User:Epicgenius/Avenue A

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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 runs north and south and is the westernmost of the avenues to be defined by letters instead of using the numbering system in the New York City borough of Manhattan. Avenue A 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. The M14A (New York City bus) serves all of Avenue A's main part.

Avenue A has several parts: Essex/Rutgers Streets, the main part, Asser Levy Place, Beekman Place, Sutton Place/York Avenue, and Pleasant Avenue. None of the aforementioned parts are continuous, except for Essex/Rutgers Streets and the main part. Essex Street is in the Lower East Side, while Beekman Place is in Murray Hill, Manhattan; York Avenue/Sutton Place runs through Yorkville/Upper East Side; and Pleasant Avenue runs through East Harlem. All streets are each one block east of First Avenue.

History[edit]

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]

Avenue A and East 7th Street, midnight
Avenue A from East 5th Street, noon
Corner of 77th Street and Avenue A, now York Avenue

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 its 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]

Essex Street[edit]

"Essex Street" redirects here. For other uses, see Essex Street (disambiguation).

Essex Street is a north-south street on the Lower East Side neighborhood of Manhattan. North of Houston Street, the street becomes Avenue A, and south of Canal Street it becomes Rutgers Street.

Essex Street was laid out by James Delancey just before the Revolution as the east side of a "Delancey Square" intended for a genteel ownership; Delancey returned to England as a Loyalist in 1775, and the square was developed as building lots.[6]

Long a part of the Lower East Side Jewish enclave, many Jewish-owned stores still operate, including a pickle shop (The Pickle Guys), a packaging supply store (Crystal Packaging and Tape, Co./Big Apple Boxes), many Judaica shops (Zelig Blumenthal, Rabbi Eisenbach, Israel Wholesale Judaica, Nat Weisberg & Sons), a furniture store (M.Katz & Sons), electronic store (eTronics) and a sporting goods store (G & S Sportinggoods). It is also home to the Essex Street Market.

Subway station at Essex (left) and Delancey Streets

South of Hester Street it is bordered on the east by Seward Park.

The IND Sixth Avenue Line of the New York City Subway runs under Essex Street and has a station at Delancey Street (F J M Z trains).

Essex Street Market[edit]

Essex Street Market

The Essex Street Market is an indoor retail market that was one of a number of such facilities built in the 1930s under the administration of Mayor Fiorello La Guardia at 120 Essex Street (at the corner of Delancey Street). The markets were constructed to reduce pushcart congestion on the narrow streets of the Lower East Side of the New York City borough of Manhattan.

The Essex Street Market is operated and managed by the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC). The 15,000-square-foot (1,400 m2) market is made up of approximately 35 individual stalls that range in size from 90 to 600 square feet (8 to 60 m2).[7]

Beekman Place[edit]

Beekman Place is a small street located on the east side of Manhattan, New York City. The street runs from north to south for two blocks and is situated between the eastern end of 51st and 49th streets. Beekman Place is also used to refer to the residential neighborhood that surrounds the street itself. It is named after the Beekman family, an influential family in the development of the city.[8] The neighborhood was the site of the Beekman family mansion, Mount Pleasant, which was built by James Beekman in 1765. James Beekman was a descendant of Willem Beeckman for whom Beekman Street was named.

The British made their headquarters in the mansion for a time during the American Revolutionary War and Nathan Hale was tried as a spy in the mansion's greenhouse and hanged in a nearby orchard. George Washington visited the house many times during his presidency. The Beekman family lived at Mount Pleasant until a cholera epidemic forced them to move in 1854. The home survived until 1874 when it was torn down.

With the surge of immigration from Europe in the late 19th and early 20th century, the Lower East Side's slums expanded north. The Beekman Place area's well-off residents gave way to impoverished workers employed in the coalyards that lined much of the East River shore. The neighborhood's rehabilitation began in the 1920s, facilitated primarily by Anne Morgan of the Morgan banking family,[9] who lived slightly farther north on Sutton Place.

One Beekman Place, the 1929 co-op designed by Sloan & Robertson and Corbett, Harrison & MacMurray, is "the most prestigious Beekman Place apartment building," according to Carter Horsley. It was built by a group headed by David Milton, husband of Abby Rockefeller and son-in-law of John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Early tenants here included "Wild Bill" Donovan of the OSS, John D. Rockefeller III, Prince Aly Khan, A&P Heir Huntington Hartford and Happy Rockefeller lived at One Beekman Place. It has a lavish tiled pool on the ground floor for the tenants and a basketball court and small ping pong table.

In the book, movie, and musical Auntie Mame, the title character lives at 3 Beekman Place. In the novel and movie Bonfire of the Vanities, the mayor mentions Beekman Place, saying: "They sit in their co-ops, Park Avenue, Fifth, Beekman Place, snug like a bug. Twelve-foot ceilings, a wing for them, one for the help". In the movie The Way We Were, Beekman Place symbolizes the Waspish cultural background of Hubbell Gardiner (Robert Redford's character) that is a continual irritant in his relationship with the Marxist Jew Katie Morosky (played by Barbra Steisand).

York Avenue/Sutton Place[edit]

York Avenue is a relatively short north-south thoroughfare on the East Side of the borough of Manhattan in New York City. It runs from 59th Street north to 91st Street on the Upper East Side. Sutton Place is a very short street and surrounding neighborhood in the borough of Manhattan in New York City, New York. It is known for its upscale apartments, much like the rest of the Upper East Side. York Avenue runs through eastern Yorkville, while Sutton Place runs through its namesake neighborhood.

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 I US Army Sergeant Alvin York, who won the Medal of Honor for an attack in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive on October 8, 1918.[10][11] He received The Medal for attacking a German machinegun nest and capturing 4 German officers and 128 men and several guns.[12]

York Avenue was proposed as an addition to the Commissioners' Plan of 1811 for Manhattan, which designated 12 broad north-south Avenues running the length of the island. The geography of Manhattan left a large area on the Upper East Side east of First Avenue without a major north-south thoroughfare, so Avenue A, later called York Avenue and Pleasant Avenue, was added to compensate. The address numbering on York Avenue are continuous with that of Avenue A in Alphabet City, starting in the 1100 series and rising to the 1700 series.

At its south end, York Avenue becomes Sutton Place for two blocks, then Sutton Place South for four blocks, before ending. Other streets that lie east of First Avenue include Beekman Place between 49th and 51st Streets, and Asser Levy Place (itself a former part of Avenue A before being severed by the construction of Stuyvesant Town in the 1940s) between 23rd Street and 25th Street. Between 1st Street and 14th Street, Alphabet City, consisting of Avenue A through Avenue D, lies east of First Avenue.

From 79th to 90th streets, East End Avenue lies east of York Avenue. FDR Drive runs along the East River shore, east of both York and East End Avenues.

Sutton Place itself – one of the most affluent streets in the city – is the wide north/south avenue that runs only two blocks, from 57th Street to 59th Street, along the East River and south of the Queensboro Bridge. The stretch that continues below 57th Street down to 53rd Street is called Sutton Place South, while north of 59th Street, the street continues as York Avenue.

The greater Sutton Place neighborhood is situated between the neighborhoods of Turtle Bay on the south and the Yorkville on the north, is bounded on the east by the East River, on the west by Second Avenue, and runs from 53rd Street to 59th Street. Sutton Square is the cul-de-sac at the end of East 58th Street, just east of Sutton Place; and Riverview Terrace is a row of townhouses on a short private driveway that runs north from Sutton Square.

History[edit]

Sutton Place was originally one of several disconnected stretches of Avenue A, where space allowed, east of First Avenue. 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 only to 1883. At that time, 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.[13][14] The vacant block between 59th and 60th Streets is now considered a part of York Avenue.

Sutton Place first became fashionable around 1920, when several wealthy socialites, including Anne Harriman Vanderbilt and Anne Morgan, built townhouses on the eastern side of the street, overlooking the East River. Both townhouses were designed by Mott B. Schmidt, launching a career that included many houses for the wealthy.[15]) Very shortly thereafter, developers started to build grand co-operative apartment houses on Sutton Place and Sutton Place South, including several designed by Rosario Candela. Development came to an abrupt halt with the Great Depression, and the luxury apartment buildings on the lower part of Sutton Place South (below 57th Street) and the northernmost part of Sutton Place (adjacent to the Queensboro Bridge) were not developed until the 1940s and 1950s.

Prominent residents of Sutton Place include architect I. M. Pei, former New York Governor Mario Cuomo, his son-in-law designer Kenneth Cole, and actress Sigourney Weaver. Former residents include Consuelo Vanderbilt Balsan, C.Z. Guest, Peter Lawford & Patricia Kennedy Lawford, Lillian Gish, Aristotle Onassis, Freddie Mercury, Michael Jackson, Bill Blass, Bobby Short, Percy Sutton, Irene Hayes, Elsie de Wolfe, Joan Crawford, Raj Rajaratnam, Richard Jenrette, Marilyn Monroe and her then husband Arthur Miller, Mildred Natwick, and Maureen O'Hara [16] to name a few.

One Sutton Place (North), an imposing townhouse at the northeast corner of Sutton Place and East 57th Street, was built as a residence for Anne Harriman Vanderbilt, widow of William K. Vanderbilt. This house is currently owned by an heiress to the Heinz Company fortune. Next door, the official residence of the Secretary-General of the United Nations is a five-story townhouse that was built in 1921 for Anne Morgan, daughter of financier J.P. Morgan, and donated as a gift to the United Nations in 1972.[17]

Park controversy[edit]

Sutton Place Park, with the Queensboro Bridge in the background

Sutton Place encompasses two public parks overlooking the East River, one at the end of 57th Street and another at the end of 53rd Street. The 57th Street park is separated by an iron fence from the landscaped grounds behind One Sutton Place South, a neo-Georgian apartment building designed by Rosario Candela. The property behind One Sutton Place South was the subject of a dispute between the building's owners and the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. Like the adjacent park, the rear garden at One Sutton Place South is, in fact, cantilevered over the FDR Drive, a busy expressway at Manhattan's eastern edge that is not visible from most of Sutton Place.

In 1939, city authorities took ownership of the property behind One Sutton Place South by condemnation in connection with the construction of the FDR Drive, then leased it back to the building. The building's lease for its backyard expired in 1990,[18][19] The co-op tried unsuccessfully to extend the lease, and later made prospective apartment-buyers review the legal status of the backyard and sign a confidentiality agreement.[20] In June 2007, the co-op sued the city in an attempt the keep the land,[20] and on November 1, 2011, the co-op and the city reached an agreement in which the co-op ended its ownership claim and each side would contribute $1 million toward the creation of a public park on the land.[21]

In popular culture[edit]

Pleasant Avenue[edit]

Looking north from 114th Street

Pleasant Avenue is a north-south street in the East Harlem neighborhood of the New York City borough of Manhattan. It begins at E. 114th Street and ends at E. 120th Street.

Pleasant Avenue was one of the last remaining streets in Italian Harlem, which existed in the eastern part of Harlem from the late 1890s to the 1970s. The neighborhood shrunk over the years, and the small remaining Italian population resides on Pleasant Avenue. The street is the site of one of the few remaining Italian restaurants in the area, Rao's, at 114th Street. The street had largely lost its Italian character by 2010.[23]

Both in real life and in the movies, Pleasant Avenue has long been associated with the Mafia.[24] The street was the headquarters of Anthony Salerno, head of the Genovese crime family, prior to his incarceration for racketeering in 1986.[23]

The street was the northernmost section of Avenue A, which stretched from Alphabet City northward, and was added to the grid wherever space allowed between First Avenue and the East River. This stretch was renamed "Pleasant Avenue" in 1879.[25][26] Unlike York Avenue, however, the addresses on Pleasant Avenue are not continuous with that on Avenue A (which would be in the 2000-series if they were continuous).

The Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics, formerly Benjamin Franklin High School, is located on Pleasant Avenue.

In July 2010, Pleasant Avenue became the site of a Target store, at the East River Plaza at 517 East 117th Street.[23]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  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."
  6. ^ Sanna Feirstein, Naming New York: Manhattan places & how they got their names, 2001:52.
  7. ^ "Essex Street Market". New York City Economic Development Corporation. Retrieved 2009-09-05. 
  8. ^ Aitken, William Benford (1912). Distinguished Families In America: Descended From Wilhelmus Beekman And Jan Thomasse Van Dyke. The Knickerbocker Press. Retrieved 2009-08-22. 
  9. ^ Henry, Moscow (1990) [1979]. The Street Book: An Encyclopedia of Manhattan's Street Names and Their Origins. Fordham University Press. p. 27. ISBN 0-8232-1275-0. 
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ 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."
  12. ^ "Medal of Honor Recipients - World War I". United States Army Center of Military History. 
  13. ^ 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.
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ Hewitt, Mark Alan. "About Mott Schmidt: Beginnings and Sutton Place". The Architecture of Mott B. Schmidt. MottSchmidt.com. Retrieved September 08, 2012.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  16. ^ "Misty for Maureen O'Hara" New York Post Jan 2012
  17. ^ Teltsch, Kathleen. "Town House Offered to U. N.", The New York Times, July 15, 1972. Accessed December 27, 2007.
  18. ^ Bagli, Charles V. "In Sutton Place's Backyard, Private Oasis on Public Land", The New York Times, December 31, 2003
  19. ^ "Sutton Place Private Lawn Going to the Masses", Curbed.com, December 7, 2004
  20. ^ a b Bagli, Charles V., "A Co-op on Sutton Place Sues to Keep Its Backyard", The New York Times, June 19, 2007. Accessed December 27, 2007.
  21. ^ Flegenheimer, Matt, "Co-op Ends Fight With City Over Its East Side Backyard", The New York Times, November 1, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2011.
  22. ^ Alleman, Richard. The Movie Lover's Guide to New York. New York: Harper & Row, 1988. ISBN 0060960809, p.117
  23. ^ a b c Fernandez, Manny (July 25, 2010). "On Pleasant Avenue, a Grisly Past Fades, and a Target Moves In". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 July 2010. 
  24. ^ Kilgannon, Corey; and Mallozzi, Vincent M. "On Pleasant Avenue, a Mobbed-Up History Is Hard to Live Down", The New York Times, January 5, 2004. Accessed January 1, 2008.
  25. ^ Pollak, Michael. F.Y.I. - They Hear Dead People", The New York Times, December 12, 2004. Accessed January 1, 2008.
  26. ^ De-Classified 4-A, Forgotten NY. Accessed January 1, 2008.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°43′34.94″N 73°58′59.9″W / 40.7263722°N 73.983306°W / 40.7263722; -73.983306

Category:Neighborhoods in Manhattan Category:Streets in Manhattan Category:Pocket parks Category:Midtown Manhattan