West End Avenue

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Straus Park and the upper end of West End Avenue

West End Avenue is a north-south thoroughfare on the West Side of the borough of Manhattan in New York City. It originates at West 59th Street; the continuation of the street below 59th Street is called Eleventh Avenue. It runs from 59th Street to its termination where it merges with Broadway at 107th Street, at Straus Park. Traffic is two-way, except for in the northernmost block.

History[edit]

By the 1880s, the Upper West Side was fairly sparsely populated, and was called the "West End" because of its separation from the core of the city. Seeking to distinguish the area from the factories and tenements below 59th Street, a group of real estate developers renamed the northern portions of the West Side's avenues.[1] West End Avenue was originally created in the 1880s as the northern extension of Eleventh Avenue, and was intended to be a commercial street serving the residents of the mansions to be constructed along Riverside Drive.[2]

Portions of West End Avenue were run down in the mid-20th century, with single room occupancy hotels, prostitutes and drug addicts a common sight.[3] The city's economic comeback in the 1980s brought recovery and gentrification.[2]

The street retains stretches of late nineteenth-century town houses and several handsome churches and synagogues, but is almost entirely made up of handsome residential buildings about twelve stories tall built in the first decades of the twentieth century. The near total absence of retail on the street marks its quiet, residential character.[2]

Architecture[edit]

The Apthorp and 79th Street
381 to 389 West End Avenue, north end of Riverside-West End Historic District

The street is noteworthy for its almost unbroken street wall of handsome apartment buildings punctuated by brief stretches of nineteenth-century townhouses and several handsome churches and synagogues.

Notable architecturally historicist houses of worship include:

Among the more notable apartment buildings are:

Two segments of the thoroughfare lie within designated New York City historic districts: both sides of the avenue from West 87th to West 94th Streets can be found in the Riverside-West End Historic District.[11] The west side of the avenue from West 75th Street through mid-block between West 78th and West 79th streets and the east side between West 76th and West 77th streets are contained within the West End-Collegiate Historic District.[12] Concern over building demolition filings coming upon the demolition of three row houses and a six-story elevator apartment building at the southwest corner of West End Avenue and West 86th Streets spurred a grassroots effort to seek historic district designation for the entire stretch north of Lincoln Towers from West 70th to West 107th streets. On March 18, 2009, the West End Avenue Preservation Society[13] formally submitted a request for evaluation to the chair of the city's Landmarks Preservation Commission along with a 260-page survey prepared by Andrew Dolkart.[14]

Points of interest[edit]

Points of interest on or within one block of West End Avenue include:

Notable residents[edit]

Notable current and former residents of West End Avenue include:

In popular culture[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Gray, Christopher. "How the West Side Was Won", The New York Times, May 13, 2007. Accessed August 4, 2008.
  2. ^ a b c d Jackson, Nancy Beth. "If You're Thinking of Living On/West End Avenue; Quiet, Convenient, Diverse and Involved", The New York Times, February 23, 2003. Accessed August 4, 2008.
  3. ^ "West End Avenue: Prospects of a Singular Thoroughfare" by C. J. Hughes. The New York Times, September 10, 2013
  4. ^ New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission; Postal, Matthew A. (ed. and text); Dolkart, Andrew S. (text). (2009) Guide to New York City Landmarks (4th ed.) New York:John Wiley and Sons. ISBN 978-0-470-28963-1, p. 142
  5. ^ White, Norval & Willensky, Elliot with Leadon, Fran (2010). AIA Guide to New York City (5th ed.). New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195383867. , pp. 380–81
  6. ^ Brockmann, Jorg et al. (2002). One Thousand New York Buildings,, p. 350, at Google Books
  7. ^ Gray, Christopher (2008-11-21). "Homage to the Humdrum". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-09-05. 
  8. ^ Dunlap, David W. (1987-04-30). "Panel Declares Landmark Site at Town House". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-09-05. 
  9. ^ Dunlap, David W. (1988-06-15). "Judge Overturns Landmark Status of Town House on Upper West Side". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-09-05. 
  10. ^ "Town House Made A Landmark Again". New York Times. 1988-08-15. Retrieved 2009-09-05. 
  11. ^ Riverside-West End Historic District
  12. ^ West End-Collegiate Historic District
  13. ^ WEPS – About
  14. ^ Dolkart report
  15. ^ Literary New York: a history and guide, Susan Edmiston, Linda D. Cirino, Houghton Mifflin, 1976, p. 268
  16. ^ Homes of popular TV shows Yahoo real estate[dead link]
  17. ^ Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Katharine Q. Seelye, Lisa W. Foderaro (2010-05-10). "A Climb Marked by Confidence and Canniness". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-15. 
  18. ^ "West End Home of A Wrinkle in Time Author Sells for $4 M" by Lysandra Ohrstrom, March 7, 2008, New York Observer
  19. ^ Mises' letter to Ayn Rand on Atlas Shrugged, dated January 23, 1958, contains address 777 West End Avenue. Source: website Mises Institute.
  20. ^ Анна Нетребко: И тут выхожу я (Anna Netrebko: And Then I Appear) (2014 documentary) at 1:18 on YouTube, English subtitles
  21. ^ "Rachmaninoff, Buried in New York, May Return to Russia". The New York Times. April 11, 1992. 
  22. ^ "Streetscapes/Straus Park, 106th Street and West End Avenue; A Restored Memorial to 2 Who Died on the Titanic", The New York Times, Christopher Grey, August 23, 1998