Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Where is the 4200 block of Murray Ave?

According to the Post-Gazette today, there were 3 hold-ups "in Squirrel Hill" yesterday morning in the 4200 block of Murray Ave after which the robber "ran toward Greenfield." This caught my eye and not only because I live a few blocks from that stretch of Murray Ave.

Mainly, I was interested in the neighborhood label: I had always thought of the 4200 block of Murray Ave as lying in Greenfield. Everyone I know calls the Giant Eagle on that part of Murray the "Greenfield Giant Eagle." Indeed, I had thought of all of Murray Ave from the bridge over Beechwood Blvd to Hazelwood Ave as part of Greenfield. I had thought of the border between Squirrel Hill and Greenfield as the section of Beechwood Blvd running from Hazelwood Ave and Brown's Hill Rd north to the parkway entrance and beyond to the Greenfield Bridge over the parkway--Squirrel Hill east of Beechwood and Greenfield west of Beechwood.

On the other hand, I checked the zip code directory and 4200 Murray is indeed in the 15217 zip code. 15217 is normally associated with Squirrel Hill and the post office goes so far as to list "Squirrel Hill, PA" as an acceptable alternative to "Pittsburgh, PA" for mail addressed to the 15217 zip code. And the shopping center at the intersection of Murray Ave and Hazelwood Ave is called "Squirrel Hill Plaza."

But check the Pittsburgh city official neighborhood maps and one finds that "Greenfield" extends east as far as Saline St and makes a weird jog around the triangle park at Hazelwood Ave, Saline St, and Beechwood Blvd such that the triangle is part of "Squirrel Hill South." This is consistent with the signage put up by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy ("Welcome to Squirrel Hill") on that triangle. But it puts "Squirrel Hill Plaza" as well as the
victimized businesses in the 4200-block of Murray squarely in Greenfield.

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