Search WWW

Field Notes:
Halket Street Arch Bridge, Oakland, Allegheny County, PA

> > Question: "Whatever became of the arch bridge connecting Halket St to Wilmot St in Oakland? I've seen an 1893 photo of this bridge in Walter C. Kidney's "Pittsburgh's Bridges", but can't seem to place its exact location. I believe it was somewhere along what is now the Blvd of the Allies. If so, was it demolished or buried like the Bellefield Bridge?"

I looked at a series of plat maps by G.M. Hopkins:

(search for "halket")

[I'd show you specifically, but the Pitt lawyers weren't very understanding with me.]

The street appears on 1872 and 1876 as turning southward before Bates (nearly in alignment with Zulema.) Wilmot St is shown as a separate street.

The 1886 map shows a connection between Halket and Wilmot. Probably built by a street railway across the top of the Bates St ravine. Looking at the site today, it's possible to envision the location of the fill which would include the power station on the south side of Allies and the hotel across the street. (On the 1886 map, under the "G" in "GROVE" which was Linden Grove -- now simply South Oakland.)

I had thought that Zulema may have been a newer street, created as the end of Blvd of the Allies before it was routed over the former location of Wilmot and onto the Charles Anderson Bridge (replacing the Wilmot St Bridge) into Schenley Park. However, it looks like Zulema was already in existence...and merely widened.

1904 maps show alot of confusing connection with Hodge and Frazier (Plate 15) -- makes me think parts of them are just paper streets. but the fills in the area have apparently obliterated any confirmation.

1904 Plate 17 clearly shows the Halket St Bridge. The presence of C.L. Magee Estate on the nearby lots suggests a couple things: the coming donation of land for the Magee Women's Hospital, the association of Magee with street railway companies (and building the bridge), and another clue which appears on the 1923 series of maps.

1923 Plate 18a shows the bridge has been removed. The surrounding land along Wilmot and Zulema is now owned by the City of Pittsburgh -- possibly in preparation for the right-of-way for the extension of Blvd of the Allies.

1923 Plate 20b adds some confirmation. Sharing land with the Elizabeth Steel Magee Hospital is the car barn of the Pittsburgh, Oakland & East Liberty Passenger Railway Co.

But the streetcars were kept out of Schenley Park by Edward Bigelow. The Squirrel Hill Railroad Co. skirting the park in Junction and Panther Hollows was met with lawsuits and a section was torn up by the city -- leading to Sheriff's Sale. So, that would indicate the Halket Street bridge would have been a city project, not for streetcars, and another Bigelow project to open up easier access to Schenley Park via the accompanying Wilmot St bridge over Junction Hollow.

Knowing how common a practice it was, I agree with your speculation the old bridge was probably just buried in place.

Submit info or inquiry - share some facts or ask a question.

Page created: Page created: 16-Jun-2004
Last modified: 16-Jun-2004