View Single Post
Old Posted Oct 3, 2019, 12:47 PM
eschaton eschaton is offline
Registered User
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 2,965
Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
It's interesting to hear you call the narrow exterior passageways on either side of your house "alleys". Because of the great fire, Chicago has hundreds of thousands of such narrow exterior passageways between buildings and they are always referred to as "gangways" here. Our building, like most flat buildings in the city, has a 3' wide gangway on one side, the other side directly abuts our neighboring flat building. In Chicago vocabulary, an "alley" is exclusively a secondary service street that bisects the middle of a city block.
In Pittsburgh, these are known as "breezeways." Sometimes there are breezeways between rowhouses, where the second story is connected but there is an arched passageway on the ground floor (or occasionally, one with steps downward where the breezeway is actually close to basement level.

Alleys in Pittsburgh almost invariably are named, and have the term "Way" added to the end of them. Some of them have delightfully odd names (Asteroid Way, Hyena Way, Samoa Way, etc.) The reason the alleys have names is because in a lot of the older neighborhoods there's actually a ton of houses which front directly on the alley, meaning you need to have mail delivery and the like.
Reply With Quote