Grant Street

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For the street in San Francisco, California, see Grant Avenue.

Grant Street is the main government and business corridor in Pittsburgh. It is home to the global headquarters of Mellon Financial, U.S. Steel, Koppers Chemicals, Federated Investors, and Oxford Development. It also is home to the seat of Allegheny County, City of Pittsburgh and the regional Federal Government offices. It is part of the Pittsburgh Central Downtown Historic District.

History[edit]

Note the darker stone at the base of the Allegheny County Courthouse; this used to be below ground before the removal of Grant Hill.

Grant Street was named after British Major General James Grant, who was defeated by the French at that location during the French and Indian War.[1] The street location's on "Grant's Hill" strangled the growth on downtown Pittsburgh, leading to several attempts in 1836 and 1849 to regrade the area to remove the hill.[2] The successful removal of the hill in 1912 cost $800,000 ($19.6 million in 2014 dollars), plus $2.5 million in reimbursement costs for property damaged by the project ($61.1 million in 2014 dollars).[2] For example, the project removed 16 feet of hill near the Allegheny County Courthouse, meaning that the former basement became the modern ground level.[2][3] The extreme south end of Grant Street-- near the Monongahela River and Boulevard of the Allies intersection--was home to Pittsburgh's Chinatown from the 1880s until the 1950s.[4]

An extensive resurfacing of Grant Street was completed in 1990.[5]

Recognition[edit]

The American Planning Association named Grant Street one of its 10 Great Streets for 2012, describing it as "Pittsburgh's finest collection of historic buildings and modern skyscrapers, buildings that tell the stories of 20th century aristocrats and architects who shaped the city into an industrial and banking empire."[1]

Its importance to the city is because of its status as the "seat of financial, governmental and legal power" and its "striking architecture".[6] It is the "corporate and government heartbeat" of the city.[7]

The term "Grant Street" is shorthand for the government of Pittsburgh[8][9]

After the death of Pittsburgh Mayor Richard Caliguiri, his successor Sophie Masloff pursued changing the name of Grant Street to Richard S. Caliguri Boulevard[7] However, resistance to changing the historic street name, even for the beloved deceased mayor, halted that effort.[10]

Buildings[edit]

James Harrison in the post Super Bowl XLIII victory parade down Grant Street.

The street stretches for close to 10 blocks on the eastern boundary of Downtown Pittsburgh. Many of Pittsburgh's tallest skyscrapers are on Grant Street.


References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Grant Street, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania". Great Places in America: Street 2012. American Planning Association. Retrieved October 12, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c Boehmig, Stuart P. (Sep 26, 2007). Downtown Pittsburgh. Arcadia Publishing. p. 42. 
  3. ^ http://www.brooklineconnection.com/history/Facts/Hump.html
  4. ^ "Inn to the past: Downtown Cantonese restaurant points back to city's vanished Chinatown". 
  5. ^ "With Grant Street done, Pittsburgh looks to future". Beaver County Times. Sep 2, 1990. 
  6. ^ Schmitz, John (October 3, 2012). "Grant Street named one of the 10 best in America". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 
  7. ^ a b "Grant Street". The Allegheny Times. Oct 9, 1988. 
  8. ^ "Broken leadership: The pension crisis reveals a Pittsburgh in trouble". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. March 29, 2012. Retrieved October 12, 2012. "It was not your average Grant Street imbroglio. It was a noisy, months-long political brawl that laid bare the inadequacy of leadership in Pittsburgh government." 
  9. ^ Fitzpatrick, Dan (August 22, 2003). "Pittsburgh in Crisis: Why shutdowns, layoffs may be just what's needed". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved October 12, 2012. "Despite the protests, placards and impeachment talk on Grant Street, not everyone is angry about..." 
  10. ^ "Backtracking on Grant Street". The Pittsburgh Press. October 11, 1988.