Orwell Way

From Pittsburgh Streets
Orwell Way
Neighborhood Bloomfield
Oak Alley (until 1881)
Orwell Alley (1881–1914)

This alley was originally named Oak Alley. It was renamed Orwell Alley by a city ordinance in 1881.[1] It became Orwell Way in 1914 when another ordinance changed all alleys in the city to ways.[2]

Bob Regan includes "Orwell" in a list of streets named for noted historical people; he implies in a crossword puzzle at the end of his book that it is named for the British author George Orwell (1903–1950).[3] However, it is clear that this cannot be true, as the author was born more than 20 years after the name Orwell was given to the Pittsburgh alley, and moreover he did not begin using the pseudonym George Orwell until he was nearly 30 years old.


  1. "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
  2. "An ordinance changing the name 'Alley' on every thoroughfare in the City of Pittsburgh, to 'Way.'" Pittsburgh city ordinance, 1914, no. 402. Passed Nov. 10, 1914; approved Nov. 16, 1914. Ordinance Book 26, p. 360. Reprinted in the Pittsburgh Post, Nov. 23, 1914, p. 11 (Newspapers.com 86505785), and Nov. 24, p. 12 (Newspapers.com 86505809). [view source]ordinance-1914-402
  3. Bob Regan. The Names of Pittsburgh: How the city, neighborhoods, streets, parks and more got their names, pp. 63, 185, 186. The Local History Company, Pittsburgh, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9770429-7-5. [view source]regan