Woods Run Avenue

From Pittsburgh Streets
Woods Run Avenue
Neighborhoods Brighton Heights, Marshall-Shadeland, Perry North
Origin of name Woods Run, named for John Woods

Woods Run Avenue takes its name from Woods Run, the valley and former stream (now mostly underground) along which the street runs. In turn, Woods Run is named for John Woods, a farmer from Virginia of Irish descent who settled along the stream in 1794.[1][2][3]

One source associates Woods Run with George Woods, the surveyor hired in 1784 by the Penns to lay out the original plan of streets and lots in Pittsburgh.[4] (George Woods is the eponym of Wood Street downtown.) However, this seems to be a mistaken identification; there is no apparent connection between the surveyor and this particular stream three miles downriver from the Point.

Many streams in the Pittsburgh region are called "runs." This sense of the word has a long history in English. The early European settlers of western Pennsylvania used the word for a creek or stream, and this became the established term.[4]


  1. Jean Bryant and Jerry Vondas. "There's a story in every neighborhood." Pittsburgh Press, Mar. 17, 1983, Weekender, pp. D-1, D-4. Newspapers.com 146457070, 146457192. [view source]bryant-vondas
  2. Vince Leonard. "Town of Woods Run gone, reunion revives memories." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Sept. 30, 1978, p. 2. Newspapers.com 89813837. [view source]leonard
  3. Dan Rooney and Carol Peterson. Allegheny City: A history of Pittsburgh's North Side, p. 5. University of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, 2013, ISBN 978-0-8229-4422-5. LCCN 2012047727. [view source]rooney-peterson
  4. 4.0 4.1 Katie Blackley. "Why are there so many 'run roads' in the Pittsburgh region?" 90.5 WESA, June 21, 2019. https://www.wesa.fm/post/why-are-there-so-many-run-roads-pittsburgh-region. [view source]blackley-why