Eighth Avenue (Manhattan)

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Facing north from 32nd Street
Police station at 148th Street

Eighth Avenue is a north-south avenue on the West Side of Manhattan in New York City, carrying northbound traffic. Eighth Avenue begins in the West Village neighborhood at Abingdon Square (where Hudson Street becomes 8th Avenue at an intersection with Bleecker Street) and runs north for 44 blocks through Chelsea, the Garment District, Hell's Kitchen's east end, Midtown and the Broadway Theater District before if finally enters Columbus Circle (at 59th Street).

Eighth Avenue has carried traffic one-way northbound since June 6, 1954.[1]

North of Columbus Circle, the roadway becomes Central Park West, a two-way street along Central Park. North of Frederick Douglass Circle at 110th Street, it is Frederick Douglass Boulevard, though sometimes still unofficially referred to as Eighth Avenue. Frederick Douglass Boulevard eventually terminates near the Harlem River at the Harlem River Drive around West 159th Street. While the avenue has different names at different points in Manhattan, it is actually one continuous stretch of road. While Central Park West has its own address system, address numbers on Frederick Douglass Boulevard continue from where they would be if Central Park West used the Eighth Avenue numbering system.

The IND Eighth Avenue Line runs under Eighth Avenue.

Since the 1990s, the stretch of Eighth Avenue that runs through Greenwich Village and its adjacent Chelsea neighborhood has been a center of the city's gay community, with bars and restaurants catering to gay men. In fact, New York City's annual gay pride parade takes place along the Greenwich Village section of Eighth Avenue. Also, along with Times Square, the portion of Eighth Avenue from 42nd Street to 50th Street was an informal red-light district in the late 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s before it was controversially renovated into a more family friendly environment under the first mayoral administration of Rudolph Giuliani.

Central Park West[edit]

Central Park West (sometimes referred to simply as CPW) is an avenue that runs north-south in the New York City borough of Manhattan, in the United States.

Central Park West at 79th Street.
Housing cooperatives on CPW. The San Remo on the right, The Langham right from center, The Dakota left from center, and The Majestic on the far left.

As its name indicates, CPW forms the western edge of Central Park. It also forms the eastern boundary of the Upper West Side. It runs 51 blocks from Columbus Circle (at 59th Street, or Central Park South) to Frederick Douglass Circle (at 110th Street, or Cathedral Parkway). The gates into Central Park along its western edge are: Merchants Gate at 59th Street, Women's Gate at 72nd, Naturalists Gate at 77th, Hunters Gate at 81st, Mariners Gate at 85th, Gate of all Saints at 96th, Boys Gate at 100th, and Strangers Gate at 106th. Central Park West's expensive housing rivals that of Fifth Avenue on the Upper East Side.

South of Columbus Circle, in Midtown, CPW becomes Eighth Avenue. North of Frederick Douglass Circle, in Harlem, it is alternately known as Eighth Avenue or Frederick Douglass Boulevard. Unlike many Manhattan avenues, CPW has traffic running in two directions. The IND Eighth Avenue Line runs under the avenue, serving local stations.

Central Park West is the address of several famous residences, including The Dakota (where John Lennon lived with Yoko Ono, who still resides there, and outside of which he was murdered in 1980), The San Remo (home to U2's Bono, Demi Moore, Diane Keaton, & Steve Martin), The El Dorado, The Beresford (home to Diana Ross & Jerry Seinfeld), The Langham, The Century(Former residence of Aaliyah), 15 Central Park West (home to Sting), 41 Central Park West (home to Madonna), 455 Central Park West, The St. Urban, and The Majestic (which was home to some of the former heads of the Genovese crime family, including Meyer Lansky, Lucky Luciano and Frank Costello. In 1957, Vincent "The Chin" Gigante shot Frank Costello in the lobby of The Majestic in a failed assassination attempt).

According to New York Times architecture critic Paul Goldberger, the street's buildings, both the new ones like 15 Central Park West and the old ones such as The Century, "fit together the same way the ones in that hypothetical Main Street do, and for the same reason. For more than a hundred years, their architects honor the unspoken agreement to work together, to line their buildings up with each other and to work in a consistent scale with materials that are compatible."[2]

Most of these housing cooperatives were built around 1930, replacing late 19th century hotels with the same names. Some, including The Century, The San Remo, and The Majestic, are twin towers. Other landmarks and institutions along its length include the New-York Historical Society and the American Museum of Natural History. The area from 61st to 97th Streets is included in the Central Park West Historic District.[3]

The building located at 55 Central Park West is the infamous "Spook Central" from the movie Ghostbusters. The famed New York City restaurant Tavern on the Green is located off of Central Park West, at 66th Street, within the grounds of Central Park.

In 1899, while exiting a streetcar, Henry Bliss was run over by a taxi at CPW and West 74th Street, becoming the first person to be run down and killed by a motor car in the Americas.

Points of interest[edit]

The north building of the Port Authority Bus Terminal at West 42nd Street

References[edit]

Notes

  1. ^ Ingraham, Joseph (7 June 1954). "7TH AND 8TH AVES. SHIFT TO ONE-WAY". The New York Times. Retrieved 28 August 2012. 
  2. ^ Goldberger, Paul (2009). Why Architecture Matters. New Haven: Yale University Press. p. 216. ISBN 9780300144307. 
  3. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09. 
  4. ^ "Commercial Real Estate; Behemoth of a Building Is Set for a Tenant Influx". New York Times. November 19, 1997. 

External links[edit]