Ridgway Street

From Pittsburgh Streets
Ridgway Street
Neighborhoods Bedford Dwellings, Polish Hill, Upper Hill
Origin of name Frank Ridgway
Ridge Street (until 1910)

This street was originally named Ridge Street. It appears in the 1852 map of R. E. McGowin.[1]

In 1910, over 900 streets were renamed to fix duplicates, and Ridge Street was changed to Ridgway Street[2][3] because of the duplication with Ridge Avenue on the North Side. The name is that of Frank Ridgway (1859–1907), Pittsburgh Director of Public Safety,[4] who had died in office just over two years before.[5][6] Of course, the close similarity to the old name, Ridge, must also have influenced the choice of the new name.

Bob Regan includes "Ridgway" in a list of streets named for noted historical people, but unfortunately he provides no further details.[7] It seems that Regan is in error here, as Frank Ridgway was not notable historically. It is not clear who Regan had in mind. The street cannot be named for General Matthew Ridgway (1895–1993), who was only 15 years old when the street was named.

See also


  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. https://collections.lib.uwm.edu/digital/collection/agdm/id/32269/. [view source]mcgowin-1852
  2. "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
  3. "An ordinance changing the name of Ridge street, between Monroe street and Melwood street to Ridgway street." Pittsburgh city ordinance, 1911, no. 274. Passed Nov. 2, 1911. Ordinance Book 23, p. 396. In Municipal Record: Minutes of the proceedings of the Council of the City of Pittsburgh from beginning of appointed term June 10, 1911 to end of appointed term December 31, 1911, appendix, p. 109, Devine & Co., Pittsburgh, 1911 (Google Books ClQxAQAAMAAJ, D7pEAQAAMAAJ; HathiTrust chi.096598740, uiug.30112108223865; Internet Archive Pghmunicipalrecord1911part2). [view source]ordinance-1911-274
  4. "Citizens will be strangers: Hard to locate homes after city streets are renamed." Pittsburgh Post, July 28, 1909, pp. 1–2. Newspapers.com 86422549, 86422563. [view source]citizens-will-be-strangers
  5. "Director of public safety Frank Ridgway died this morning at West Penn hospital: Had suffered almost a month from typhoid: First had only attack of grip, but fever and pneumonia developed: Was self-made man and had fine record: Inaugurated many reforms, and contemplated more, in police department: High in Masonic circles: Was chief forecaster of Pittsburgh weather bureau several years." Pittsburgh Post, Dec. 31, 1907, pp. 1–2. Newspapers.com 86554058, 86554059. [view source]ridgway-died
  6. "Ridgway's funeral Thursday: Family to have charge of the services and city officials will honor the dead director: Public buildings are draped in black." Pittsburg Press, Dec. 31, 1907, pp. 1–2. Newspapers.com 142159194, 142159269. [view source]ridgways-funeral
  7. Bob Regan. The Names of Pittsburgh: How the city, neighborhoods, streets, parks and more got their names, p. 63. The Local History Company, Pittsburgh, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9770429-7-5. [view source]regan