Second Street

From Pittsburgh Streets
For other streets named Second Street, see Second Street (disambiguation).
Second Street
Neighborhood Central Business District
Origin of name Sequential numbering up the Allegheny River
Fate Vacated in 1901
Stanwix Alley (ca. 1855 – 1875)
Origin of name John Stanwix

Stanwix Alley, near the Point, running from Penn Avenue down to Duquesne Way (today's Fort Duquesne Boulevard) on the bank of the Allegheny River, appears on maps from 1855[1] and 1856 (miswritten as "Stanwin Ay.").[2] It also appears, unlabeled, in the Hopkins atlas of 1872, between Second Street to the west and Third Street (today's Commonwealth Place) to the east; it is the narrow alley along the west edge of the McQuywan & Douglass lumber yard.[3] It is not the same as the modern Stanwix Street, which is farther east, but it was named for the same man, John Stanwix (1690–1766).

In 1875, a plan for the improvement of streets in the Point District called for the closing of this alley and its replacement by a new street. The alley was apparently not well loved: a report in the Pittsburgh Commercial said the improvement plan "provides for the obliteration of that miserable place called Stanwix street and the opening of a new fifty foot street."[4]

In order to maintain continuity in street numbering, the new street was to be called Second Street, with the existing Second Street renamed First Street, and the existing First Street renamed Fort Street.[5][6][7] Strictly speaking, the new Second Street was not simply a renaming of Stanwix Alley—it was a new street, built through the lumber yard of McQuywan (or McQuean or McQuewen) and Douglass, directly beside but not atop Stanwix Alley.[8][9] Functionally, however, the new street was viewed as a replacement for the old alley. The ordinance vacating the alley began, "Whereas, By the opening of Second street, between Penn avenue and Duquesne Way, Stanwix street, from Penn avenue to Duquesne Way has become useless; . . . ."[10] The new Second Street was meant to be the main thoroughfare leading to the first Point Bridge across the Monongahela River, which was then under construction.[8][9]

Second Street was vacated by a city ordinance in 1901, along with First Street and Greentree Alley, as part of a plan to build warehouses at the Point.[11][12][13][14][15] Soon Point Alley and Fort Street were also vacated, which sparked a lengthy legal and political battle between the city and property developers on one side and the Daughters of the American Revolution, who owned the Fort Pitt Block House, on the other. See Fort Street for the story of the fight to save the Block House.

See also

References

  1. The Cities of Pittsburgh and Allegheny, with Parts of Adjacent Boroughs, Pennsylvania. 1855. Historic Pittsburgh DARMAP0089; https://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~1688~130047; 1855 layer at Pittsburgh Historic Maps (https://esriurl.com/pittsburgh). In George W. Colton, Colton's Atlas of the World: Illustrating physical and political geography, J. H. Colton & Co., New York, 1856 (https://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/view/search?q=Pub_List_No%3D0149.000). [view source]colton
  2. R. E. McGowin. Pittsburgh: Engraved from R. E. McGowin's map for Geo. H. Thurston. Wm. Schuchman & Bro., Pittsburgh, 1856. Historic Pittsburgh DARMAP0091. [view source]mcgowin-1856
  3. Atlas of the Cities of Pittsburgh, Allegheny, and the Adjoining Boroughs. G. M. Hopkins & Co., Philadelphia, 1872. http://historicpittsburgh.org/maps-hopkins/1872-atlas-pittsburgh-allegheny; 1872 layer at Pittsburgh Historic Maps (https://esriurl.com/pittsburgh). [view source]hopkins-1872
  4. "The Street Committee: Resignation of Chairman Fulton and election of Mr. Thomson—important Point improvements—the Thirty-third street bridge." Pittsburgh Commercial, June 26, 1875, p. 4. Newspapers.com 85131151. [view source]street-committee
  5. "An ordinance changing the name of Second street to First street." Pittsburgh city ordinance, 1875, no. 107. Passed Nov. 15, 1875; approved Nov. 20, 1875. Ordinance Book 4, p. 145. In Municipal Record: Minutes of the proceedings of the Select & Common Councils of the City of Pittsburgh for the year 1875, p. 194, Herald Printing Company, Pittsburgh, 1876 (Google Books QblEAQAAMAAJ; Internet Archive pghmunicipalrecord1875). Reprinted in the Pittsburgh Gazette, Dec. 11, 1875, [p. 2] (Newspapers.com 86343984). [view source]ordinance-1875-107
  6. "An ordinance locating Second street." Pittsburgh city ordinance, 1875, no. 108. Passed Nov. 15, 1875; approved Nov. 20, 1875. Ordinance Book 4, p. 146. In Municipal Record: Minutes of the proceedings of the Select & Common Councils of the City of Pittsburgh for the year 1875, p. 195, Herald Printing Company, Pittsburgh, 1876 (Google Books QblEAQAAMAAJ; Internet Archive pghmunicipalrecord1875). Reprinted in the Pittsburgh Gazette, Dec. 11, 1875, p. 2 (Newspapers.com 86343984). [view source]ordinance-1875-108
  7. "Pittsburgh councils: Regular meeting yesterday: Considering the retrenchment ordinances—legal points raised—an interesting discussion—the ordinances favorably acted upon in Select Council—the police pay reduced—the firemen not touched—the city printing—the codification of the ordinances." Pittsburgh Gazette, Dec. 14, 1875, [p. 4]. Newspapers.com 86344074. [view source]pittsburgh-councils
  8. 8.0 8.1 "Brevities: Pargraphic [sic] pencillings of passing events." Pittsburgh Gazette, May 1, 1876, [p. 4]. Newspapers.com 86349799. [view source]brevities
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Improvements at the Point." Pittsburgh Commercial, May 1, 1876, [p. 4]. Newspapers.com 89553612. [view source]improvements-at-the-point
  10. "An ordinance vacating Stanwix street from Penn avenue to Duquesne Way." Pittsburgh city ordinance, 1875, no. 110. Passed Nov. 15, 1875; approved Nov. 20, 1875. Ordinance Book 4, p. 147. In Municipal Record: Minutes of the proceedings of the Select & Common Councils of the City of Pittsburgh for the year 1875, p. 195, Herald Printing Company, Pittsburgh, 1876 (Google Books QblEAQAAMAAJ; Internet Archive pghmunicipalrecord1875). Reprinted in the Pittsburgh Gazette, Dec. 11, 1875, p. 2 (Newspapers.com 86343984). [view source]ordinance-1875-110
  11. "Big improvement is now assured: Common council decrees the street vacations needed by warehouse scheme: Mrs. Schenley to give bond: Assurances of this fact overcame objections and a demand for delay: Select likely to act soon." Pittsburg Post, Oct. 29, 1901, p. 7. Newspapers.com 86383884. [view source]big-improvement
  12. "Close vote on three vacating ordinances: Surveys committee of Councils, by vote of 12 to 10, favors grants in the point district—victory for the Schenley estate." Pittsburg Press, Oct. 26, 1901, p. 2. Newspapers.com 141915976. [view source]close-vote
  13. "An ordinance authorizing the vacation of Second street, from Penn avenue to Duquesne way." Pittsburgh city ordinance, 1901, no. 376. Passed Nov. 25, 1901; approved Dec. 6, 1901. Ordinance Book 14, p. 249. Reprinted in the Pittsburg Post, Dec. 11, 1901, p. 7 (Newspapers.com 86389443); and in the Pittsburg Press, Dec. 14, 1901, p. 5 (Newspapers.com 141826074). [view source]ordinance-1901-376
  14. "Point district to be vacated: City will be reimbursed by Mrs. Schenley's agents for street improvements: Great warehouses going up: Councils pass many measures for sewer work---more contracts to be made: M'Tighe's death lamented." Pittsburg Post, Nov. 26, 1901, p. 9. Newspapers.com 86389154. [view source]point
  15. "To investigate a city office: City assessors said to be doing too much political work: Busy meeting of councils: Select councils pass two resolutions over Brown's veto: Common was quite lively." Pittsburg Press, Oct. 29, 1901, p. 11. Newspapers.com 141918282. [view source]to-investigate