New York Songlines: 6th Avenue

AKA Avenue of the Americas

Central Park N | 102nd | 97th | 90th | 86th | 79th | 72nd | 65th | Central Park S | W 58th | W 57th | W 56th | W 55th | W 54th | W 53rd | W 52nd | W 51st (Rockefeller Center) | W 50th | W 49th | W 48th | W 47th | W 46th | W 45th | W 44th | W 43rd | W 42nd | W 41st | W 40th | W 39th | W 38th | W 37th | W 36th | W 35th | W 34th/Broadway (Herald Square) | W 33rd | W 32nd | W 31st | W 30th | W 29th | W 28th | W 27th | W 26th | W. 25th | W 24th | W 23rd | W 22nd | W 21st | W 20th | W 19th | W 18th | W 17th | W 16th | W 15th | W 14th (Greenwich Village) | W 13th | W 12th | W 11th | W 10th | W 9th | Greenwich Ave | W 8th | Waverly Pl | Washington Pl | W 4th | W 3rd | Minetta Ln | Bleecker St | W Houston (SoHo) | Prince | Spring | Broome | Grand | Canal (TriBeCa) | W Broadway | Walker | White | Church


When I first came to New York in 1985, my uncle gave me two pieces of good advice: Don't play Three-Card Monte and don't call it "Avenue of the Americas."

Sixth Avenue was given that sobriquet in 1945 by Mayor Fiorello La Guardia, in honor of the newly formed Organization of American States (and to shake the bad connotations "Sixth Avenue," then known as a failed shopping district, had acquired). But the name didn't take; New Yorkers still call it by its proper numbered name.




W <===     CENTRAL PARK NORTH     ===> E

The Southern Boundary of Harlem

West:

Central Park

Central Park by Magnus Nordstrom, on Flickr

An 853- acre expanse of green in the middle of Manhattan, its 25 million annual visitors make it the most visited public park in the world. Responding to calls from civic leaders like William Cullen Bryant, the city acquired the land in 1853 and held a design contest in 1857, choosing the Greensward Plan of Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux (rhymes with "Walks"). After the moving of 3 million tons of earth and the planting of 270,000 trees and shrubs, the park--almost entirely landscaped, despite its naturalistic appearance--opened to visitors in 1859 (though not officially completed until 1873).



































W <===     TO WEST DRIVE

North Woods

north woods This 40-acre forest is one of the wildest and most secluded areas of Central Park; it's intended to evoke the Adirondacks, complete with rocky cliffs and man-made waterfalls.

The Ravine

Central Park ravine, views This rustic valley follows the course of Montayne’s Rivulet, a natural creek named for Dr. Johannes de la Montagne (1595-1670), New Amsterdam's only physician in the early days of the colony. (He owned a tobacco farm on what's now the Upper West Side.) Olmsted turned it into a long pond known as The Loch; after a century of silting had turned it into more of a mudflat, it was restored in the early 1990s into the more naturalistic stream seen today.

The Ravine is where Trisha Meili, better known as the Central Park Jogger, was found near death on April 20, 1989, in what became Central Park's most notorious crime. The youths charged in her assault were known as the Central Park Five; their convictions were vacated and the city paid them $41 million after DNA evidence indicated that convicted murderer/rapist Matias Reyes was the sole assailant. Donald Trump's calls for the the death penalty for the falsely accused youths helped launch his political career.

Huddlestone Arch

Central Park-Huddlestone Arch, 01.11.14 The East Drive crosses the Ravine via this Vaux-designed bridge, made of rough-cut boulders held together only by gravity.

New Yorkers seem to have been quite concerned that the city would be attacked from the north during the War of 1812, building numerous fortifications in this vicinity to guard the Boston Post Road as it came to a pass here. A clearing here marks the site of Fort Fish, named for Nicholas Fish (1758-1833), chair of the Committee of Defense that was doing all of this fortifying. IMG_4691 On the spot today is a bench honoring Andrew Haswell Green (1820-1903), who did many things for the city of New York, among them adding four blocks of hard-to-develop land to the north end of Central Park. The bench is the only physical monument to someone who has shaped the city like few others.


W <===     102ND ST DRIVE

North Meadow

Central Park-North Meadow, 10.20.13 A 23-acre expanse of undulating lawn, punctuated by hillocks and rocky outcrops. There are seven baseball diamonds, five softball diamonds (which are two-thirds as big) and five fields for soccer or touch football. At the south end of the meadow, where there used to be stables, is now the North Meadow Recreation Center, where you can play basketball, handball or borrow a frisbee.





















































E
A
S
T

D
R
I
V
E





















E
A
S
T

D
R
I
V
E



















E
A
S
T

D
R
I
V
E



















E
A
S
T

D
R
I
V
E



















E
A
S
T

D
R
I
V
E

East:

Farmers Gate

Farmers Gate One of the 20 gates named by the Commis- sioners of Central Park in 1862—though the names were not actually inscribed until 1999. The names were intended to reflect the democratic intentions of the park; I assume this particular assignment had something to do with the still rural character of the north end of Manhattan in the 1860s.

Dana Discovery Center

Dana Discovery Center Holiday Lights

Built in 1993 but looking much older, this environ- mental and visitors center was designed by Samuel G. White—great-grandson of Stanford White—using Central Park's Victorian-styled Dairy as a model.

Charles A. Dana (1819-1897) was a prominent 19th Century newspaper editor (at the Tribune and Sun) who was assistant secretary of War during the Civil War, serving as Grant's liaison to Washington. But the Center was paid for by the Charles A. Dana Foundation, founded by his son, Charles A. Dana Jr. (1881-1975)—a business executive and lawyer who early in his career helped prosecute Stanford White's killer. It's unclear whether father or son is the namesake of the Center.

There was a boathouse built on this site in 1947 that had fallen into ruin by the 1970s.

Harlem Meer

Central Park-Harlem Meer, 11.09.13 This 11-acre lake (which is "meer" in Dutch) is the third-largest body of water in Central Park, after The Reservoir and The Lake. It was originally a brackish wetland at the coming-together of Montayne’s Rivulet (now The Loch) and Harlem Creek, an inlet of the East River that no longer exists aboveground. Dredged into open water by Olmsted, it was given a concrete shoreline by Robert Moses in the 1940s that was removed in a 1990s renovation.

Lasker Rink

Lasker Rink A skating rink in winter and Central Park's only swimming pool in summer, built on what was once part of the Harlem Meer, it opened in 1966 with a Modernist aesthetic not found in the rest of the park's infrastructure. The rink is run by the Trump Organization, the pool by the Parks Department.

It's named for Loula Lasker (1886-1961), whose estate helped finance construction. She was a founder of the League for Industrial Democracy—best remembered as the progenitor of Students for a Democratic Society—and a vice president of the women's Zionist league Hadassah.

The site of Nutter's Battery, an 1812-era fortification built on the site of a British Revolutionary War outpost (and named for local landowner Valentine Nutter), is marked by a stone circle built in 1945 and rebuilt in 2014.

The East Drive passes over McGown's Pass, where the old Boston Post Road crested the high ground of what's now the north end of Central Park. It's named for Daniel McGown, who ran a tavern nearby. A commanding eminence

Fort Clinton is another site fortified during the Revolutionary War (by the Hessians) and later by the defenders of the city in the War of 1812. It was named in 1812 after Mayor DeWitt Clinton (1769-1828), whose championing of the Erie Canal made New York the Empire State. Today the fort is a scenic overlook, marked by two cannons salvaged from the wreck of a British warship, the HMS Hussar, in 1780. In 2013 one of the cannons was discovered to be still loaded with a cannonball and gunpowder, necessitating disarmament by the bomb squad.

The Mount

Jacob Dyckman established the Black Horse Tavern here in the 1740s; the New York Colonial Assembly met here in 1752 to avoid NYC's yellow fever epidemic. Dyckman sold the tavern in 1756 to an in-law, Daniel McGown (or McGowan), by gave the inn the name it's best remembered by: McGowan's Tavern. During the Battle of Harlem Heights in September 1776, General Cornwallis used the tavern as his headquarters. In 1786, after the war, it changed management and was known as Leggets Half Way Tavern.

The tavern seems to have disappeared by 1847, when Mount St. Vincent’s Academy was built on or near the site. With the land dedicated to become part of Central Park, the Sisters of Charity-affiliated school relocated to the Bronx, where it still is found today. Frederick Olmsted lived with his family on the former school grounds from 1859-63 during the creation of the park. At that point it became the Central Park Hospital, aka the US General Hospital or St. Joseph’s Military Hospital, caring for Civil War casualties.

In 1866, following the war, there was again a tavern here, known as Mt. St. Vincent’s Hotel, which burned down and was rebuilt in 1881; it was renamed McGowan's Pass Tavern in 1890 to avoid confusion with the school in the Bronx. It was torn down in 1917. Today the park runs a composting center on the site.

Conservatory Garden

Central Park-Conservatory Garden, 08.10.14 Central Park's only formal garden was originally a nursery to supply plantings for the park; later, from 1898 to 1934, it was home to a greenhouse known as the Conservatory. When the greenhouse had to be dismantled in 1934 because it cost too much to maintain, replacing it with a garden became one of the first efforts of the Works Projects Administration, which created more or less the current garden in 1937.

The six-acre garden is divided in three parts with distinct styles. The northern third is in the French mode, noted for its spring tulips and autumn mums; it's centered on the Untermeyer Fountain, featuring Walter Schott's sculpture Three Dancing Maidens. Conservancy Fountain

The center portion is Italianate, showcasing flowering crabapple and wisteria. Its focus is a geyser fountain known as the Conservatory Garden Center Fountain.

The southernmost section is an English-style garden with abundant magnolia and lilac. A pool here presents statues of Mary and Dickon from The Secret Garden.

The wrought iron Vanderbilt Gates mark the entrance to the gardens; originally designed by George B Post for the Vanderbilt mansion at 5th Avenue and 58th Street, they were salvaged and gifted to the park in 1939 by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney.


E 102ND ST         ===> E

East:

East Meadow

Central Park-East Meadow, 04.26.14 This six-acre rolling lawn is cited as one of the success stories of the Central Park Conservancy, which restored it from a " forbidding dustbowl" in 2010. In the early 1970s, this was considered one of the most dangerous areas of Central Park, with 10 percent of the 853-acre park's robberies occurring here.

W <===     97TH STREET TRANSVERSE     ===> E

West:

Onassis Reservoir

ReservoirThe Reservoir was built from 1858-62 as a supplementary water supply for New York City; with a 106-acre surface and 40 feet deep, it holds a billion gallons, which was thought to be a two-week supply for the city. (Today it's more like a four-hour supply.) Originally known as Lake Manahatta (after the Lenni Lenape name for the island), it was decommissioned in 1993 when the completion of the the first stage of Water Tunnel Three made it superfluous. It was renamed the following year for former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (1929-1994), who lived across Fifth Avenue from it and helped protect Central Park from encroachments.

The Reservoir is surrounded by a running track, which has been used by such luminairies as Onassis, Bill Clinton and Madonna, and featured in films like Breakfast at Tiffany's, Marathon Man and Hannah and Her Sisters. Surrounding the track is a bridle path—used mainly by runners who prefer dirt to gravel.

John Purroy Mitchel Memorial

John Purroy Mitchel
John Purroy Mitchel (1879-1918) was mayor of New York City from 1914-17. Known as "the boy mayor" for his age (34 when elected) and boyish looks, he ran as a reformer and critic of Tammany Hall. One of his grandfathers was an Irish revolutionary and the other the Venezuelan consul, making him the first New York mayor of Latino descent. Defeated for re-election by Tammany's John Hylan, he joined the Army Air Service in hopes of fighting in World War I, a passionate cause of his. He died in a training accident in Louisiana on July 6, 1918, falling from his plane after neglecting to fasten his safety belt.

This memorial was dedicated in 1926. The gilded bust is by Adolph Alexander Weinman, who did Civic Fame atop the Municipal Building and the pediments of the Jefferson Memorial and National Archive in Washington, DC—as well as those Penn Station eagles that you see around town.

Fred Lebow Statue

Central Park Fred Lebow (1932-94) was the founder of the New York Marathon and the president of the New York Road Runners for 20 years. This statue by Jesus Ygnacio Dominguez was erected in his honor after his 1994 death from brain cancer. The statue is moved every year to a spot near the Marathon finish line, close to Tavern on the Green, so it can greet runners as they complete the race. The annual move allows the statue to be classed as "temporary" and evade a longstanding moratorium on new permanent sculptures in the park.

South Gatehouse

NYC - Central Park: South Gate House
This stone mini-fortress was designed in 1864 by Calvert Vaux to control and monitor the output of the Reservoir; six four-foot diameter pipes lead from this structure to slake the thirst of Lower Manhattan. The climactic scene of Marathon Man was set inside here.

E
A
S
T

D
R
I
V
E





















E
A
S
T

D
R
I
V
E




East:

East 96th Street Playground

Created in 1935-36 as one of the perimeter playgrounds; restored in 1994.




Engineers Gate

Engineers Gate One of the original 18 named gates of Central Park; Andrew Haswell Green, on the naming committee, explained that the engineer deserved to be honored because "the highroad, the plankroad, the railroad, the canal, the breakwater, the dock, the tunnel, the viaduct, the aqueduct, and the reservoir are all called into existence by his skill and indomitable perseverance." This location was chosen because of its proximity to the Reservoir, a remarkable engineering feat.

It's also known as the Runners Gate, because this is where the Marathon enters the park for its final leg.

While most of the entrances to the park, in keeping with Olmsted and Vaux's wishes, are simple gaps in the perimeter wall, the Engineers Gate is a striking neo-classical structure, designed by Thomas Hastings (co-architect of the NYPL) and Donn Barber in 1926 as part of the John Purroy Mitchel memorial.


E 90TH ST         ===> E

East:





















































W <===     86TH STREET TRANSVERSE     ===> E

West:

Central Park Police Precinct

The oldest police precinct in the city operates out of an 1871 building designed by Jacob Wrey Mould, originally as a horse stable.

The Great Lawn

Central Park-Great Lawn, 04.19.14

Before Central Park was chosen as the site of Manhattan's main park, this was the site of the York Hill Receiving Reservoir, the endpoint of the Croton Aqueduct, opened in 1842, which supplied New York City with a reliable supply of clean water. From the huge rectangular structure here, water went down to the Distributing Reservoir where Bryant Park and the main library building are today.

York Hill was the name of a community of free African-Americans displaced by the creation of the reservoir. They moved to the nearby Seneca Village—from which they were again evicted for the creation of the park. Central Park-Great Lawn, 04.19.14

Olmsted and Vaux hated the rectlinear, utilitarian imposition in the center of their park, and did their best to disguise it with plantings. With the opening of Water Tunnel 1 in 1917, the Receiving Reservoir was no longer needed, and it taken out of commission in 1931, and filled in with rubble from the construction of Rockefeller Center and the 8th Avenue subway line. The walls were torn down, though some fragments remain—for example, marking the end of the parking lot by the 86th Street Shops, a Parks Department service area. the great lawn, central park

There were numerous ideas as to what to do with the new space, which soon became a Hooverville—a shantytown for people made homeless by the Great Depression (as depicted in an episode of Doctor Who). Suggestions included a vast formal garden, a World War I memorial, a "subterranean playground," a giant swimming pool, an airport, an opera house, a sports arena and a parking garage. After much wrangling, it was decided that a lush lawn would be most in keeping with Olmsted and Vaux's vision of a bucolic park—but demand for recreational facilities led to the installation of permanent baseball diamonds in 1950. El Dorado Over Great Lawn

The lawn became one of New York City's main gathering places, hosting a 1980 concert by Elton John that drew 300,000, a 1981 Simon/Garfunkel reunion that brought 500,000, and two Diana Ross shows in 1983 that brought a total of 1.2 million. The anti-nuclear rally here in 1982 may have been the biggest political protest in US history, with as many as 1 million participants. Other notable events include a 1995 mass by Pope John Paul with 125,000 worshipers, and the premier of Disney's Pocahontas that same year that was seen by 100,000 viewers. All these visitors took a cumulative toll on the lawn; in 2005, after extensive rehabilitation efforts, a ban was put on events here with more than 50,000 attendees.

Alexander Hamilton

Hamilton Profile

Carl Conrads' statue of Hamilton (1757-1804), the New York lawyer who served as Washington's Treasury secretary and helped get the Constitution ratified before becoming a Broadway star more than 200 years later, was donated to the Park in 1880 by John Hamilton, the fifth Hamilton's eight children. Eleven years old at the time of his father's death, John recalled his father uncharacteristically asking him with uncharacteristic tenderness to sleep in his bed the night before his fatal duel with Aaron Burr.


The body of Jennifer Levin, perhaps Central Park's best-remembered murder victim, was found on the lawn behind the Met on August 26, 1986. Robert Chambers, the "Preppie Killer" who strangled her to death, spent 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to manslaughter.

The Obelisk

Cleopatra's Needle Affectionately known as Cleopatra's Needle, this 69-foot, 220-ton monolith is the oldest human-made object in Central Park, or anywhere outdoors in New York City, having been erected about 1450 BCE in Heliopolis, Egypt, to commemorate the 30th year of the reign of Pharaoh Thutmose III (1481-1425 BCE). (This makes it more that 14 centuries older than the Temple of Dendur in the Met.) Thutmose, the stepson of the famous female Pharoah Hatshepsut, was a successful general who expanded the Egyptian Empire from Syria to Nubia. He was the great-great-grandfather of Akhenaten, credited with the invention of monotheism, and great-great-great-grandfather to King Tut. IMG_5282

It was moved in 12 BCE to the Caesareum in Alexandria, a temple erected by Cleopatra in honor of her late lover Julius Caesar—but by that time, Cleopatra was also dead, and the temple rededicated by Augustus in his own honor. Not long after, the pillar was toppled and buried, preserving it for its rediscovery in the 19th century.

A twin of this monument, with the same history, also nicknamed Cleopatra's Needle, was acquired by Britain in 1877; this aroused US interest in getting a souvenir of our own. The Ottoman ruler of Egypt, Mehmet Ali Pasha, gave the archaelogical relic to the US consul general as a gift in 1877; railroad magnate William Vanderbilt donated $100,000 to have it shipped to New York. After many machinations, it was installed here in 1881.

The metal crabs at its base are copies of the ones Augustus made to shore up the pillar's crumbling foundation; the originals are on display at the Met.

Turtle Pond

Belvedere Castle #4

This body of water was not part of Olmsted's original park design, but was added in the 1930s to provide drainage for the Great Lawn. Originally called Lake Belvedere, after the Belvedere Castle that overlooks it from the south, it was renamed in 1987 in honor of its reptilian denizens, mostly red-eared sliders descended from pets that outgrew their pens and were released into the park (though there are several other species of turtle in the pond, including snappers).

Jagiello

Jagiello I

An imposing statue of Jogaila (1362-1434), the grand duke of Lithuania who married Jadwiga, queen of Poland, unifying their realms for more than four centuries. (As king of Poland, he was known as Jagiello, the name that appears on this monument.) As a condition of the marriage, Jagaila converted to Christianity, bringing to an end the last pagan dynasty of Europe.

Jogaila led the Polish/Lithuanian forces against the Teutonic Knights, decisively defeating them at the Battle of Grunwald in 1410. Before the battle, the Knights' grand master challenged him by sending him a gift of two swords; after the victory, the Grunwald Swords became a symbol of defiance and the union of the two peoples. King Jagiello statue.

Jogaila's resistance to Germanic expansion was no doubt on the mind of the Polish government when they chose this statue (a copy of one in Warsaw by sculptor Stanislaw K. Ostrowski) to stand in front of the Polish pavilion at the 1939 World's Fair in Queens. Later that year, Nazi Germany invaded Poland and melted down Warsaw's Jagiello for bullets. The Polish government in exile donated this version to New York City, which installed it here in July 1945.

E
A
S
T

D
R
I
V
E





















E
A
S
T

D
R
I
V
E





















E
A
S
T

D
R
I
V
E





















E
A
S
T

D
R
I
V
E





















E
A
S
T

D
R
I
V
E

East:

The Met

metropolitan museum of art.

(1000 5th Ave): The Metro- politan Museum of Art, New York City's premier art institution, was incorp- orated in 1870 and moved to this location in 1880. (The city's gift of Central Park's land to the museum is why New Yorkers can pay whatever they wish here.) The original building was designed by Calvert Vaux and Jacob Wrey Mould in a red-brick High Victorian Gothic style, already seen as dated at the time. This became the rear central portion of the museum, engulfed by the Beaux Arts facade now associated with the Met, which was designed by Richard Morris Hunt and completed in 1902 by his son, Richard Howland Hunt, and George B. Post. Metropolitan Museum of Art, cornice

The facade sculpture by Karl Bitter includes caryatids representing Sculpture, Painting, Architecture and Music, as well as portraits of the artists Bramante, Michelangelo, Raphael, Dürer, Rembrandt and Velázquez. The blocks of stone atop the pillars were intended to become representations of Egyptian, Greek, Renaissance and Modern art, but were left unfinished for financial reasons.

The north and south wings were added by Charles Follen McKim from 1906-18. The Modernist rear wings were added by Kevin Roche from 1978-87. JOHANNES VERMEER

Among the masterpieces in the Met's collection are Vincent Van Gogh's Wheat Field With Cypresses, El Greco's View of Toledo, Rembrandt's Aristotle Contemplating a Bust of Homer, Vermeer's Young Woman With a Water Pitcher, Picasso's Gertrude Stein, Emanuel Leutze's Washington Crossing the Delaware, John Singer Sargent's Madame X, Breugel's The Harvesters, Valasquez's Juan de Pareja and Jacques Louis David's Death of Socrates. NYC: Metropolitan Museum of Art - Sackler Wing - Temple of Dendur

The 2,000-year-old Temple of Dendur, rescued from the rising waters of the Aswan Dam and relocated here in 1963, is the only complete Egyptian temple in the Western Hemisphere. It's housed in the Sackler Wing, named for the family that played a major role in the opioid crisis that has killed hundreds of thousands of Americans. Period Room: Bedroom from Sagredo Palace, Venice, 18th century (ca. 1718)

The Period Rooms, featuring complete interiors from various eras, were used as a hiding place by the kids in From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. The title character in 1999's The Thomas Crown Affair plots an art theft at the Met, while the crew in Ocean's 8 runs a jewelry heist at the Temple of Dendur—which is also featured in When Harry Met Sally and 2007's I Am Legend.

On February 4, 1963, the Met welcomed its most famous visitor — the Mona Lisa, loaned to the US by special request of First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy. After a million art lovers paid their respects, the painting went back to France on March 7 and hasn't left to Louvre since. Fragment of Alexander I Fragment of a monumental statue of Alexander the Great.











Tiffany Grapes Grapevines by Tiffany.















Saint Jerome El Greco's Saint Jerome.















Perseus With Medusa's Head Perseus with the head of Medusa—by Antonio Canova.










Diana August Saint-Gaudens' Diana, formerly atop Madison Square Garden (when it was on Madison Square).





NYC - Metropolitan Museum of Art: Armor for Man and Horse

The Met's extensive collection of armor includes a suit made for Henry VIII.





Hatshepsut Pharaoh Hatshepsut, stepmother of the pharaoh to whom the Obelisk is dedicated.

















Slapend meisje, 1656, Vermeer Among the Met's European paintings are one-seventh of all the Vermeers in existence.




























W <===     79TH STREET TRANSVERSE     ===> E

West:

The Ramble

The Lake From The Ramble A 38-acre "wild garden," this area of twisting wooded paths and dramatic rock outcroppings is one of the best places in the park to see birds. Since the early 1900s, it's also been a place for gay men to meet up; in 1947, a 17-year-old Harvey Milk was arrested here for "indecently" loitering with his shirt off.

The artificial stream that runs through The Ramble into The Lake is called The Gill.

Still Hunt

Still Hunt Detail

This 1883 statue of a crouching mountain lion sometimes startles people passing below it on the East Drive. It was sculpted by Edward Kemeys (1843-1907), who was a laborer helping to construct Central Park when he saw an artist modeling a wolf at the Zoo and decided to become a sculptor. He specialized in animals, often based on observations of wild behavior; his most famous pieces are the lions in front of Chicago's Art Institute.

Loeb Boathouse

The Boathouse Restaurant, Central Park

At the northeast end of The Lake, built in 1954 with a $300,000 donation from copper magnate Carl Loeb, it's one of the few places to sit down to eat in Central Park. Home to the Bird Registry, a binder where the park's many bird enthusiasts record their sightings. It's the third boathouse on the The Lake; the first, a two-story Victorian structure designed by Vaux, was located where the boat rentals now are from 1872-1924.

The Lake

San Remo Over Boat Lake

This 20-acre body of water was created by Olmsted from a pre-existing swamp—in part by turning the East Drive into an earthen dam. This is where people rent boats to go rowing in Central Park; until 1950, it was used for ice-skating in the winter. It's also home to waterfowl, including ducks, geese and sometimes herons and egrets. (The mute swans who used to nest here are gone, possibly evicted as invasive species.)

Crossing the lake is the cast-iron Bow Bridge, one of Calvert Vaux's most iconic creations. It's appears in numerous films, including Manhattan, Enchanted and Spider-Man 3.

Bethesda Terrace

Bethesda Fountain The heart of Central Park and thus of New York City. Designed by Calvert Vaux to be the one formal feature in the original pastoral park plan, it was largely built during the Civil War but not completed until 1873. The centerpiece is the Bethesda Fountain, evoking the angel-blessed healing pool in the Gospel of John. The statue, The Angel of the Waters, is by Emma Stebbins, the first female sculptor to receive a major public commission in New York City; the angel is speculated to be based on Stebbins' lover, the actor Charlotte Cushman, who was diagnosed with breast cancer shortly after the statue was cast. Bethesda Terrace

The Roman- esque staircase made of New Brunswick sandstone are decorated with carvings representing the seasons, day and night by Jacob Wrey Mould. The arcade underneath features gorgeous ceiling tiles from England's Minton & Co.—removed in 1983 and finally restored in 2007. Bethesda Angel

The Terrace was a center of hippie culture, as depicted in the films Godspell and Hair. It's been featured in countless other films and shows, including Enchanted, The Avengers, Home Alone 2 and Doctor Who. The angel makes an appearance in the play Angels in America.

E
A
S
T

D
R
I
V
E











E
A
S
T

D
R
I
V
E











E
A
S
T

D
R
I
V
E











E
A
S
T

D
R
I
V
E

East:

































Cedar Hill

Central Park-Cedar Hill, 10.12.14 A popular hill for sledding in winter, named for the red cedars on its crest. The undulating terrain reflects glacial scarring.


The Glade

Under the Glade Arch Not to be confused with the Children's Glade, which is on the opposite side of the park. This is the one with Calvert Vaux's Glade Arch.




Alice in Wonderland

Eden in Alice's Lap

This 1959 sculpture by José de Creeft, featuring Alice on a giant mushroom surrounded by characters from the Lewis Carroll book, is designed to be climbed on by children. The statue was paid for by George Delacorte, who is the model for the sculpture's Mad Hatter.

Conservatory Water

Central Park-Conservatory Water, 11.02.13 Planned as the reflecting pool for a glass conserv- atory that was never built, it's now known as the Model Boat Pond, famous for the miniature ships sailing its waters, as featured in E.B. White's Stuart Little. Hans Christian Andersen I

West of the pond is a statue of Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875), sculpted by Georg John Lober in 1955. (Lober also made Times Square's George Cohan.) It's the site of a summer reading program.

The Conservatory Water is a prime spot to watch for Pale Male—the most famous red-tailed hawk in the world, and at 29 years old in 2019, the oldest ever recorded in the wild.




Pilgrim Hill

The Pilgrim

Another popular sledding hill, it's named for the statue of a pilgrim by John Quincy Adams Ward, given to the park by the New England Society in 1885. (Ward sculpted Indian Hunter, William Shakespeare and the 7th Regiment Memorial elsewhere in the park, and George Washington and the Stock Exchange pediment, both on Wall Street.)



W <===     TERRACE DRIVE/E 72ND ST     ===> E

West:

Rumsey Playground

Rght before the show Originally the site of the Ladies Refreshment Salon, better known as the Central Park Casino, designed by Calvert Vaux to as a rest stop for unaccompanied women, but turned under Mayor Jimmy Walker into one of New York's most exclusive nightclubs. (It's the birthplace of the classic dish Clams Casino.) Mother Goose

When Fiorello LaGuardia became mayor in 1934, he had the place torn down as a symbol of elitist decadence—replacing the area with a playfield named for Mary Harriman Rumsey (1881-1934), a railroad heiress who founded the Junior League. The 1938 statue of Mother Goose near the east entrance to the field, by Frederick Roth (who also did Balto and the dancing goat and bear at the Central Park Zoo) marks its history as one of the Park's first playgrounds. TV on the Radio, Central Park Summerstage 3

Since 1990, it's been best known as the site of Summer- Stage—originally a series of free concerts, but now mostly high-priced "benefit" concerts, with lesser names playing a handful of free shows to justify turning over prime Central Park real estate to a commercial concert promoter—in this case, right-wing billionaire Philip Anschutz.

The Mall

Fall Mall The straight lines of the promenade were a deliberate contrast to the curvilinear design philosophy of Olmsted and Vaux's plan. The American elms that form a cathedral-like arch over the walk are actually the third generation of elms on the site, planted c. 1920; groundskeepers are constantly on watch for signs of Dutch elm disease. Robert Burns

The lower end of The Mall is known as the Literary Walk for its statues of writers: William Shakespeare was the first, sculpted in 1870 by John Quincy Adams Ward; the Scottish novelist Sir Walter Scott followed a year later (1871), designed by Edinburgh's John Steell. Next came James MacDonald's Fitz-Greene Halleck; unlike the others, Halleck was a New Yorker, though few New Yorkers recall his name, much less remember any of his once wildly popular romantic poetry. (His statue was dedicated here in 1877 by President Rutherford B. Hayes.) Another figure of a Scots writer, Robert Burns, was added around 1880, again sculpted by Steell. Christopher Columbus, Central Park, NYC

In 1892, for the 400th anniversary of the first Spanish invasion of the Americas, the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society commissioned a statue of Christopher Columbus from Spanish sculptor Jeronimo Sunol. Depicted the bearing cross and Spanish flag, it's similar to an 1885 monument Sunol designed for Madrid. Columbus is considered the odd man out on Literary Walk, since none of the others were responsible for introducing slavery and genocide to the Americas. The Indian Hunter

A bit to the west of Literary Walk is John Quincy Adams Ward's Indian Hunter, unveiled in 1869, making it one of the first sculptures to be placed in the park. It's based on the Borghese Warrior, a classical statue in the Louvre, but also on Native American people Ward observed in the Dakotas.

Sheep Meadow

Sheep Meadow The Sheep Meadow is said to have been the most expensive part of Central Park to create— transforming a rocky, swampy expanse into a 15-acre field.

It originally had a flock of actual sheep, added by Olmsted in 1864 to discourage military parades, which he saw as unpastoral. (The Sheepfold where they were kept is now Tavern on the Green.) The sheep were evicted by Robert Moses in 1934; at the time there was some concern that hungry Depression victims would eat them.

In 1917, the UC-5, a captured German U-boat that had sunk 30 Allied ships, was put on display here. Memorial Day (Sunday before)

In the 1960s, it was a popular gathering spot for the hippie counterculture; the be-in in the movie version of Hair was filmed here. By the late 1970s it was something of a dustbowl, and restoring the lawn, in 1980, was one of the first projects of the Central Park Conservancy. Since then it's been reserved for quiet recreation. The Meadow is closed in wintertime.
















E
A
S
T

D
R
I
V
E
















E
A
S
T

D
R
I
V
E
/
C
E
N
T
E
R

D
R
I
V
E











C
E
N
T
E
R

D
R
I
V
E




East:











East Green

Central Park-East Green, 11.01.14

A quiet zone noted for its flowering trees in spring. Originally used as a cricket field.









Willowdell Arch

Willowdell Arch The East Drive crosses over this brick-and-sandstone arch at this point, an 1861 design by Vaux and Mould. There's a long-defunct drinking fountain inside. Balto

Near the arch is the statue of Balto, an Alaskan sled dog who in January 1925 helped deliver diphtheria antitoxin from Anchorage to Rome during an epidemic, when the only plane available was grounded. (Balto was the lead dog of the final team of a relay—he stands for dozens of hero dogs who took part.) The statue was erected here on December 17, 1925, less than a year after the mission; Balto himself was on hand for the unveiling.

The Dene

Summer House I A dene is a "deep, narrow wooded valley of a small river" (Oxford)—and in fact, a branch of DeVoor's Mill Stream once flowed through here, between what are now the Willowdale and Denesmouth arches. The secluded area is overseen by the Summerhouse, a rustic shelter atop an imposing outcrop—a popular spot for weddings.





EAST DRIVE         ===> S

This Songline switches from Center Drive to East Drive at this point, so that 6th Avenue can connect up with Lenox Avenue.

South:








































































W <===     65TH STREET TRANSVERSE     ===> E

West:

The Carousel

Carousel There's been a merry-go-round in this area since 1871—the first one originally powered by a horse and a blind mule who lived in a pit below the ride. A successor to that carousel burned in 1950, and the current version was brought in at that time—relocated from the BMT trolley stop at Coney Island, it was carved in 1910. The Trump Organization took over operation of the attraction in 2010.

The Carousel features prominently in the novel Catcher in the Rye and in the Marvel TV show The Punisher (though a carousel in Queens stood in for Central Park's).

Playmates Arch

Central Park-Carousel, 01.25.14 The Center Drive here passes over an 1861 arch designed by Vaux and Mould. The festive striping inside reflects its role as the center of the Park's Children's District.


























Driprock Arch

Autumn in Central Park

This 1860 red-brick-and-sandstone arch by Vaux and Mould is something of a bridge to nowhere—it lifts a pedestrian walk over another pedestrian walk. The lower walk used to be a bridle path, eliminated by the expansion of the Heckscher Playground. Drip Rock

There is an actual Driprock nearby, and water really does drip from it.




















W <===     TO WEST DRIVE

Bolivar Plaza




This entrance was dubbed the Artists' Gate by the Central Park commissioners in 1862, but like most of the other entrances wasn't marked until 1999. The plaza here—which is the top of the Avenue of the Americas—features statues of Latin American liberators. NYC - Central Park: Bolivar Plaza - Jose Marti statue by wallyg, on Flickr

Jose Marti, a journalist and poet (he wrote the words to "Guantanamera"), was killed fighting for Cuban independence in 1895; he had spent the previous three years in exile in New York. He's a hero to both pro- and anti-Castro Cubans; this statue was given to the city by the Castro government in 1965, after having been donated for that purpose by the sculptor, Anna Vaughn Hyatt Huntington. It depicts Marti being fatally wounded. Central Park by peterjr1961, on Flickr

Jose San Martin was a general who led the rebellion against Spain in Argentina, Chile and Peru. This sculpture is a gift from the city of Buenos Aires, a smaller-scale copy of the 1862 statue by Louis Joseph Daumas that presides over that city's Plaza de San Martin. It was installed here in 1951 after we sent Buenos Aires a statue of George Washington.

C
E
N
T
E
R

D
R
I
V
E














C
E
N
T
E
R

D
R
I
V
E














C
E
N
T
E
R

D
R
I
V
E

East:

Chess and Checkers House

Central Park Visitor Centre

This was the site of the Kinderberg, or Children's Mountain, a rustic shelter built as part of the response to complaints that the original park design didn't have enough to offer kids. It was replaced by the current structure in 1952, a visitors center where one can borrow not only chess and checkers sets but also backgammon boards and dominos. The pergola was added in 1986 to provide shade for players.

The Dairy

Central Park-Dairy House, 12.14.13 Built in 1870 to provide fresh milk and other refreshments to visitors, particularly children, The Dairy was a response to widespread—and justified—concerns about the wholesomeness of the milk supply. Calvert Vaux designed the structure in a whimsical Victorian Gothic style. Initial plans to keep cows here were abandoned; instead, fresh milk was brought in by a draft horse. The building served as a refreshment stand until 1911, after which the building was sadly neglected. It was restored in 1979; today it houses an exhibit on Central Park's history and a gift shop.

Wollman Rink

Wollman Rink Originally a separate lobe of The Pond, linked by the channel under the Gapstow Bridge, it was turned into a seasonal skating rink in 1949, financed by the estate of stockbroker William Wollman.

In summertime it was a concert venue, the Wollman Theater; Jean Shepherd hosted a series of jazz concerts in 1957 featuring the likes of Billie Holiday, Dinah Washington, Dizzy Gillespie, Lionel Hampton and the Dave Brubeck Quartet. From 1967 to 1980, concerts here were sponsored by Rheingold, Schaefer and finally Dr. Pepper; acts included Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, The Who, Bob Marley, Frank Zappa, Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, Miles Davis etc.

When the rink needed repair in the 1980s, Donald Trump insisted on taking control of the project, promising to donate his profits to charity. Instead, he pockets $9 million a year for operating this rink and one at the north end of the park; the city, which owns the rinks, gets $2 million. It's been suggested that the rink project put Trump on the road to the presidency. Victorian Gardens

In the summer, the rink is the site of Victorian Gardens, an amusement park operated by the managers of Luna Park in Coney Island.

Hallett Nature Sanctuary

Central Park-Hallett Nature Sanctuary, 05.06.14 One of the wildest parts of Central Park is less than a hundred yards from 59th Street. Home to raccoons, woodchucks, squirrels and rabbits, its four acres were closed to human visitors from 1934 until 1996, and access is still limited. There's a great view from atop the hill that Olmsted and Vaux called The Promontory

Hallett was a mathematician and an avid bird watcher who led the revision of the city charter that was passed in 1975. Cop Cot, #1 by Vidiot, on Flickr

A short ways into the park here is the Cop Cot, a rustic wooden shelter (of sorts—it lacks an actual roof). Not intended as a place for police to sleep, its name means "Hilltop Cottage" in Old English.

The Pond

The Pond in February

Olmsted and Vaux set this lovely and tranquil artificial lake below street level so as to immediately bring visitors out of the city into a more pastoral experience. It's a favorite stop for ducks, geese, seagulls and other waterfowl. The ducks that Holden Caulfield worries about in Catcher in the Rye are swimming in The Pond.

Simon Bolivar

NYC - Central Park: Bolivar Plaza - Simon Bolivar Statue by wallyg, on Flickr Simon Bolivar, on the other side of the plaza, liberated Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia (which was named in his honor). The statue by Sally James Farnham was a gift from Venezuela installed in the park in 1921 and rededicated here in 1951 to celebrate the renaming of the Avenue.

W <===     CENTRAL PARK SOUTH     ===> E

West:

The Trump Parc

Block (100-106 CPS): When it was the Barbizon Plaza Hotel, it was home to writer Anais Nin in 1934-35; she called it the Hotel Chaotica. Frida Kahlo stayed here in 1931, and felt she was badly treated. Mobster Lucky Luciano lived here in the 1920s. Sylvia Plath stayed here when she was a guest editor of Mademoiselle; in The Bell Jar, it appears as The Amazon. Other guests/residents include Grace Kelly, Candice Bergen, Liza Minnelli and Edith Bouvier Beale (of Grey Gardens fame).

Bought by Donald Trump in 1988 and redesigned down to the frame, it became home to such celebrities as O.J. Simpson, LaToya Jackson, Larry Hagman ("J.R. Ewing") and Morton Downey Jr. Recognizable by the gilded teeth on the tower on top.















6
T
H

A
V
E
N
U
E

East:

Ritz-Carlton Hotel

The Ritz Carlton at Central Park (W 59th St - New York) by scalleja, on Flickr

Corner (50 CPS): This is the third incarnation of the luxury hotel in Midtown Manhattan, and the second on Central Park South. It used to be the San-Moritz hotel, known as "the biggest little hotel in town." In 1935, it became home to Kurt Weill and Lotte Lenya, who were fleeing Nazi Germany. Later, in 1941, artist Marc Chagall came here after leaving Nazi-occupied France. It has also been home to columnist Walter Winchell and Yankee star Mickey Mantle. Winchell, who supposedly lived here rent free in return for plugging the hotel in his column, threatened to leave if management allowed gangster Lucky Luciano to live here; they didn't.

The house restaurant is BLT Market, considered by TONY to be the jewel in the crown of Laurent Tourondel's culinary empire.

Corner (57 W 58th): The Coronet is an 11-story red-brick apartment building from 1901, condoized in 1976. Time has not been particularly kind to it. Used to house the Manhattan Ocean Club, noted seafood restaurant.


W <===     WEST 58TH STREET     ===> E

This is the intersection where Ratso Rizzo says, "I'm walking here!"

West:

Windsor Park

Corner (100 W 58th): Architect-for-billionaires Charles Gwathmey designed the 2004 conversion of the former Helmsley Windsor Hotel into luxury housing-- including adding a $16 million penthouse to the roof. The building was put up as a co-op by Rosario Candela in the 1920s. Comedian Fred Allen lived here in the 1930s and '40s; Angela Lansbury has lived here more recently. skull by Leo Reynolds, on Flickr

1409: Jekyll & Hyde Club, audioanimatronic dining

Buckingham Hotel

Corner (101 W 57th): Opened in 1929, this hotel has been home to numerous artists and musicians, including Ignace Paderewski, who lived here from 1929 until his death in 1941. Author Damon Runyon lived here in 1944-46, the last years of his life.

6
T
H

A
V
E
N
U
E

East:

Corner (68 W 58th): Actress Gloria Swanson lived in this building, then the Park Chambers Hotel, from 1925 until the early 1930s. On the ground floor now is the Kobe Club, restaurant featuring super-expensive Japanese beef and 2,000 samurai swords dangling from the ceiling in a dining room that looks like "Akira Kurosawa hired the Marquis de Sade as an interior decorator" (New York Times). The space used to be Mix, also by restauranteur Jeffrey Chodorow.

Corner (57 W 57th): Cornerstone of Medical Arts Center, a rehab clinic, is in a 1928 gilt-trimmed office building. This was once home to Club Martinique, where Frank Sinatra, Jo Stafford and Danny Thomas used to play; from 1977-84 it was the Ice Palace 57, a spin-off of a Fire Island disco that was said to have the best light show in town. The space later became the Silver Shadow.

Previously at this address was a rundown three-story brick building where Dorothy Parker lived in the early 1920s when her marriage was breaking up. Illustrator Neysa McMein (she created Betty Crocker) had a studio across the hall, which became a gathering place for the likes of Charlie Chaplin, Harpo Mark and George Gershwin. McMein is said to have popularized the game of Charades in America.


W <===     WEST 57TH STREET     ===> E

West:

1381 (block): Carnegie House, 21-story grey-brick apartment building that went up in 1962--named for Carnegie Hall, a longish block away. Ballerina Alexandra Danilova lived here.








6
T
H

A
V
E

East:

French Bistro by M+MD, on Flickr

1380 (block): Hemisphere House, a 20-story white-brick apartment building put up in 1968. Author Jerzy Kosinski killed himself here on May 3, 1991. On the ground floor are Rue 57 Brasserie, Carnegie Luggage.


W <===     WEST 56TH STREET     ===> E

West:

1375: Pazza Notte, Italian

1371: Flowers on the Avenue

1369: Vitamin Muse

1367: 55 Digital

1365: Fromex Photo System

1363: World of Nuts & Ice Cream

1361 (corner): Astro Restaurant, diner. Singer Tony Bennett has lived in this building.

6
T
H

A
V
E

East:






1366: Ernest Klein & Company International Supermarket






W <===     WEST 55TH STREET     ===> E

West:

Burlington House

Block (120 W 55th): A 50-story office tower completed 1969, named for Burlington Industries, a fabric maker that ceased operations in 2004. The building is now formally the Alliance Capital Building, after Alliance took over Mastercard's former space here in 1994. Noted for the Dandelion Fountain out front.






Site of Old Zeigfeld Theatre

1341 (corner): Impressario Florenz Zeigfeld took his Follies here in 1927, to a sumptuous Art Deco house designed by Thomas W. Lamb and bankrolled by William Randolph Hearst. Later that year, the classic musical Show Boat premiered here. During the Depression, it was Loew's Zeigfeld, a movie palace. From 1955 to 1963, NBC used it as a TV studio. Briefly a live theater again, it was torn down in 1966.

6
T
H

A
V
E
N
U
E

East:

MGM Building

1350 (corner): Now known as the Men's Apparel Building, a 35-story glass office tower from 1966 designed by WTC architects Emery Roth & Sons. Served as New York headquarters for the classic film studio. It also appeared as the United Broadcasting System studios in Network.

Warwick Hotel

Warwick Hotel from 33rd floor by zio Paolino, on Flickr

1340 (corner): Built in 1926 by William Randolph Hearst with a specially designed floor for his mistress, Marion Davies. A favorite of show business sorts, the hotel boasts James Dean, Elvis Presley, Elizabeth Taylor and Jane Russell as having been frequent guests. Cary Grant lived here for 12 years; The Beatles stayed here when they first came to the States.


W <===     WEST 54TH STREET     ===> E

West:

New York Hilton

New York - Hilton Hotel by celikins, on Flickr

1335 (block): A 49-story slab emerging from a boxy base, completed 1963 to Harrison & Abramowitz' design. Philip Pavia's Ides of March, an abstract sculpture group, was in front here until 1988, when it moved to the Hippodrome.

The climax of the film Michael Clayton was shot here.

6
T
H

A
V
E

East:

Financial Times Building

1330 (block): A 41-story completed in 1965 and designed by Emery Roth & Sons. Originally built for ABC, it became ITT's headquarters after the conglomerate bought the network. It's now the U.S. base of the British business paper.











W <===     WEST 53RD STREET     ===> E

West:

Credit Lyonnais Building

nyc98k6av10 Venus de Milo, 6th Avenue, New York 1998 by CanadaGood, on Flickr

1301 (block): A 1964 office tower, 45 stories designed by Shreve, Lamb & Harmon Associates; originally known as the J. C. Penney Building. Serves as headquarters for the Pricewaterhouse Coopers accounting firm. Noted for Jim Dine's gargantuan green pastiches of the Venus de Milo in its plaza. The film Michael Clayton used the offices of the law firm Dewey & LeBoeuf here for some of the interior shots.

6
T
H

A
V
E
N
U
E

East:

Black Rock

NYC - Midtown: CBS Building by wallyg, on Flickr

Block (51 W 52nd): The 38-story headquarters of the CBS network, built in 1965 as the only skyscraper designed by Finnish-born Eero Saarinen. The nickname comes from the imposing, triangular black granite pillars that run the length of the building. It was the first New York highrise to have a reinforced concrete (rather than steel) frame.



W <===     WEST 52ND STREET     ===> E

West:

UBS Building

1285 (block): A 42-floor office tower from 1960, designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. Built for Equitable Life; the brockerage firm Paine Webber moved here in 1985, and merged with the Swiss bank UBS in 2000.






















6
T
H

A
V
E
N
U
E

East:

Sperry-Rand Building

1290 (block): A 43-story office tower designed by Emery Roth & Sons and built by the Uris brothers in 1961-62.

On Seinfeld, George Constanza claims that the 14th floor of this building has the best restroom in the vicinity of 54th and Sixth.

It was built on the site of the legendary Toots Shor's Restaurant, which opened here in 1940, a hangout for athletes, sportswriters and assorted famous people. (When Yogi Berra was introduced to Ernest Hemingway here as "an important writer," Berra reportedly replied, "What paper you with, Ernie?") Shor, a former speakeasy bouncer, left Jackie Gleason on the floor here after winning a drinking contest, ordered an impatient Charlie Chaplin to "be funny for the people for the next 20 minutes," and told Louis B. Mayer that his food was "better'n some of your crummy pictures I stood in line for." He counted both Joe DiMaggio and Chief Justice Earl Warren among his closest friends. He held out against the developers for years, but eventually sold his lease here for $1.5 million in 1959 and moved to 52nd Street.

1288: Artist Mark Rothko lived at this former address from 1946-54, during the pivotal part of his career when he moved toward pure abstraction.


W <===     WEST 51ST STREET     ===> E

West:

Time & Life Building

Time-Life building in Manhattan by dungodung, on Flickr

Technically part of Rockefeller Center, but not really, this 48-floor tower, completed in 1959, was the first building to be added to the complex on the west side of 6th Avenue. Designed by Harrison & Abramowitz, before Harris was added to the name. Time and Life were the flagships of Henry Luce's magazine empire, now part of NYC: Time & Life Building - Cubed Curve by wallyg, on Flickr Time Warner; Time's offices are still here. CNN's American Morning had its studios on the ground floor from 2002-06; SportsNet New York is now based there.

On the TV show Mad Men, Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce's offices are located here.

The blue metal sculpture in front is Cubed Curve, by William Crovello.


















6
T
H

A
V
E
N
U
E

East:

Rockefeller Center

The land that is now Rockefeller Center was once the Elgin Botanic Garden, 20 acres of mainly medicinal herbs established by Dr. David Hosack, the physician who attended Alexander Hamilton after his fatal duel with Aaron Burr. The Lewis and Clark expedition sent plants here for identification.

The garden was sold to the state in 1810, which granted it to Columbia University, which allowed the garden to be developed. In 1929, the land was leased to John D. Rockefeller, who built on it an Art Deco masterpiece that is one of New York City's crowning architectural achievements.

1270: The RKO Building (now officially the Amax Building) was completed in 1932.

Radio City Music Hall

Radio City Music Hall by carlos_seo, on Flickr

1260 (corner): When it opened in 1932, this auditorium's 6,200 seats made it the largest in the world. Impressario Sam "Roxy" Rothafel intended it to be a live venue, but it soon became a cinema featuring a live pre-show showcasing precision dancers--originally the Roxyettes, now the world-famous Rockettes. Radio City Music Hall by katie killary, on Flickr

The auditorium saw the premieres of such films as Singing in the Rain, An American in Paris and King Kong (shared with the Roxy). The Woody Allen character comes here in Radio Days; Daddy Warbucks buys out a whole show here in Annie. It also appears in The Godfather and Hitchcock's Saboteur.


W <===     WEST 50TH STREET     ===> E

West:

Exxon Bulding

NYC: 6th Avenue - XYZ Buildings by wallyg, on Flickr

1251 (block):

Another western addition to Rockefeller Center, this was built in 1971 to a Harrison, Abramowitz & Harris design; Wallace Harrison used to refer to this and its two similar-looking neighbors to the south as the XYZ Buildings. nyc98k6av14 Fountain, 6th Ave at 50th, New York 1998 by CanadaGood, on Flickr

Exxon used to be Esso, which was Standard Oil of New Jersey ("S.O."), part of the breakup of the Rockefellers' Standard Oil Company. Exxon is now merged with Mobil, formerly Socony--Standard Oil Co. of New York.



























6
T
H

A
V
E
N
U
E

East:

RCA Building

NYC - Rockefeller Center: GE Building by wallyg, on Flickr

30 Rockefeller Plaza (block): The crown jewel of Rockefeller Center, completed in 1933, this 70-story limestone masterpiece is attributed mainly to Raymond Hood. Diego Rivera's mural, Man at Crossroads Looking With Hope and High Vision to the Choosing of a New and Better Future, was painted over by Nelson Rockefeller when Rivera refused to take Lenin out of the artwork. The murals visible today are Jose Maria Sert's American Progress and Time. Above the main entrance is Lee Lawrie's relief sculpture Genius.

The famous Rainbow Room is on the 65th floor, which opened in 1934 as a nightspot for Rockefellers, Astors and Morgans. Entertainment was provided by the likes of Mary Martin, Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy, Comden and Green, and Judy Holliday. It's touted as the "most perfect room in New York." Nana on Top of the Rock by edenpictures, on Flickr

The "Top of the Rock," the recently reopened rooftop observatory, is a great alternative to the Empire State Building-- the sailors go there in the movie On the Town.

RCA was the Radio Corporation of America, formed in 1919 as a joint subsidiary of General Electric and AT&T; both NBC and ABC were initially launched by RCA. When GE reacquired RCA in 1986, GE CEO Jack Welch insisted on renaming the RCA Building the GE Building. Jack Welch is a poor role model for America's children.

NBC's main New York studios are located in this building, where shows like NBC Nightly News, Saturday Night Live and Late Night With Conan O'Brien are taped; The Tonight Show used to broadcast from here in the Jack Paar/early Johnny Carson days. Arturo Toscanini used to broadcast from the same studio that today houses SNL.


W <===     WEST 49TH STREET     ===> E

West:

1237: There used to be a branch of the women-focused tearoom chain Schrafft's here.

McGraw Hill Building

1221 (block): Con- sidered the best of the Harrison, Abromowitz & Harris additions to Rockefeller Center, it went up in 1972 to house the publishing company. McGraw Publishing, founded in 1899, merged with Hill Publishing in 1909. The company also owns Standard & Poor's.

6
T
H

A
V
E

East:

Simon and Schuster Bulding

1230 (block): Built in 1940 as the U.S. Rubber Building, this marks the southern end of the original Rockefeller Center project. Simon & Schuster, founded in 1924 and perhaps most notable as the parent company of Pocket Books, is now part of CBS.




W <===     WEST 48TH STREET     ===> E

West:

Celanese Building

1211 (block): This 1973 Harrison, Abramowitz & Harris building in the southernmost of the Rockefeller addition skyscrapers. It's named for a chemical company, but it's best known as the U.S. headquarters of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation; it's where Fox News, the New York Post and Murdoch himself have their main offices.







6
T
H

A
V
E

East:



Diamond District

Diamond District by 28 Dreams, on Flickr

1200 (corner): Diamond City marks the start of a block-long row of diamond businesses along 47th Street, mostly owned by Orthodox Jews. Marathon Man has a famous scene set here.


W <===     WEST 47TH STREET     ===> E

West:

1185 (block): The 40-story Stevens Tower is a 1971 work of Emery Roth & Sons. The J.P. Stevens Company, founded in 1813 to make fabric during the War of 1812, is now part of WestPoint Stevens.






6
T
H

A
V
E

East:







1180 (corner): This is the address of Kenner, Bach & Ledeen, the title character's law firm in the film Michael Clayton.


W <===     WEST 46TH STREET     ===> E

West:

1177 (block): Americas Tower, a 50-story post-modern office building with an Art Deco style, was started in 1988 but not completed until 1994--the delay in part caused by litigation around the estate of Ferdinand Marcos, who was one of the project's backers.




6
T
H

A
V
E

East:

Corner: The site of the Columbia Hotel, where poet Delmore Schwartz died from a heart attack on July 11, 1966, at the age of 52.








W <===     WEST 45TH STREET     ===> E

West:

1155 (block): This 1984 design by Emery Roth & Sons features 40 stories of polished black granite.







6
T
H

A
V
E

East:











W <===     WEST 44TH STREET     ===> E

West:



International Center for Photography

Che! Revolution and Commerce by t_a_i_s, on Flickr A school and museum founded in 1974 in honor of Robert Capa. This site was an expansion begun in 1989 and became the main headquarters in 1999.

6
T
H

A
V
E

East:

Hippodrome

Block: "I wanna see the Hippodrome," insists the sailor in On the Town, referring to the namesake predecessor on this site, an enormous auditorium (5,697 seats) designed for spectaculars by the team that developed Coney Island's Luna Park. Open from 1905 until 1939, it saw the American debut of Cary Grant on August 8, 1920.

It's said that the Algonquin Roundtable formed when Robert Sherwood, who worked at Vanity Fair, was intimidated by the midgets at the Hippodrome, and so insisted that his coworkers Dorothy Parker and Robert Benchley eat lunch with him every day.


W <===     WEST 43RD STREET     ===> E

West:

Corner: Was Hanover House, a seedy hotel where Woody Guthrie wrote "This Land Is Your Land" on February 23, 1940.

Bank of America Tower

New Bank of America Tower by kmccaul, on Flickr

Corner: The crystalline skyscraper going up here makes a claim to being the second-tallest building in New York City--but if you don't count the spire (which you shouldn't), the Chrysler Building is still the second tallest. Designed by Cook+Fox Architects to be eco-friendly. Also known as the Bank of America Tower.

6
T
H

A
V
E
N
U
E

East:

Grace Plaza

An entrance plaza to the Grace Building (the building with the curved facade facing Bryant Park). The pavilion in the plaza is the entrance to the School of the International Center of Photography.











1100 (corner): Bryant Park Building, built c. 1912, houses the offices of HBO.


W <===     WEST 42ND STREET     ===> E

West:

Verizon Building

1095 Ave of the Americas by joesixpacktech, on Flickr

1095 (block): This tower, designed by Kahn & Jacobs, was built in 1974 by AT&T as the New York Telephone Company Building; a break-up, a merger and a name-change later, it's now Verizon's. It got a complete facelift in 2008, replacing its vertically striped Bryant Park, late Apr 2009 - 14 by Ed Yourdon, on Flickr white marble/black glass facade with a more generic green glass curtain.




















W <===         W 41ST ST

1079 (corner): Training Camp Footwear, a mini-chain for sneaker mavens.



1071: Original Penguin, retro-chic label



















6
T
H

A
V
E
N
U
E

East:

Bryant Park

nyc_7-4-05 (2)_bryant_park by minnibeach, on Flickr

This area was set aside as early as 1686 for public use; from 1823 to 1840, like many of Manhattan's parks, it was used as a pauper's graveyard. In 1842, the Croton Reservoir was built on the east side of the space, where the New York Public Library is now, and the remaining land became known as Reservoir Square.

The Crystal Palace was built on the site in 1853, a marvelous seven-story exhibition space made of glass and cast iron that housed America's first world's fair before burning down spectacularly on October 5, 1858. Bryant Park by peterjr1961, on Flickr

After serving as a parade ground for Union troops during the Civil War, Reservoir Square was designated a park in 1871, and was renamed in 1884 for William Cullen Bryant, poet, lawyer, New York Post editor, abolitionist and park advocate. It was not much of a park, though, until it was landscaped in French garden style in the 1930s, the object of a contest for unemployed architects. Bryant Park by peterjr1961, on Flickr

By the 1970s, the park had become chiefly known as a drug market (dubbed "Needle Park"), but since a re-landscaping in 1992 occasioned by the creation of underground stacks for the library, it's become a highly valued urban space, with 2,000 chairs for urbanites to relax on.

It's the venue for popular outdoor movies in the summer. A plan to use trained falcons to control the pigeons was scuttled in 2003 when one attacked a dachshund. NYC: Bryant Park - Benito Juárez statue by wallyg, on Flickr

Sculptures in the park include an imposing Bryant, Goethe, Gertrude Stein, copper maganate and YMCA founder William Dodge (by John Quincy Adams Ward; originally in Herald Square), Mexican President Benito Juarez and Brazilian liberator Jose de Andrada --not to mention Big Crinkly by Alexander Calder.


W <===     WEST 40TH STREET     ===> E

West:



1045 (corner): Was the Milliken & Company Building; offices for the textile giant, which made New York its headquarters in 1868. CEO Roger Milliken is Patrick Buchanan's chief financial backer. The 1958 modernist building was by James D. Stephen, who also designed the pagoda-shaped Chinese Merchant's Building in Chinatown. It was demolished in 2009, just shy of the half century mark.

By 2014, there should be a new building here for the company, now called Pacolet Miliken. Renderings show it with an interesting concave corner.

6
T
H

A
V
E
N
U
E

East:

Bryant Park Studios

Corner (80 W 40th): This 1901 landmark was designed (as the Beaux Arts Studios) by Charles Alonzo Rich for Colonel Abraham A. Anderson, a gentleman portraitist who had returned from a stay in Paris with that city's enthusiasm for north light. A great many artists have lived and/or worked here, including photographer Edward Steichen; painters Winslow Homer, William Merritt Chase and Fernand Leger; and print-maker Kurt Seligmann. On the ground floor is the Park Side Cafe & Market.

1040 (corner): Valley National Bank


W <===             WEST 39TH STREET             ===> E

West:

Bryant Park Tower by edenpictures, on Flickr

Corner (100 W 39th): Bryant Park Tower, 45-story tower built 2006, designed by Nobutaka Ashihara Assoc.









NYC - Millinery Center Synagogue by wallyg, on Flickr

1025: Millinery Center Synagogue, serving the spiritual needs of the Garment District since 1948.



6
T
H

A
V
E
N
U
E

East:

1036: Penguini Men's Fashion













1026: New York Beads









1020 (corner): Elle Beads


W <===             WEST 38TH STREET             ===> E

West:





1011: Wok 'N' Roll, Chinese








1001 (corner): North Fork Bank; Orchid Cafe.

6
T
H

A
V
E

East:

1010 (corner): The Atlas, a 46-storey residential tower built 2002.

1008: M&J Trimmings, since 1936

M&J Trimming by edenpictures, on Flickr

1000 (corner): M&J Buttons, formerly Hersh Sixth Avenue Button, sewing-supply mecca. Also Israeli Falafel Pizza.


W <===             WEST 37TH STREET             ===> E

West:

995A: Shoes Are Hot

Lefcourt Empire

Sixth Avenue Building by edenpictures, on Flickr

Part of Abraham Lefcourt's real estate empire, this 21-story building is said to have been completed in 1930, but by August 1928 it served as the base of a huge neon sign reading "AMERICAN NEON BEACON LIGHT"--an ad for the American Neon Company, which had offices here in 1927-28. (Lefcourt was a director.)

989: Antique & Art Center

Haier Building

Corner (1352-1362 Broadway): Built 1922-24 for the Greenwich Savings Bank and later used by Republic National Bank, this striking landmark surrounded by Corinthian columns Gotham Hall by edenpictures, on Flickr is now the New York HQ of the Haier Group, China's leading refrigerator manufacturer. Inside is Gotham Hall, a dramatic domed space often used for fashion shows.

6
T
H

A
V
E
N
U
E

East:

980-990 (block): The Vogue, 25-floor apartment building from 1987.






































W <===             WEST 36TH STREET             ===> E

West:

Corner (1350 Broadway): Herald Square Building contains an HSBC bank. The entire block was once the site of the New York Herald Building, a two-story Venetian palace built in 1893 by McKim, Mead and White and housing the paper that now lives on only in the International Herald Tribune. Demolished 1921, but its name remains in the square to its south.


The southern end of the block is a Florsheim shoe outlet.

6
T
H

A
V
E

East:




968: There was an Automat here in the late 1960s/early 1970s.

966: Metropolitan Impex, trimmings and bridals



Corner: Atlantic Bank of New York


W <===             WEST 35TH STREET             ===> E

West:

Herald Square

Herald Square: Bennett Memorial by peterjr1961, on Flickr

As in, "Remember me at..." Named for the New York Herald, the newspaper founded by James Gordon Bennett whose offices were directly to the north of this triangle. Noted for its racist and anti-Semitic politics, the paper introduced such features as the gossip column Herald Square by Smaku, on Flickr and Wall Street coverage. Later merged with the New York Tribune; the Inter- national Herald-Tribune is the surviving relic. NYC - Herald Square: Bennett Clock by wallyg, on Flickr

The clock and statuary, crafted in 1895 by Jean-Antonie Carles, are from the old Herald building; the goddess is Minerva, complete with owls, and the bellringers, which swing their hammers on the hour, are nicknamed Stuff and Guff.

6
T
H

A
V
E
N
U
E

East:

Corner: La Villa Pizza

950: U.S. headquarters of the Paris-based advertising conglomerate Publicis, which owns Leo Burnett and Saatchi & Saatchi.





















Eye-catcher... by reflexer, on Flickr

Corner (1328 Broadway): The Victoria's Secret on this corner is the lingerie giant's new flagship store. In the same building is Swedish fasion discounter H&M.


N <===             BROADWAY                                                

W <===             WEST 34TH STREET             ===> E

In 2009, two blocks of Broadway above and below 34th Street were closed to vehicle traffic, a move that has greatly improved traffic flow on 6th Avenue.

West:

Herald Center

NYC - Herald Center by wallyg, on Flickr

Built for Saks & Company in 1901-02, as shopping moved to this neighborhood to take advantage of the new rail hubs. In 1966, after the area's appeal had faded, it became Korvette's. Rebuilt in 1982-85 as a mall with a glass elevator on the corner. Features a Fleet Bank, a Modell's Sports and a Daffy's clothing store on the Broadway side.

6
T
H

A
V
E

East:

Herald Towers

Herald Square, NYC by doitintheroad, on Flickr

AKA McAlpin House; built as the Hotel McAlpin in 1913, which was noted for its "silent floor" for the nocturnal. Converted to apartments in 1979; the murals of New York Harbor from the hotel's Marine Grill were removed and installed in the Fulton Street subway station. Claims the dubious distinction of housing the highest-grossing Gap outlet in the country.


W <===             WEST 33RD STREET             ===> E

                                    BROADWAY             ===> S

West:

Manhattan Mall

Manhattan Mall by Rafael Chamorro, on Flickr

Block (1275 Broad- way): Used to be Gimbel's department store, Macy's chief rival ("Does Macy's tell Gimbel's?") which claimed to Reflections, Manhattan Mall by x-eyedblonde, on Flickr have invented the bargain basement. Building designed by Daniel Burnham, of Flatiron fame, and built 1908-12; it was purposely utilitarian and undecorated. The first ballpoint pens were sold here in 1945-- selling 10,000 on the first day at $12.50 each. Manhattan Mall (W 33rd St at 6th Ave - New York) by scalleja, on Flickr Converted to a glassed-in post-modern mall in 1987-89.

This block was formerly the site of a theater that was variously called the Manhattan, Eagle or Standard; in 1879, the official New York premiere of Gilbert & Sullivan's H.M.S. Pinafore was held here.

Manhattan Mall Skybridge; New York City by j klo, on Flickr

A skyway connects this building to Weber's, a discount store on 32nd Street, which used to be a Gimbels annex; built in 1925, it was designed by Shreve & Lamb, the same company that did the Empire State Building.

6
T
H

A
V
E
N
U
E

East:

Greeley Square

by Cresny, on Flickr

This triangular square is named for Horace Greeley, the founder of the New York Tribune. Though chiefly remembered as the guy who said "Go west, young man" (which was not actually his line), Greeley was actually one of the most influential journalists in American history. Statue of Horace Greeley by Elizabeth Thomsen, on Flickr An advocate of social reform (Karl Marx was a European correspondent), Greeley supported abolition, worker's rights and (yes) Western settlement. As a reporter covering Congress in 1855, he was given a concussion by the cane of pro-slavery House Speaker Albert Rust. He helped found the Republican Party and was instrumental in making Abraham Lincoln the 1860 candidate. Surprisingly, he was the 1872 Democratic candidate for president; he was trounced by U.S. Grant and died a month later.

The statue of Greeley in a chair is an 1890 work by Alexander Doyle. The square was dedicated in 1894.

















W <===             WEST 32ND STREET             ===> E

West:

Corner: This building was torn down along with much of the block c. 2008. Was American Burger & Co., tasty

887: Was S&A Stores, noted for linen bargains and its unreassuring slogan, "Money refunded within 25 days."

The Continental

Continental by edenpictures, on Flickr

885 (corner): Glassy 53-story apartment building that went up in 2010. Rainbow Camera Inc. used to be at this address.

879: Don Don Ya Japanese Rice Bowl

875 (corner): Greeley Square Building, castle-like building that includes Global 2000 Camera & Computer, Pret a Manger ("ready to eat") sandwich chain.

6
T
H

A
V
E
N
U
E

East:

894 (corner): Cosmos

890: Olden Camera & Lens Co.; Mr. Cap

884: Earrings Plaza, "world's largest selection of earrings."

882: Full Line Collection Fashion Jewelry and Accessories.













876 (corner): Liberty Bagel Deli. And isn't that what New York is all about?


W <===             WEST 31ST STREET             ===> E

West:

873 (corner): Was Close Out Zone, and before that The Wiz, ex-discount electronics chain. The old cast-iron retail building was bought by Joseph Chetrit, owner of the Sears Tower, and shortly thereafter torn down along with the entire block--no doubt to be replaced with another of the bland highrises that have been sprouting along 6th Avenue. (This is the northernmost edge of the rezoning.) It's a shame that an attractive made-for-retail building like this one couldn't find a profitable use.

865: The northernmost of four six-story tenements in the middle of the block, dating to c. 1922., torn down in 2008.

863: Was Sundance Corporate Catering

861: Was Western Union 6th Avenue Discount

859: Was Galaxy Army & Navy

855 (corner): Was Broadway National Bank, in a 1949 building that was reclad with wraparound black windows. Torn down with the rest of the block in 2008.

6
T
H

A
V
E
N
U
E

East:

874 (corner): Tony's Pizza & Restaurant




860 Sixth Avenue by edenpictures, on Flickr

860: New Company Wholesale marks the beginning of the Wholesale District, many small stores offering imported apparel, gadgets and trinkets.

In the Tenderloin era, this was the site of the Star & Garter, considered a classy joint. Star bartender Billy Patterson, who boasted of not having an enemy in the world, was attacked with a slingshot one day leaving work — giving rise to the catchphrase, "Who struck Billy Patterson?"

856 (corner): Novelty Candy Store


W <===             WEST 30TH STREET             ===> E

West:

Hotel Eventi

Eventi on Sixth Avenue by edenpictures, on Flickr

835 (corner): A 54-story hotel that went up in 2009, designed by Perkins Eastman. The apartments also in the building are called The Eastman. It's already gone through a number of restaurants, including FoodParc and Bar Basque--at last notice, the eateries were called Brighton and Humphries.

The block used to be a strip-mall like row of undistinguished retail outlets, such as Tootsies, a sock outlet. They were all torn down in 2007 to make way for the hotel.

6
T
H

A
V
E

East:

838: Was Yung Kee Trading, a largish wholesaler in a building with an elaborate cornice.

















836 (corner): Pink Stone General Merchandise; Boricua City, Puerto Rico-related products.


W <===             WEST 29TH STREET             ===> E

West:

831 (corner): America Gourmet Food, deli









829: X Tensions Wholesale Wigs

823: Goodland Martial Arts Supply. Sign in window: "All Knives and Swords 20 Percent Off."

821: From 1954 to 1965, this building housed the Jazz Loft, an after-hours hangout for musicians like Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis and Charles Mingus.



817 (corner): The lot that used to hold City Plants & Gardens was to be the site of Remy, a futuristic residential high-rise designed by Costas Kondylis--which would have been the only out-of-the-ordinary project to come out of the Sixth Avenue condo tower boom. It looks, though, like it's never going to be built.

6
T
H

A
V
E
N
U
E

East:

Corner: This was (apparently) the site of The Haymarket, the Tenderloin's most famous dance hall. A venue for "respectable vice," the dancers here would give private exhibitions of the cancan in curtained booths. O. Henry and Eugene O'Neill both hung out here.

828: Superior Florists is the northernmost outpost of the Flower District.

822: Here was the saloon of Tom "Shang" Draper, described as "the king of New York's underworld," and part of the gang that robbed a record amount from the Manhattan Savings Institution in 1878. On October 16, 1833, bank robber Johnnie "the Mick" Walsh was shot and wounded here by fellow burglar John Irving, whom Walsh in turn killed-- only to be finished off by Irving's colleague, safecracker Billy Porter. Bill's Flower Market by edenpictures, on Flickr






816 (corner): Bill's Flower Market, a Flower District stalwart since 1936.


W <===             WEST 28TH STREET             ===> E

The block of 28th Street east of 6th Avenue to Broadway was Tin Pan Alley, music publishing hub in early 20th Century.

West:

Corner: Note seahorse trim on the fast-food outlet; used to be a branch of Childs, a widespread New York restaurant chain. "Came to New York, repertoire ready/Chekhovs and Shakespeares and Wildes/Now they watch her flipping flapjacks at Childs."-- "What a Waste," Wonderful Town

807: International IMG_8334 by ShellyS, on Flickr Garden, part of the Garden District

805: U.S. Evergreen

803: George Rallis Inc. Wholesale Florist

795 (corner): Sheng Po Enterprises, wholesaler

6
T
H

A
V
E
N
U
E

East:

The Aston

The Aston by edenpictures, on Flickr

800: A whole row of 19th-Century buildings was torn down on this block to build this a luxury high-rise. Above a blocky base, the tower is comparatively stylish, with windows layered like fish scales. Also known as the Archstone Chelsea after being bought by one of the nation's largest apartment management companies.



W <===       WEST 27TH STREET       ===> E

West:

793 (corner): Great H&B Trading Co.; Coffee Bean Roast was Ho-Ho Chinese Restaurant. 777 Sixth Avenue by edenpictures, on Flickr

777: 777 6th Avenue, another big new highrise apartment building. There is an apartment-suite hotel here called the Oakwood Chelsea.

775 (corner): FAS: Fifth Avenue Style, bargain clothing. The preservation of the human-scaled buildings on either end of this block do a lot for the highrise they bookend.

6
T
H

A
V
E
N
U
E

East:

The Capitol at Chelsea

The Capitol at Chelsea by edenpictures, on Flickr

Built in 2001 on the site of The Racquet Club, the first sports club in NYC, built 1876. Later the University Athletic Club, finally the Coogan Building. The most interesting structure on this stretch of 6th Avenue, it was slated to be landmarked, but money spoke louder than architecture. Now an unfortunate orangey high-rise with 39 floors. Houses the Phillips Beth Israel School of Nursing.


W <===             WEST 26TH STREET             ===> E

West:

Chelsea Tower by edenpictures, on Flickr

Corner (100 W 26th): Chelsea Tower, new, slightly sinister 34-story highrise.

765: Chris King of Foliage was the southern end of the Flower District; it went through several manifestations as a foliage-themed jazz bar, including Mama Cassies Coffee House, Greenroom and finally Wish 26. Now vacant.

761 Sixth Avenue Deli & Pizza

757: Rogue, restaurant/bar/lounge opened in 2004.

755 (corner): Serendib Video, Tenderloin Building by edenpictures, on Flickr porn store. The name is Arabic for Sri Lanka. Also in the building was the Antique Cafe, catering to the flea market crowd. Upstairs was busted as a brothel in the 1990s, proving that the Tenderloin tradition is not dead.

6
T
H

A
V
E
N
U
E

East:

Chelsea Landmark

Chelsea Landmark by edenpictures, on Flickr

Block: This 35-story apartment building in 2007 replaced a parking lot with big weekend flea market--featured in the children's book My New York. "Kristen," the professional escort whose assignation with Gov. Elliot Spitzer led to his resignation, lived here at the time the scandal broke.


















W <===             WEST 25TH STREET             ===> E

West:

753 (corner): Olympia Deli, where for a time I used to eat almost every day, was torn down for the...

Chelsea Stratus

Chelsea Stratus by edenpictures, on Flickr

Block: This 2007 high rise boasts of being "Chelsea's tallest condominium" at 40 stories.

Replaced a parking lot that used to have a weekend antique mart.

6
T
H

A
V
E

East:

Chelsea Vanguard

Chelsea Vanguard by edenpictures, on Flickr This 31-story apartment building, put up in 2000, started the high-rise boom along this stretch of 6th Avenue.











W <===             WEST 24TH STREET             ===> E

West:

The Corner

The Corner by edenpictures, on Flickr

729: Empire City Bagels was Koster & Bial's Concert Hall beer garden annex--known as "The Corner" (written on the corner of building; full name in front at peak). From 1970-2001, it was Billy's Topless, neighborhood institution shut down by Giuliani.

727: 727 Hardware Co. is in a building with attractive brick arches.

725: The building with the Video Video porn store isn't bad either.

Corner: Citibank branch was site of Koster & Bial's Concert Hall (1879-1924), popular vaudeville house featuring Victor Herbert's orchestra. In 1890, Italian sailor Giovanni Succi set a world record by fasting here for 45 days. Earlier was Bryant's Opera House (1870).

SUBWAY:
F train to 14th Street 23rd Street Station by edenpictures, on Flickr

This is the station where the protagonist unwittingly boards the Midnight Meat Train in the Clive Barker short story of the same name.

6
T
H

A
V
E
N
U
E

East:















Masonic Hall

Masonic Hall by edenpictures, on Flickr

Corner (71 W. 23rd): Chase bank is on the ground floor of Masonic Hall, built in 1913 on site of 1875 Masonic Hall. NYC Masons include John Jacob Astor, Theodore Roosevelt, Fiorello LaGuardia and Harry Houdini. Vanguard Studios were located here, where KISS recorded part of their album Chelsea. Grand Lodge of New York by Usonian, on Flickr


W <===             WEST 23RD STREET             ===> E

West:

23rd Street Holdout by edenpictures, on Flickr

Corner (100 W 23rd): Originally built as a jeweler's, this small, ornate building was a branch of Riker's Drug Store that resisted a buy-out from Ehrich's, which wanted the whole end of block. Now Your Taste, fancy deli.

699- 709: Was Ehrich Brothers (1889-1911), bargain store. Now Burlington Coat Factory, Erich Brothers by edenpictures, on Flickr Staples. If the buildings along this stretch look a bit stretched, it's because they were designed to be viewed from the 6th Avenue elevated train (1878-1938).

6
T
H

A
V
E
N
U
E

East:

The Caroline

The Caroline by edenpictures, on Flickr

Corner: Shopping and apartments built in 2002 on site of Edwin Booth Theater (1869-1883). This was run by and featured New York's most prominent Shakespearean actor--brother of John Wilkes Booth. Sarah Bernhardt made her New York debut here in 1880. Shakespeare on Sixth by edenpictures, on Flickr Later James W. McCreery (1895-1907), "Dean of the Retail Trade." Demolished 1975. A portrait of Shakespeare from the old theater can be seen on the new building's west side.






W <===             WEST 22ND STREET             ===> E

West:

Adams Dry Goods

Adams Dry Goods Building by edenpictures, on Flickr

675 (block): Was Adams Dry Goods, upscale shop built in 1900; note "ADG" above arches. Mattel Toys is based here; Barnes & Noble (which has good taste in architecture) was on the ground floor from 1994-2008, driven out by housing bubble-era rent increases. Now home to Chelsea's Trader Joe's.

6
T
H

A
V
E

East:

688: Maffei Pizza; this Sicilian lunch counter is ''culinary nirvana,'' says the the Voice.


682: The eight-story Hall Building is the tallest on the block.

680: Wolf Paper & Twine Co.

678: New York Burger Co., deluxe mini-chain Markt by edenpictures, on Flickr

676 (corner): Markt Belgian seafood was The Tomato, pricey comfort food; formerly Lox Around the Clock, late-night hangout.


W <===             WEST 21ST STREET             ===> E

West:

Hugh O'Neill Building

24March2007 010 by ShellyS, on Flickr

655 (block): O'Neill, known as "The Fighting Irishman of 6th Avenue," opened his store here in 1887, which was more working-class than its retail neighbors. His name is still visible on the pediment. 24March2007 009 by ShellyS, on Flickr Was home to Elsevier Science Inc., price-gouging journal publishers. Also Scuba Network, Men's Wearhouse. Gold-domed turrets were restored as part of a 2007 conversion to luxury condos.






6
T
H

A
V
E
N
U
E

East:

668: Cafe 21's building says "M. Roman."

666: Deli was built in 1929 for Charles R. Ruegger's Bazar Francais, selling French kitchenware. The names and date appear on the facade and cornice.

664: Ridgeway Diner was the Lemon-Lime Coffee Shop, post-rave hangout

Limelight

NYC - Church of the Holy Communion by wallyg, on Flickr

660 (corner): Pricey dance club in a gothic building, opened in 1990 as The Limelight, which was repeatedly closed down over accusations of drug sales, as well as general opposition to nightlife. It later reopened under the name Avalon. Lately it's trying to operate as a store called Lounge.

Was Church of the Holy Communion (1846), designed by Richard Upjohn, who designed the new Trinity Church about the same time. This church was apparently quite influential, inspiring similar asymmetrical gothic churches across the country. Its first pastor was William Augustus Muhlenberg, whose donated books became the core of the Muhlenberg branch of the NY Public Library on 23rd Street.


W <===             WEST 20TH STREET             ===> E

West:

Simpson-Crawford Building

NYC - Simpson Crawford Building by wallyg, on Flickr

641: Was Simpson-Crawford store, built 1900 to replace an 1879 version. No price tags here; if you had to ask, you couldn't afford it. Bankrupted 1915. The architecture is more restrained because Simpson-Crawford didn't want the business of elevated train passengers. Houses Apex Technical School, founded in the 1960s.

6
T
H

A
V
E
N
U
E

East:

Cammeyer's by edenpictures, on Flickr

650 (corner): This landmarked Beaux Arts building, with beautiful brick pillars and arches, was built as Cammeyer's (1893-1917), a giant shoe store. Later the Audits & Surveys Building; now White Space, luxury condos.



636 (corner): Greek revival building houses Sports Authority.


W <===             WEST 19TH STREET             ===> E

West:

B. Altman Building

621 (block): B. Altman on Ladies Mile by edenpictures, on Flickr Was the "Palace of Trade" from 1876 to 1906, when it moved to 5th Avenue and 34th Street, beginning the exodus from Ladies Mile. The Container Store is the current ground-floor occupant.
























6
T
H

A
V
E
N
U
E

East:

Siegel-Cooper's "Big Store"

620 6th Ave by Runs With Scissors, on Flickr

616-632 (block): Was Siegel-Cooper, "The Big Store--a City in Itself" (1896-1914). In its day, this glorious retail temple was the center of NYC shopping; "meet me at the Siegel Cooper by anniebee, on Flickr fountain" was a catch phrase, referring to the store's centerpiece, which featured Daniel Chester French's statue of The Republic (today in California's Forest Siegel-Cooper Entrance by edenpictures, on Flickr Lawn Cemetery). Henry Siegal is credited with introducing the free sample.

In the 1980s, a youth center called The Door was based here. Now Bed Bath & Beyond, a superstore featured on Sex and the City, as well as Filene's Basement and TJ Max.


W <===             WEST 18TH STREET             ===> E

West:

100 West 18th Street by edenpictures, on Flickr

Corner (100 W. 18th): 100 West 18th is a 2007 luxury condo with an interestingly angled facade.

611: Parade of Shoes and Jam Paper & Envelope were torn down for the condo.




601: New York City Bagel was Pick-a-Bagel

595-597 (corner): It's been a while since they built three-story buildings like this on Sixth Avenue. Features Tic Tac Toe II, sex shop formerly known as Red Light District and Six Collection, and World Famous Pizza, which dropped the "Ray's" from its name.

6
T
H

A
V
E
N
U
E

East:

Price Building by edenpictures, on Flickr

610 (corner): The Price Building houses one of Old Navy's flagship stores.

Lyla by edenpictures, on Flickr







Corner (63 W 17th): Lyla, condos built 2003.


W <===             WEST 17TH STREET             ===> E

West:



Green Fire Escape by edenpictures, on Flickr

583: LeAn, spinoff of the East Village restaurant Wai? Cafe.

581: Dave's New York, jeans store in a fancy old building

579: Gay dance club known variously as Rush, Heaven and King is in an old three-story rowhouse. Not sure what it's called these days.

575 Sixth Avenue by edenpictures, on Flickr







575 (corner): Terry's Gourmet Foods. The building is dated to 1900.

6
T
H

A
V
E
N
U
E

East:

New York Foundling Hospital

New York Foundling Home by TRiver, on Flickr

590 (corner): Orphanage founded 1869 on Upper East Side; moved here 1988 to take advantage of lower real estate costs. (Today they mostly support special-needs children-- there not being as many foundlings as there used to be.)


576: Wine Gallery has an regrettable wood-shingle facade. Hollywood Diner by edenpictures, on Flickr



574 (corner): Hollywood Diner is in a fanciful building that was originally the Knickerbocker Jewelry Co. (1904).


W <===             WEST 16TH STREET             ===> E

West:

555 Sixth Avenue by edenpictures, on Flickr

555 (block): Ugly newish apartments

6
T
H

A
V
E

East:

570 (corner): Blue Valley Deli & Grocery

568: Was New York Photo & Game House





552 (corner): The Left Bank apartments


W <===             WEST 15TH STREET             ===> E

West:

547 Sixth Avenue by edenpictures, on Flickr

547 (corner): Village Yogurt is in a Greekish building with strong arches--a highly likable structure.

545: The modestly named OK Family Market

539: Cheesesteak Factory was Mondello Pizza

531 (corner): Former Greenwich Savings Bank by edenpictures, on Flickr
This bank -- now an HSBC -- was built as a Greenwich Savings Bank branch in 1952, designed by Halsey, McCormack & Helmer in a late Art Deco style. It features a 1954 mural by Julien Binford, A Memory of 14th Street and Sixth Avenue, A Memory of 14th Street and Sixth Avenue III by edenpictures, on Flickr that can be seen from the street. (HSBC stands for Hong Kong Shanghai Bank Company -- that seems very 21st Century to me.)

6
T
H

A
V
E
N
U
E

East:

546 (corner): Sixth Avenue Bicycles





538: Knossos custom furniture; I priced a bookshelf here once and it seemed really expensive.





534: When the Gay Liberation Front was formed in July 1969, its weekly meetings were held here, in what was the Alternate U. The GLF represented the radical response to the Stonewall raid, identifying gay power with other struggles like the Black Panther movement and Vietnamese liberation. It's the same building as...




Living Theatre by edenpictures, on Flickr

530 (corner): Was The Living Theatre (1956-63), experimental theater co. producing plays by T.S. Eliot, Auden and Gertrude Stein; Martin Sheen's first acting job was here. Now houses 69 W 14th St. Dance Studios, Capoeira Angola.


W <===             WEST 14TH STREET             ===> E
The boundary between the Village and Chelsea.

This intersection was the site of street battles during the Draft Riots of 1863.

West:

527 Sixth Avenue by edenpictures, on Flickr

527 (corner): A fortress- like 1896 building, commissioned by Albert Wyckoff and designed by Theo Thomson in a Romanesque Revival style. It's actually three separate buildings with a continuous facade. Houses Brick Oven Pizza 33, local chain whose original branch was on 33rd Street.

525: Hanami; the Voice's Robert Sietsema recommends the bento box.

523: GustOrganics, green restaurant, was Century Market; before that it was a corporate burger outlet, a welcome reversal of the usual direction of history.











517: Cute old three-story building

515: Xcellent DVD, porn store

513: Fresh Tortillas

509 (corner): Undistinguished 16-story brick apartments

6
T
H

A
V
E
N
U
E

East:

Maria's Kebab Wagon, a fixture at this corner, is said by the New York Post to have the best street kebab in the city.

14th Street Store

14th Street Store by edenpictures, on Flickr

526 (block): This handsome building with arched entrances was built by Henry Siegel, co-creator of the Siegel-Cooper store five blocks north. He sold his interest in the "Big Store" in 1904 to make an even bigger department store in the area vacated by Macy's--but the new store went bust and Siegel went to jail in 1914 for defrauding creditors. Now it's a branch of 14th Street Store by edenpictures, on Flickr Urban Outfitters, a chain owned by one of the chief financial backers of homophobic Sen. Rick Santorum, which tells you all you need to know about faux hipsterism.

522-524: Site of Capt. Rowland Hussey Macy's original lace and ribbon store. A former whaling captain, Macy had a red star tattoo that is still the store's symbol (and a whale is still used in sale ads). This store grew around the corner before moving uptown; one section of it is still standing on 14th Street.


W <===             WEST 13TH STREET             ===> E

West:

The John Adams

The John Adams by edenpictures, on Flickr

Block (101 W 12th): Twenty-one-story grey brick monstrosity was built in 1963. As vice president in 1789, Adams lived in New York at Varick and Charlton--though the building is said to be named after the architect's children, John and Adam. Why you'd want to put your kids' names on something like this is beyond me.

487 (corner): Sculptor Ibram Lassaw had a loft studio here in a now-demolished four-story red-brick 19th Century industrial building. The Club, an influential society of abstract expressionists like Willem de Kooning and Robert Motherwell, was founded here in 1949 after the Waldorf Cafeteria, where the artists had previously hung out, raised the price of coffee to a dime.

6
T
H

A
V
E
N
U
E

East:

504 (corner): Segafredo Zanetti, franchise of an Italian espresso company. In the early '10s, Cosi, MaximoPino, Rockography, Blitz! Brasserie and the Pint of No Return all came and went in this space. Bar Six by edenpictures, on Flickr

502 (corner): Bar Six, hip French-Moroccan


Murray's Bagels by edenpictures, on Flickr

500: Murray's Bagels, considered one of the city's top bagelries--one of the few places in town that still gives you a baker's dozen.

496: Notable 1889 terra cotta tenement housed Groom-o-Rama, pet store that always had some great puppies in the window.




486 (corner): Sixteen-story building from 1960.


W <===             WEST 12TH STREET             ===> E

West:

Corner (100 W 12th): The Mark Twain, a low-rise apartment building c. 1960. Twain lived a few blocks from here when he was a New Yorker.

471: H & H Fruits and Grocery

469: 612 Cafe Barney's Hardware by edenpictures, on Flickr

467: Barney's Hardware, since 1929




Site of Famous Ray's Pizza

465 (corner): This was not the original Ray's Pizza, but it arguably was the famous one -- at least, it was identified as the real one in the movie Elf. Pizza was sold here from 1973 until 2013--at the end under the name "Famous Roio's."

6
T
H

A
V
E
N
U
E

East:

joe junior by Shira Golding, on Flickr

482 (corner): O Cafe was Joe Junior's, old-school local burger chain

474: Was Game Show, board game store

470: BLT Burger, part of the Bistro Laurent Tourondel family

468: Ricky's, funky local cosmetics chain

464: Charlie Mom, above-average Chinese

Nikos Smoke Shop

462 (corner): Used to be one of the city's greatest newsstands.


W <===             WEST 11TH STREET             ===> E

West:

Sammy's Noodle Shop by edenpictures, on Flickr

453: Sammy's Noodle Shop, affordable Chinese




Milligan Place

NYC - West Village: Millgan Place by wallyg, on Flickr Like Patchin Place around the corner, built (in 1848) as housing for workers at 5th Avenue's Brevoort Hotel. Named for 19th Century landowner Samuel Milligan--father-in-law of Aaron Patchin. Eugene O'Neill was a resident, as was George Cram Crook, founder of the Provincetown Players.

6
T
H

A
V
E
N
U
E

East:

French Roast by SusanAstray, on Flickr

458 (corner): French Roast, 24-hour bistro in a 1915 apartment building. There used to be a roadhouse here called The Old Grapevine that dated back to 1830; it was a center of neighborhood gossip and was supposedly the origin of the phrase "I heard it through the grapevine." This etymology seems unlikely to me. 458, 450 Sixth Avenue by edenpictures, on Flickr

450: Jefferson Market, gourmet food; building dated 1891







W <===             WEST 10TH STREET             ===> E

West:

Jefferson Market Library

NYC - West Village: Jefferson Market Library by wallyg, on Flickr

425: Built 1877 to a Calvert Vaux design. Originally a courthouse and fire tower-- a market and prison, originally connected, now demolished. The courtroom held the 1907 trial of millionaire Henry K. Thaw, who shot architect Stanford White, his wife's former lover; his insanity plea was successful. Journalist 6th Avenue by David Cushing, on Flickr Nellie Bly was arraigned here when she had herself arrested to expose the abuse of female prisoners. Preservationists including e.e. cummings succeeded in turning the abandoned courthouse, slated for demolition, into a branch library in 1967. Sherlock Holmes did his research here in the film They Might Be Giants.

Jefferson Market Greening

April152006 022 by ShellyS, on Flickr

Garden on site of former Women's House of Detention. Inmates included black activist Angela Davis, Catholic radical Dorothy Day, labor organizer Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, accused spy Ethel Rosenberg, East Side madame Bea Garfield, Warhol shooter Valerie Solanas, anti-porn feminist Andrea Dworkin and (in an earlier co-ed jail) Mae West. Demolished 1973.

6
T
H

A
V
E
N
U
E

East:

434: Joffrey Ballet School, founded in 1953 by Robert Joffrey and Gerald Arpino.

432: EJ's Luncheonette, retro diner mini-chain










Citarella

424 (corner): Formerly Balducci's gourmet market; started in 1916 as a Brooklyn pushcart, it moved in 1972 to this location. In 1999 family squabbles forced the sale of the business to a D.C.-based chain, which went under when its "Balducci.com" scheme fell victim to the dot.com bust. Now in the space is another local gourmet grocery chain owned by Joe Guerra, who got his start wrapping flounder at the Fulton Fish Market; he has a reputation as a union-buster.

The 13-story building is from 1956-- one of the first of the hideous white-brick apartment buildings that went up in that era. Barbra Streisand had an apartment here when she was playing The Lion on 9th Street.

9th Street PATH Station

NYC - Greenwich Village: 9th Street PATH Station by wallyg, on Flickr

Underneath the corner building is the entrance to New York City's other subway system--the Port Authority Trans-Hudson, which connects the southwest portion of Manhattan to Hoboken, Jersey City and Newark. Opened in 1907 as the Hudson & Manhattan Railroad, it was taken over by the Port Authority in 1962.


W <===             GREENWICH AVE / WEST 9TH ST             ===> E

West:























































405: SS International, newsstand in business since 1948.

401: Gobo, stylish and tasty vegetarian. The name means "burdock" (a root vegetable) in Japanese.





Waverly Restaurant by roboppy, on Flickr

385 (corner): Waverly Restaurant, classic diner

6
T
H

A
V
E
N
U
E

East:

9th Street and 6th Avenue by Steve and Sara, on Flickr

418 (corner): Lenny's, local sandwich chain, was Greenwich Brewing Co., pizza; Hasta La Pasta, Italian. This used to be Trude Heller's, a prominent rock club/disco where First Daughter Lynda Bird Johnson was photographed dancing with tanned actor George Hamilton in 1965; the Manhattan Transfer got their start here. Earlier this was Paul and Joe's Bar, a main gay rendezvous in the early 1920s.

C.O. Bigelow's

Bigelow Drugs by David Cushing, on Flickr

414: Said to be the nation's oldest pharmacy. The business, now employee-owned, dates from 1838; the building (the Bigelow Building) dates from 1902; the sign is from the 1930s. Mark Twain was a customer; Joseph Cornell used to buy items for his famous collage boxes here.

410: LifeThyme Complete Natural Market. In 1987, when this was the Black Rock Cafe, Pietro Alfano, a defendent in the "Pizza Connection" heroin case, was shot and paralyzed here after shopping at Balducci's.

406: Fat Beats, underground hip-hop mecca since 1994.

Gray's Papaya

Food Porn: Gray's Papa Strikes Back by LarimdaME on Flickr

402: NYC's finest hot dogs, some say. Tasty and super cheap.

WEST 8TH ST ===> E

Corner: The Barnes & Noble here used to be a B. Dalton's.

390: Where the office supply store is now was the Waldorf Cafeteria, described as "a famous hangout for unemployed intellectuals, radicals and bohemians; for bums, jazz musicians, poets, pushers and orgone-box Reichians." Abstract expressionists like William de Kooning, Franz Kline and Philip Pavia used to hang out regularly.

Edgar Allen Poe supposedly wrote "The Fall of the House of Usher" while living on this block.


W <===             WAVERLY PLACE             ===> E

West:



St. Joseph's Church in Greenwich Village

NYC - West Village: St. Joseph's Church in Greenwich Village by wallyg, on Flickr

371 (corner): The second-oldest Catholic church building in Manhattan, built in Greek Revival style in 1834; rebuilt after a fire in 1885. Dorothy Day used to come here to pray after late nights out in the Village.

367: Stern Brothers opened its first store at this former address, selling fabric and lace.

6
T
H

A
V
E
N
U
E

East:

360-374 (block): "A brilliantly conceived, designed, detailed and executed Post Modern apartment house" (AIA Guide) built 1986.



















W <===             WASHINGTON PLACE             ===> E

The first Gay Pride march started here June 28, 1970, commemorating Stonewall's 1st anniversary. It ended with a "gay-in" at Central Park's Sheep Meadow.

West:

361: Baluchi's, local Indian chain

359: Comollo's Restaurant was McBell's bar; in 1922 it was the Red Head speakeasy, which eventually moved uptown and became the 21 Club. Federal-style building dates to 1832.

357: Soto, creatively traditional Japanese; was ONY, "Original Noodle for You."

349: Was Jericho, noted in 1966 for "spectacular" barmaids. 345 Sixth Avenue by edenpictures, on Flickr



345 (corner): Bank branch was O'Henry's, long-time village eatery; later a Gap. Building from 1825.

6
T
H

A
V
E
N
U
E

East:

Corner (88 Washington Pl): A 14-unit condo was built on this site in 2005, at an address where "ashcan" painter John French Sloan once lived. This was also the location of the Fronton, a speakeasy from 1923-26 that was popular with New York Mayor Jimmy Walker and poet Edna St. Vincent. The proprietors, Jack Kriendler and Charlie Berns, moved uptown and founded the "21" Club.














Corner: Bank branch


W <===             WEST 4TH STREET             ===> E

West:

Varitype Building II by edenpictures, on Flickr

333 (corner): The Varitype Building, a 12-story loft building from 1907. Le Petit Dejeuner-- "The Little Lunch," which is what the French call breakfast-- occupies the tip of this triangular block. Also Fantasy Party sex shop; Crazy Fantasy Video, porn.

Waverly Theatre

IMG_3552.JPG by David Boyle in DC, on Flickr

325: A theater since the 1930s, the building was originally an 1831 Universalist church. After a couple of denominational changes, it became a stained-glass factory, J. & R. Lamb Studios, in 1893. It became a cinema in 1937. Closed in 2001, it reopened as the Independent Film Channel's IFC Center.

It's a landmark in Hair: "I met a boy named Frank Mills...right here in front of the Waverly." Will Smith was arrested here in Six Degrees of Separation. Audience-participation midnight showings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show started here April 1, 1976 and soon spread across the country.

321: Village Shuwarma serves the best shwarma, according to the Village Voice-- no matter how it's spelled.

319: This was the original address of Crawdaddy, the first U.S. rock magazine.

315: In 1879, a children's store called the Lilliputian Bazaar opened here, which eventually grew into the department store Best & Co.

313: Was the English Pub, described in 1966 as having the "usual mixture of renegades, disguised suburban housewives and disguised suburban husbands."

301-303: Sammy's Noodle Shop, the southern expansion






W <===         CARMINE ST

Father Demo Square

father_demo_square by dandeluca, on Flickr Named for the pastor (1900-35) of Our Lady of Pompeii. Noted for his outreach to immigrants and his rallying to the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire victims.











6
T
H

A
V
E
N
U
E

East:

Golden Swan Gardens

Golden Swan Garden by edenpictures, on Flickr Built on site of the Golden Swan bar, AKA the Hell Hole or the Bucket of Blood; portrayed in Eugene O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh, and in John Sloan's etchings. Demolished 1928.


West 4th Street Courts

Kenny Graham's West 4th Street Cage Tournament by ToastyKen, on Flickr

Corner: AKA The Cage--famous for its top-quality street ball. Julius Erving is one of several NBA stars who have played here. Note that the courts are named after the 4th Street subway stop--they're not actually on 4th Street.

WEST 3RD ST ===> E

John Sloan painted the el train turning here.

minetta playground by Susan NYC, on Flickr

Corner: Minetta Playground belonged to the city's Department of Transportation as a result of the 6th Avenue subway construction. DoT allowed the Parks Department to develop a playground minetta playground shadows by Susan NYC, on Flickr here in 1935, and in 1953 it was assigned permanently to Parks. The current playground equipment dates to 1997 and was supplied by the corporate hamburger franchise.

MINETTA LANE ===> E

Early Spring, Minetta Green by Walking Off the Big Apple, on Flickr

Corner: Minetta Green, a 0.05 acre park.

290: A six-story building from 1941, designed by H.I. Feldman.

Minetta Triangle

Minetta Park by edenpictures, on Flickr A very nice, very little (0.075 acres) park--worth stopping in. A scrap left over from the expansion of 6th Avenue in 1925, it was given to the Parks Department in 1945. Refurbished in 1998, the images of trout recall Minetta Brook, now underground, which is the ultimate source of the park's name.

W <===             BLEECKER STREET             ===> E

West:

NYC - West Village: Downing Playground - Sir Winston Churchill Square by wallyg, on Flickr

Corner: Named for its proximity to Downing Street. Churchill's mother, Jennie Jerome, was a New Yorker, and he is one of a handful of people given honorary citizenship by the U.S. Congress. A tiny, beautiful park.

E <=== DOWNING ST

10 Downing Street by edenpictures, on Flickr

Corner (10 Downing): The equivalent of the British prime minister's address is a dry cleaners with a Union Jack awning.





6
T
H

A
V
E
N
U
E

East:

268: Bar Pitti; Italian with big sidewalk cafe

260: Da Silvano, trendy Tuscan. It was here that Princess Michael of Kent slurred a party of black media figures.











William F. Passannante Playground

Passannante Ballfield by edenpictures, on Flickr

Named for a speaker pro tem of the New York State Assembly, a lifelong Villager and a booster of the neighborhood.


W <===             WEST HOUSTON STREET             ===> E

West:



Engine 24 by edenpictures, on Flickr

227: Engine 24 and Ladder 5 were both organized in 1865; they've shared this firehouse since 1975. The units lost 11 firefighters on September 11.

King Street by edenpictures, on Flickr

Corner (15 King): This 1826 Federal-style building retains its original peaked roof and dormers. Part of the Charlton-King-Vandam Historic District.

6
T
H

A
V
E
N
U
E

East:


























W <===     KING STREET     ===> E

West:

Corner (18 King): Mekong, Vietnamese, was Le Pescadou, French seafood 9 Charlton Street by edenpictures, on Flickr

Corner (9 Charlton): Last of a line of Federal-style (and some Greek Revival) rowhouses, dating from the 1820s-1840s. The rest of the block was torn down when 6th Avenue was pushed through the South Village. Composer Aaron Copeland lived at this address in 1951--in the rear part, which was once a free-standing carriage house. Actor Fred Gwynne, best known for his Herman Munster character, lived here in the 1980s.

6
T
H

A
V
E

East:

Corner (2 King): Seven-story white-brick building from 1963.


















W <===     CHARLTON ST / PRINCE ST     ===> E

West:

Charlton House by edenpictures, on Flickr

Block (2 Charlton): Charlton House, a 17-story red-brick building from 1966.

185: After the Draft Riots of 1863, conscription resumed here on August 19, at the office of the 6th District provost marshall.


W <===         VANDAM ST

169 (corner): A six-story tenement building.




Butterick Building by edenpictures, on Flickr

161 (corner): The Butterick Building is a 16-story office building built in 1903 (Horgan & Slattery, architects). It was built for and still houses the Butterick Co., the company that pioneered the graded sewing pattern. When opened, this building had the nation's second-largest printing plant, after the government printing office in D.C.

SUBWAY: C/E trains to Canal Street

6
T
H

A
V
E
N
U
E

East:

Father Fagan Park

2charlton_sixthave_assmb1 by Rob Johnston, on Flickr A vest-pocket park created during the extension of 6th Avenue. One of the buildings torn down here was 4 Charlton, where in 1881 28-year-old printer William Sindram shot his landlady for trying to evict him over his failure to pay his $1 weekly rent.

194: This mid-rise apartment building used to be the 10th Precinct Station House, built 1893; later the NYPD's quartermaster storehouse. Turned into housing in 1987. (Before the extension of 6th Avenue, this address was 24 MacDougal.)

God's Love We Deliver

God's Love We Deliver by kchbrown, on Flickr

Corner (207 Spring): This two-story building, dating to 1951, houses a nonprofit that brings food to people with HIV. It's called the David Geffen Building because the record executive gave the group $1.5 million to help renovate it. God's Love bought the place in 1995; it was originally a machine shop for the MTA, and later a library for the blind.

SUBWAY: C/E train to West 4th Street
This is the station that Griffin Dunne tries to use to get out of SoHo, only to find that the fare has been hiked from 90 cents to $1.50.


W <===     SPRING STREET     ===> E

This intersection is the approximate location of the front gate of Richmond Hill, a colonial estate that was used as a military headquarters by George Washington, and was later a residence for both John Adams and Aaron Burr.

West:

Soho Square

This block and the next one to the south are not really on Sixth Avenue--they're on an old demapped street called Clark Street, which is separated from Sixth Avenue by a two-block long sliver of a park called Soho Square. (Why do they always call triangular parks in New York City "Such-and-Such Square"? What's wrong with "Such-and-Such Triangle"?) NYC - Hudson Square: General José Artigas statue by wallyg, on Flickr It contains a statue of General Jose Artigas, the hero of Uruguayan independence--one of six statues of Latin American liberators installed along the Avenue of the Americas, from Central Park to Canal Street. Because the buildings on these blocks have Sixth Avenue addresses, though, I'm going to put them on this Songline--punctuated by Dominick Street, which actually deadends at Soho Square and does not join up with Sixth Avenue proper.

"The Name Means Public Spirited" by Asta Bennie, on Flickr

145 (corner): The off- Broadway theater HERE is located, well, here, in what The New York Times called "one of the most unusual arts spaces in New York and possibly the model for the cutting-edge arts spaces of tomorrow." The Vagina Monologues were first performed here in October 1996. There's also a restaurant off the lobby--formerly called 1 Dominick, now the Herb-n-Peach Eatery.

No. 145 was the last address of Murray Hall, born Mary Anderson, a Tammany Hall pol who lived as a man, twice married to women, played poker and smoked cigars with the prominent politicians of New York. Hall's biological identity was only revealed when Hall died in 1901. But this was address used to be considerably further uptown before the 6th Avenue extension.


W <===     DOMINICK ST

Chelsea Career and Technical High School

Chelsea Career & Technical High School by edenpictures, on Flickr

131 (block): Formerly a vocational school, now geared toward college prep--it seems like New York City's school system doesn't really do vocational anymore. Also here--in this building that dates to 1848--is the NYCiSchool, a selective high school that tries to get Regents test prep out of the way so students can concentrate on more creative work.

6
T
H

A
V
E
N
U
E

East:

DSC00010 by m0bile, on Flickr

Corner (210 Spring): Aquagrill, popular oyster house





















































140: As of 2011, there was a largish vacant lot here going through to Sullivan Street, the former site of a gas station. It's vaguely slated to become (what else) a luxury hotel.















W <===     BROOME STREET     ===> E

West:

Sixth Avenue & Broome by edenpictures, on Flickr

121 (corner): Six-story building dates to 1925.

















6
T
H

A
V
E
N
U
E

East:

Traffic island


SULLIVAN ST         ===> N



Lupe's by edenpictures, on Flickr

110: Lupe's East L.A. Kitchen, Mexican restaurant where Jeff Daniels met Melanie Griffith in Something Wild.


W <===     WATTS STREET     ===> E

West:

101 Sixth Avenue by edenpictures, on Flickr

101 (block): This 1992 25-story tower is the headquarters of the Building Services Employees International Union.







6
T
H

A
V
E

East:

Green Sixth Avenue Building I by edenpictures, on Flickr

100 (corner): The Green 6th Avenue Building is a 1928 Art Deco structure designed by Ely Jacques Kahn; note the bas relief workers on the 2nd floor.






W <===     GRAND STREET     ===> E

West:

Duarte Square

NYC - SoHo: Duarte Square - Juan Pablo Duarte statue by wallyg, on Flickr

This small plaza is land left over from the extension of 6th Avenue through the South Village. It's named for Juan Pablo Duarte, considered the liberator of the Dominican Republic. The statue, by Italian sculptor Nicola Arrighini, was installed in 1978.


























6
T
H

A
V
E
N
U
E

East:

The James

The James Hotel by edenpictures, on Flickr

Corner (27 Grand): The New York outpost of a Chicago luxury hotel was designed by ODA Architecture with Perkins Eastman Architects; Piet Boon designed the 16th floor penthouse.

It was built on the site of the Moondance Diner (at 80 6th Avenue), a famous pre-fab restaurant installed in the 1930s, when it was known as the Holland IMG_1253 by Lawrence Sinclair on Flickr Tunnel Diner. (The rotating moon sign went up in the 1980s.) Mary-Jane Watson worked here in the movie Spider-Man, as did Monica on the show Friends. In real life, Rent author Jonathan Larson waited tables here for 10 years. In 2007, the diner fell victim to rising rents and was sold to La Barge, Wyoming, where it has not fared well.

Grand Canal Court

A small park, established 1955, with basketball courts and game tables. Named for the streets to its north and south.


W <===     CANAL STREET     ===> E

West:







W <===         LAIGHT ST

Block (1 York St): In 2008, two pre-Civil War brick warehouses were turned into a base for a Modernist glass condo by Enrique Norten and TEN Arquitectos.





W <===         YORK ST






6
T
H

A
V
E
N
U
E

East:


































S <===     WEST BROADWAY     ===> N

West:

Tribeca Park

New York City by Joshua David Clayton, on Flickr

Once part of the Lispenard Meadows, this area was made a park in 1810, when the city purchased it for $3,950. Long known as the Beach Street Park, it got its present name in 1985.













6
T
H

A
V
E
N
U
E

East:







LISPENARD ST   ===> E

AT&T Building

The AT&T building by Shiny Things, on Flickr A 28-floor Art Deco landmark built in 1930 to a Voorhees, Gmelin & Walker design. Originally AT&T's Long Distance Building, since 2001 it's housed the telecom company's main offices.

W <===     WALKER STREET     ===> E

West:

Corner (1 Walker): Tribeca Park Gourmet














6
T
H

A
V
E
N
U
E

East:

Tribeca Grand

Tribeca Grand + clock by allert, on Flickr This fancy hotel opened in 2000. Owned by Hartz Mountain Industries, the pet food company that also owns the Soho Grand and (formerly) the Village Voice. I went to a very wild party here once.


W <===     WHITE STREET     ===> E

West:
















6
T
H

A
V
E
N
U
E

East:

















S <===     CHURCH STREET     ===> N











Is your favorite 6th Avenue spot missing? Write to Jim Naureckas and tell him about it.

New York Songlines Home.

NYSonglines' Facebook Fan Page.

Share

Deep Sixth. A page all about 6th Avenue from Forgotten NY.