Rialto Street

From Pittsburgh Streets
Rialto Street
Neighborhood Troy Hill
Ravine Street (until 1910)
Origin of name The ravine up which it climbs

Rialto Street was originally called Ravine Street. The Duquesne Borough Council appropriated $75 for the construction and opening of Ravine Street in 1850.[1] True to its original name, the street climbs upward through a ravine to connect Route 28 to Troy Hill. Its grade of 24 or 25 percent makes it the fifth steepest street in Pittsburgh.[2][3][4][5]

In 1910, over 900 streets were renamed to fix duplicates; Ravine Street was renamed Rialto Street.[6][7] This was done to avoid confusion with Ravine Street on Mount Washington, which no longer exists; that street ran along what is today the South Busway between Curtis Street and Warrington Avenue.[8]

Rialto Street is nicknamed "Pig Hill" because of its former role in Pittsburgh's meatpacking industry. From the late 19th century until the 1960s, herds of hundreds of pigs (and cattle) would be driven from the stockyards on Herr's Island (Washington's Landing), up Rialto Street, and down to the slaughterhouses in Spring Garden.[9][10][11][12][13]

See also


  1. D. S. Rotenstein. "Back to Pennsylvania Route 28." History Sidebar, June 8, 2019. https://blog.historian4hire.net/2019/06/08/back-to-route-28/. [view source]rotenstein-route-28
  2. Lillian Thomas. "Pavers rise to challenge on Rialto St.: Slippery slope calls for extra attention." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, June 22, 2004, pp. A-1, A-16. Newspapers.com 91018847, 91018954. [view source]pavers
  3. Bob Regan. Pittsburgh Steps: The story of the city's public stairways, p. 23. Globe Pequot, Guilford, Conn., 2015, ISBN 978-1-4930-1384-5. [view source]regan-steps
  4. Franklin Toker. Pittsburgh: An urban portrait, p. 186. Pennsylvania State University Press, University Park, Penna., 1986, ISBN 0-271-00415-0. LCCN 85-71786. [view source]toker
  5. Zora Unkovich. "Hills of home: Nature's towers." Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph, Nov. 22, 1941, p. 13. Newspapers.com 524615669. [view source]unkovich
  6. "Making a joke of street names: Clerks assigned to wipe out duplications choose any old titles: Hippo, Tumbo, Fortitude!: Also Divinity, Sunday, Starch, Parkhurst, Chianti, Wry and Prudence." Pittsburgh Gazette Times, July 28, 1909, p. 2. Newspapers.com 85879633. [view source]making-a-joke
  7. "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
  8. Plat-Book of the City of Pittsburgh, vol. 6. G. M. Hopkins & Co., Philadelphia, 1916, revised 1922 and 1928. http://historicpittsburgh.org/maps-hopkins/1916-volume-6-plat-book-pittsburgh-south-side-southern; included in the 1923 layer at Pittsburgh Historic Maps (https://esriurl.com/pittsburgh). [view source]hopkins-1916-vol-6
  9. Jerry Vondas. "His street knowledge a lifesaver." Pittsburgh Press, Sept. 1, 1984, p. B7. Newspapers.com 146563451. [view source]vondas
  10. "Saving St. Nicholas: Highway expansion threatens not only a North Side church with international significance, but also a unique piece of Pittsburgh landscape." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Oct. 10, 2000, pp. D-1, D-2. Newspapers.com 89733479, 89733480. [view source]saving-st-nicholas
  11. James W. Yanosko and Edward W. Yanosko. Around Troy Hill, Spring Hill, and Reserve Township, p. 18. Images of America. Arcadia Publishing, Charleston, S. C., 2011, ISBN 978-0-7385-7592-6. LCCN 2011922717. [view source]yanosko-yanosko
  12. Rosanne Fichter Berube. "Rialto is 'Pig's Hill.'" Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Apr. 30, 2014. https://www.post-gazette.com/opinion/letters/2014/04/30/Rialto-is-Pig-s-Hill/stories/201404300053. [view source]berube
  13. David S. Rotenstein. "Pigtoberfest combines history, innovative art in Troy Hill: Pigtoberfest is an ode to both Troy Hill's history and its artistic inclinations." Northside Chronicle (Pittsburgh), Nov. 1, 2019. https://www.thenorthsidechronicle.com/pigtoberfest-combines-history-innovative-art-in-troy-hill/. [view source]pigtoberfest