From Pittsburgh Streets
Henry W. Oliver Favors Calling It Virginia Street When It Is Widened.
Would Perpetuate a Name That Would Bring Back Memories of Incidents Around Here in Colonial Days.

There is an ordinance now before the city councils which provides for the changing of the name of Virgin alley to Virgin avenue. Henry W. Oliver advocates naming it Virginia street instead, and in a letter to Director J. Guy McCandless of the department of public works explains his reasons for his position. There is a petition now in circulation among abutting property owners asking that the street when widened be named as Mr. Oliver suggests.

There is a Virginia avenue on Mt. Washington, but it is pointed out to those who would object to a street and an avenue being named the same that there are a Fifth avenue and a Fifth street, a Fourth avenue and a Fourth street, etc., without any resulting confusion. Mr. Oliver's letter to Mr. McCandless, which is self-explanatory, is as follows:

Pittsburgh, Pa., Feb. 18, 1903.

Dr. J. Guy McCandless,
Pittsburgh, Pa.

My Dear Doctor—Referring to our recent interview in which you expressed great interest in the speedy widening of Virgin alley, and the relief the new street would be to congested travel in the business part of the city, I see that an ordinance is proposed by your department changing the name from Virgin alley to Virgin avenue.

I respectfully submit that the owners of property on the new street, who will spend over $1,000,000 on the improvement, will object to this odd christening of the new business thoroughfare. The length of the part to be opened from Smithfield street to Liberty avenue is only two squares, about 900 feet (the total length of the alley from Liberty to Grant street is only about 1,400 feet) and it would be a misnomer to call so short a street an avenue.

The ownership of the site of Pittsburgh and the surrounding territory was for a long time in dispute between Pennsylvania and Virginia, and indeed Washington's expeditions to this section prior to the revolution were made under orders and with troops of the colony of Virginia, with the purpose of including the head of the Ohio river in her territory.

I suggest that as a reminder of colonial days and as preserving to some extent the original name of the alley, an appropriate, and I think a very popular, name for the new thoroughfare would be Virginia street.

Yours very truly,