North Avenue

From Pittsburgh Streets
North Avenue
Neighborhoods Allegheny Center, Allegheny West, Central Northside, Chateau, East Allegheny, Manchester
Origin of name Location along north edge of North Common
Shanapin Street (ca. 1850 – ca. 1870)
Origin of name Shannopin, Lenape chief

The central part of North Avenue runs along what was originally the North Common, part of the open pasture that surrounded the original town of Allegheny.[1][2][3][4] Today the old North Common forms part of Allegheny Commons Park.

By 1852, Shanapin Street had been laid out in a neighborhood to the east of the Commons, meeting the Commons at its northeast corner.[2][3][4] The name is that of Shannopin, a Lenape chief best known for Shannopin's Town, a Lenape village in the first half of the 18th century. The town was on the Allegheny River about two miles upriver from the Point, around the location of modern Lower Lawrenceville.[5][6][7][8][9][10]

In 1851, a resolution was passed in the Allegheny City Councils to open a street "from Federal street, along the North Common, to Shanapin street."[11] By 1864, North Avenue, an extension of Shanapin Street, had been established along the northern edge of the North Commons. The names North Avenue and Shanapin Street were considered synonymous.[12][13] Starting in 1868, George H. Thurston's city directory began to distinguish North Avenue west of Cedar Avenue from Shanapin Street east of it.[14] By 1871, Shanapin Street had disappeared from the street directory, and North Avenue was described as running "from Madison to Allegheny av, parallel with North Common."[15][16]

See also


  1. 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
  2. 2.0 2.1 R. E. McGowin. Map of the Cities of Pittsburgh and Allegheny and of the Boroughs of South-Pittsburgh, Birmingham, East-Birmingham, Lawrenceville, Duquesne & Manchester etc. Schuchman & Haunlein, Pittsburgh, 1852. [view source]mcgowin-1852
  3. 3.0 3.1 The Cities of Pittsburgh and Allegheny, with Parts of Adjacent Boroughs, Pennsylvania. 1855. Historic Pittsburgh DARMAP0089;; 1855 layer at Pittsburgh Historic Maps ( In George W. Colton, Colton's Atlas of the World: Illustrating physical and political geography, J. H. Colton & Co., New York, 1856 ( [view source]colton
  4. 4.0 4.1 S. N. & F. W. Beers. Map of Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. Smith, Gallup & Hewitt, Philadelphia, 1862. LCCN 2012592151; 1862 layer at Pittsburgh Historic Maps ( [view source]beers
  5. George T. Fleming. "Stories of Lawrenceville: Part of the city which was once rich in names recalling the stirring days of early Pittsburgh." Pittsburgh Gazette Times, Jan. 24, 1915, sec. 5, p. 2. 85751412. [view source]fleming-lawrenceville
  6. George T. Fleming. "Montour's name in history of city: Little thoroughfare recalls stirring times in early days in vicinity: Life is interesting." Pittsburgh Gazette Times, July 4, 1915, sec. 5, p. 2. 85628429. [view source]fleming-montour-2
  7. George T. Fleming. "French plan to dominate Ohio: Celeron's expedition and burial of the leader [sic] plates part of valley history: Bonnecamp's story." Pittsburgh Gazette Times, July 18, 1915, sec. 5, p. 2. 85379215. [view source]fleming-french-plan
  8. Hugh Cleland. George Washington in the Ohio Valley, p. 185. University of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, 1955, ISBN 978-0-8229-8362-0. HathiTrust 000564544; LCCN 55-6874. [view source]cleland
  9. Joseph A. Borkowski. Miscellaneous History of Lawrenceville, pp. 1–6. 1989. [view source]borkowski
  10. Charles McCollester. The Point of Pittsburgh: Production and struggle at the Forks of the Ohio, p. 18. Battle of Homestead Foundation, Pittsburgh, 2008, ISBN 978-0-9818894-1-2. [view source]mccollester
  11. "Meeting of the Councils." Daily Pittsburgh Gazette, Apr. 7, 1851, [p. 3]. 85649776. [view source]allegheny-councils-1851-04-07
  12. George H. Thurston. Directory of Pittsburgh and Allegheny Cities, the Adjoining Boroughs and Villages, Also, Parts of the Adjacent Townships, for 1864–'65. Geo. H. Thurston, Pittsburgh, 1864, p. 388. PGH_ALLEGH1864_CDM; Historic Pittsburgh 05z902933s. [view source]thurston-1864
  13. Map of Pittsburgh and Environs: Published for the monthly magazine entitled The Iron City, a compendium of facts concerning Pittsburgh and vicinity. 1867. In The Iron City: A compendium of facts concerning Pittsburgh and vicinity, for strangers and the public generally, George W. Pittock and Kinsey McFall, Pittsburgh, 1867, following p. 132 (Internet Archive ironcitycompendi01pitt). [view source]iron-city-map
  14. George H. Thurston. Directory of Pittsburgh and Allegheny Cities, the Adjacent Boroughs, Also, Parts of the Adjacent Townships; for 1868–69. Geo. H. Thurston, Pittsburgh, 1868, p. 8. Google Books vwYuAAAAYAAJ; Historic Pittsburgh 31735055723146. [view source]thurston-1868
  15. H. Boone. Directory of Pittsburgh & Allegheny Cities, the Adjacent Boroughs, and Parts of the Adjacent Townships, for 1871–72. Geo. H. Thurston, Pittsburgh, 1871, pp. 36–37. Historic Pittsburgh 31735033431283. [view source]boone-1871
  16. Atlas of the Cities of Pittsburgh, Allegheny, and the Adjoining Boroughs. G. M. Hopkins & Co., Philadelphia, 1872.; 1872 layer at Pittsburgh Historic Maps ( [view source]hopkins-1872