57th Street (Manhattan)

Coordinates: 40°45′54″N 73°58′43″W / 40.7649°N 73.9787°W / 40.7649; -73.9787
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

40°45′54″N 73°58′43″W / 40.7649°N 73.9787°W / 40.7649; -73.9787

57th Street
Several multi-story apartment buildings lining East 57th Street, a six-lane road, between First Avenue and Sutton Place
Apartment buildings lining East 57th Street between First Avenue and Sutton Place
LocationManhattan, New York City, New York, U.S.
West endWest Side Highway
East endYork Avenue and Sutton Place

57th Street is a broad thoroughfare in the New York City borough of Manhattan, one of the major two-way, east-west streets in the borough's grid. As with Manhattan's other "crosstown" streets, it is divided into its east and west sections at Fifth Avenue. The street runs from a small park overlooking the East River in the east to the West Side Highway along the Hudson River in the west. 57th Street runs through the neighborhoods of Sutton Place, Midtown Manhattan, and Hell's Kitchen from east to west.

57th Street was created under the Commissioners' Plan of 1811. It was developed as a mainly residential street in the mid-19th century. The central portion of 57th Street was developed as an artistic hub starting in the 1890s, with the development of Carnegie Hall. The section between Fifth and Eighth Avenues is two blocks south of Central Park. Since the early 21st century, the portion of the street south of Central Park has formed part of Billionaires' Row, which contains luxury residential skyscrapers such as 111 West 57th Street, One57, and the Central Park Tower.


The Hearst Tower at 300 West 57th Street
Art Students League at 215 West 57th Street

Over its two-mile (3 km) length, 57th Street passes through several distinct neighborhoods with differing mixes of commercial, retail, and residential uses.[1] 57th Street is notable for prestigious art galleries,[2] restaurants and up-market shops.

The first block of 57th Street, at its western end at Twelfth Avenue near the Hudson River waterfront, is home to the VIA 57 West building, designed in the form of a triangular pyramid by Danish architect Bjarke Ingels.[3] From there to Tenth Avenue are low-rise industrial properties, several automobile dealerships, and small-scale residential buildings. Much of the south side of the block between Eleventh and Tenth Avenues is occupied by the CBS Broadcast Center, which is the network's primary East Coast production facility. The street's name was used by CBS to title a newsmagazine program produced by the network in the late 1980s, West 57th.

From Tenth Avenue to Eighth Avenue, larger residential buildings appear. Beginning at Eighth Avenue and continuing east through the core of Midtown Manhattan, the street is dominated by very large commercial and residential towers, such as at the Hearst Tower at the southwest corner of 57th Street and Eighth Avenue. This stretch of 57th Street is home to several large hotels such as Le Parker Meridien and well-known restaurants such as the Russian Tea Room (both between Seventh Avenue and Sixth Avenue), and to the offices of several magazines including The Economist. The corner of 57th Street and Seventh Avenue is home to the city-owned performance venue Carnegie Hall.

The mid-block between Seventh and Sixth Avenues is a terminus of a north-south pedestrian avenue named Sixth and a Half Avenue.[4]

East of Sixth Avenue, the street is home to numerous high-end retail establishments including Van Cleef & Arpels, Tiffany & Co., and Bergdorf Goodman. The stores located at 57th Street's intersections with Fifth and Madison Avenues occupy some of the most expensive real estate in the world.[5]

Commercial and retail buildings continue to dominate until Third Avenue, where the street rapidly returns to a preponderance of large residential buildings. As it continues from here through its final blocks leading to its terminus at Sutton Place, the street consists of a nearly unbroken stretch of increasingly upscale apartment buildings with doormen, awnings, and small commercial establishments such as drug stores, bank branches, and restaurants.

57th Street ends at a small city park overlooking the East River just east of Sutton Place.


The street was designated by the Commissioners' Plan of 1811 that established the Manhattan street grid as one of 15 east-west streets that would be 100 feet (30 m) in width (while other streets were designated as 60 feet (18 m) in width).[6][7] Throughout its history, 57th Street has contained high-end housing and retail, as well as artistic uses.[8]

Early development[edit]

57th Street was laid out and opened in 1857.[9] In the early 19th century, there were industrial concerns clustered around either end of 57th Street, near the Hudson and East Rivers. At the time, the surrounding areas were largely undeveloped except for Central Park two blocks to the north.[10] As late as the 1860s, the area east of Central Park was a shantytown with up to 5,000 squatters.[11] The block of the street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues was still mostly undeveloped and noted for its boulders and deep ravines where squatters lived in shanties.[12][13]

The block between Fifth and Madison Avenues was the first part of 57th Street to see development, when Mary Mason Jones built the "Marble Row" on the eastern side of Fifth Avenue from 57th to 58th Streets between 1868 and 1870.[14] In the mid-1870s, wealthy New Yorkers began to put up large family residences on the block to the west. William B. Bishop, a banker and stockbroker, built one of the first, a brownstone at number 10.[12] An 1876 directory gives addresses on the block for bankers John Ellis and John S. Kennedy; merchants John Auchincloss, Richard R. Haines, Caleb Marsh, and James Talcot; importer Sigmund Housman; lawyers Frederick W. Stevens and Stephen Benton Elkins; manufacturer Henry T. Sloane; and politicians Edwin Einstein and Samuel B. H. Vance.[15] At that time, the block's best-known residents were two branches of the Roosevelt family, one headed by James A. Roosevelt and the other by Theodore Roosevelt Sr., President Theodore Roosevelt's father. A directory of 1881 adds the names of other prominent citizens including merchant Augustus D. Juilliard, financier William Bayard Cutting, and banker Jacob Schiff.[16]

The intersection of 57th Street and Fifth Avenue was further developed in 1879 with the construction of the Cornelius Vanderbilt II House at the northwest corner.[8] The block of West 57th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues was described as being "the very best in the city" by 1885.[17] One contemporary observer described the block's family homes as "first-class dwelling houses".[18] Another called them "the brown-stone mansions of rich brewers, the François Premier chateaux of bankers, the Gothic palaces of railroad kings".[19] The area to the west contained townhouses, some of which were known as New York City's "choicest" residences. On East 57th Street, there were homes interspersed with structures built for the arts.[8]

Arts hub[edit]

Calvary Baptist Church entrance at 123 West 57th Street

An artistic hub developed around the two blocks of West 57th Street from Sixth Avenue to Broadway during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, following the opening of Carnegie Hall in 1891.[8][20] Artists' studio apartments, such as the Rembrandt at 152 West 57th Street and the Sherwood Studios at 58 West 57th Street, both since demolished, were developed on the south side of the street to take advantage of light from the north, while the Osborne Apartments were built diagonally across Carnegie Hall to provide soundproof residences for musicians.[8] On the south side of the street, other artists' studio apartments were erected in the early 20th century, such as 130 West 57th Street, 140 West 57th Street, and Rodin Studios. West 57th Street also served as the headquarters of organizations such as the Lotos Club, Architectural League of New York, Art Students League of New York, Louis H. Chalif Normal School of Dancing at 165 West 57th Street, and Society of American Artists.[8][21]

Following World War I, the block of 57th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues transitioned from residential to commercial as speculators bought and transformed the block's mansions into upscale retail establishments. A real estate specialist was quoted in 1922 as saying 57th Street was "the greatest street in New York".[22] As the transformation to fashionable shopping district proceeded, reporters began referring to the block as "Rue de la Paix of New York" or "the Rue de la Paix of America".[23][24] Furthermore, after about 1921, art galleries started to supplant residences on 57th Street,[11] and other art galleries developed on the street in general.[25] For instance, the Fuller Building at 41 East 57th Street has traditionally contained many galleries since its completion in 1929.[26] During the early 20th century, many of the original townhouses on East 57th Street were rebuilt as art galleries. Interior decorators also moved to the area, converting existing houses or erecting new structures such as the Todhunter Building at 119 East 57th Street.[8]

During the mid-1920s, two major piano showrooms, Chickering Hall and Steinway Hall, were developed on West 57th Street, as was the Russian Tea Room.[8][21] Other commercial tenants started moving onto 57th Street, including Henri Bendel in 1912, Bergdorf Goodman in 1928, Bonwit Teller in 1930, FAO Schwarz in 1931, and Tiffany & Co. in 1940. Furthermore, the Hearst Magazine Building was constructed at Eighth Avenue and 57th Street between 1927 and 1928, while a skyscraper for the Calvary Baptist Church was erected at 123 West 57th Street between 1929 and 1930. On East 57th Street, several luxury apartment buildings were also developed.[8]

Billionaires' Row[edit]

Starting in the 2010s, quite a few very tall ultra-luxury residential buildings have been constructed or proposed on the stretch of West 57th Street between Eighth and Park Avenues, which is largely within two blocks of Central Park.[27] The first of these was One57, a 1,004-foot (306 m) apartment building between Sixth and Seventh Avenues, which was completed in 2014.[28] Due to the often record-breaking prices[29][30] that have been set for the apartments in these buildings, the press has dubbed this section of 57th Street as "Billionaires' Row".[31][32][33] These projects have generated controversy concerning the economic conditions[34][35] and zoning policies[36] that have encouraged these buildings, as well as the impact these towers will have on the surrounding neighborhoods and the shadows they will cast on Central Park.[37]


The 57th Street station on the New York City Subway's IND Sixth Avenue Line is located at the intersection of 57th Street and Sixth Avenue and is served by the F and <F> train. The 57th Street – Seventh Avenue station on the BMT Broadway Line is located at 57th Street and Seventh Avenue, served by the N, ​Q, ​R, and ​W trains.[38]

The M57 and M31 crosstown bus routes share a corridor between 11th and 1st Avenues. The M57 extends up the West Side to the 72nd Street subway station, while the M31 extends up the East Side to 92nd Street and 1st Avenue via York Avenue.[39] Several express buses from Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island serve 57th Street as well.[40][41][42]

Notable places[edit]


The following high-end stores can be found between Sixth Avenue and Park Avenue:



  1. ^ Horsley, Hopkins Horsley Hobday. Benezit Dictionary of Artists. Oxford University Press. October 31, 2011. doi:10.1093/benz/9780199773787.article.b00089667.
  2. ^ Brainard, Russell (December 31, 2010). "An International Network of Coral Reef Ecosystem Observing Systems (I-CREOS)". Proceedings of OceanObs'09: Sustained Ocean Observations and Information for Society. European Space Agency. pp. 94–108. doi:10.5270/oceanobs09.cwp.09. ISBN 978-3-86987-200-1.
  3. ^ Whelan, Robbie (July 23, 2012). "New Face of Design". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved November 20, 2020.
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  9. ^ N. Y. Supreme Court; General Term; Nancy L. Sherwood and Mary E. Blodgett, Respondents, vs. The Metropolitan Elevated Railway Company and the Manhattan Railway Company, Appellants. New York: Martin B. Brown. 1890. p. 23.
  10. ^ Gray, Christopher (April 7, 2002). "Streetscapes/57th Street and Fifth Avenue; An 1870 Marble Row, Built in an Age of Brownstones". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved November 20, 2020.
  11. ^ a b "'Shanty Land' Now Site of $125,000,000 New Construction: Skyscrapers and Shops Have Replaced Homes of 5,000 Squatters in 57th Street". New York Herald Tribune. January 13, 1929. p. D1. ProQuest 1111941344.
  12. ^ a b James W. Shepp (1894). Shepp's New York City Illustrated. Chicago: Globe Bible Publishing Co. pp. 114–115.
  13. ^ "Excavators Find Midtown Ravine; Terrain of Manhattan Once Rugged, Rock Fill Shows" (PDF). The New York Times. May 26, 1963. p. 306. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved May 18, 2021.
  14. ^ Gray, Christopher (July 6, 2012). "A Woman With an Architectural Appetite". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved November 20, 2020.
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  21. ^ a b Gray, Christopher (May 9, 1999). "Streetscapes /57th Street Between Avenue of the Americas and Seventh Avenue; High and Low Notes of a Block With a Musical Bent". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved November 18, 2020.
  22. ^ Cushman, J. Clydesdale (March 26, 1922). "Keystone of Uptown Business Section Will Always Be 57th St". New York Herald. p. 74. Retrieved May 18, 2021.
  23. ^ "57th St. Projects Involve Millions; $100,000,000 Has Been Invested in New Buildings in 3 Years, Says L.M. Hewen" (PDF). The New York Times. September 16, 1928. p. 169. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved May 18, 2021.
  24. ^ "Henri Bendel Dies; Founder of 57th St. Women's Specialty Shop" (PDF). The New York Times. December 26, 1936. p. 7. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved May 18, 2021.
  25. ^ Russell, John (April 24, 1988). "Three Worlds of 57th Street; the World of Art". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved November 20, 2020.
  26. ^ Schwendener, Martha (April 26, 2018). "10 Galleries to Visit Now on the Upper East Side". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved November 12, 2020.
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External links[edit]