Roanoke Street

From Pittsburgh Streets
Roanoke Street
Neighborhood Allentown
Origin of name Maybe Roanoke, Virginia
Robinson Road (until 1881)

This street appears, unlabeled, in the 1852 map of R. E. McGowin.[1] It is (perhaps mistakenly) labeled Brownsville Road in the 1882 Hopkins atlas.[2] (That name had been applied in the 1872 edition to the road that is today Arlington Avenue, which was also called the Brownsville Turnpike[3] and which was called Brownsville Avenue in the 1882 atlas.[2]) An 1881 ordinance establishing the names of all streets in Pittsburgh says that this street had been formerly named Robinson Road and established the new name Roanoke Street.[4] Roanoke Street appears in the 1890 Hopkins atlas.[5]

Bob Regan includes "Roanoke" in a list of streets named for cities.[6] It is possible that the street is named for Roanoke, Virginia, but the name Roanoke has other associations as well: it was originally the name of a Native American people, for which were named Roanoke Island, the Roanoke River, and the ill-fated Roanoke Colony, among other namesakes. There is no evidence that the street was named for the Virginia city in particular.


  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
  2. 2.0 2.1 Atlas of the Cities Pittsburgh and Allegheny, plate 26. G. M. Hopkins & Co., Philadelphia, 1882.; 1882 layer at Pittsburgh Historic Maps ( [view source]hopkins-1882
  3. Atlas of the Cities of Pittsburgh, Allegheny, and the Adjoining Boroughs, pp. 23, 100, 104. G. M. Hopkins & Co., Philadelphia, 1872.; 1872 layer at Pittsburgh Historic Maps ( [view source]hopkins-1872
  4. "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
  5. Atlas of the City of Pittsburgh, vol. 5, plate 10. G. M. Hopkins & Co., Philadelphia, 1890.; included in the 1890 layer at Pittsburgh Historic Maps ( [view source]hopkins-1890-vol-5
  6. Bob Regan. The Names of Pittsburgh: How the city, neighborhoods, streets, parks and more got their names, p. 65. The Local History Company, Pittsburgh, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9770429-7-5. [view source]regan