Fifth Avenue (Manhattan)

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Fifth Avenue and 5th Avenue redirect here. For the candy bar, see 5th Avenue (candy). For the car, see Chrysler Fifth Avenue.
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Fifth Avenue looking south from 38th Street
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From The Wickedest Woman in New York: Madame Restell, the Abortionist

Fifth Avenue is a major thoroughfare in the center of the borough of Manhattan in New York City, USA. It runs through the heart of Midtown and along the eastern side of Central Park, and because of the expensive park-view real estate and historical mansions along its course, it is a symbol of wealthy New York. It is one of the best shopping streets in the world, often paired with London's Oxford Street and the Champs Elysées in Paris. It is one of the most expensive streets in the world, on a par with Paris, London and Tokyo lease prices. The "most expensive street in the world" moniker changes depending on currency fluctuations and local economic conditions from year to year. [1] It is the dividing line for the east-west streets in Manhattan, (for example, demarcating the line separating East 59th Street from West 59th Street) as well as the zero-numbering point for street addresses (numbers increase in both directions as one moves away from Fifth, with 1 East 59th Street on the corner at Fifth Avenue, and 300 East 59th Street located several blocks to the East). Fifth Avenue is a one-way street and carries southbound ("downtown") traffic. Fifth Avenue extends from the north side of Washington Square Park through Greenwich Village, Midtown, and the Upper East Side

Fifth Avenue, which was two-way over most of its course until the early 1960s, now allows two-way traffic north of 135th Street only. South of 135th Street, Fifth Avenue allows one-way southbound traffic only while northbound traffic may take Madison Avenue. From 124th Street to 120th Street, Fifth Avenue is cut off by Marcus Garvey Park, with southbound traffic diverted around the park via Mount Morris Park West.


[edit] History

Originally a narrower thoroughfare, much of Fifth Avenue south of Central Park was widened in 1908 to accommodate the increasing traffic. The midtown blocks, now famously commercial, were largely a residential district until the turn of the 20th Century.

Fifth Avenue is the central scene in Edith Wharton's Pulitzer Prize winning novel The Age of Innocence (1920). The novel describes New York's social elite in the 1870s and provides historical context to Fifth Avenue and New York's aristocratic families.

After becoming a naturalized United States citizen, Nikola Tesla established his laboratory at 35 South Fifth Avenue in 1891.

[edit] Notable sights

Many landmarks and famous buildings are situated along Fifth Avenue in Midtown and the Upper East Side. In Midtown are the Empire State Building, the New York Public Library, Rockefeller Center, and St. Patrick's Cathedral. The stretch of Fifth Avenue from the 80s through the 90s (i.e., from 82nd Street to 105th Street) has enough museums to have acquired the nickname Museum Mile and includes such institutions as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. That area was known in the early 20th century as Millionaire's Row after the many mansions built there as the richest New Yorkers moved their residences north to face Central Park. Earlier, several opulent Vanderbilt houses and other mansions were built in the 50s and in even earlier times further south. The New York Academy of Medicine is located at 103rd Street, and Mount Sinai Hospital is located at 98th Street.

Between 34th Street and 60th Street, Fifth Avenue is a popular retail center, with various luxury stores facing that street, most notably F.A.O. Schwarz on 58th Street. Other famous Fifth Avenue retailers no longer in existence are B. Altman and Company, Bonwit Teller and Peck & Peck.

Located on 720 Fifth Avenue is the Abercrombie & Fitch flagship store. Between East 58th and East 59th Street is Apple Computer's 32-foot glass cube, which serves as an entrance for Apple's completely underground flagship retail store.

[edit] Parade route

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. These 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.

[edit] Bicycling route

Bicycling on Fifth Avenue ranges from safe with a bike lane south of 23rd Street <ref>New York City Cycling Map</ref> to scenic along Central Park to dangerous through Midtown with very heavy traffic during rush hours.

[edit] See also

[edit] References


[edit] External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:

[edit] Further reading

  • Steven S. Gaines, The Sky's the Limit: Passion and Property in Manhattan 2005.

Major Avenues of Manhattan
To the west
(varies by location)
Sixth Avenue
Central Park
Lenox Avenue
Fifth Avenue To the east
Madison Avenue
WSH (12) | Riverside | 11 (West End) | 10 (Amsterdam) | Dyer | 9 | 8 or CPW | 7 | 6 or Lenox | 5 | Madison | Park (4) | Lexington | 3 | 2 | 1 | A or York | B or East End | C | D | FDR

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Fifth Avenue (Manhattan)

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