New York Songlines: 5th Avenue

69th | 68th | 67th | 66th (Central Park Zoo) | 65th | 64th | 63rd | 62nd | 61st | 60th | 59th/Central Park South (Plaza Hotel) | 58th | 57th (Tiffany's) | 56th | 55th | 54th | 53rd | 52nd | 51st (Rockefeller Center/St. Patrick's) | 50th | 49th | 48th | 47th | 46th | 45th | 44th | 43rd | 42nd (New York Public Library) | 41st | 40th | 39th | 38th | 37th | 36th | 35th | 34th (Empire State Building) | 33rd | 32nd | 31st | 30th | 29th | 28th | 27th | 26th (Madison Square) | 25th | Broadway | 24th | 23rd (Flatiron Building) | 22nd | 21st | 20th | 19th | 18th | 17th | 16th | 15th | 14th | 13th St | 12th St | 11th St | 10th St | 9th St | 8th St | Washington Square North (Washington Square Park)


While most areas of Manhattan have gone in and out of fashion, Fifth Avenue has always meant high society--from its beginnings as a row of elite townhouses to its current status as a pricey shopping district. How many streets have had both a car and a candy bar named after them?

5th Avenue divides most Manhattan streets into East and West--street addresses generally start counting upwards from here in either direction.



West:

Central Park

NYC - Central Park: The Pond by wallyg, 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 Olmstead 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).




Central Park, New York by  Mathew Knott, on Flickr











Fifth Avenue/Central Park by edenpictures, on Flickr












Dene Shelter

This rustic structure visible from 5th Avenue sits atop Dene Rock and overlooks The Dene, a winding valley laid out by Olmstead that connects the Children's Zoo to East Green.

107th Infantry Memorial

107th Infantry memorial by angermann, on Flickr

A powerful sculpture, completed in 1927, featuring seven U.S. soldiers fighting in World War I. The sculptor, Karl Illava, was himself a sergeant in the 107th and able to depict the trauma of war from first-hand experience.

The 107th descends from a New York State Militia unit formed in 1806 in 107th Infantry Memorial II by edenpictures, on Flickr response to skirmishes with the British Navy off the coast of Sandy Hook. As the 7th Regiment, it helped to put down the Astor Place Riot in 1849, the Dead Rabbits and Bowery Boys in 1857 and the Draft Riots in 1863. Known as the Silk Stocking Regiment because of its ties to New York's social elite, it was based at the impressive Park Avenue Armory.




Billy Johnson Playground

Also known as the Rustic Playground, it features play equipment made of wood and other natural materials, as well as a 45-foot slide coming down off Dene Rock.


















Students' Gate

One of the 22 named entrances to Central Park--or is it?





























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884 (corner): A 13-story building, built in 1927, by the master of apartment design, Rosario Candela. AKA 2 East 70th Street. The penthouse here sold for $40 million in 2012.

880 (corner): There are 162 residential units in this 20-story Art Deco building from 1948, designed by Emery Roth and 880 Fifth Avenue by edenpictures, on Flickr built by the Uris brothers. Residents have included Mitch Leigh, who wrote the music for Man of La Mancha and the Sara Lee jingle, and John Hertz, founder of the rental car company. Earlier on this site was the home of railroad magnate Edward H. Harriman.


E 69TH ST         ===> E

875 (corner): A 19-story apartment building from 1941, designed by Emery Roth in the Moderne style. Three mansions were knocked down to build it, including the home of Ogden Mills, Herbert Hoover's last Treasury secretary, designed by Roth's mentor, Richard Hunt. Among the notables who have lived here are Phil Donahue and Marlo Thomas.

871: Site of the home of Stanford White in the Gout Rothschild style, including the installation of a 60-foot 870 Fifth Avenue by edenpictures, on Flickr ballroom from a French chateau. Gertrude was a sculptor and the founder of the Whitney Museum.

870 (corner): A 21-floor beige-brick building with curved bays, designed by William I. Hohauser and built in 1949.


E 68TH ST         ===> E

860 (corner): This 20-story 1950 co-op, designed by Sylvan Bien, sits on the site of an 1895 mansion designed by William Schickel for cable car and tobacco magnate Thomas Fortune Ryan, as well as a R.H. Robertson house designed for subway financier Charles Yerkes (replaced by a garden by the time the present building came along).

857 (corner): Described by critic Carter Horsley as 857 Fifth Avenue by edenpictures, on Flickr "one of the city's most stylish white-brick apartment buildings"--which sounds like damning with faint praise--this 1963 building has 21 stories but only 17 apartments. It was designed by Robert Bien, whose father Sylvan designed the building taking up the rest of the block.


E 67TH ST         ===> E

Future Prime Minister Winston Churchill looked the wrong way before stepping into the street at this intersection on December 11, 1931. The car that hit him broke two ribs.

Corner (2 E 67th): This 13-story Rosario Candela building went up in 1926 on the site of Temple Beth-El, an 1891 synagogue designed by Brunner & Tryon that merged with Temple Emanu-El. It's home to New York Observer founder Arthur Carter, cosmetics billionaire Leonard Lauder and Loews Hotels CEO Jonathan Tisch, who paid $48 million for an apartment here in 2008.

Serbian Mission

Serbian Mission by edenpictures, on Flickr

854: This Beaux Arts townhouse, a survivor of what was once a row of mansions along Fifth Avenue, was built in 1905 for R. Livingston Beeckman (later governor of Rhode Island) to a design by Warren & Wetmore, architects of Grand Central Terminal.

It was bought by the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1946 to serve as its permanent mission to the UN; the mission was more permanent than the multiethnic nation, which was whittled down to just Serbia by 2006. A 1975 bombing broke windows in the mission; the perpetrator, Serbian nationalist Bosko Radonjic, became leader of the Irish-American crime gang The Westies after being released from prison in 1982. 1 East 66th Street by edenpictures, on Flickr

Corner (1 E 66th): This 19-story Rosario Candela apartment building was one of the architect's last, built in 1948. Vera Tucker, who lived here more than half a century, made headlines in 1986 when, as an 87-year-old, she knocked a pursesnatcher off his bicycle here by whacking him with her umbrella.

Previously on this was the mansion of Henry Havemeyer, founder of Domino Sugar, who with his wife Louisine amassed an amazing art collection, featuring important works by the likes of Rembrandt, El Greco, Manet, Degas and Monet (many of which ended up in the Met). The house where these were displayed was itself a masterpiece, with an interior designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany. It was torn down in 1930, a year after Louisine's death.


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Children's Zoo

IMG_4563 by holycalamity, on Flickr

The petting zoo portion of the Central Park Zoo, featuring rabbits, ducks, sheep, goats, llamas, etc. Opened in 1961, its sculpted gates featuring a boy dancing with goats were designed by Paul Manship, who did Rockefeller Center's Prometheus. It's formally known as the Tisch Children's Zoo, for media mogul Laurence Tisch, who gave $4.5 million to complete a 1997 renovation after Edith and Henry Everett, reneged on their promise to fund the project, upset that their names on the zoo wouldn't be in big enough type.









trio by peyri, on Flickr














Bunnyboy by molossoidea, on Flickr

















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4 East 66th Street by edenpictures, on Flickr

845 (corner): This 12-story apartment building, designed by James E.R. Carpenter and put up in 1920, started the midrise multi-unit boom on Fifth Avenue. It ruffled feathers by overshadowing the Astor mansion next door, resulting in a 75-foot height limit for buildings on the avenue from 60th to 96th Street--a restriction that lasted only until 1923. The buildings wealthy inhabitants have included oil baron Sid Bass, Bear Stearns CEO Ace Greenberg and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, who bought both the entire 11th floor and the 12th floor penthouse.

Temple Emanu-El

Temple Emanu-El by joshbousel,  on Flickr

840 (corner): The Congregation Emanu-El ("God Is With Us") was founded by German immigrants on the Lower East Side in 1845, occupying synagogues on Chrystie Street, East 12th Street and Temple Emanu-El (5th Ave - New York) by joshbousel,  on Flickr East 43rd Street before moving here in 1929, merging with Temple Beth-El. Emanu-El, an influential Reform congregation, introduced such innovations as the use of vernacular language, the introduction of music to accompany services and the end of gender segregation.

The present building, designed by Robert Kohn, Temple Emanu-El by joshbousel,  on Flickr seats 2,500, making it the largest synagogue in the world. Also on the grounds is Chapel Beth-El, commemorating the co-parent congregation.

This was formerly the site of the mansion of Caroline Schermerhorn Astor, built in 1893 to a French chateau-inspired design by Richard Morris Hunt.


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The echo-y archway connecting the Central Park Zoo to the Children's Zoo is named the Denesmouth Arch.

Delacorte Music Clock

Untitled by Cresny,  on Flickr

Every half hour from 8 am until 5 pm, the bronze animals on this musical clock whirl into action, playing one of the 44 songs in their repertoire. The clock was a gift from George Delacorte, founder of Dell Publishing, who also gave Central Park the Delacorte Theater and the Alice in Wonderland statue. Andrea Spadini was the sculptor.

Central Park Zoo

Central Park Zoo by La Citta Vita,  on Flickr

The zoo dates back to the earliest days of the park, when people used to donate miscellaneous animals which were displayed near the Mall. It was chartered by the New York Assembly in 1864, making it the second-oldest public zoo in the country (after Philadelphia's), and the oldest zoo in New York.

In 1865, around the time it acquired a trio of Cape buffalo General William Sherman had picked up during his march through Georgia, the menagerie was moved to the Arsenal. Against the opposition of Central Park architects Olmstead and Vaux, permanent enclosures were built on the site of the present Zoo in 1870. DSC01097  by Fenix_21,  on Flickr

In 1934, new enclosures for the animals were designed by Aymar Embury, who designed hundreds of projects for Robert Moses. Some of his neo-Georgian brick and limestone buildings, arranged in a quadrangle around the sea lion tank, still remain, but the depressing menagerie-style cages were eliminated in a 1988 redesign by Kevin Roche, Dinkeloo, after the New York Zoological Society took over the facility. Lounging polar bear by ericskiff,  on Flickr

The zoo's most prominent resident is Gus the polar bear, whose psychological issues stemming from captivity, and his keepers' efforts to treat his neuroses, made him his species' most famous individual--the subject of books, a play, even a song by The Tragically Hip. As of 2012, he's still alive, though now an elderly bear, and showing signs of mourning the passing of his mate Ida. Central Park Zoo by Alexandra Tinder,  on Flickr

Other zoo notables include Roy and Silo, a same-sex chinstrap penguin couple. (They have since broken up.) Also on view are sea lions, snow monkeys, red panda and dozens of species in an indoor rainforest. Since 2009, the zoo has been home to three rare snow leopards.

A perfect symbol of wildness captured by civilization, the zoo features in such films as Madagascar, The Day After Tomorrow, Jack Nicholson's Wolf Victoria Crowned Pigeon by Ed Gaillard,  on Flickr and Woody Allen's Alice; books like Mr. Popper's Penguins and Catcher in the Rye; and the Simon & Garfunkel song "At the Zoo."



















Children's Gate

The Arsenal

One of only two buildings in Central Park that are older than the park itself, The Arsenal was, as its name suggests, originally used to store arms for the New York State National Guard. It replaced a former repository located in what's now Madison Square Park; it was constructed between 1847 and 1851 in a project overseen by state comptroller Millard Fillmore, who later became president. It was designed by architect Martin E. Thompson to look like a medieval fortress, with a crenulated cornice.

In 1857, it was bought by the city and turned into an administrative office and police station for the nascent park. In 1859, it began to accumulate a collection of animals donated by notables like P.T. Barnum, Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman and August Belmont--a menagerie that was evicted in 1871 as unsafe and smelly.

From 1869 to 1877, it was a temporary home for the American Museum of Natural History, as well as a dinosaur reconstruction studio. It also served as an art gallery and the site of Central Park's weather station, relocated to Belvedere Castle in 1918.





























Wien Walk

Portrait of a Girl by ~W~,  on Flickr Entering the park from Freedman Plaza, you will find many sketch artists and a few puppeteers or balloon animal makers. There used to be more masseuses.

It's named for Lawrence Wien, a real estate lawyer who once owned the Empire State Building and the Plaza Hotel. He gave millions of dollars to Central Park and other nonprofit causes, particularly Columbia University.











Freedman Plaza

Living Sculpture I by edenpictures, on Flickr

Doris Freedman, the plaza's namesake, was the city's first director of cultural affairs, the founder of the Public Arts Council and president of the Municipal Arts Society. Appropriately enough, her plaza is home to a series of temporary sculptural installations.

Scholar's Gate

This entrance to the park is The Scholar's Gate--because the NYPL is 17 blocks south? It was intended to be and is the busiest entrance to the park.

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838 (corner): Built in 1950 as an 11-story office building for the Union of American Hebrew Congregations--which explains why it has "Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself" inscribed across its facade. It gained a story when it was converted into a condo building in 1999. Seagram co-chair Charles Bronfman bought a penthouse here at the time for $18 million. 834 Fifth Avenue by Ed Gaillard, on Flickr

834 (corner): This 16-story Rosario Candela apartment building, completed in 1931, has been called "the most pedigreed building on the snobbiest street in the country's most real estate-obsessed city." Residents have included 834 Fifth Avenue by edenpictures, on Flickr John Delorean, Henry Kravis, Robert Wood Johnson, Charles Schwab, Elizabeth Arden and Robert Bass. In 2005, Rupert Murdoch bought the penthouse form Laurance Rockefeller for $44 million, the most ever paid for a co-op apartment.


E 64TH ST         ===> E

828 Fifth Avenue by edenpictures, on Flickr

828 (corner): Built 1893-1902 for Edward Berwind, then the world's richest coal tycoon. His house later served as Institute of Aeronautical Sciences before becoming an apartment building in the 1970s, when it became home to disco queen Donna Summer and feminist sex writer Shere Hite.

820 (corner): A 1916 apartment building by Starrett & Van Vleck. The AIA Guide calls this and its southern neighbor "two of the great eclectic apartment houses of New York." Former New York governor 820 Fifth Avenue by edenpictures, on Flickr and defeated presidential candidate Al Smith lived here from the late 1930s until his death in 1944. Herbert Lehman, New York governor from 1933-42, made this his home-away-from-Albany. CBS founder William Paley was a 25-year resident when he died in his 20-room duplex here in 1990.


E 63RD ST         ===> E

817 Fifth Avenue by edenpictures, on Flickr

817 (corner): A George B. Post condo building from 1925. Cranky millionaire Abe Hirschfeld tried to sell his apartment here to ex-President Richard Nixon in 1979; when other residents blocked the sale, Hirschfeld kept Nixon's $92,500 deposit. Among those who did get approved were casino billionaire Steve Wynn and actor Richard Gere. In the film Scent of a Woman, Al Pacino visits a lady friend here.

814: Sleazy financier Serge Rubinstein was found strangled to death in his mansion that used to be here on January 27, 1955. The murder was never solved; it's said that the victim was hated by so many that the police had trouble narrowing down to a single suspect.

812: Nelson Rockefeller lived in a triplex here with his second wife, Happy, from 1963 (when this 19-story building was new) until his death in 1979.

810 (corner): Nelson Rockefeller and his first wife Mary moved here in 1931 and were living here when he became governor in 1958. He moved out in 1961 when he fell in love 810 Fifth Avenue by edenpictures, on Flickr with Margaretta "Happy" Murphy, who would become his second wife. Richard Nixon moved here in 1963 after losing his bid to be governor of California and declaring that we wouldn't have Nixon to kick around anymore. He moved from here to the White House after winning the election of 1968.


E 62ND ST         ===> E

Knickerbocker Club

NYC - UES: Knickerbocker Club by wallyg, on Flickr

Corner (2 E 62nd): A Georgian revival clubhouse completed in 1915; Delano & Aldrich, architects. The club was founded in 1871 by former members of the Union Club who felt their old club's admission standards were slipping. Franklin Roosevelt was a member. 800 Fifth Avenue by edenpictures, on Flickr

800 (corner): This 1978 33-story apartment building was designed by Ulrich Franzen & Associates to match the height of the Knickerbocker Club with a three-story limestone screen wall facing the avenue. Singer Dolly Parton, designer Pierre Cardin, and Donald and Ivana Trump have called this home.

The building replaced the neo-Georgian townhouse of Geraldine Rockefeller Dodge, a Standard Oil heiress who married into the Phelps Dodge and Remington Arms fortunes. Torn down in 1977.


E 61ST ST         ===> E

Hotel Pierre

Hotel Pierre by edenpictures, on Flickr

795 (corner): A slender 41-story tower built in 1930 for acclaimed chef Charles Pierre, whose restaurant had just been replaced by the New York Central Building. The hotel didn't take off, however, until it was bought in 1938 by millionaire J. Paul Getty, whose "smart set" friends began staying here.

French director Rene Clair moved here when he fled the Nazi invasion in 1940; Barbara Stanwyck and Robert Taylor lived here when they were married in the 1940s. NYC - UES: Hotel Pierre by wallyg, on Flickr

Dashiell Hammett started writing The Thin Man here; he checked out without paying his bill, wearing all his clothes. John O'Hara wrote his first "Pal Joey" story here.

Woolworth's heiress Barbara Hutton had a suite, leading striking clerks to picket the hotel, chanting, "Is 18 dollars a week too much?" Other notable guests and residents: Jimmy Stewart, Audrey Hepburn, Tom Jones, Claire Trevor and Charles Bronson.

On January 2, 1972, armed robbers took over the hotel to rob its safety deposit boxes of as many as $10 million in jewels. Two of the crooks were soon caught; the rest got away with the bulk of the loot.

Al Pacino, Robert Redford, Lee Iacocca and George Steinbrenner were a few of the devoted customers of the hotel barber, Gio Hernandez, who died in 1989.

On Mad Men, the relaunched Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce ad agency temporily does business out of a suite here.

Metropolitan Club

New York City day trip, Dec 6, 2008 by flickr4jazz, on Flickr

Corner (1 E 60th): A club founded in 1891 for the rich and powerful who weren't yet blue-blooded enough for older, snootier clubs, with J.P. Morgan as its first president and Cornelius and William K. Vanderbilt among its original members. The clubhouse was built in 1894, designed by Stanford White, with an east wing with a majestic semicircular gateway added in 1912.


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Grand Army Plaza

grand army by serhio, on Flickr

This plaza, technically a part of Central Park but really a distinct entity, is bifurcated by Central Park South, a layout inspired by Paris' Place de la Concorde. It honors the Grand Army of the Republic, the powerful post-Civil War veteran's organization, comparable to the American Legion.


























NYC - Grand Army Plaza: Sherman Monument by wallyg, on Flickr The northern half of the plaza is dominated by Augustus St. Gaudens' gilded statue of Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman, who marched through Georgia and declared that "war is Hell." The female figure leading Sherman, said to represent Peace, is modeled on St. Gaudens' mistress Davida Johnson.

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Parc V Apartments by edenpictures, on Flickr

787 (corner): A 10-story luxury apartment building, built in 1903 to a Henry J. Hardenbergh design, was torn down and replaced by...

785 (corner): Parc V Apartments, 18 white-brick stories designed by Emery Roth & Sons and completed in 1963. "Would be unattractive even in a slum"--City Review. Nevertheless, it's been home to billionaire David Geffen.

Sherry-Netherland Hotel

The Sherry-Netherland Hotel at night by tomdz, on Flickr

781 (corner): Opened in 1927 by ice cream magnate Louis Sherry and Waldorf-Astoria manager Lucius Boomer. The 38-story building was designed by Schultze & Weaver (who also did the Waldorf-Astoria) in a neo-Romanesque/ Renaissance style with Gothic touches, including griffons guarding the front entrance. The lobby was modeled after the Vatican Library and includes friezes salvaged from Cornelius Vanderbilt's mansion. Guests included Looking Up Fifth by Vidiot, on Flickr many show biz notables like George Burns, Danny Kaye, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. and Diana Ross; Francis Ford Coppola lived here long enough to make it his daughter Sophia Coppola's childhood home, as depicted in New York Stories.

Stock market speculator Jesse Livermore, one of the few to make money in the Crash of 1929, shot himself outside the men's room here on November 28, 1940.

Cipriani's is the restaurant here, founded by Harry Cipriani and patterned after his Harry's Bar in Venice. Also in the hotel since 1961 is A La Vieille Russie, an antique business founded in 1851 with a specialty in Faberge eggs (Malcolm Forbes was a frequent customer), and Dominico Vacca, men's clothing.


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On July 28, 1917, the NAACP led a silent march from here down Fifth Avenue in protest of lynching; it's sometimes considered the first civil rights march.

Since the early 1990s, this has been where the Gay Pride Parade starts; it used to march uptown from Greenwich Village, until they figured out the Village was a better place to end up for celebrating.

West:

Pulitzer Fountain

NYC - Grand Army Plaza by wallyg, on Flickr The southern half of Grand Army Plaza is centered on this fountain, into which F. Scott Fitzgerald once jumped "just out of sheer joy," It was funded by the will of publisher Joseph Pulitzer --a beyond-the-grave challenge to his rival William Randolph Hearst, who had underwritten Columbus Circle's Maine Memorial. The statue in the fountain is NYC: Grand Army Plaza - Pulitzer Fountain by wallyg, on Flickr Karl Bitter's Abundance, featuring the Roman goddess Pomona. Bitter, who had promoted the Place de la Concorde as a pattern for the Plaza, finished the clay model for the sculpture the same day he was fatally struck by a car outside the Metropolitan Opera House.

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General Motors Building

Apple Store Fifth Avenue by Wysz, on Flickr

767 (block): This was the site of the Savoy Plaza Hotel, an elegant skyscraper hotel from 1892 that was home to Trader Vic's. The 50-story white-marble office tower that Edward Durell Stone designed for the car maker, completed in 1968, contrasts starkly with the decidedly non-Modern look of most of its neighbors. Apple Fifth Avenue by Daniel Morris, on Flickr Since 1990, the north lobby houses the toy store FAO Schwarz, where Tom Hanks frolics in Big. More recently the once-sunken plaza here is the glass-cubed entrance to the 24-hour Apple Store, occupying a space that was once the car-themed Autopub. CBS's Early Show is also based here.


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Bergdorf Goodman

DSC_0174 by j.e.s.1981VA, on Flickr

754 (corner): Starting out as a tailor shop where in 1899 Edwin Goodman went to work for Herman Bergdorf, the fashionable department store moved here in 1928. The building was originally designed as a series of shops by Buchman & Kahn; Bergdorf Goodman on 5th by zio Paolino, on Flickr Bergdorf Goodman, one of the original tenants, eventually bought and expanded into the whole set except for the Van Cleef & Arpels store at the southern end of the block. The penthouse atop the store, once the Goodman family's private residence, was converted to a spa in 1997, not long after the store was bought out by Neiman Marcus.

744 (corner): Van Cleef & Arpels by Sinbadblue Kong, on Flickr
Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry store was built on the site of the mansion of Cornelius Vanderbilt II, designed by George B. Post and built from 1882-94; it was demolished in 1927 to make way for the row of shops. (Its gate was salvaged and placed at Central Park's 103rd Street entrance.) This Cornelius was the grandson and namesake of Commodore Vanderbilt, the railroad tycoon.

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Old Squibb Building

745 (corner): This 1930 office tower designed by Eli Jacques Kahn, replaced part of Marble Row, a string of white marble buildings built by Mary Mason Jones, Edith Wharton's great-aunt, who appears in The Age of Innocence as Mrs. Mingott. When Marble Row was built, in 1867-69, the neighborhood was largely unpopulated, and the white marble material flew in the face of the ubiquitous fashion for brownstone. Though the houses have all been torn down--this end of the block went in 1929--they still echo in the white and/or marble used in their replacements and in surrounding buildings.

The street-level facade here, unfortunately, was redone in colored marble in 1988--originally to honor Kahn's supposed original intentions, thwarted by Depression Era cutbacks, then, when it turned out Kahn very much wanted a white building here, just because the owners didn't like white marble.

The lobby features a ceiling mural by Arthur Covey featuring stylized airplanes flying over Manhattan.

The Squibb Building was for many years home to the magical toy store F.A.O. Schwartz, which later moved next door, and now houses Bergdorf Goodman's Men's Store.

743: Gilan jewelry




LV by reflexer, on Flickr

Corner (1 E 57th): Louis Vuitton is on the site of Mary Mason Jones' own home on Marble Row. It was replaced in 1931 with the New York Trust Co. Building, by Cross & Cross, which followed the white-marble tradition that Jones had set. From 1993-2001, this was home to the whimsical Warner Brothers Store. The handbag company came in with a remodeling that replaced much of the white marble with a glossy green plastic-like substance. "Every dog and every cat and every people has Louis Vuitton" --Shonen Knife.


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Crown Building

Crown Building by elPadawan, on Flickr

730 (corner): Built in 1921 as the Heckscher Building to a Warren & Wetmore design, it was one of the first office towers put up after the 1916 Zoning Resolution, which mandated setbacks. Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos secretly bought the building in 1981. The Museum of Modern Art's first home was here on the 12th floor; its Modern Architecture--International Exhibition show in 1932, curated by Philip Johnson, New York. Fifth Avenue. Building by Tomás Fano, on Flickr established the International Style as the reigning architectural fashion. The American Mercury, edited by H.L. Mencken and George Jean Nathan, opened here in 1923. Now houses the jewelry stores Bulgari (in the space that used to be I. Miller), Piaget and Mikimoto, as well as Playboy Enterprises.
























724: Prada opened this four-level store in 1998 in an effort to sell its elite brand to the hoi polloi. There used to be a 24-hour branch of the pancake chain Childs here, which featured "evening togs by the cab-load," according to 1931's New York After Dark. DSC05584 by Kramchang, on Flickr

720 (corner): Abercrombie & Fitch, a four-story flagship opened in 2005. Before being repositioned as a "casual luxury" brand noted for its scantily clad young models in 1988, it was a sporting goods store, founded in 1892, that provisioned the likes of Teddy Roosevelt, Amelia Earhardt and Ernest Shackleton. Ernest Hemingway is said to have bought the gun he killed himself with from Abercrombie & Fitch.

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Tiffany & Co.

Tiffany's on Fifth Avenue by hotdogger13, on Flickr

727 (corner): Where Holly Golightly has breakfast. Tiffany & Co. was founded as a stationery store in 1832 by Charles Lewis Tiffany (and co.); by 1853 it had become the noted jewelry store that it is today. On Charles' death in 1902, his son, the glass artist Louis Comfort Tiffany, became the firm's artistic director. Tiffany's is largely responsible for establishing the carat as the standard unit of measurement for diamond size. Tiffany, 5th Avenue by Agatha & Andrew Mleczko, on Flickr

The company moved here in 1940 to a not particularly distinguished building by Cross & Cross. It replaced the Collis P. Huntington mansion, built 1892 to a George B. Post design. Tiffany's by warsze, on Flickr The nine-foot Atlas holding a clock above the entrance has graced Tiffany's main store since 1853; it's wood painted to look like bronze, made by a sculptor of ship figureheads.

Previously on this site lived Cole Porter with his wife Linda Lee Thomas.

Menken's, the fictional department store on the show Mad Men, was located on 5th Avenue next to Tiffany's.

Trump Tower

New York 2008-12-03 17.18.20 IMG_0707 by mnbf9rca, on Flickr

721 (corner): A 68-story bronze-glass residential tower with a saw-toothed facade designed to create as many "corner" apartments as possible. Completed in 1983, it's been home to stars and celebs like Johnny Carson, Steven Spielberg, Dick Clark, Sophia Loren, Fay Wray, Paul Anka, Pia Zadora, Martina Navratilova and Andrew Lloyd Webber. Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley had their honeymoon here. Featured in The Devil's Advocate, I'll Take Manhattan and Spider-Man. Gucci on 5th by zio Paolino, on Flickr Gucci's flagship superstore moved here in 2008.

Formerly on the site was Bonwit Teller, department store founded in 1897 and moved here in 1930, to an Art Deco store designed by Warren & Wetmore and almost immediately redesigned by Eli Jacques Kahn. Surrealist Salvador Dali smashed the window here on March 15, 1939, furious that the store had altered the display he had designed. The company folded not longer after Trump forced one last move. On Mad Men, Joan worked as a manager here after leaving the ad agency.


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Harry Winston

I weep when Harry Winston is closed too! by Corey Ann, on Flickr

718 (corner): A prestigious jewelry firm established in 1932. Winston owned the Hope Diamond for 10 years, then donated it to the Smithsonian. He cut the 69-carat diamond that Richard Burton gave to Elizabeth Taylor in 1969. Marilyn Monroe exclaims in "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend," "Talk to me, Harry Winston, tell me all about it." Edward Norton sings to Natasha Lyonne here in Everyone Says I Love You.

Henri Bendel

Henri Bendel ceiling by misocrazy, on Flickr

714: This half of the famed store (the "Bendel bonnet" was immortalized in "You're the Top") was the Rizzoli Building, built in 1909. The store, founded in 1896, moved here in 1990.

712: Also part of Bendel's is the Coty Building (Woodruff Leeming, 1909), whose sparkling glass was installed in 1912 by Rene Lalique and rediscovered when Bendel moved in. A 52-story office tower was added on top in 1990.

Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church

Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church (5th Ave - New York) by scalleja, on Flickr

Corner (7 W 55th): The congregation moved here from 19th Street in 1875. The brownstone neo-Gothic structure was designed by Carl Pfeiffer. Rev. Dr. John Bonnell, the pastor here from 1935 to 1962, introduced Dial-a-Prayer.

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719: George Gustave Heye lived at this defunct address; his collections became the core of the Museum of the American Indian.

Corning Glass Building

717 (corner): Mirrored green glass tower is a 1959 design by Harrison & Abromowitz & Abbe, the first glass-walled building on Fifth Avenue. The distinguished entrance was a 1994 remodeling by Gwathmey/Siegel. The Hugo Boss clothing store is here, replacing a Steuben glass store (a division of Corning).









715: Escada clothing














711 (corner): A graceful 1927 office building, once known as the Columbia Pictures Building and later as the Coca-Cola Building. (Coke until recently had a retail space on the ground floor and I believe still has offices upstairs.) Mickey Mouse on Fifth Avenue by Bobcatnorth, on Flickr The Disney Store opened in 1996, taking the space that used to be the Cote Basque, and is now one of the few remnants of some 800 stores Disney once owned. Alfred Dunhill clothing is also here.


W <===     55TH STREET     ===> E

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The Peninsula

NYC: The Peninsula by wallyg, on Flickr

700 (corner): The 23-story Beaux Arts hotel was built in 1905 as the Hotel Gotham--and bankrupted in 1908 because it was too close to the Presbyterian church to sell liquor. (The laws have since been reinterpreted.) Damon Runyon, Tallulah Bankhead and Alexander Woolcott all stayed here. Redesigned in 1987 by Pierre Cardin; renamed the Peninsula New York in 1988. Wempe jewelry, Sergio Rossi clothing and Lindt Chocolatier are on the ground floor.







































684: Florence Adele Vanderbilt and husband Hamilton McKown Twombly lived in a mansion built here for them by her father William Henry Vanderbilt.

University Club

NYC - University Club by wallyg, on Flickr

Corner (1 W 54th): A 10-story "Florentine super-pallazo beyond the Medicis' wildest dreams" (AIA Guide), designed by Charles McKim, a member (along with Meade and White). 1899. The City Review calls it "the city's grandest clubhouse." The club was founded in 1865 to promote art and literature; members were required to have college degrees, hence the name. Women were not admitted until 1987.

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St. Regis Hotel

St. Regis Bar - Manhattan - Maxfield Parrish Mural - Old King Cole  by Al_HikesAZ, on Flickr

703 (corner): Built in 1904, designed by Trowbridge & Livingstone, and named for St. Regis Lake, an Adirondacks resort. One of the city's most elegant hotels, it may have been the first in the world to be air-conditioned, and originally boasted 47 Steinway pianos. The hotel's King Cole Bar is named for its Maxfield Parrish mural, moved here from the bar of the same name in the old Knickerbocker Hotel. This bar introduced the Bloody Mary to America. The hotel was formerly home to the Seaglades and La Maisonette nightclubs. The St. Regis Hotel (2 E 55th St at 5th Ave - New York) by scalleja, on Flickr

Among the St. Regis' many famous guests and residents are Joseph Pulitzer, John Jacob Astor, Ernest Hemingway, Salvador Dali, John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Alfred Hitchcock, Rex Harrison, Humphrey Bogart, John Huston and Marlene Dietrich. Diana Vreeland was "discovered" in the hotel's ballroom and made a fashion columnist for Harper's Bazaar. When Marilyn Monroe stayed here during the filming of The Seven Year Itch, her fight with soon-to-be ex-husband Joe DiMaggio over the famous subway grate scene reportly woke up the whole floor.

Robert De Niro picks up Cybill Shepherd here in Taxi Driver; Mia Farrow is a cigarette girl here in Radio Days; Michael Caine and Barbara Hershey tryst here in Hannah and Her Sisters.

DeBeers, the most powerful diamond company in the world, has a store on the ground floor.

701: Pucci clothing

697-699: Bottega Veneta handbags Takashimaya Building, NY by VSmithUK, on Flickr

693: Takashimaya, fascinating Japanese department store--founded 1831 as a Kyoto kimono store, on 5th Avenue since 1958, here since 1993, when "the best Post-Modern building in the city" was built for it by John Burgee with Philip Johnson.

Aeolian Building

Elizabeth Arden by chrisinphilly5448, on Flickr

691: Elizabeth Arden salon is in this 14-story Warren & Wetmore building, built in 1926 for the piano company. Arden and her red door have been here since 1930.

689 (corner): Zara clothing is also in the Aeolian Building, in a space tastefully redesigned in 1970 for Gucci.


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684 (corner): William Henry Vanderbilt built a pair of mansions here in 1879, both designed by John Butler Snook. The one at this corner was built for his daughter Florence and her husband Hamilton Twombly.

680: Florence's sister Eliza (Lila) and her husband William Seward Webb got this mansion. The address, now the corner, is today Buchman Tower.

St. Thomas Church

NYC: Saint Thomas Church by wallyg, on Flickr

Corner: The Episcopal congregation, established in 1823, moved here from Broadway and Houston in 1870. The original church on this site was designed by Richard Upjohn in the Gothic style. After a fire destroyed it in 1905, it was rebuilt "as medievally as was possible in early Twentieth-Century New York" (Fifth Avenue), reopening in 1916 (Cram, Goodhue and Ferguson, architects). St Thomas Reredos by d4vidbruce, on Flickr

Former President Benjamin Harrison was married here on April 6, 1896; Consuelo Vanderbilt married the Duke of Marlborough here November 6, 1895. Thomas Dewey married June 16, 1928. The church is affiliated with the St. Thomas Choir School.

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685 (corner): Gucci moved here from the Aeolian, then went to Trump Tower. Becoming Hugo Bass.

681: Fortunoff jewelry is on the site of Dodworth's Dancing Academy, elite school that became the first home of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1872. Founded in 1922, Fortunoff was on the edge of bankruptcy in 2008, with Lord & Taylor offering to buy them out.



















Fifth Avenue: Fendi by peterjr1961, on Flickr

677: Fendi clothing

675: Nine West shoes

673 (corner): Blanc de Chine ("China White"), Hong Kong fashion


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Tishman Building

666 (block): This was the address of the mansion of William Kissam Vanderbilt Jr., great-grandson of the Commodore, an auto-racing enthusiast who founded the Vanderbilt Cup. The 1905 mansion, designed by McKim, Meade and White, was the last of the Vanderbilts' Fifth Avenue mansions. 666 5th Avenue by Rafael Chamorro, on Flickr

In 1957, an alum- inum-clad office building with an apoca- lyptic address was put up here with a million square feet of space; the lobby waterfall was designed by Isamu Noguchi. Brooks Brothers, founded 1818, is on the ground floor, along with 5th Avenue - NBA Store by Midnight Talker, on Flickr Hickey Freeman and the NBA Store. Top of the Sixes, the top-floor rest- aurant, is now the Grand Havana Room, a private cigar club. In the Marvel Universe, an evil cult known as the Left-Hand Path had its headquarters at the top of this building.

660 (corner): William Kissam Vanderbilt Sr., son of William H., grandson of the Commodore, and "the" Vanderbilt after the death of his brother Cornelius II, was one of the first Vanderbilts to live on Fifth Avenue, living in the Petit Chateau, a mansion designed by Richard Morris Hunt and built from 1879-82 and demolished in 1926.

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03 - Rolex Building by lo83, on Flickr

665 (corner): The Rolex Building was built in 1924 as Georg Jensen, Scandinavian department store. Modernized in 1977 when the watch company moved in. The Swiss consulate is located here; St. John clothing is on the ground floor.

663: Ermengildo Zegna clothing











657 (corner): Fifth Avenue, Manhattan by Geff Rossi, on Flickr
Here were the opulent mansion and offices of Madame Restell, New York's leading abortion-provider from the 1840s until 1878, when she committed suicide after being arrested for selling birth control by Anthony Comstock of the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice. Now Salvatore Ferragamo clothing.


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Corner (2 W 52nd): Formerly the site of the mansion of Emily Vanderbilt and her husband William Douglas Sloane, paid for by Emily's father William Henry Vanderbilt. It was part of the Triple Palace, three Vanderbilt mansions designed by John Butler Snook and built from 1879-82, all paid for by Emily's father William Henry Vanderbilt.

650 (corner): This building was put up by the Pahlavi Foundation, a non-profit started in 1973 by the Shah of Iran--whether as a genuine charity or as a financial scam is unclear to me. In any case, it was taken over after the Iranian Revolution by pro-Khomeini types, who changed the name of the group to the Alavi Foundation and use it to promote Islamic culture. They apparently still get most of their money from the rent on this building from businesses like Mexx clothing and Travelers Fine Jewelry.

Replaced the DePinna Building, a nine-story 1928 structure.
























642: This was the address of the middle section of the Triple Palace, belonging to William Henry's daughter Margaret and her husband Elliott Fitch Shepard.



















640 (corner): First National City Bank of New York; H & M. This was the address of William Henry Vanderbilt's own piece of the Triple Palace. (Actually, he got half of the bifurcated structure, which is only fair since he paid for it.) William, who headed the railroad empire after the death of his father, Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt, was at his death the wealthiest person in the world. Though noted for his quip "The public be damned!" he was reportedly much nicer than his father.

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Cartier

Cartier by Kevin Coles, on Flickr

651 (corner): This entire block was the site of the Catholic Orphanage until 1900. The Vanderbilts bought up most of the land in 1902 to prevent a hotel from being built on this corner, which instead became the Morton F. Plant House (Robert W. Gibson, 1905). Plant sold it to Cartier in 1915 for $100 and a million-dollar pearl necklace. Cartier Store by finsprings, on Flickr The store was restored to its Renaissance-style glory in the 1990s. The jewelry house, founded in 1847, is credited with inventing the first practical wristwatch in 1904.

Versace

Versace-5th avenue by serdir (at home), on Flickr

647: Versace store was George W. Vanderbilt House (Hunt & Hunt, 1905); George, a younger son of William H., was the one who built Biltmore, a 125,000-acre estate in North Carolina. It and the house at No. 645 were known as the Marble Twins, though they were actually faced with limestone. It was leased to 5th Avenue Versace by Aqualung1981, on Flickr real-estate magnate Robert Goelet, then to art dealers Rene Gimpel and Nathan Wildenstein. Eventually it was sold to American Express. It later served as Olympic Airways' ticket office. Versace leased it in 1995; it's now the only surviving Vanderbilt building on 5th Avenue.

645 (corner): This was the address of Lila Vanderbilt Sloane, granddaughter of William H. Vanderbilt, and her husband William Bradford Osgood Field. Mecca by George Perfect, on Flickr It was torn down in 1945 for Best & Company, high-end children's store, which in turn was torn down for the present building, Olympic Tower (1977), which houses Gant and Armani Exchange clothing, H. Stern jewelry.

641 (corner): The Union Club was based here from 1903 to 1933. The club, founded in 1836, is the oldest men's club in New York City; the Union League, Knickerbocker, Brook and Metropolitan clubs are all spin-offs.


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Rockefeller Center

IMG_7726 by Maanskyn, on Flickr

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. Lego Architecture 21007 - Rockefeller Center by InSapphoWeTrust, on Flickr

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.

International Building

636 (corner): Completed in 1935 as part of the original Rockefeller Center complex, this is a reduced-scale (41 stories) version of the RCA Building. Its north wing was originally going to be a German counterpart NYC - Rockefeller Center: 636 Fifth Avenue - Commerce and Industry with a Caduceus by wallyg, on Flickr of the Italian, French and British buil- dings to the south, but with Nazism on the march the idea was dropped and the building was generically internationalized. Attilia Piccirilli's NYC - Rockefeller Center: 636 Fifth Avenue - Youth Leading Industry by wallyg, on Flickr Youth Leading Industry and Commerce and Industry with a Caduceus adorn the entrance; symbols of the continents are atop the building.




Lee Lawrie's Atlas, between the two wings, can be seen from St. Patrick's altar. Atlas by TrustedSource, on Flickr It's one of the sites the sailors see in the movie On the Town; it also features in Gentleman's Agreement, Bonfire of the Vanities and Hercules in New York (where it's said to be not a good likeness). NYC - Rockfeller Center: Palazzo d'Italia - Italia by wallyg, on Flickr

626 (corner): The Palazzo D'Italia is taken up entirely by Banana Republic's flagship store--what does that say about Italy? The entrance bronzes The Italian Immigrant and Italia by Giacomo Manzu were given to Rockefeller Center by Fiat.

Department store owner Benjamin Altman died at this address on October 7, 1913.

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St. Patrick's Cathedral

St. Patrick's Cathedral  by sunsurfr, on Flickr

Begun in 1858 and dedi- cated in 1879, St. Pat's is seen as symbol- izing the ascension of New York's Catholic community, as the archbishop's seat moved from the Lower East Side to the heart St. Patrick's by lu abacaju, on Flickr of New York's elite district (though the neigh- borhood wasn't all that elite back then). Designed by James Renwick, Jr.--the architect of Grace Church--who modeled it on the Cologne Cathedral. Here's an aerial view.





DSC00010 by Kramchang, on Flickr

Pope Paul VI said mass here on October 4, 1964, during the first papal visit to America. Funerals were held here for Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman (1891), Gov. Alfred E. Smith (1944), slugger Babe Ruth (1948), conductor Arturo Toscanini (1957) and Sen. Robert F. Kennedy (1968). F. St Patrick's Cathedral by Mister V, on Flickr Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda Sayre were married here on April 3, 1920--but in the cardinal's residence, not in the cathedral itself, because it was a mixed marriage.









St. Patrick's Cathedral by Still Burning, on Flickr













San Patrick Cathedral by  	
El Abogado de la Gran Ciudad, on Flickr













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British Empire Building

NYC - Rockfeller Center: British Empire Building - Industries of the British Empire by wallyg, on Flickr

620: A 1933 building meant to showcase British culture and commerce, but aside from Crabtree & Evelyn, there's not much anglophilia in evidence. It does have upscale shops like Cole Haan shoes, Coach handbags and Teuscher Swiss chocolates. Over the entrance is Carl Paul Jennewein's bronze Industries of the British Commonwealth. This building has a beautiful rooftop garden, not usually open to the public but featured in the Spiderman movie.

616: Bergdorf Goodman was here from 1914 to 1928.

Channel Gardens

Rockefeller Center's 2007 Christmas Tree 11/9/07: View From 5th Avenue by peterjr1961, on Flickr

As the Channel separates Britain and France, they separate Rockefeller Center's British and French buildings. The Gardens form a promenade that leads to the Center's sunken plaza.

La Maison Francaise

img_1269.jpg by elPadawan, on Flickr

610 (corner): This 1933 building used to house the French Consulate, and it still has the Librairie de France bookstore, L'Occitane, a Provencal beauty products store, and Movado, a Swiss watch company. Kenneth Cole shoes has the 5th Avenue side. Over the entrance is Alfred Janniot's bas-relief, The Friendship of France and the United States, a work of art perhaps more necessary today than ever.

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Corner: Site of the New York Institute for the Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb, the first such school in the U.S. when it opened in 1852.

Saks Fifth Avenue

Saks Fifth Avenue by hawkwild, on Flickr

Block: Launched in 1924 by Horace Saks and Bernard Gimbel, partners in Gimbel's on 34th Street, it brought upscale shopping to what was then a largely residential neighborhood. The building replaced the Democratic Club and the Buckingham Hotel. NYC: Saks Fifth Avenue by wallyg, on Flickr

See a 360-degree panoramic photo taken in front of Saks Fifth Avenue opposite the Channel Gardens.




nyc-2007-12-05_18-17-44 by nfgusedautoparts, on Flickr






















W <===     49TH STREET     ===> E

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608 (corner): The Goelet Building, a 1932 building of marble, limestone and stainless steel, houses the Swiss Center. IMG_2225 by pamusc93, on Flickr

604: The TGI Fridays here was originally the Childs Restaurant Building (''Now they watch her flipping flapjacks at Childs''--Wonderful Town), built in 1925, and it was designed by William Van Alen, better known for the Chrysler Building.




















600 (corner): This building is technically part of Rockefeller Center, though its neighbors to the north are not. It had a Barnes & Noble branch--the chain's third ever--that closed in 2006.

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IMG_2224 by pamusc93, on Flickr

609 (corner): American Girl Place, a store, cafe, photo studio and theater-- all revolving around the popular historically themed doll line.

601: Was the Dahesh Museum of Art Originally Charles Scribner's Sons by epicharmus, on Flickr

597: The Sephora store was the long-time offices and store of Charles Scribner's Sons, a landmark designed in 1913 by Ernest Flagg (Charles Scribner's brother-in-law). From here were published some of the great American novelists, including F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Edith Wharton, Thomas sephora by dandelion89, on Flickr Wolfe and Ring Lardner. It became Brentano's, arguably the city's best bookstore, which closed in 1983. (Patti Smith worked here when she first came to New York.) It later reopened under the same name, but as a division of K-Mart's Waldenbooks--sort of like coming back from the dead as a zombie.


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592 (corner): This Modernist white prism with black window-slits started out in 1913 as a neo-Classical design by Carrere & Hastings (of NYPL fame) for the Black, Starr & Frost jewelry company. It was radically reclad in 1964. Once the National Bank of North America, it's now a Fleet Bank branch.

On this corner in 1859 was built the Collegiate Reformed Church, aka the Church of St. Nicholas, for the congregation established by the Dutch in New Amsterdam.

580 (corner): The Diamond Dealers Club, located here, is the governing body of the Diamond District; disputes between dealers are settled here rather than in civil court. This building is also home to the Gemological Institute of America, which established the "four Cs" system for grading diamonds.

578 (corner): From 1870 to 1882, this was the address of financier Jay Gould, a director of the Erie Railroad whose 1869 attempt to corner the gold market sparked the panic known as Black Friday.

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579 (corner): Jay Gould moved across the street to this address in 1882. An insomniac, he paced in front of his house each night with two bodyguards. After his death here on December 2, 1892, the house went to his daughter Helen Miller Gould Shepherd, an eccentric philanthropist. In 1942, it was leased by Gimbel Brothers, whose Kendel Galleries held art and jewelry auctions here. In 1952, when it was demolished, it was perhaps the last Fifth Avenue brownstone in Midtown.


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Diamond District

Corner: Jewelers on Fifth on this corner is the eastern edge of a block almost entirely devoted to selling diamonds--as featured in the movie Marathon Man.






















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575 (corner): This 1985 Emery Roth & Sons design absorbed the former Korvette's, originally W & J Sloane.

565: The address of the Windsor Hotel, opened 1874, home to John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie and a favorite dining spot for Jay Gould; other notable guests included writers Oscar Wilde and Matthew Arnold, and King Kalakaua of Hawaii. On March 17, 1899, during the St. Patrick's Day parade, the hotel burned to the ground, killing 33. Isadora Duncan, leading a dance class in the hotel at the time, managed to get her students to safety.

This was later the address of WNEW, the "World's Greatest Radio Station," which pioneered the disc jockey and the hourly news break. It featured pop standards and big bands, championing the music of Frank Sinatra. Launched in 1934 with the merger of two earlier stations, it moved here in 1946, where its golden call letters on the building were a Midtown landmark for decades. The station became WBBR, a financial news station owned by Bloomberg, in 1992.

Corner: HMV Records; the British chain's name stands for "His Master's Voice."


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556: The art dealer M. Knoedler & Co. had a gallery here designed by Carrere & Hastings. When he moved to East 57th Street in 1925, it became a popular Schrafft's restaurant until c. 1950. The building, greatly altered, is now the Philippine Center, housing the consulate, U.N. mission, trade board and tourist office.




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Before 5th Avenue was built up, the city's slaughterhouse district lay between 5th and 4th (Park) avenues from 46th to 44th streets. 551 Fifth Avenue by Smiley Man with a Hat, on Flickr

551 (corner): The Fred F. French Building, 1927 headquarters of the company that designed and built Tudor City. This was previously the address of the Church of the Heavenly Rest, built in 1868 to an Edward Tuckerman Potter design.


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Corner: The site of the Church of the Divine Paternity, where on December 4, 1872, the funeral of Horace Greeley, owner of the New York Tribune, was held. President Grant was among the many notable attendees.

530 (block): Bank of New York

Corner: The Fifth Avenue Bank opened in a former townhouse here in 1890, specializing in serving wealthy society women.

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Corner: This was the uptown site of Delmonico's, long New York's most prestigious restaurant, from 1898 until 1923. This location introduced smoking in the dining room--designed to prevent men from deserting the ladies after dinner--and an orchestra that played background music rather than a concert that people were expected to pay attention to.


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522 (corner): This building, a Stanford White design, was from 1898 until 1919 Sherry's Hotel, a symbol of Gilded Age excesses featured in Theodore Dreiser's novel Sister Carrie. It was the scene of notorious parties: At one held by C.K.G. Billings in 1903 to celebrate the opening of his stables, the guests sat on horseback and the waiters dressed as jockeys. James Hazen Hyde, vice president of Equitable Life Insurance, spent $200,000 of his company's money here at a party meant to recreate Versailles; public outrage forced Hyde to flee the country and prompted reform of the insurance industry.

Site of the Colored Orphan Asylum

Block: An orphanage housing hundreds of African-American children here was burned to the ground on August 1, 1863 during the Draft Riots. While most of the orphans escaped out the back, a young girl who was found hiding under a bed was lynched.

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Corner: This was the site of The Willow Inn, owned by Tom Hyer, ''a noted pugilist and brawler more violent out of the ring than in'' (Fifth Avenue: The Best Address). When it was torn down in 1905, it was said to be ''the last bar on 5th Avenue.''











Corner: Here was Temple Emanu-El, built in 1867 for the first Reform congregation in New York City. It was designed by Leopold Eidlitz in the Moorish style. The congregation moved in 1927.


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512 (corner): This was the address of the Hotel Renaissance, home to notables like architect William Rutherford Mead (of McKim, Mead and White) and German-American publisher and politician Carl Schurz. Naturalist Ernest Thomas Seton had a suite here decorated with animal skins.

510: St. Bernard's School was founded here in 1904.









500 Fifth Avenue by massmatt, on Flickr

500 (corner): The Transportation Building originally housed offices of national railroads; later it became a center for international airlines. Nat Sherman, tobacconist to the world, is on the ground floor. This building appears in the 1946 film noir The Dark Corner as the "Grant Building," where a character is thrown from a dentist office on the 31st floor--where, in fact, a dentist office can be found today.

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511 (corner): At this defunct address was the brownstone residence of William "Boss" Tweed, the famously corrupt leader of Tammany Hall, New York's reigning political machine. When Tweed was arrested for graft in 1876, he was allowed to return here to get clothes for jail-- but instead fled from here to Florida, Cuba and Spain. Spain extradited him back to New York, where he died in jail in 1878.

In 1882, Richard T. Wilson, a former Confederate cotton merchant, built a house at this address; he was noted for his attractive children, who married into the Astor, Vanderbilt and Goelet families. The house was demolished in 1915.

509: The address of Elizabeth Arden's first cosmetic shop.


505 5th Avenue by edenpictures, on Flickr

505 (corner): A glassy 27-story building from 2004, designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox. There was a Bickford's cafeteria at this address in the mid-20th Century.

501: Peck & Peck, an elite men's wear shop, moved here from the Flatiron district in 1910, one of the first major retail outlets to move above 42nd Street.


W <===     42ND STREET     ===> E

By 1837, 5th Avenue was paved to this intersection--which was menaced by Godzilla in the American remake.

See The Big Map for photos of the avenue from here to 59th Street.

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New York Public Library

New York Public Library by NoirinP, on Flickr

Tech- nically, this is just one of four research libraries --the Hum- anities & Social Science Library, to be specific--but this is the heart and soul of the NYPL. One of the world's 2008-05-10 New York 087 Fifth Avenue, New York Library by Allie_Caulfield's photostream, on Flickr greatest libraries, the NYPL was formed in 1895 by combing the Astor, Lenox and Tilden libraries. From 1902 to 1911, this Beaux Arts architectural masterpiece designed by Carrere & Hastings was constructed to house the collection. New York Public Library by armatoj, on Flickr The Main Reading Room, restored in 1998, is con- sidered one of the city's great interiors.

Authors who have used this library include Isaac Bashevis Singer, Claude Levi-Strauss, E.L. Doctorow, Somerset Maugham, Norman Mailer, John Updike, Tom Wolfe and Frank McCourt. Poet Elizabeth Bishop met her mentor Marianne Moore here. The Xerox copier, the Polaroid camera and the atomic bomb were all researched here. Almost all the information in Ripley's Believe It or Not! came from here--as did much of Reader's Digest.

A ghost haunts the stacks here in the first Ghostbusters film; it's a refuge from freakish weather in The Day After Tomorrow and the headquarters of a criminal mastermind in Escape From New York. New York Public Library Lion by ax2groin, on Flickr

The famous marble lions in front of the library are nicknamed Patience (south) and Fortitude (north)--so dubbed by Mayor Fiorella LaGuardia. The Cowardly Lion hides behind one in the movie The Wiz.

This was previously the site of the Croton Distributing Reservoir, a massive tank holding water from the Croton River, completed in 1842. Walking along its monumental Egyptian walls was a popular recreation, recommended by Edgar Allan Poe; the base of the reservoir serves today as the library's foundation. Croton Cottage, a place of refreshment, was at the corner of 5th and 40th.

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479-481: This was the last store (here from 1915 until the mid-1980s) of the Rogers, Peet clothing chain, which helped introduce such innovations as the fabric label, the money-back guarantee and the use of illustrations of merchandise in advertising. Actor John Barrymore worked for a time drawing cartoons for Rogers, Peet ads.






























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NYC: HSBC Bank Tower - Knox Hat Building by wallyg, on Flickr

452: HSBC Tower, formerly the Republic National Bank Tower, a 1983 building that incorporates the 1902 Knox Hat Building. (Knox Hats-- one of which was worn by Abraham Lincoln--is still around on 8th Avenue.) HSBC is the Hong Kong Shanghai Bank Company. The building houses the Boomer Esiason Foundation, fighting cystic fibrosis.

450: Defunct address was the Macbeth Gallery, where the painters known as "The Eight" (aka the Ashcan School) had a groundbreaking show.

438 (corner): Circus promoter P.T. Barnum used to live at this defunct corner address. Later this was the site of the Wendel mansion, home of the heirs to John Jacob Astor's partner in the fur trade. ''North of it [was] the 'million-dollar yard' which they refused to sell because... the three Wendel ladies, spinsters all, desired to keep the yard for their little dog to exercise in''-- Greatest American City

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Mid-Manhattan NY Public Library

NYC - NYPL Mid-Manhattan Branch by wallyg, on Flickr

445: Not as cool as the Main Branch, but here you can check the books out. It's the largest lending library in the NYPL system.

On this site was Gordon's Riding Academy, where the first polo game in America (and perhaps the first ever indoors) was played in 1876, introduced to this country by newspaper heir James Gordon Bennett Jr.











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

West:

Lord & Taylor

Lord and Taylor by joseph a, on Flickr

424-434 (corner): A New York fixture since 1825, the department store built this (once) elegant building in 1914-- breaking neighborhood tradition by looking like a store, not a mansion. When built, the window displays could be lowered on tracks to the basement, for instant replacement. Still noted for its Christmas displays.

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445 (corner): Fifth Avenue Tower, 34 stories completed in 1985.




435: Alberene Cashmeres, good prices on fine woolens








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

West:

Corner: Site of the W&J Sloane store. (Their previous store is now ABC Carpets.)

414: Former Stern Brothers clerk Franklin Simon opened a store here in 1902, the first important retail business to open above 34th Street on 5th Avenue.

Corner: From 1858 to 1938, this was the site of the Brick Presbyterian Church, where Mark Twain's funeral was held, April 23, 1910. Samuel Osgood, the first postmaster general, was buried here in 1813.

At this corner, Buster Keaton got on a double-decker bus--on a different level from his date--in the silent movie The Cameraman.

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417 Fifth Avenue by billyqiu, on Flickr

417 (corner): This 1911 building contains the editorial offices of Marvel Comics. It was built as the flagship of Bonwit Teller, which moved up the avenue to 56th Street in 1930. Billionaire Carlos Slim, at the time the world's richest person, bought the property in 2010, his first investment in New York City real estate.


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

West:

404 (corner): This was the A.T. Stewart & Co. store, built in 1914 to a Warren & Wetmore design, noted for its delicate blue-and-white terra cotta. The store moved further uptown to 56th Street in 1928; the building was landmarked in 2006.







Everything else on this block was demolished in 2007.

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409 (corner): Stanford White designed this building for Tiffany's in 1906, basing the plan on Venice's Palazzo Grimani. It was "the most magnificent retail space in New York City," according to Christopher Gray. The jewelry firm moved to 57th Street in 1940.

401: As Seen On TV, a store that sells things "not available in any stores."

393: Yankees Clubhouse, sports souvenirs

389: Was Fifth Avenue Coffee Bar & Restaurant


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

West:

390 (corner): Gorham Building, designed for the Gorham jewelry company by Stanford White in 1906. Later Russek's Furs (1923-49). In 1960, the owner, Spear Securities, ordered much of White's delicate relief sculpture and archways to be torn off.





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383: A branch of the female-centric tearoom chain Schrafft's was here, decorated in Colonial style.

375: Oxford Cafe



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

West:

Corner (2 W 35th): Catwalk, bar with an actual catwalk where would-be models can practice their moves.












Corner (1 W 34th): Site of the opulent marble mansion of department store founder Alexander T. Stewart, who despite his wealth was shunned by New York society, as represented by his neighbor, Mrs. William Astor. Stewart built his mansion in 1867 after tearing down the previous mansion of Dr. Samuel B. Townsend, the Sarsaparilla King. The mansion was for a time the home of the Manhattan Club, a Democratic Party association. It was torn down early in the 20th Century.

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CUNY Graduate Center

by Kramchang, on Flickr Building was B. Altman & Co. Department Store; when it opened in 1906 it helped pull upper-class retail to this stretch of Fifth Avenue. Bankrupt in 1989. Now the B. Altman Advanced Learning Super Block, including CUNY's Graduate School and beautiful woodwork by yarnivore, on Flickr University Center, the NYPL's Science, Industry and Business Library, and Oxford University Press. The building appears in the movie Elf as the department store where Will Ferrell works.

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

See The Big Map for photos of the avenue from here to 42nd Street.

West:

Empire State Building

Empire State Building by midwinterphoto, on Flickr

This block was the site of two mansions owned by the Astor family--the northern half was owned by Caroline (Mrs. William) Astor, whose annual parties literally defined New York society; the ballroom could hold 400 guests, and these "Four Hundred" were considered the who's who. Empire State Building by btocher, on Flickr

The southern half held the mansion of her nephew, William Waldorf Astor, which inspired the fashion for mansard roofs. Feuding over who had the right to be referred to as "Mrs. Astor," the nephew in 1893 replaced his house with the Waldorf Hotel, designed by Henry Hardenbergh, in order to spite his aunt. (Waldorf was John Jacob Astor's hometown in Germany.) Caroline Astor responded by replacing her own home with the Astoria Hotel, also designed by Hardenbergh, NYC: Empire State Building by wallyg, on Flickr which were combined in 1897 to create the Waldorf-Astoria (though Caroline insisted on the right to re-separate the hotels at any time). The hotel catered to the super-wealthy; B.C. Forbes, of Forbes magazine, used to have a regular poker game there with Henry Clay Frick and other plutocrats. U.S. Steel was born at the hotel in 1901. The Waldorf salad was invented there in 1896, and Thousand Island dressing popularized; the Gibson and the Rob Roy were created at the Bull & Bear Bar here. In 1929 the hotel relocated uptown, and the Empire State Building was built on this site. Empire State Building - New York City, New York by Jose P Isern Comas, on Flickr

With ground broken on January 22, 1930, the building took only a year and 45 days to complete. The architect, William Lamb, said his design was inspired by a pencil. At 102 stories and 1,454 feet, it was the tallest building in the world from 1931 until 1974; there are still only three buildings in the world with more floors. Top of the Empire State Building by lemoncat1, on Flickr

The mast on top was supposed to be a mooring tower for dirigibles, but the idea was abandoned due to chronic high winds shortly before dirigibles were themselves abandoned. On July 28, 1945, a B-25 bomber flying through fog crashed into the 79th floor, killing 11 people. Allen Ginsberg briefly worked in an advertising office here. The Heartland Brewery on the ground floor used to be a branch of the Longchamps chain, decorated in Mississippi riverboat style. empire state building by Ron Layters, on Flickr

The building was famously climbed by the giant gorilla in King Kong, and was a meeting place for lovers in An Affair to Remember and Sleepless in Seattle.

See the official guide to the colors of the Tower Lights.

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347: J.S. Sutton & Son, New York Souvenirs--est. 1925. It's older than the Empire State Building--the Empire State Building should be selling souvenirs of this place!




























Empire State Reflection by edenpictures, on Flickr

339 (corner): This 1916 building by Trowbridge and Livingston has beautiful large arched windows.


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

West:

Corner (330 5th Ave): Maui Tacos



322: Hudson River School painter Albert Bierstadt died at his home at this address in 1902.

320 (corner): A neo-classical building from 1904 that houses handbag and accessory showrooms.

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333 (corner): Big George's Pizza; Sedutto Ice Cream

325: The Irish Treasury, pub





319 (corner): The location of the exclusive Knickerbockers Club.


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

West:

316 (corner): Kaskel & Kaskel Building, "a wonderful crusty old Beaux Arts building" from 1903--AIA Guide. Designed by Cady & Berg--note the Kaskel monogram in the cartouche above the grand entrance. Houses 316 Fifth Avenue Electronics; Soup & Smoothie Heaven.

314: Empire (formerly Mimmo's) Pizza is at the address of Polk's Hobby Shop, a model-train Mecca featured in The Godfather. You can still see the old name above the doorway.

312: Andiamo Fine Men's Wear & Shoes

310: JJ Hat Center, a serious hat store

306: Torkan USA, rugs

304: LaCrasia/Glove Street, specialty glove store that includes a glove museum.

302: Was Shields Fifth Avenue, jewelry outlet that became a trademark.

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315: A 1905 Renaissance Revival building by Maynicke and Franke. Galleria is on the ground floor; on the third floor is the Third Floor Cafe. This was the address of Durand-Ruel, an art dealer that provided European Impressionists for American millionaires.

313: Collegeware USA





309: Sinclair Lewis lived at this address as a struggling short-story writer.

307: Hiram Haddad Building, designed in 1928 by William I. Hohauser, has stylized facade designs--sort of Mideastern Deco.

303 (corner): Veratex is in a 20-story 1909 building designed by Buchman & Fox, built as a headquarters for the FAO Schwartz toy store.


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

West:



DA180801_crop by gmpicket, on Flickr

284 (corner): Shalom Brothers Oriental Rug Gallery is in the Wilbraham Building, 1890 Belle Epoque apartments designed for bachelors by David & John Jardine. Spookily charming. On the second floor is Kyokushin Karate.

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Textile Building

295 (block): An imposing 1920 building by Sommerfeld & Steckler, it began the shift of this stretch of the avenue from retail to wholesale commerce. Still houses showrooms for the bed, bath and linen industry.



291: Was the address of the Little Galleries of the Photo-Secession, also known as 291, where Alfred Steiglitz showcased such new artists as Henri Matisse (1908), Henri Rousseau and Paul Cezanne (both 1910), and Pablo Picasso (1911).


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West:

Holland House

Corner: Named for Lord Holland's mansion in London, on which it was modeled, it was considered one of the premier hotels in the world when built in 1890 (Harding & Gooch, architects). Georgiana Cavendish by Ben Sutherland, on Flickr Gainesborough's Duchess of Devonshire, the most famous stolen painting of its day, spent the night here in 1901 after being recovered after being stolen for 25 years by criminal mastermind Adam Worth. (See All Around the Town, p. 217.)

The first cross-country auto trip ended here July 16, 1903, when Horatio Nelson Jackson drove to the hotel from San Francisco in 63 days.

On the fourth floor here was Harry "A" Chesler's pioneering comic book studio-- the "A" stood for "Anything."

Marble Collegiate Church

Marble Collegiate Church by bowiesnodgrass, on Flickr Corner (1 W 29th): Built in 1851, this Dutch Reformed church is noted for being the pulpit of Norman Vincent Peale, who combined Christianity and motivational speaking in such books as The Power of Positive Thinking. Richard Nixon attended this church Norman Vincent Peale + Ribbons by Vidiot, on Flickr and was influenced by Peale; his daugter Julie married Dwight Eisenhower II here in 1968. Other famous weddings here were Enrico Caruso's to Dorothy Benjamin in 1918, Donald Trump's to Ivana in 1977 (he also met Marla Maples there), and Liza Minelli's to David Guest in 2002.

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

West:

260: This building was used for rooftop shots in Spider-Man 2.

256: Building with Silver & Crystal Collection is a "neo-Venetian Gothic, somewhat Moorish phantasmagoria"--AIA Guide. It's hard to find three square inches that aren't decorated.

254: Dano Bar

250 (corner): Broadway National Bank was Second National Bank (1908)--a lesser McKim, Mead & White effort.

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261 (corner): A 26-story 1929 highrise from Buchman $amp; Fox.







251: The address of Black, Starr & Frost, a fashionable jewelry firm, from c. 1876 to 1913.


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

At this intersection in 1939, Murder Inc.'s Louis "Lepke" Buchalter surrendered to FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover and columnist Walter Winchell, hoping that he would get more lenient treatment from the Feds than from local authorities. He was executed in the electric chair in 1944.

West:

246 (corner): Yi Li Da Inc., export/importers, is in an 1892 building I find very interesting, with its three-story arch and its asymmetry.

242: Glassy facade was ahead of its time in 1892.

240: Man Hing Import Corporation, Oriental art and antiques

238: Istanbul Grand Bazaar, carpets

236: Ilili, high-end Lebanese

234 (corner): Naturally Tasty, health food coffee shop. At this address, Enrico Caruso recorded the first million-selling record--"Vesti La Giubba" from Il Pagliacci.

At this corner, 25-year-old Dorothy Arnold was last seen on December 12, 1910. The disappearance of the wealthy young woman is a mystery that has never been solved.

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241: Chohung Bank of New York

235: Great Eastern Bank

museumofse[x]

Museum of Sex by technotheory, on Flickr

233 (corner): A newish institution dedicated to erotic history and culture. Its website used to have an amazing map of Manhattan's sexual history.


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

West:

230 (corner): The Victoria Building is on the site of the Victoria Hotel, where President Grover Cleveland lived between his two separated terms of office. Ax-wielding prohibitionist Carry Nation stayed there on a trip to New York in 1901, insisting that a marble statue of Diana in the lobby be covered with cheesecloth. The present 19-story building, a 1914 effort by Schwartz & Gross, has Alpine Designs, oddly named oriental furniture store, on the ground floor; Miller Import and La Vie International have moved out, as the upscale part of the Wholesale District seems to be vacating. 230 5th rooftop bar by peterkellystudios, on Flickr On the roof is 230 Fifth, a trendy bar with a spectacular view.

224: Was Jay Import

222: PTS International. This was the address of the Travelers' Club, a 19th Century organization that presented talks by prominent visitors. Present building c. 1900. nycshots 010 by snapsparkchik, on Flickr

220 (corner): Crystal Clear Galleries is on the ground floor of the 20-story Croisic Building (Frederick C. Browne and Randolph H. Amiroty, 1910)-- on the site of the Croisic Hotel, named for Richard de Logerot, Marquis de Croisic, aristocrat and hotelier. (Actor Richard Mansfield used to live at the hotel.) Note fleur-de-lises on the facade, fancy gargoyles on top floor.

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The Grand Madison

Brunswick Hotel by edenpictures, on Flickr

225 (block): Handsome red-brick building was formerly the Brunswick Hotel, noted as the home of the Coaching Club, which held carriage parades up 5th Avenue. On July 14, 1880, on the 16th day of a celebrated 40-day fast, Dr. Henry S. Tanner stopped here and drank two ounces of water. April152006 050 by ShellyS, on Flickr Later it was known as the Gift Building, "the premiere international giftware showplace." Now converted to luxury condos--why couldn't they have called it The Brunswick, a name with 125 years of history?




221: This nonexistent address was the home of Napoleon Solo, the Man From U.N.C.L.E.










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

West:

212 (corner): This was the site of Dodworth Studios, where Teddy Roosevelt took dance lessons as a boy. In 1876 Delmonico's, at the time the most fashionable restaurant in New York, moved here. The women's organization Sorosis met in an upstairs room. When Delmonico's moved uptown in 1899, it became Cafe Martin, where on June 25, 1906 architect Sanford White had his last meal before being shot at his Madison Square Garden. This building went up in 1913; the FX cable channel was here in the 1990s.

210: Dramatic bay windows and over-the-top detailing mark the Cross Chambers Building, a 1901 project of John B. Snook & Sons. Houses Dewey's Flatiron, notable neighborhood restaurant; Used to be the flagship store of Mark Cross.

208: Was Yedsonic electronics

206: Memories of New York, elaborate souvenir shop. On the 3rd floor is Urban Angler. Here were the offices of Seven Days, the radical news magazine, from 1975-77.

204: Pentagram, international design company that has done work for the Public Theater, the Mesa Grill and the New York Times Magazine, among other clients. Used to be MK, a 1980s nightclub where Moby played his first live electronic gig in 1989. Madison Square by Payton Chung, on Flickr

202 (corner): Commonwealth Criterion, manufacturer of Christmas decorations, is part of the Christmas District. The site of Worth House, a hotel that by 1900 housed the Berlitz School of Languages. The present building, dating to 1918, was the flagship store (with science museum) of the A.C. Gilbert Company, a toy company that made the Erector set, radioactive chemistry sets and American Flyer model trains.


W <=== W 25TH ST

Worth Square

NYC: Madison Square - General William Jenkins Worth Monument by wallyg, on Flickr

Marks the grave of Gen. William Jenkins Worth, namesake of Ft. Worth, Texas and downtown's Worth Street. After fighting in the War of 1812, he became commandant of cadets at West Point. During the Seminole Wars, he pioneered the targeting of civilian populations and the use of starvation as a tool of warfare. NYC - Madison Square: General William Jenkins Worth Monument by wallyg, on Flickr Fighting in the Mexican-American War, he led the capture of Mexico City, and was given command of the newly conquered terriories of Texas and New Mexico. He died of cholera in San Antonio in 1849, and was buried here in 1857.

The rectangular structure leads to Water Tunnel No. 1, carrying water from the Catskills.

In 1899, an arch made of wood and plaster was erected over 5th Avenue between 25th and 24th streets to celebrate Admiral George Dewey's destruction of the Spanish fleet in Manilla Bay. Only Dewey's rapid fall in popularity prevented it from being replaced with a permanent stone version.


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International Toy Center

Toy Center by aka Kath, on Flickr

200 (corner): International Toy Center, since 1925 the center of U.S. toy business; note toy and holiday displays. The 1912 building is by Maynicke & Franke. On the corner, you can still make out a sign for the Garfield National Bank, which was around from 1881-1929 before merging with the Chase National Bank. In The Sweet Smell of Success, this building serves as the offices of The New York Globe, J.J. Hunsecker's newspaper. Fifth Avenue Building by Rev. Santino, on Flickr

Replaced the Fifth Avenue Hotel (1858-1908), once the most exclusive hotel in NYC; presidents Grant and Arthur, as well as the Prince of Wales, stayed here. It was a gathering place for fat cats like Boss Tweed, Jay Gould, Jim Fisk and Commodore Vanderbilt, who would would trade stocks here after hours. A Republican bastion, it was here that the Democrats were first described as the party of "rum, Romanism and rebellion." But it was also a hangout for cultural figures like Mark Twain, O. Henry, Edwin Booth, William Cullen Bryant and Stanford White. It was used as the setting of Gore Vidal’s 1876. International Toy Center by edenpictures, on Flickr

Earlier on this site was Franconi's Hippodrome (1852-59); before that was Corporal Thompson's Madison Cottage, a roadhouse described by the New York Herald as "one of the most agreeable spots for an afternoon's lounge in the suburbs of our city." It had been the house of John Horn, who used to own what is now Madison Square Park. My Tourist Shot by alan(ator), on Flickr

The sidewalk clock, from 1909, was a once common sight in the pre-wristwatch era.

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Madison Square Park

The Empire State Building through the haze of Madison Square Park by permanently scatterbrained, on Flickr

The 1807 plan set aside 240 acres in this vicinity as The Parade, to be used for military training. In that same year, the U.S. Arsenal was built here to defend the strategic intersection of the Bloomingdale Road (now Broadway) and the Eastern Post Road. By 1814, when the park was named Madison Square after the then-current president, it had been reduced to 90 acres. In 1847, when Madison Square Park was opened, less than seven acres remained. Madison Square Park by alistairmcmillan, on Flickr

The park, which was laid out in its current form in 1870, was the center of New York society in the 1860s and '70s. "The vicinity of Madison Square is the brightest, prettiest and liveliest portion of the great city," James McCabe wrote in 1872.

In July 1901, an attempt to turn seating in the park into a for-profit concession sparked rioting. Madison Square Park April 7, 2007 _MG_6845 by Darny, on Flickr

The park provides a setting for O. Henry short stories like "The Cop and the Anthem" and "The Sparrows in Madison Square").

The U.S. Arsenal was converted by 1824 to the House of Refuge of the Society for the Reformation of Juvenile Delinquents--the first such institution in the country.









Admiral Farragut Memorial

NYC: Madison Square Park - Admiral Farragut Monument by wallyg, on Flickr 1881 commemoration of David Glasgow Farragut, Civil War fleet commander, best remembered for his "damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead" line. Sculpture by Augustus Saint-Gaudens, pedestal by Stanford White. Considered to be the first use of Art Nouveau in U.S. nice font by sidewalk_story, on Flickr
























Eternal Light

Madison Square Park by peterjr1961, on Flickr World War I memorial flagpole (1918-23), said to symbolize the eternal peace produced by the "War to End All Wars." When Charles Lindbergh was given a parade in 1927--attended by an estimated 4 million spectators--he stopped here to lay a wreath.

































William Seward Statue

NYC: Madison Square Park - William H. Seward Statue by wallyg, on Flickr

Statue of William Seward (1801-72); an early abolitionist who became NY governor (1838-42) and a U.S. senator (1848-61), he served as secretary of state under Lincoln and Andrew Johnson. He's best remembered for buying Alaska ("Seward's Folly") from Russia for $7 million in 1867. In 1876, sculptor Randolph Rogers, after being stiffed on his commission, reused a cast of Lincoln's body to make the statue cheaply; Seward was actually a short man with a big head.


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                        BROADWAY         ===> S

Madison Square Park by Das Bobby 2000, on Flickr

Fifth Avenue was extended from 13th Street to 23rd Street in 1830--taken to 42nd Street in 1837.

Stage coaches left twice a week for Albany from this intersection in the late 18th Century.

See The Big Map for photos of the avenue from here to 34th Street.

West:

Western Union Building

Western Union Building by edenpictures, on Flickr

186: Built 1883 in Queen Anne style by Henry Hardenbergh. Sent messages via pneumatic tube 2.5 miles to downtown office. Note "W.U. 1883" near peak. Jadore French Bakery, Luz's Shoe Repair are on the ground floor.

184: Was Marino's catering/deli; earlier Squire's Coffee Shop, whose cool neon sign was briefly uncovered.

182: Deli Marche is in a four-story building from 1920, which seems to have a cast-iron facade. This was the address of the shop of Anson Randolph, bookseller, who in 1856 published the first American book on paper doll-making. His business was founded c. 1850 and moved to 91-93 5th Avenue in 1896. Fifth Avenue Brownstone by edenpictures, on Flickr

178: City Market Cafe is in a well-preserved brownstone, one of the last to survive on an avenue that used to be lined with them.

Eisenberg's Sandwich Shop

Eisenberg's Sandwich Shop by warsze, on Flickr

174: Opened in 1927, it hasn't changed much since then--an unparalleled Old New York experience. Popular with cabbies, who praise the tuna salad. Upstairs is Russian Bookstore No. 21. 90a.Chelsea.NYC.AM.25mar06 by ElvertBarnes, on Flickr

172 (corner): Lucky Brand Blue Jeans. Formerly Mom's Cigars, complete with wooden Indians.

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Flatiron Building

Flatiron Building by MCSimon, on Flickr

175 (block): Built 1903; originally called the Fuller Building, but the nickname was too appropriate. A traditional publishing center, its still home to St. Martin's Press and Tor Books. In 1910s, it housed the Socialist Labor Party , the ancestor of most U.S. left parties. Loiterers at 23rd Street hoping NYC - Flatiron Building (detail) by wallyg, on Flickr tricky Flatiron winds would expose women's ankles were shooed by one Officer Kane, supposedly originating the expression "23 Skidoo." Flatiron, Manhattan by katherine of chicago, on Flickr

The Flatiron features in the movie Spider-Man as the office of the Daily Bugle. Jimmy Stewart and Kim Novak are teleported to the roof in Bell, Book and Candle.

The St. Germain Hotel, previously on this site, is remembered as the location of the first electric sign-- advertising houses in Manhattan Beach, Long Island. Flatiron by laverrue, on Flickr

















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

West:

Sohmer Piano Building

170 5th Avenue (left) & Flatiron Building (right) by Flatbush Gardener, on Flickr

170 (corner): Zales jewelry is on ground floor of this 1898 building, designed by Robert Maynicke, noted for its gilded rooftop dome. Was a piano showroom; now houses publishing and design companies.



168: BCBG Max Azaria


166 Fifth Avenue by edenpictures, on Flickr

166: Seven-story building with Eileen Fisher clothing is a heavily detailed 1910 work by the Parfitt Brothers.


164: The American Institute of Graphic Arts often has an exhibit on typography or the like.

Fifth Avenue Lions by edenpictures, on Flickr

162 (corner): Eleven-story bank building with roaring lions near the cornice was built in 1904; Buchman & Fox, architects. It went up on the site of the Union Club, where New York Herald heir James Gordon Bennett Jr. was horsewhipped on the front steps by Frederick May, Bennett's fiancee's brother, after Bennett urinated in the May's fireplace during a New Year's Day celebration. The disreputable Bennett fled to Paris, where he founded the Paris Herald. Moe Ginsburg suits used to be here.

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Albert Building

Albert Building by edenpictures, on Flickr

Corner (935-939 Broadway):

The building that houses Renaissance Hardware was built in 1861-62 as the Glenham Hotel by architect Griffith Thomas. Also known as the Albert or Mortimer Building. According to City Reads, this building once housed the saloon of Dr. Jerry Thomas, master mixologist (for whom the Tom and Jerry was named). Cornelius Vanderbilt Jr., son of the Commodore, shot himself here on April 2, 1882, after a night of drinking and gambling.

The long-stopped clock on this corner inspired the They Might Be Giants song "Four of Two"-- though it runs now.

Rapaport House

Charles Scribner's Sons by edenpictures, on Flickr

155: Home to United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism since 1974. Built for Charles Scribner's Sons in 1894 (note "S" on balcony), publishers of Henry James, Edith Wharton, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Thomas Wolfe, R.L. Stevenson, Kipling et al. Designed by Ernest Flagg, Scribner's brother-in-law, in Beaux Arts style.

149 (corner): Ann Taylor is on site of the Lotos Club, an organization for "journalists, artists and members of the musical and dramatic professions, and representatives, amateurs and friends of literature, science and fine arts." The club threw dinners for Gilbert and Sullivan when they were in the city in 1879, and for Henry Morton Stanley in honor of his finding Dr. Livingstone.


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West:

Mohawk Building

160 (corner): Club Monaco clothing is on the ground floor of this 1892 building by Robert H. Robertson that originally housed architectural offices; Stanford White and his firm McKim, Mead and White occupied the 5th floor from 1895-1913.

158: Site of Mason & Hamlin Hall, a concert and recital venue.

Presbyterian Building

Paternoster Row (Detail) by edenpictures, on Flickr

156 (corner): Building with magnificent arched entrance was built in 1895 (Rowe & Baker, architects) as part of the Presbyterian Building Archway by edenpictures, on Flickr "Paternoster Row" of religious publishers between 16th and 23rd streets. House Beautiful used to have its offices here. The corner was previously 1 W. 20th Street, where McKim, Mead and White had their offices before moving to the Mohawk.

154: Site of the house of Robert L. Stuart, sugar refiner, art collector and bibliophile. As president of the American Museum of Natural History (1872-81), he oversaw the construction of its current building.

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Merchants Central Building

141 (corner): This 1897-1900 layer cake of a building was the Merchants Bank of New York (now a Valley National branch); don't miss the dome on the roof. (It was designed by Robert Maynicke, who also put the dome on the Sohmer Piano Building.) On the site of the South Dutch Reformed Church (1849-90).




139: The Corndiac building, a five-story building by Alfred Zucker that went up in 1905, recently lost its obscure nameplate. Houses Thor Equities.




137: Was Otto Tootsi Plohound, footwear for the ultra-hip. The 12-story building is by Robert Maynicke.




On this block was the source of Minetta Creek, which used to run through Greenwich Village and still flows underground.





135 (corner): Now that the Body Shop is renouncing its founder's politics, it's even more annoying. Nice pink brick on this 10-story 1900 building.


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

West:

Methodist Book Concern

Paternoster Row by edenpictures, on Flickr

150 (corner): Lenscrafters, Skechers are in another Paternoster Row building, a stunning brick structure put up in 1890; note "M.B.C." on cornice.

146: Bravo Pizza. If I put up a building that looked like this next to the Methodist Book Concern, I would cry myself to sleep at night.

144: Was The Gauntlet, the U.S.'s oldest body piercing establishment; helped spark the "Modern Primitive" trend. Ground floor is the Fifth Avenue Epicure. Note address on facade.

142 (corner): American Apparel, softcore fashion, was Weiss & Mahoney, "the Peaceful Army & Navy Store." The 10-story 1899 building is by Robert Maynicke.

Robert De Niro meets up with a gun dealer on this corner in Taxi Driver.

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133 (corner): Sisley, Italian women's casualwear.

129: A/X, Armani Exchange

125: Intermix, trendy store that's a favorite with the Sex and the City crowd.









119 Fifth Avenue by edenpictures, on Flickr

119 (corner): Sephora is in an eight-story building from 1906. Pages Restaurant, a coffee shop, was here in the 1970s.


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

West:

140 (corner): Aveda is in a 12-story building from 1902.

138: Food Depot (formerly Lucky Deli) is at the address of Chopsticks, a noted Korean brothel in the 1970s. Also Artista, a salon where the Sex and the City gang got their nails done. The four-story building dates to 1901.

136: White House/Black Market is the Andrews Coffee Shop, heavily redesigned.

134: Innovation Luggage & Travelware
























130 (corner): Express is in an 11-story Robert Maynicke building, built in 1903. It's on the site of Chickering Hall, auditorium built by the Chickering Piano Company, site of lectures by Oscar Wilde and Matthew Arnold. Here Alexander Graham Bell made the first interstate telephone call in 1877--to New Brunswick, New Jersey. Today, the offices of Interbrand are here--consultants to everyone from Wal-Mart to Oxfam.

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Arnold Constable Building by edenpictures, on Flickr

115 (corner): Haunted house-looking building with Nine West and Victoria's Secret is the former Arnold Constable department store, which moved to Ladies Mile in 1867 and grew to take up most of its block; this annex, designed by William Schickel, seems to have been built in 1877. Several architects had offices here, including Schickel himself, Cass Gilbert and Henry Bacon (who designed the Lincoln Memorial).

Founded by Aaron Arnold in 1825 (son-in-law James Constable became a partner in 1837), the store offered "Everything From Cradle to Grave." Mary Todd Lincoln was a frequent customer, along with Carnegies, Rockefellers and Morgans.

Earlier on this corner, from 1852-75, was the 5th Avenue Presbyterian Church, designed by religious architect Leopold Eidlitz. In 1875 it was dismantled and moved to 57th Street. 111 Fifth Avenue by edenpictures, on Flickr

111 (corner): Swedish retailer H & M (formerly Daffy's 5th Avenue) is in a stately 13-story building from 1895 designed by William Schickel & Company (who also did the Stuyvesant Polyclinic). Built on the site of financier August Belmont Jr.'s mansion, the first in the city to have a private ballroom. Belmont helped underwrite NY subway construction, and owned his own private subway car; his hobby was horse-racing--he bred Man o' War--and the Belmont Stakes are named for him.


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

Gas street lights, introduced in New York in 1823, line 5th Avenue up to this intersection by 1847.

West:

126 (corner): Gap Kids is in a 15-story Robert Maynicke building completed in 1900. Built on the site of the Hotel de Logerot, owned by Richard de Logerot, the Marquis de Croisic.







122: Above the Gap are the world headquarters of Barnes & Noble. Strange art in the vestibule.




120 (corner): Gap Body is in an 11-story 1906 building by John B. Snook & Sons.

118: Address of the JL Mott Iron Works, which entered art history in April 1917 when Marcel Duchamp bought a urinal here and renamed it Fountain, launching the idea that anything could be art.

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Barnes & Noble

Barnes & Noble Flagship by edenpictures, on Flickr

105 (corner): This 11-story building was built in 1901 to a Robert Maynicke design. The bookstore chain started a branch here in 1932, and it became the corporate flagship. The mansion of steamship tycoon Marshall O. Roberts used to be here; he owned the painting Washington Crossing the Delaware.

103: Juicy Couture (formerly Fossil) is in the Pierrepont building, an eight-story building from 1926 designed by Louis Korn. This was the site of the Art Students League's first school, opened in 1875.

101: Zara is in an 11-story 1908 building by Mulliken & Moeller.

97 (corner): Aldo is in an eight-story building from 1900 designed by Robert Maynicke.


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

West:

114 (corner): Banana Republic is on the site of the home of Ambrose Kingsland, mayor and sperm-oil merchant. Later the offices of Oxford University Press.



Judge Building

Judge Building by edenpictures, on Flickr

110 (corner): Esprit (formerly Emporio Armani) is on the ground floor of a striking, large-arched McKim, Mead and White building that was built in 1888 to house Judge, a sophisticated, pro-Republican humor magazine founded by ex-staffers of Puck. The building replaced the Athenaeum Club.

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95 (corner): Kenneth Cole, the intellectual's shoe store, is in a nine-story building built in 1920, supposedly designed by Robert Maynicke (though the architect died in 1913). This was painter Childe Hassam's first New York address in 1889; artist Bruce Crane also lived here. Fifth Avenue Caryatids by edenpictures, on Flickr

91: J. Crew is in an 1894 building with sexy caryatids. Anson Randolph moved his bookstore here in 1896.

87-89: Holds Banana Republic Women and a ghostly sign for Spiegel & Strauss.

85 (corner): Anthropologie was B. Shackman Favors & Novelties. On site of the home of Levi Parson Morton (from 1886-88), a banker and congressmember who became vice president under Benjamin Harrison.


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

West:

108 (corner): An odd post-modern building designed by Rothzeid, Kaiserman, Thompson & Bee and opened in 1986. Paul Smith, British fashion, has "best guy shopping," according to Time Out New York--they mean rich guys.

104: Arden B clothing is at the address where Margaret Sanger published the Birth Control Review, and later opened a contraceptive clinic, which eventually grew into Planned Parenthood. Mesa Grill by MoRobb, on Flickr

102: Mesa Grill, owned by celebrity chef Bobby Flay.

100 (corner): On the corner where Bebe clothing store now is, anarchist publisher Carlo Tresca was Carlo Tresca Corner by edenpictures, on Flickr assassinated by future Mob boss Carmine Galente in 1943--perhaps on the orders of Mussolini. In the 1980s there was a short-lived reincarnation of the Peppermint Lounge here, which closed after Mob connections were alleged.

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81: Was Behr Hall, a concert space

79 (corner): A 16-story building by Albert S. Gottlieb, completed 1907, houses Coach, Artistic Tile, etc. Built on the site of Mayor George Opdyke's house; draft rioters tried to burn it down twice in 1863.

77: The building above Regale Deli is strikingly ugly.












73 Fifth Avenue by edenpictures, on Flickr

73 (corner): Designed by Samuel Sass and completed 1907, features a large central arch


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

West:

96 (corner): Site of Il Martello-- "the hammer"--Carlo Tresca’s anarchist newspaper

98: The site of the Cosmos Club, a club for fans of Humboldt's Cosmos, dedicated to the promotion of knowledge.

96 (corner): To call this architecture "Soviet-style" would be an insult to the Soviets. The Manhattan Club--an organization of upper-class Democrats--moved to this address in 1865. Later the address of Il Martello--"The Hammer"--Carlo Tresca's anarchist newspaper.



90 (corner): Vidal Sassoon is on the site of the Old Guard of the City of New York, which seems to have once been some kind of military organization but later became a relief society. The current 11-story building dates to 1903.

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71 (corner): Pier 1 Imports is in a large 11-story building by Charles Volz, built 1908. august 169 by emilyaugust, on Flickr

69 (corner): Wedgewood House apartments are built on the site of Delmonico's third location. Banquets were held here for Charles Dickens, Grand Duke Alexis of Russia and Samuel Morse for inventing the telegraph. The first women's organization, the Sorosis Club, was organized here 1868as well as the theatrical Lambs Club in 1874. The building was earlier a private home, owned by Moses Hicks Grinnell, where on February 20, 1861, President-elect Abraham Lincoln met over breakfast with business leaders. Later, this was the address of the Lutheran Publishing Bureau.


W <===             14TH STREET             ===> E
Northern boundary of the Village

See The Big Map for photos of the avenue from here to 23rd Street.

West:

Manhattan Penthouse - 5th Ave by larrykang, on Flickr

80 (corner): An impressive 16-story building; the top floor is a banqueting hall called Manhattan Penthouse. Former offices of the National Gay Task Force, founded in 1973 to work for gay rights from within the system. In 1986, the group (now the NGLTF) moved to D.C. The building now houses Lucille Roberts Fitness; also Cohen's Fashion Optical, Due Amici pizza.

78: East-West Books/Himalayan Institute. All your Eastern philosophical and New Age needs.

74: Twelve stories built in 1910 by Maynicke & Franke. New Valentino Market was Reminiscence, retro clothing. Old Nation Building by edenpictures, on Flickr

72 (corner): This seven-story building built in 1920 later housed the offices of The Nation, where I was an intern in 1985; now it's the New School's Milano Graduate School of Management and Urban Policy. Milano is a chemical industry executive who has given the New School a lot of money.

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Albert List Academic Center

New School Occupation 4.10.09 by joshuaheller, on Flickr

65 (block): Graduate school of the New School for Social Research, in a squat grey-brick Modernist building with slit-like windows. The school was started as a progressive alternative university with the help of John Dewey, Thorstein Veblen and the like in 1919. New School Graduate Center by edenpictures, on Flickr It became a "University in Exile" for refugees fleeing Nazi Germany. Now has war criminal Bob Kerrey as president, who hadn't even heard of the place when he was offered the job.











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

When 5th Avenue was laid out in 1824, it stopped at 13th Street. Extended to 23rd Street in 1830.

West:

70 (corner): The New School's University Writing Center

68: New School's Compurt Instruction Center

Parsons School of Design

parsons the new school for design by samuraispy, on Flickr

66: Alumni include Norman Rockwell, Jasper Johns, Edward Hopper and Isaac Mizrahi. This address was formerly the Fifth Avenue Playhouse, a French-language cinema. Now part of the New School. When built, the cellar of this interesting red-brick building was flooded by Minetta Creek, the Village's underground river.

Forbes Building

Forbes Building Quinta Avenida by Rafael Chamorro, on Flickr

60-62: Houses Forbes magazine (and American Heritage) as well as a museum of Malcolm Forbes' strange collections, including some important historical artifacts. Originally Macmillan publishing was based in this "pompous limestone cube" (AIA Guide). Built 1925. Whale-oil merchant Robert Bowne Minturn formerly had a house here.

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61 (corner): Was the Lone Star Cafe, NYC's main country music venue in the 1980s. (Slogan: "Too Much Ain't Enough.") Famous for the giant iguana on its roof. Later Mr. Fuji's Tropicana. Originally built as a branch of Schrafft's, the woman-focused tearoom chain, in the 1930s. Torn down c. 2009.

59: Dilly's was Luahn Restaurant & Lounge


57: Kermanshahi Oriental Rugs



Cardozo School of Law

Cardozo Law School HQ by fake is the new real, on Flickr

55 (corner): Yeshiva University's Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law -- named for the Supreme Court justice. The second branch of the Longchamps restaurant chain opened at this address in 1927.

53 (corner): This defunct address was the home of James Lenox, whose family owned Lenox Hill. His book collection, which included the U.S.'s first Gutenberg Bible and the manuscript of Washington's Farewell Address, helped form the basis for the New York Public Library. His home later became Presbyterian House, a center for church offices.


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

West:

First Presbyterian Church

NYC - Greenwich Village: First Presbyterian Church by wallyg, on Flickr

48 (block): The congregation here traces its history back to 1716; one of its earliest pastors was a 19-year-old Jonathan Edwards. It moved uptown to this location after the Great Fire of 1835. This gothic revival building, designed by Joseph C. Wells and dedicated in 1846, was modeled on Bath's Church of St. Saviour, with a tower based on Magdalene First Presbyterian Church in the City of New York - south flank by Michael Tinkler, on Flickr College at Oxford. McKim, Mead & White added a south transept in 1893. The Rev. Harry Emerson Fosdick gave a controversial pro-Darwin sermon here in 1922, "Will the Fundamentalists Win?" An enraged William Jennings Bryan engineered Fosdick's removal from the church, whereupon he became the pastor of Riverside Church until 1969.




















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NYC - Greenwich Village: 51 Fifth Avenue by wallyg, on Flickr

51 (corner): This 15-story Thomas W. Lamb building, completed in 1928, was home to former Gov. Al Smith after he lost the 1928 presidential election to Herbert Hoover; he lived here until the early 1940s. The building was featured in the sitcom Mad About You.

Salmagundi Club

NYC - Greenwich Village: Salmagundi Club/Irad Hawley House by wallyg, on Flickr

47: Oldest U.S. artists' club; members included Stanford White, Louis C. Tiffany, William Merritt Chase, John La Farge, Augustus St. Gaudens and John Philip Sousa. Moved to this 1853 building in 1917; the brownstone, the last on lower Fifth Avenue, was built in 1853 for Irad Hawley, president of the Pennsylvania Coal Company.

45: A 16-story 1923 apartment building designed by Sugarman & Berger 43 Fifth Avenue by edenpictures, on Flickr

43 (corner): This 1905 Beaux Arts building was the grandest apartment building on lower 5th Avenue. In 1946, Marlon Brando lived here with a Russian violinist named Igor, who moved out after Brando filled his violin with horse manure. Novelist Dawn Powell was here from 1960-63, when The Golden Spur was published. It was Hugh Grant's place in Woody Allen's Small Time Crooks; the building was also featured in Deconstructing Henry and Everyone Says I Love You.


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West:

40 Fifth Avenue by edenpictures, on Flickr

40 (corner): This 17-story brown brick building, with something resembling Independence Hall on top, is a Van Wart & Wein design finished 1929. Judge Joseph F. Crater, who inexplicably disappeared in 1930, lived on the fourth floor of this building at the time he went missing. "Almost five months after he vanished and after several police searches, three envelopes with cash, insurance policies and the judge's will mysteriously turned up in the bedroom."--All Around the Town.

An earlier building with this number was an early Second Empire house built in 1857, designed by Calver Vaux, co-architect of Central Park, for John A.C. Gray, one of the park's commissioners. Later, from 1866-71, it was the home of reaper tycoon Cyrus McCormick. Sara Wiborg and Gerald Murphy, the models for Nicole and Dick Diver in Fitzgerald's Tender Is the Night, were wed here in 1915. And President John F. Kennedy's personal physician, Janet Travell, was living here as a young woman in 1925.

Church of the Ascension

NYC - Greenwich Village: Church of the Ascension by wallyg, on Flickr

36-38 (corner): This Episcopal church was designed in 1841 by Richard Upjohn, architect of Trinity Church. The interior, remodeled by Stanford White in 1889, features John La Farge stained glass and an altar by Augustus Saint-Gaudens. President John Tyler secretly married Julia Gardiner here in 1844; the bride was 30 years his junior. The funeral of globetrotting journalist Nellie Bly was held here in 1922.

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41 (corner): This 15-story 1923 building was designed by Rosario Candela.

39: Columnist Walter Lippman lived here (1925-29) when he was an editor at the New York World. Michael Lutin, Vanity Fair astrology columnist, has his offices here.

























Rubin Hall

35 (corner): This NYU dorm (acquired by the school in 1964) was built in 1925 as the Grosvenor Hotel. It was the most expensive hotel in New York City south of 28th Street in 1939 (according to the WPA Guide), with rooms starting from $4 a night. Novelist Willa Cather lived here from 1927 to 1932; Mark Twain stayed here as well, in an earlier incarnation of the hotel. This was the dorm (at least in exterior shots) of the title character of the TV show Felicity.


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

At this intersection was the home of landowner Henry Brevoort, the first person to live on the new 5th Avenue. The "Old Gentleman" kept a pet bear chained up in his yard.

West:

30 (corner): This 15-story brick apartment building designed by Schwartz & Gross was completed in 1923.

















24 (corner): This building was the Fifth Avenue Hotel, a 1922 effort by Emery Roth. Built on site of the Brevoort House, home of Henry Brevoort Jr., the finest house on 5th Avenue when it was built in 1834 (perhaps designed by Ithiel Town and Alexander Jackson Davis). Now houses Cru, featuring a 222-page wine list with 3,820 vintages, based on the 65,000-bottle collection of Roy Welland, who owned Washington Park, the restaurant that used to be here. Before that (not so long ago) it was Rose Cafe & Bar, featured in As Good as It Gets; earlier known as 24 Fifth.

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33 (corner): Fifteen-story building by Sugarman, Hess & Berger completed 1923

23-27 (corner): This 1919 13-story apartment building, designed by Rouse & Goldstone, has been home to director Brian dePalma. Designer Helen Dryden, best known for her work in Vogue and on the 1937 Studebaker, lived here in 1936.

Previously, No. 25 was the self-designed house of architect James Renwick Jr., designer of Grace Church and St. Patrick's Cathedral. Washington Irving was such a frequent visitor of Renwick's that he had his own library here.

No. 23 was the site of Mabel Dodge's salon; socialite (and lover of John Reed) noted for her literary/political gatherings, with the likes of Sherwood Anderson, Theodore Dreiser, Carl Sandburg, Eugene O'Neill, Robert Frost, Walter Lippman, Max Eastman, Big Bill Haywood, Emma Goldman and Lincoln Steffens.

Mabel Dodge moved here in 1912, when the building's owner, Daniel Sickles, rented her the second floor. Sickles was a former U.S. representative who in 1859 killed Francis Scott Key's son Philip, a U.S. attorney, for having an affair with Sickles' wife Teresa. The killer entered the novel plea of temporary insanity and was acquitted. He later became a general in the Union Army and lost a leg at Gettysburg. He died here in 1914 at the age of 91.

The top floor was occupied by William Sulzer, a governor of New York who was impeached in 1913.


W <===             9TH STREET             ===> E

West:

16: In 1870, writer Bret Harte stayed with his sister at this address.

12: Was the Rhinelander Apartment Hotel; now an apartment building. New York magazine nightlife photographer Patrick McMullan has lived here.










































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21: Site of Mark Twain house (1904-06) designed by James Renwick

17: The address of Henry Bergh, who in 1866 founded the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, initially to protect work horses.

Brevoort Apartments

The Brevoort by Gelatobaby, on Flickr

11-15 (block): On the site of Brevoort Hotel, the first hotel on Fifth Avenue, built in 1854. John Dos Passos, in 42nd Parallel, wrote that "all the artists and radicals and really interesting people used to stay there and it was very French." Among its habituees were Eugene O'Neill, Isadora Duncan, Edna St. Vincent Millay and Lincoln Steffens. Nathanael West lived there in 1935-36. Banquets were held here for Margaret Sanger, indicted for distributing birth control information, and for Emma Goldman on the eve of her 1919 deportation to the Soviet Union. The American Labor Party was founded here in 1936. The hotel's barber is credited with inventing the "bob" (for dancer Irene Castle). The hotel's owner, Raymond Orteig, put up $25,000 for the first person to fly across the Atlantic, and Charles Lindbergh collected at a breakfast here on June 17,1927. The hotel was torn down in 1948 because it couldn't be brought up to code.

Musician Buddy Holly lived in the replacement apartments in 1958-59, from his marriage until his death. He recorded what are known as The Apartment Tapes here. Carmine DeSapio, last boss of Tammany Hall, also lived here. His 1961 defeat as Greenwich Village district leader spelled the end of Tammany's long sway. He helped close Washington Square to traffic.

Novelist Henry James lived briefly at a house at No. 11 in 1847, when he was a child.


W <===             8TH STREET             ===> E

West:

8 (corner): The north end of the block was the site of New York's first marble mansion, built by John Taylor Johnston in 1856. The Metropolitan Museum of Art was organized here in 1870, with Johnston elected its founding president. Writer/cartoonist James Thurber lived there in 1935-36.

2 Fifth Avenue

2 (block): This behemoth, which destroyed the house that inspired Henry James' Washington Square, helped spark the Village preservation movement. Former Mayor Ed Koch, feminist politician Bella Abzug and gay writer/activist Larry Kramer have lived here. Photographer Andre Kertesz lived here from 1952 until his death in 1985; his photographs of Washington Square taken with a telephoto lens are considered among the best of his U.S. career.

The fountain to the right of the front door is fed by Minetta Brook, a now-underground river that used to meander through Washington Square Park and the Village.




















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3: Home of the Three 5th Avenue Club, an organization of freethinkers. Mark Twain hosted a dinner there in honor of Maxim Gorky-- who was not allowed to stay at the Brevoort, because he was traveling with a woman not his wife.

1 Fifth Avenue

NYC - Greenwich Village: One Fifth Avenue by wallyg on Flickr

1 (block): Built in 1926 as an Art Deco hotel; now a co-op. Poet Sara Teasdale committed suicide here January 30, 1933. Photographer Robert Mapplethorpe used to live in one of the penthouses. There used to be a restaurant called One Fifth here, which was featured in Woody Allen's Crimes and Misdemeanors; it's now Otto, noted for its gelato.

Formerly at No. 1 was a girls' school run by Lucy and Mary Green, whose faculty included Teddy Roosevelt's future secretary of state, Elihu Root--and whose students included Jennie Jerome, Winston Churchill's mother. Also the address of the A Club, an early women's rights group.


WASHINGTON MEWS

Corner (1 Washington Mews): Glucksman Ireland House, NYU's Irish studies center NYC - Greenwich Village: 7-13 Washington Square North by wallyg, on Flickr

Corner (7-13 Washington Sq N): Originally separate townhouses, built in 1836 by Sailors Snug Harbor, these have been combined into one apartment building with an entrance on Fifth Avenue. No. 12 was from 1879-1905 the home of Edward Cooper, son of Peter Cooper and mayor of NYC (1878-80). No. 11 was the home of department store owner John Wanamaker; it's also Will Smith's address in I Am Legend. Alexander Hamilton lived at No. 7, as did Edith Wharton in 1882, when she was 20 years old.


W <===             WASHINGTON SQUARE NORTH             ===> E

See The Big Map for photos of the avenue from here to 14th Street.


Washington Square Park

Washington Square Park by kalyan3, on Flickr

Originally a marsh surrounding Minetta Brook, in the early years of New York this area was used as a graveyard for slaves and yellow fever victims--25,000 people are thought to have been buried here--as well as a dueling ground and a place of execution. In 1826 it was designated the Washington Military Parade Grounds, which soon was transformed into a public park. In 1834, stonemasons upset about the use of convict labor from Sing Sing to build NYU's main building rioted here.

5th Avenue used to go through to West Broadway, now LaGuardia Place. In 1952, neighborhood residents organized to oppose Robert Moses' plan to increase traffic through the park, and succeeded in getting cars banned altogether--a terrific precedent for Central and Prospect parks. The present relandscaping, which involves centering the fountain and eliminating the sunken plaza, was overwhelmingly opposed by the community--but so far it hasn't destroyed the park's spirit. washington square park by roboppy, on Flickr

Washington Square was at one point the center of New York society, later becoming the unofficial quadrangle of NYU. It's long been a haven for folksingers (including Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan); in 1961, a police crackdown on folksinging led to riots.

This is where Jane Fonda wanted to be Barefoot in the Park; it's also where the skateboarders beat up a passer-by in Kids. (The real-life skate kids are harmless.)

Washington Square Arch

Washington Square Arch by Clover_1, on Flickr Washington Square Arch by Julio Costa Zambelli, on Flickr

Designed by Stanford White, the arch was put up in 1892 to replace a temporary plaster arch erected in 1889 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Washington's inauguration. In 1917, members of the bohemian Liberal Club, including artists Marcel Duchamp and John Sloan, climbed on top of the arch to proclaim the Republic of Washington Square. Harold Lloyd drove a horse-drawn trolley through the arch in the silent movie Speedy; Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal (looking awfully old for college kids) decide to be just friends here in When Harry Met Sally. I remember a date once where we ended up under the arch to get out of the rain, and ended up kissing until a pot dealer urged me to take her home.

Click here for The View From the Top of the Arch.





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

There's a poster of 5th Avenue that is sort of Songlines-like.

A Walk Down 5th Avenue gives a good visual idea of the street.

New York Songlines Home.

Sources for the Songlines.

NYSonglines' Facebook Fan Page.

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If you enjoy the New York Songlines, please link to them from your website. A link to a particular intersection looks like this: http://www.nysonglines.com/8st.htm#3av.