Daily Archives: May 6, 2011

Friday’s Find – Historical Maps of Pittsburgh PA

Last week’s Friday’s Find was historical maps of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This week we move across the state to a site hosted by the University of Pittsburgh that has a great collection of historical maps of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and vicinity. Check it out here.

The format of the maps at this site is quite a bit different than the layered maps of Philadelphia, but the content is (I think) equally as useful. For my own research, I was focusing on the City of Pittsburgh Geodetic and Topographic Survey Maps. I was trying to locate the street where my husband’s great-grandfather lived when he was naturalized in the early 1920s. Not being familiar with Pittsburgh, I was not having very much luck. The street was not showing up on current maps, so I suspected that it was either renamed or closed down.

As it turns out, I was able to find the street on the older maps on the University of Pittsburgh site. Then, by comparing the older maps to newer ones, I was able to determine that the neighborhood where the street was located was subsumed by the expansion of the J&L Steel plant. This lead me to search the area newspapers and I was able to find an article describing the expansion. (The article, however, did not name any of the condemned streets by name.)  In my case these maps were key in helping me find the information I was seeking.

So the Pittsburgh maps are my Friday Find for this week. Hopefully someone else might find them as useful as I did!