Pittsburgh Then and Now: The Boulevard of the Allies

Before its completion, the Boulevard of the Allies was considered the most expensive road in the world.


COURTESY UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH HISTORIC PHOTOGRAPHS | PITTSBURGH CITY PHOTOGRAPHER COLLECTION

 

The first part of the Boulevard of the Allies, named in honor of the Allies of World War I, was dedicated on August 8, 1921. It would be another two years before the entire highway was opened to traffic. As an experiment, one of the first interconnected traffic signal systems was installed on the boulevard in November of 1923. Before its completion, its cost was reported as $1.6 million per mile, the most expensive road in the world at the time.
 


PHOTO BY Julia Menosky
 

As part of Pittsburgh's 250th anniversary, the Boulevard of the Allies was rededicated on June 29, 2008, and American flags were added on both sides of the road as it elevates toward the Liberty Bridge ramp. According to newspaper reports from 1921, there had been plans to places statues and memorials along the Boulevard's route, but those never came to be. 

Pittsburgh Then & Now is a yearlong series in celebration of Pittsburgh Magazine's 50th anniversary where we explore the changes that have happened across the region from 1969 until present-day. Read more Then & Now stories here.

Categories: Then/Now