Penn Avenue

Penn Avenue

Penn Avenue may be the longest street in Pittsburgh. Its western terminus lies at Gateway Center in downtown Pittsburgh. Its eastern portion exits the city at Wilkinsburg where it continues to exist as Penn Avenue with a numbering system that begins anew using small numbers. Penn Avenue is at least ten miles (16 km) long. Many streets either cross or intersect Penn Avenue.

From downtown, Penn Avenue travels in the same general direction as the Allegheny River, thus it passes close by a number of the bridges of the city that cross that river. In the downtown area, Penn Avenue is the main bisecting street of the "cultural district." It passes the Convention Center, the 16th Street Bridge, and goes straight through the Strip District. Penn Avenue passes through Lawrenceville, Garfield and the heart of East Liberty on its route to Wilkinsburg.


In the 18th century, settlers entered the area from the eastern part of Pennsylvania via a road which came to be called the Greensburg Pike early in the 19th century. The road passed through a tiny settlement which grew to become Greensburg, Pa. In Pittsburgh, Greensburg Pike became Penn Avenue, therefore, Penn Avenue is the oldest and most historically-significant street in Pittsburgh.

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