Shady Avenue

From Pittsburgh Streets
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, Herald Printing Co., Pittsburgh, 1881 (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