Wylie Avenue

From Pittsburgh Streets
See also Termon Avenue, part of which was originally named Wylie Avenue.
Wylie Avenue
Neighborhoods Crawford-Roberts, Middle Hill
Origin of name Stephen Wylie or Samuel B. Wylie
Wylie Street (until 1869)
Origin of name Stephen Wylie or Samuel B. Wylie
Pittsburgh and Coal Hill Turnpike (1830s)
Duncan Street (until 1869)

Some sources say that Wylie Avenue is named for Stephen Wylie, who once owned land east of Francis Street, in what is now the Upper Hill and Polish Hill. Stephen Wylie was the grandfather of John A. Wiley; "Wylie" was the original spelling of the family name.[1][2]

Others say that the avenue was named for Dr. Samuel B. Wylie.[3]

Other possible eponyms include Stephen Wylie's son William Wylie and Andrew Wylie, solicitor of Pittsburgh in 1842.[2]

A road in the location of the western end of today's Wylie Avenue appears, unlabeled, in the 1830 map of Jean Barbeau and Lewis Keyon.[4] Keyon's 1835 map labels the road the Pittsburg & Coal Hill Turnpike, which jogged south just west of today's Crawford Street and continued east on the line of modern Centre Avenue.[5] The portion of this road inside the city limits was called Wylie Street, as shown by an 1834 advertisement calling for bids for construction of the turnpike: "Sealed Proposals will be received at the office of the subscriber, in the Diamond, Pittsburgh, until sunset on Monday, the tenth day of March next, for the construction of One Mile and 229 Perches of the Pittsburgh and Coal Hill Turnpike Road, commencing at the intersection of Wylie street and the city line, and terminating in Mr. Jacob Ewart's land. . . . W. W. Irwin, Sec'ry., Feb. 10, 1834."[6]

The part of Wylie Avenue east of Roberts Street was originally named Duncan Street.[7][8] Wylie Street and Duncan Street were together renamed Wylie Avenue by a city ordinance in 1869.[9]

Bruce J. Buvinger says that Wylie Avenue was once called Coal Road,[10] but Coal Road was actually part of modern Webster Avenue. Bob Regan copied several parts of Buvinger verbatim in his book (unfortunately without attribution), including this error.[11]

See also


  1. George T. Fleming. "Wylie avenue home of many officials: Main thoroughfare to Hill district plays prominent part in city's history: Old time memories." Pittsburgh Gazette Times, Oct. 24, 1915, sec. 5, p. 2. Newspapers.com 85899235. [view source]fleming-wylie
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Wylie avenue—Wylie. Wiley." Pittsburg Times, Feb. 3, 1896, p. 4. [view source]wylie-wiley
  3. Antiquarian [pseudonym]. "The naming of Wylie avenue." Pittsburg Times, Feb. 5, 1896, p. 4. [view source]naming-wylie
  4. Jean Barbeau and Lewis Keyon. Map of Pittsburgh and Its Environs. N. B. Molineux, Pittsburgh, 1830. Historic Pittsburgh DARMAP0576; https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/36c3ab00-57aa-0136-8f4f-08990f217bc9. [view source]barbeau
  5. Lewis Keyon. Map of Pittsburgh and Its Environs. Johnston & Stockton, Pittsburgh, 1835. Historic Pittsburgh DARMAP0577; 1835 layer at Pittsburgh Historic Maps (https://esriurl.com/pittsburgh). [view source]keyon
  6. W. W. Irwin. "Pittsburgh and Coal Hill Turnpike Road!!" Daily Pittsburgh Gazette, Feb. 10, 1834, [p. 2]. Newspapers.com 96006606. [view source]pgh-coal-hill-turnpike
  7. The Cities of Pittsburgh and Allegheny, with Parts of Adjacent Boroughs, Pennsylvania. 1855. Historic Pittsburgh DARMAP0089; https://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~1688~130047; 1855 layer at Pittsburgh Historic Maps (https://esriurl.com/pittsburgh). In George W. Colton, Colton's Atlas of the World: Illustrating physical and political geography, J. H. Colton & Co., New York, 1856 (https://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/view/search?q=Pub_List_No%3D0149.000). [view source]colton
  8. R. E. McGowin. Map of the Cities of Pittsburgh and Allegheny and of the Boroughs of South-Pittsburgh, Birmingham, East-Birmingham, Lawrenceville, Duquesne & Manchester etc. Schuchman & Haunlein, Pittsburgh, 1852. https://collections.lib.uwm.edu/digital/collection/agdm/id/32269/. [view source]mcgowin-1852
  9. "An ordinance changing the names of Wylie street, Wylie street extension and Duncan street, and Greensburg Pike and Penn street." Pittsburgh city ordinance, 1869. Passed Oct. 25, 1869. Reprinted in the Pittsburgh Commercial, Oct. 27, 1869, [p. 4] (Newspapers.com 85541004); and in the Pittsburgh Gazette, Oct. 29, 1869, [p. 4] (Newspapers.com 86354987). [view source]ordinance-1869-wylie-penn
  10. Bruce J. Buvinger. The Origin, Development and Persistence of Street Patterns in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, p. 23. Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Main (Oakland) branch, Pennsylvania Department, call number rq F159.P675 B84 1976x. [view source]buvinger
  11. Bob Regan. The Names of Pittsburgh: How the city, neighborhoods, streets, parks and more got their names, p. 59. The Local History Company, Pittsburgh, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9770429-7-5. [view source]regan