Print

Pretense, Pittsburgh style

Written by Diana Nelson Jones on .

Spretenseway1
And another fascinating thing about Pittsburgh is its street names.
 
While exploring the South Side’s crannies this morning, I turned onto 10th Street, going north off East Carson. Toward the end, I spotted the street sign “Pretense Way.”
 
Whaaa?? 
 
I backed up to make sure I hadn’t misread. I hadn’t. The street dead ends in a grassy bib of land. 
 
I wondered why the city would name an alley that dead ends in about 100 feet Pretense anything? Was this meant as sarcasm?
 
As one of your inquiring minds, I have made a request for information from the city.
 
A corner house frames the sign (photo above). It’s not a pretentious house. A row of newish townhomes lines one side of Pretense Way. I’ve seen a ton more pretentious townhomes than these. The other side is more traditionally South Side looking -- a few small, older houses.
 
Pretense Way is one of several paradoxical street names in the ‘burgh. There’s the dead end street called Progress on the North Shore between the 16th Street bridge and the Riverside Center for Innovation. Retail Way, in East Deutschtown, is mostly vacant land; no retail.
 
These may have gotten caught up in the so-called progress that turns neighborhoods into vacant lots and cuts off local traffic flow by building freeways right through them.
 
Does anyone know? I have feelers out; comment if you have any insight into these names.
 
 

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.