Seventh Street

From Pittsburgh Streets
For other streets that have been named Seventh Street, see Seventh Street (disambiguation).
Seventh Street
Neighborhood Central Business District
Origin of name Sequential numbering up the Allegheny River
Irwin Street (1784–1868)
Origin of name John Irwin
Sandusky Street (1910–1915)
Origin of name Sandusky River and Sandusky Bay

Seventh Street was originally named Irwin Street, after John Irwin (see Irwin Avenue).[1][2][3][4][5][6] This was one of the original streets of Pittsburgh, dating back to George Woods' plan of 1784, between St. Clair Street (today's Sixth Street) to the west and Hand Street (today's Ninth Street) to the east.[7] (Today's Eighth Street was an unlabeled alley in this plan.)

George T. Fleming, in a 1916 Post-Gazette column about the early days of the city, implies instead that Irwin Street was named for James Irwin, one of the original members of the Pittsburgh select council.[8] However, this column's list of streets named for "Pittsburgh pioneers" includes some questionable entries: see Anderson Street and Carson Street.

In 1868, Pittsburgh's modern sequence of numbered streets was created by renaming all the streets perpendicular to the Allegheny River; Irwin Street became Seventh Street. The name was transferred from Seventh Avenue, which the same ordinance "promoted" to an avenue.[9][10][11]

A suspension bridge between Sandusky Street and Seventh Street was proposed as early as 1871.[12] The bridge was built in 1884; it was designed by Gustav Lindenthal, who also designed the Smithfield Street Bridge. It was purchased by Allegheny County in 1911 and made toll-free. The War Department declared in 1917 that it obstructed river traffic and demanded its replacement. It was demolished in the 1920s, and was replaced by the middle bridge of the "Three Sisters," completed in 1926, today named the Andy Warhol Bridge.[13][14][15]

After the annexation of the city of Allegheny in 1907, the street was renamed again to Sandusky Street by a 1910 ordinance to match the name of the corresponding street on the North Side.[16][17] It was changed back to Seventh Street in 1915.[18]

Irwin Street was sometimes called Irvine Street. This name came from William Irvine, commandant of Fort Pitt from 1781 to 1783.[9]


  1. "Early streets." A Fact a Day About Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Dec. 9, 1927, p. 6. 89853112. [view source]fact-a-day
  2. George T. Fleming. "Great names are commemorated in the streets of Pittsburgh: Interesting history of early city and bits of biography of some of the men signally honored by its founders and first citizens." Pittsburgh Gazette Times, Dec. 27, 1914, third section, p. 1. 85749921. [view source]fleming-great-names
  3. George T. Fleming. "History told in Pittsburgh street names: Some commemorative designations have been lost, but others are still in use to recall the story of their selection: Haphazard municipal nomenclature." Pittsburgh Gazette Times, Nov. 29, 1914, fifth section, p. 2. 85906737. [view source]fleming-history-told
  4. George T. Fleming. "Our revolutionary sires: Additional biographies of Pittsburgh soldiers of the Revolution—John Irwin, Stephen Bayard, George Wallace, the Guthrie brothers and Adamson Tannehill—graphic story of Capt. Irwin's services—his narrow escape from death at Paoli massacre: Lists of soldiers of Revolution reprinted from D. A. R. Magazine—Allegheny County's list added to—Butler County patriots enumerated—'Mackeys' distinguished—James Mackaye and Aeneas Mackay—turbulent times of notorious Connolly." Pittsburgh Gazette Times, May 11, 1924, fifth section, p. 6. 85854858. [view source]fleming-sires-4
  5. History of Pittsburgh and Environs, vol. 2, p. 46. American Historical Society, New York and Chicago, 1922. Google Books 3staAAAAYAAJ, TPUMAAAAYAAJ; HathiTrust 011262563; Internet Archive historypittsbur00yorkgoog, historypittsbur02socigoog. [view source]history-pgh-environs-2
  6. Annie Clark Miller. Early Land Marks and Names of Old Pittsburgh: An address delivered before the Pittsburgh Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution at Carnegie Institute, Nov. 30, 1923, p. 23. Pittsburgh Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution, 1924. Historic Pittsburgh 00awn8211m; Internet Archive earlylandmarksna00mill. [view source]miller
  7. George Woods. A Draught of the Town Plat of Pittsburgh, Surveyed for John Penn, Jr., and John Penn, by George Woods, May 31st 1784. 1784. Reproduced as "Original plan of Pittsburgh" in plate 19 of Atlas of the Cities of Pittsburgh, Allegheny, and the Adjoining Boroughs, G. M. Hopkins & Co., Philadelphia, 1872 (Historic Pittsburgh 1872p019). [view source]woods-plat
  8. George T. Fleming. "Growth of city in century is great: Celebration of charter anniversary directs attention to progress made: Noteworthy events." Pittsburgh Gazette Times, Mar. 12, 1916, fifth section, p. 2. 85766545. [view source]fleming-growth
  9. 9.0 9.1 Bruce S. Cridlebaugh. "Field notes: Changing Pittsburgh street names—from downtown to Lawrenceville." Bridges & tunnels of Allegheny County & Pittsburgh, PA, Feb. 9, 2000. [view source]cridlebaugh
  10. Sarah H. Killikelly. The History of Pittsburgh: Its rise and progress, p. 534. B. C. & Gordon Montgomery Co., Pittsburgh, 1906. HistPgh1909M; Google Books kXmloex-vr8C, poRU0YjqrzsC; HathiTrust 100122020; Historic Pittsburgh 00adc8925m; Internet Archive historyofpittsbu00kill, historypittsbur00killgoog. [view source]killikelly
  11. "An ordinance changing the names of streets." Pittsburgh city ordinance, 1868. Passed Aug. 31, 1868. In The Municipal Record: Containing the proceedings of the Select and Common Councils of the City of Pittsburgh: 1868, Pittsburgh Daily Commercial, Pittsburgh (Internet Archive pghmunicipalrecord1868_20200904_2014). Reprinted in the Pittsburgh Gazette, Sept. 2, 1868, p. 5 ( 86347563), Sept. 3, p. 3 ( 86347623), and Sept. 4, p. 3 ( 86347714). [view source]ordinance-1868-name-changes
  12. "$500,000 in bonds wanted: Important scheme afoot—proposition to build a free bridge across the Allegheny—Sixth avenue to rival Fifth—will the city act as generously as in the case of the Penn avenue improvement—great advantages to property, &c." Pittsburgh Gazette, Jan. 9, 1871, p. 1. 85589437. [view source]500k-in-bonds
  13. Daniel J. Burns and Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh's Rivers, p. 45. Images of America. Arcadia Publishing, Charleston, S. C., 2006, ISBN 978-0-7385-4514-1. LCCN 2006921821. [view source]burns
  14. ASCE Pittsburgh Section 100th Anniversary Publication Committee. Engineering Pittsburgh: A history of roads, rails, canals, bridges & more, pp. 98, 103–104, 106–107. History Press, Charleston, S. C., 2018, ISBN 978-1-5402-3599-2. LCCN 2018942435. [view source]engineering
  15. Todd Wilson and Helen Wilson. Pittsburgh's Bridges, pp. 28, 30–33. Images of America. Arcadia Publishing, Charleston, S. C., 2015, ISBN 978-1-4671-3424-8. LCCN 2015949613. [view source]wilson-wilson
  16. George T. Fleming, ed. Pittsburgh: How to see it: A complete, reliable guide book with illustrations, the latest map and complete index, p. 47. William G. Johnston Co., Pittsburgh, 1916. Google Books 02NAAAAAYAAJ; Internet Archive bub_gb_02NAAAAAYAAJ, pittsburghhowtos01flem. [view source]how-to-see-it
  17. "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; Internet Archive Pghmunicipalrecord1909). Reprinted in the Pittsburgh Post, Apr. 19, 1910, pp. 10–11 ( 86611990, 86612022), Apr. 20, pp. 10–11 ( 86612278, 86612297), and Apr. 21, pp. 10–11 ( 86612601, 86612625). [view source]ordinance-1910-715
  18. "An ordinance changing the names of certain avenues, streets and ways in the City of Pittsburgh." Pittsburgh city ordinance, 1915, no. 117. Passed Apr. 28, 1915; approved Apr. 29, 1915. Ordinance Book 26, p. 615. Reprinted in the Pittsburgh Post, May 7, 1915, sporting section, p. 4 ( 88028157), May 8, p. 15 ( 88028802), and May 10, p. 11 ( 88030672). [view source]ordinance-1915-117