Avenue A (Manhattan)

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For the company formerly called "Avenue A / Razorfish", see Razorfish (company).
Tompkins Square Park lines Avenue A between East Seventh Street and East 10th Street.
Avenue A and East 7th Street, midnight
Avenue A from East 5th Street, noon

Avenue A is a north-south avenue located in Manhattan, New York City, east of First Avenue and west of Avenue B. It runs from Houston Street to 14th Street, where it continues into a loop road in Stuyvesant Town, connecting to Avenue B. Below Houston Street, Avenue A continues as Essex Street.

It is considered to be the western border of Alphabet City in the East Village. It is also the western border of Tompkins Square Park.


Under the Commissioners' Plan of 1811 that established the Manhattan street grid, the avenues would begin with First Avenue on the east side and run through Twelfth Avenue in the west. East of First Avenue the plan provided four additional lettered avenues running from Avenue A eastward to Avenue D wherever they could be fitted.[1]

While First Avenue was the easternmost avenue in most of Manhattan, several discontinuous sections were designated as Avenue A north of present-day Alphabet City.

A short section of Avenue A was cut off from the existing section in 1947 with the construction of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village and was renamed as Asser Levy Place.[2]

Sutton Place was also formerly designated as Avenue A. Effingham B. Sutton constructed a group of brownstones in 1875 between 57th and 58th Streets, and is said to have lent the street his name, though the earliest source found by The New York Times dates back to 1883. The New York City Board of Aldermen approved a petition to change the name from "Avenue A" to "Sutton Place", covering the blocks between 57th and 60th Streets.[3][4]

In 1928, a one-block section of Sutton Place north of 59th Street, and all of Avenue A north of that point, was renamed York Avenue in honor of World War One US Army Sergeant Alvin York, who won the Medal of Honor for an attack in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive on October 8, 1918.[4][5] This section is the only former section of Avenue A to still use the Avenue A address system (as it only has four-digit building numbers).

The northernmost section of Avenue A, stretching between 114th and 120 Streets in East Harlem, was renamed Pleasant Avenue in 1879.[2]

See also[edit]

The other 3 segments of Avenue A, all discontinuous:



  1. ^ REMARKS OF THE COMMISSIONERS FOR LAYING OUT STREETS AND ROADS IN THE CITY OF NEW YORK, UNDER THE ACT OF APRIL 3, 1807, accessed May 2, 2007. "The avenues to the eastward of number one are marked A, B, C, and D."
  2. ^ a b De-Classified 4-A, Forgotten NY. Accessed January 1, 2008.
  3. ^ Senft, Bret. "If You're Thinking of Living In/Sutton Place; A Riverside Enclave for the Well-to-Do", The New York Times, June 12, 1994. Accessed December 27, 2007.
  4. ^ a b Gray, Christopher. " Streetscapes/Sutton Place, Sutton Place South and One Sutton Place North; A Prestigious Enclave With a Name in Question", The New York Times, September 21, 2003. Accessed December 27, 2007.
  5. ^ Pollak, Michael. "F. Y. I.", The New York Times, August 7, 2005. Accessed October 16, 2007. "In 1928, Sutton Place from 59th to 60th Street, and Avenue A north of 60th, were renamed York Avenue in honor of Sgt. Alvin C. York (1887-1964), a World War I hero from Tennessee and a recipient of the Medal of Honor."

External links[edit]