Roslyn Place Nominated for Historic Landmark Status

 Roslyn Place.

Roslyn Place.

In early October Preservation Pittsburgh submitted an historic nomination for Roslyn Place to become the City's latest historic landmark.

Constructed in 1914, the street and surrounding community were designed by Thomas Rodd, a prominent Pittsburgher who served as Chief Engineer for the Pennsylvania Railroad for all lines west of the City.  In addition to designing Roslyn Place, Rodd had a hand in designing the Westinghouse Air Break Company Warehouses, the General Office Building in Wilmerding, and their offices downtown.  He was also known for his philanthropy and contributed significantly to the construction of the Church of the Ascension on Ellsworth Ave.

As well as being of remarkable design, Roslyn Place is exceptional today because it is America's last remaining street entirely paved with wooden blocks.  This technique, called "Nicolson Pavement" dates to the 1850s and was widely adopted around the country because it was cheaper than paving with Belgian block and cobblestones.  It was also more humane on horses, offered them more traction, and helped to quiet the noise of horseshoes throughout the neighborhood.

 Restoration of Roslyn Place, 1985.

Restoration of Roslyn Place, 1985.

Roslyn Place remains a wooden street today because of decades of dedication, advocacy, and care from neighbors, the City of Pittsburgh's Department of Public Works, and preservationists.  Designating the street as a City landmark will recognize one of the most exceptional, and unique, features of Pittsburgh and help ensure its continued future for generations to come.

Should the street be granted landmark status it would be the City's first, and to date only, historic street.

For more information on Roslyn Place or to view the submitted nomination, please see our Resources section located here.

The City's Historic Review Commission has accepted the nomination, found there to be sufficient historic merit to be considered, and scheduled a public hearing on Wednesday, December 7th at 12:30pm in 200 Ross St., Pittsburgh, Pa. 15219.  If you would like to lend your support for the designation, please email the City's Historic Preservation Planner, Sarah Quinn at sarah.quinn@pittsburghpa.gov or come testify in person!

 Thomas Rodd's Original 1913 Schematic for Roslyn Place.

Thomas Rodd's Original 1913 Schematic for Roslyn Place.