlet Street, Ophelia Street, and Cato Street.[3][4]:60,184 But Juliet Street is significantly older than most of these others. It appears on maps as early as 1862.[5] Oakland was annexed into the City of Pittsburgh in 1868, along with most of the East End.[4]:10–11 Juliet Street first appears in the city street directory in Boone's 1872 edition as Joliet Street, which was also the name given in the Hopkins atlas of that year, and today's Romeo Street was called Homer Street at that time.[6][7] The matching names Romeo and Juliet were applied later. The original name of Juliet Street was restored by 1876,[8] and Homer Street was changed to Romeo in 1881.[9][10]


  1. George T. Fleming. "Oakland once beautiful suburb: Much interesting history to be evolved from street names in that district: John Fraser, pioneer." Pittsburgh Gazette Times, Jan. 16, 1916, sec. 6, p. 6. Newspapers.com 85762578. [view source]fleming-oakland
  2. Pennsylvania Department of Internal Affairs. Warrantee Atlas of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania: Constructed from the records on file in the Department of Internal Affairs, and surveys made on the ground during 1909, 1910, 1912 under the direction of Henry Houck. 1914. https://historicpittsburgh.org/collection/warrantee-atlas-allegheny-county-pennsylvania. [view source]warrantee
  3. Chris Potter. "Where did 'Joe Hammer Square' in Oakland get its name, especially when the nearby streets are named after Shakespeare characters?" Pittsburgh City Paper, Feb. 10, 2005. https://www.pghcitypaper.com/pittsburgh/Content?oid=1337560. [view source]joe-hammer
  4. 4.0 4.1 Bob Regan. The Names of Pittsburgh: How the city, neighborhoods, streets, parks and more got their names. The Local History Company, Pittsburgh, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9770429-7-5. [view source]regan
  5. S. N. & F. W. Beers. Map of Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. Smith, Gallup & Hewitt, Philadelphia, 1862. LCCN 2012592151; 1862 layer at Pittsburgh Historic Maps (https://esriurl.com/pittsburgh). [view source]beers
  6. H. Boone. Directory of Pittsburgh & Allegheny Cities, the Adjacent Boroughs, and Parts of the Adjacent Townships, for 1872–73. George H. Thurston, Pittsburgh, 1872, p. 6. DonsList.net PghAllegh1872CDM; Historic Pittsburgh 31735055722825. [view source]boone-1872
  7. Atlas of the Cities of Pittsburgh, Allegheny, and the Adjoining Boroughs. G. M. Hopkins & Co., Philadelphia, 1872. http://historicpittsburgh.org/maps-hopkins/1872-atlas-pittsburgh-allegheny; 1872 layer at Pittsburgh Historic Maps (https://esriurl.com/pittsburgh). [view source]hopkins-1872
  8. George H. Thurston and J. F. Diffenbacher. Directory of Pittsburgh and Allegheny for 1876–7: Embracing a general directory of the residences of citizens, full classified business directory, register of public institutions, benevolent societies and city governments, directory of the streets, secret societies, schools and churches. Thurston & Diffenbacher, Pittsburgh, 1876, p. 9. Google Books 8dkCAAAAYAAJ; Historic Pittsburgh 31735038288480. [view source]thurston-diffenbacher-1876
  9. "An ordinance establishing the names of avenues, streets, lanes and alleys of the City of Pittsburgh." Pittsburgh city ordinance, 1881, no. 33. Passed Feb. 28, 1881; approved Mar. 4, 1881. Ordinance Book 5, p. 212. In Municipal Record: Minutes of the proceedings of the Select and Common Councils of the City of Pittsburgh, for the year 1880, pp. 213–234 (Internet Archive pghmunicipalrecord1880). [view source]ordinance-1881-33
  10. Atlas of the Cities Pittsburgh and Allegheny. 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