Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan

Wednesday, 13 February 2019 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, New York City, Shopping
Reading Time:  14 minutes

The Pierre Hotel © Taj Hotels, Resorts and Palaces/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Pierre Hotel © Taj Hotels, Resorts and Palaces/cc-by-sa-3.0

Fifth Avenue is a major thoroughfare in the borough of Manhattan in New York City. It stretches north from Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village to West 143rd Street in Harlem. It is considered one of the most expensive and elegant streets in the world. Between 49th Street and 60th Street, Fifth Avenue is lined with prestigious boutiques and flagship stores and is consistently ranked among the most expensive shopping streets in the world. Many luxury goods, fashion, and sport brand boutiques are located on Fifth Avenue, including Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co., Gucci, Prada, Armani, Tommy Hilfiger, Cartier, Omega, Chanel, Harry Winston, Salvatore Ferragamo, Nike, Escada, Swarovski, Bvlgari, Emilio Pucci, Ermenegildo Zegna, Abercrombie & Fitch, De Beers, Emanuel Ungaro, Gap, Lindt Chocolate Shop, Henri Bendel, NBA Store, Oxxford Clothes, Microsoft Store, Sephora, Zara, and H&M. Luxury department stores include Lord & Taylor, Saks Fifth Avenue and Bergdorf Goodman. Fifth Avenue also is home to New York’s fifth most photographed building, the Apple Store. Many airlines at one time had ticketing offices along Fifth Avenue. In the years leading up to 1992, the number of ticketing offices along Fifth Avenue decreased. Pan American World Airways went out of business, while Air France, Finnair, and KLM moved their ticket offices to other areas in Midtown Manhattan.

Originally a narrower thoroughfare, much of Fifth Avenue south of Central Park was widened in 1908, sacrificing its wide sidewalks to accommodate the increasing traffic. The midtown blocks, now famously commercial, were largely a residential district until the start of the 20th century. The first commercial building on Fifth Avenue was erected by Benjamin Altman who bought the corner lot on the northeast corner of 34th Street in 1896, and demolished the “Marble Palace” of his arch-rival, A. T. Stewart. In 1906 his department store, B. Altman and Company, occupied the whole of its block front. The result was the creation of a high-end shopping district that attracted fashionable women and the upscale stores that wished to serve them. Lord & Taylor‘s flagship store is still located on Fifth Avenue near the Empire State Building and the New York Public Library. In the 1920s, traffic towers controlled important intersections from 14th to 59th Streets.

Fifth Avenue originates at Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village and runs northwards through the heart of Midtown, along the eastern side of Central Park, where it forms the boundary of the Upper East Side and through Harlem, where it terminates at the Harlem River at 142nd Street. Traffic crosses the river on the Madison Avenue Bridge. Fifth Avenue serves as the dividing line for house numbering and west-east streets in Manhattan, just as Jerome Avenue does in the Bronx. It separates, for example, East 59th Street from West 59th Street. From this zero point for street addresses, numbers increase in both directions as one moves away from Fifth Avenue. The building lot numbering system worked similarly on the East Side as well, before Madison & Lexington Aves. were retrofitted into the street grid, confusing the building numbers. Confusingly, an address on a cross street cannot be predicted at the intersection of Madison Ave. or Lexington Ave., as these were added decades after the building numbers. It’s as if the two retrofitted avenues are not counted for purposes of cross street addresses. The “most expensive street in the world” moniker changes depending on currency fluctuations and local economic conditions from year to year. For several years starting in the mid-1990s, the shopping district between 49th and 57th Streets was ranked as having the world’s most expensive retail spaces on a cost per square foot basis. In 2008, Forbes magazine ranked Fifth Avenue as being the most expensive street in the world. Some of the most coveted real estate on Fifth Avenue are the penthouses perched atop the buildings. The American Planning Association (APA) compiled a list of “2012 Great Places in America” and declared Fifth Avenue to be one of the greatest streets to visit in America. This historic street has many world-renowned museums, businesses and stores, parks, luxury apartments, and historical landmarks that are reminiscent of its history and vision for the future. By 2018 portions of Fifth Avenue had large numbers of vacant store fronts for long periods, part of a citywide trend of vacant store fronts attributed to high rental costs.

Fifth Avenue is the traditional route for many celebratory parades in New York City; thus, it is closed to traffic on numerous Sundays in warm weather. The longest running parade is the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Parades held are distinct from the ticker-tape parades held on the “Canyon of Heroes” on lower Broadway, and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade held on Broadway from the Upper West Side downtown to Herald Square. Fifth Avenue parades usually proceed from south to north, with the exception of the LGBT Pride March, which goes north to south to end in Greenwich Village. The Latino literary classic by New Yorker Giannina Braschi, entitled “Empire of Dreams,” takes place on the Puerto Rican Day Parade on Fifth Avenue.

Bicycling on Fifth Avenue ranges from segregated with a bike lane south of 23rd Street, to scenic along Central Park, to dangerous through Midtown with very heavy traffic during rush hours. There is no dedicated bike lane along Fifth Avenue. In July 1987, then New York City Mayor Edward Koch proposed banning bicycling on Fifth, Park, and Madison Avenues during weekdays, but many bicyclists protested and had the ban overturned. When the trial was started on Monday, August 24, 1987 for 90 days to ban bicyclists from these three avenues from 31st Street to 59th Street between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on weekdays, mopeds would not be banned. On Monday, August 31, 1987, a state appeals court judge halted the ban for at least a week pending a ruling after opponents against the ban brought a lawsuit.

New York Yankees Clubhouse store on Fifth Avenue © Tdorante10/cc-by-sa-4.0 Washington Mews Fifth Avenue entrance © Beyond My Ken/cc-by-sa-4.0 Victorian Gardens in Central Park © Rhododendrites/cc-by-sa-4.0 William Starr Miller House © Gryffindor/cc-by-sa-4.0 Willard D. Straight House © Gryffindor/cc-by-sa-3.0 Wilbraham Building © Beyond My Ken/cc-by-sa-4.0 Versace © Ingfbruno/cc-by-sa-3.0 University Center of The New School © Beyond My Ken/cc-by-sa-4.0 Tiffany & Co © Epicgenius/cc-by-sa-4.0 The Sherry-Netherlands Hotel © flickr.com - Tony Hisgett/cc-by-2.0 The Plaza Hotel © flickr.com - Jazz Guy/cc-by-2.0 The Pierre Hotel © Taj Hotels, Resorts and Palaces/cc-by-sa-3.0 The Peninsula Hotel © flickr.com - Sergio Calleja/cc-by-sa-2.0 The Demarest Building © Tdorante10/cc-by-sa-4.0 The Crown Building © Ingfbruno/cc-by-sa-3.0 Stephen A. Schwarzman Building of the New York Public Library © OptimumPx Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum © Jean-Christophe BENOIST/cc-by-3.0 Sohmer Piano Building © Beyond My Ken/cc-by-sa-3.0 Saks Fifth Avenue © David Shankbone/cc-by-sa-2.5 Payne Whitney House © Gryffindor/cc-by-sa-3.0 Otto Kahn Mansion © Gryffindor/cc-by-sa-3.0 New York Academy of Medicine © Beyond My Ken Neue Galerie © Razr/cc-by-sa-3.0 Museum of the City of New York © Beyond My Ken/cc-by-sa-4.0 Morton F. Plant House/Cartier Place © David Shankbone/cc-by-2.5 Metropolitan Museum of Art entrance © Arad/cc-by-sa-3.0 Marymount School © Jim.henderson Manufacturers Trust Company Building © Beyond My Ken/cc-by-sa-4.0 Kaskel & Kaskel Building © Beyond My Ken/cc-by-sa-4.0 International Building at Rockefeller Center © Martin Dürrschnabel/cc-by-sa-2.5 Hoyt Building and Arnold Constable Building © Beyond My Ken/cc-by-sa-4.0 New_York_City-Fifth_Avenue-Henry_C_Frick_House-Frick_Collection-Gryffindor-cc-by-sa-3.0 Harry F Sinclair House © Gryffindor/cc-by-sa-3.0 Gorham Building © Beyond My Ken/cc-by-sa-4.0 Fred F French Building © flickr.com - Ian Gratton/cc-by-2.0 Forbes Building © Leifern/cc-by-sa-2.5 Felix Warburg Mansion housing The Jewish Museum © Gryffindor/cc-by-sa-3.0 Empire State Building © unsplash.com - Ben Dumond Brunswick Building, today The Grand Madison © Beyond My Ken/cc-by-sa-4.0 Bergdorf Goodman Building © Ingfbruno/cc-by-sa-3.0 Andrew Carnegie Mansion housing the Cooper-Hewitt-Smithsonian Design Museum © Jim.henderson Fifth Avenue clock and Flatiron Building © Jim.henderson Fifth Avenue begins at the Washington Square Arch in Washington Square Park © Matthew G. Bisanz/cc-by-sa-3.0 Knickerbocker Club © Americasroof/cc-by-sa-3.0 Croisic Building, seen from Madison Square Park © Beyond My Ken/cc-by-sa-4.0
<
>
Fifth Avenue begins at the Washington Square Arch in Washington Square Park © Matthew G. Bisanz/cc-by-sa-3.0
In the late 19th century, the very rich of New York began building mansions along the stretch of Fifth Avenue between 59th Street and 96th Street, looking onto Central Park. By the early 20th century, this portion of Fifth Avenue had been nicknamed “Millionaire’s Row“, with mansions such as the Mrs. William B. Astor House and William A. Clark House. Entries to Central Park along this stretch include Inventor’s Gate at 72nd Street, which gave access to the park’s carriage drives, and Engineers’ Gate at 90th Street, used by equestrians. A milestone change for Fifth Avenue came in 1916, when the grand corner mansion at 72nd Street and Fifth Avenue that James A. Burden II had erected in 1893 became the first private mansion on Fifth Avenue above 59th Street to be demolished to make way for a grand apartment house. The building at 907 Fifth Avenue began a trend, with its 12 stories around a central court, with two apartments to a floor. Its strong cornice above the fourth floor, just at the eaves height of its neighbors, was intended to soften its presence. In January 1922, the city reacted to complaints about the ongoing replacement of Fifth Avenue’s mansions by apartment buildings by restricting the height of future structures to 75 feet (23 m), about half the height of a ten-story apartment building. Architect J. E. R. Carpenter brought suit, and won a verdict overturning the height restriction in 1923. Carpenter argued that “the avenue would be greatly improved in appearance when deluxe apartments would replace the old-style mansions.” Led by real estate investors Benjamin Winter, Sr. and Frederick Brown, the old mansions were quickly torn down and replaced with apartment buildings. This area contains many notable apartment buildings, including 810 Fifth Avenue and the Park Cinq, many of them built in the 1920s by architects such as Rosario Candela and J. E. R. Carpenter. A very few post-World War II structures break the unified limestone frontage, notably the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum between 88th and 89th Streets.

Museum Mile is the name for a section of Fifth Avenue running from 82nd to 105th streets on the Upper East Side, in an area sometimes called Upper Carnegie Hill. The Mile, which contains one of the densest displays of culture in the world, is actually three blocks longer than one mile (1.6 km). Nine museums occupy the length of this section of Fifth Avenue. A ninth museum, the Museum for African Art, joined the ensemble in 2009; its museum at 110th Street, the first new museum constructed on the Mile since the Guggenheim in 1959, opened in late 2012. In addition to other programming, the museums collaborate for the annual Museum Mile Festival to promote the museums and increase visitation. The Museum Mile Festival traditionally takes place here on the second Tuesday in June from 6 – 9 p.m. It was established in 1979 to increase public awareness of its member institutions and promote public support of the arts in New York City. The first festival was held on June 26, 1979. The nine museums are open free that evening to the public. Several of the participating museums offer outdoor art activities for children, live music and street performers. During the event, Fifth Avenue is closed to traffic. Further south, on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 70th Street, lies the Henry Clay Frick House, which houses the Frick Collection. Museums on the mile include:

New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission is the New York City agency that is responsible for identifying and designating the City’s landmarks and the buildings in the City’s historic districts (Lists of New York City Landmarks). Below is a list of historic sites on Fifth Avenue with their designation dates:

The National Historic Landmark program (NRHP) focuses on places of significance in American history, architecture, engineering, or culture. It recognizes structures, buildings, sites, and districts associated with important events, people, or architectural movements (List of National Historic Landmarks in New York City and National Register of Historic Places listings in New York County, New York). Listed below is a list of National Historic Landmarks located along Fifth Avenue:

In addition, the cooperative apartment building at 2 Fifth Avenue was named a New York cultural landmark on December 12, 2013 by the Historic Landmark Preservation Center, as the last residence of former New York City Mayor Ed Koch.

Read more on Visit 5th Avenue, NYCgo.com – Fifth Avenue Shopping and Fifth Avenue (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




Recommended posts:

Share this post: (Please note data protection regulations before using buttons)

Theme Week Honduras - San Pedro Sula

Theme Week Honduras - San Pedro Sula

[caption id="attachment_220541" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Municipal Palace © Steven Craig/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]San Pedro Sula is the capital of Cortés Department, Honduras. It is located in the northwest corner of the country in the Sula Valley, about 50 kilometers (31 miles) south of Puerto Cortés on the Caribbean Sea. With a population of 671,460 in the central urban area (2020 calculation) and a population of 1,445,598 in its metropolitan area in 2020, it is the nation's primary industrial center a...

[ read more ]

Xanten on the Lower Rhine

Xanten on the Lower Rhine

[caption id="attachment_161066" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Mitteltor (Middle Gate) © Frank Vincentz[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Xanten is a historic town in North Rhine-Westphalia, located in the district of Wesel. Xanten is the only German town whose name begins with X. Xanten is known for the Archaeological Park or archaeological open air museum (one of the largest in the world), its medieval picturesque city centre with Xanten Cathedral and many museums, its large man-made lake for various watersport activities a...

[ read more ]

Supreme Court of Israel

Supreme Court of Israel

[caption id="attachment_236060" align="aligncenter" width="590"] © Adiel lo/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]The Supreme Court (Hebrew: Beit HaMishpat HaElyon; Arabic: Al Mahkama Al ‘Ulyā) is the highest court in Israel. It has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all other courts, and in some cases original jurisdiction. The Supreme Court consists of 15 judges appointed by the President of Israel, upon nomination by the Judicial Selection Committee. Once appointed, Judges serve until retirement at the age of 7...

[ read more ]

Theme Week New Zealand - Wellington

Theme Week New Zealand - Wellington

[caption id="attachment_150752" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Wellington Harbour © flickr.com - margaritanitz[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Wellington is the capital city and third most populous urban area of New Zealand. It is at the southwestern tip of the North Island, between Cook Strait and the Rimutaka Range. It is home to 389,700 residents. The Wellington urban area is the major population centre of the southern North Island, and is the seat of the Wellington Region – which in addition to the urban area covers t...

[ read more ]

Residence at Cape Idokopas

Residence at Cape Idokopas

[caption id="attachment_203340" align="aligncenter" width="590"] © Russian Wikileaks/cc-by-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]The Residence at Cape Idokopas also known as the "Palace on the Idokopas Cape", often called "Putin's Palace", "Dacha Putin", "Putin’s country cottage", etc., is a large Italianate palace complex located on the Black Sea coast near the village of Praskoveevka in Gelendzhik, Krasnodar Krai, Russia. While officially dismissed in 2010 by Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov, it has been claimed that the da...

[ read more ]

Portrait: Desmond Tutu, South African Anglican cleric, anti-apartheid and human rights activist

Portrait: Desmond Tutu, South African Anglican cleric, anti-apartheid and human rights activist

[caption id="attachment_223340" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Desmond Tutu at the German Evangelical Church Assembly 2007 © Elke Wetzig/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Desmond Mpilo Tutu OMSG CH (born 7 October 1931) is a South African Anglican cleric and theologian, known for his work as an anti-apartheid and human rights activist. He was the Bishop of Johannesburg from 1985 to 1986 and then the Archbishop of Cape Town from 1986 to 1996, in both cases being the first black African to hold the position. Theologically,...

[ read more ]

Theme Week Warsaw

Theme Week Warsaw

[caption id="attachment_159765" align="aligncenter" width="590"] © DocentX[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Warsaw is the capital and largest city of Poland. It is located on the Vistula River roughly 260 kilometers (162 mi) from the Baltic Sea and 300 kilometers (186 mi) from the Carpathian Mountains. Its population as of June 2010 was estimated at 1,716,855, and the Warsaw metropolitan area at approximately 2,785,000. The city area is 516.9 square kilometers (199.6 sq mi), with an agglomeration of 6,100.43 square kilometers (2,355.4...

[ read more ]

Theme Week Brittany - Vannes

Theme Week Brittany - Vannes

[caption id="attachment_153432" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Vannes and his wife © Myrabella[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Vannes (Breton: Gwened) is a commune in the Morbihan department in Brittany in north-western France. It was founded over 2000 years ago. Vannes is located on the Gulf of Morbihan at the mouth of two rivers, the Marle and the Vincin. It is around 100 km northwest of Nantes and 450 km south west of Paris. Vannes is a market town and often linked to the sea. In 1759 Vannes was used as the staging point...

[ read more ]

Theme Week Zeeland - Hulst

Theme Week Zeeland - Hulst

[caption id="attachment_218147" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Hulst Church © Vitaly Volkov/cc-by-2.5[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Hulst is a municipality and city in southwestern Netherlands in the east of Zeelandic Flanders, which is connected by land only to Belgium, on the Dutch-Belgian border. Hulst is neighbouring the municipalities of Terneuzen in the west, Stekene (Belgium) and Sint-Gillis-Waas (B) in the south, Beveren (B) in the east, and Reimerswaal in the north. The river Western Scheldt separates the land of...

[ read more ]

Andriyivskyy Descent in Kyiv

Andriyivskyy Descent in Kyiv

[caption id="attachment_228521" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Andriyivskyy Descent with the Saint Andrew's Church © Moahim/cc-by-sa-4.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Andriyivskyy Descent (literally: Andrew's Descent) is a historic descent connecting Kyiv's Upper Town neighborhood and the historically commercial Podil neighborhood. The street, often advertised by tour guides and operators as the "Montmartre of Kyiv", is a major tourist attraction of the city. It is included in the list of national landmarks by the government reso...

[ read more ]

Return to TopReturn to Top
Carlyle Hotel © Jim.henderson
Carlyle Hotel in the Upper East Side

The Carlyle Hotel, known formally as The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel, is a combination luxury and residential hotel located at...

© Hégésippe Cormier/cc-by-sa-3.0
The Gulf States: Bon voyage!

The Arabian Gulf (the Arab states call the west side of the Persian Gulf Arabian Gulf) is a mediterranean sea...

Duval Street © Marc Averette
Duval Street in Key West

Duval Street is a downtown commercial zoned street in Key West, Florida, running north to south from the Gulf of...

Close