Shady Avenue

From Pittsburgh Streets
See also Shadeland Avenue, which was originally named Shady Avenue.
Shady Avenue
Neighborhoods Point Breeze, Shadyside, Squirrel Hill North, Squirrel Hill South
Origin of name Descriptive of the tree-lined country road
Shady Lane (until 1881)
Origin of name Descriptive of the tree-lined country road

A road in the location of modern Shady Avenue appears in Allegheny County maps from 1850 and 1851.[1][2] The original name was Shady Lane, a descriptive name for the tree-lined country road.[3][4] An early newspaper notice from 1866, advertising the auction of building lots on the lane, read, "No better or more desirable place for a home could be found than this same Shady Lane. Its very name has a pleasant quietness, indicative of the pleasantest possible hours."[5] In 1932, a person with the initials C. L. M. reminisced, "Coming down Shady lane was delightful; the tree branches were so close from opposite sides of the lane that they met and scraped your buggy or carriage tops. East Liberty then was a village out in the country."[6]

The name was officially established as Shady Avenue by a city ordinance in 1881.[7] The change of name was criticized by Annie Clark Miller: "City Council orders new street markers for a street whose old fashioned name is a neighborhood treasure. Lane is not appropriate for a city thoroughfare in its opinion—and so overnight, old residenters of Shady Lane found themselves living on Shady Avenue."[8] Pittsburgh poet Hervey Allen sentimentally recalled his boyhood days in a poem called "When Shady Avenue Was Shady Lane."[9]


  1. E. H. Heastings. Map of the County of Allegheny, Pennsylvania. 1850. Historic Pittsburgh DARMAP0090. [view source]heastings
  2. Sidney & Neff and S. McRea. Map of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, with the Names of Property-Holders. Philadelphia, 1851. LCCN 2012592150. [view source]sidney-neff
  3. Joe Browne. "Streets are index of local history." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Sept. 28, 1983, p. 37. 89790718. [view source]browne-streets
  4. Bob Regan. The Names of Pittsburgh: How the city, neighborhoods, streets, parks and more got their names, p. 73. The Local History Company, Pittsburgh, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9770429-7-5. [view source]regan
  5. "The Shady Lane home chance." Daily Post (Pittsburgh), May 7, 1866, p. 1. 91920255. [view source]shady-lane-home-chance
  6. Flashbacks. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Mar. 25, 1932, p. 8. 90084354. [view source]flashbacks-1932-03-25
  7. "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
  8. 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. 39. Pittsburgh Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution, 1924. Historic Pittsburgh 00awn8211m; Internet Archive earlylandmarksna00mill. [view source]miller
  9. Hervey Allen. Wampum and Old Gold, pp. 45–46. Yale University Press, New Haven, Conn., 1921. Google Books hp0VAAAAYAAJ; HathiTrust 008916576; Internet Archive wampumoldgold00alle, wampumoldgold00alle_0; Project Gutenberg 66133. [view source]allen