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 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 middle 20th Century, with Single Room Occupancy hotels, prostitutes and drug addicts a common sight.[citation needed] 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. 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. 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 grass roots 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 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.

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 literature and film[edit]

References[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. ^ Literary New York: a history and guide,Susan Edmiston, Linda D. Cirino, Houghton Mifflin, 1976p. 268
  4. ^ http://realestate.yahoo.com/promo/homes-of-most-popular-tv-shows.html Homes of popular TV shows] Yahoo real estate
  5. ^ 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. 
  6. ^ Mises' letter to Ayn Rand on Atlas Shrugged, dated January 23, 1958, contains address 777 West End Avenue. Source: website Mises Institute.
  7. ^ West End Home of A Wrinkle in Time Author Sells for $4 M, by Lysandra Ohrstrom, March 7, 2008, New York Observer, [1]
  8. ^ "Rachmaninoff, Buried in New York, May Return to Russia". The New York Times. April 11, 1992. 
  9. ^ Streetscapes/Straus Park, 106th Street and West End Avenue; A Restored Memorial to 2 Who Died on the Titanic, New York times, Christopher Grey, August 23, 1998 [2]