Avenue C (Manhattan)
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|Owner||City of New York|
|Length||1.8 mi (2.9 km)|
|Location||Manhattan, New York City|
|South end||South Street in Lower East Side|
|FDR Drive in Alphabet City|
|North end||FDR Drive / 23rd Street in Kips Bay|
Avenue C is a north-south avenue located in the Alphabet City area of the East Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City, east of Avenue B and west of Avenue D. It is also known as Loisaida Avenue. It starts at South Street, proceeding north as Montgomery Street and Pitt Street, before intersecting East Houston Street and assuming its proper name. Avenue C ends at 23rd Street, running nearly underneath the FDR Drive from 18th Street. North of 14th Street the road forms the eastern boundary of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village.
History and description
The street was created by the Commissioners' Plan of 1811, as one of 16 north-south streets specified as 100 feet (30 m) in width; they include 12 numbered avenues, and four (located east of First Avenue) designated by letter.
Avenue C was designated Loisaida Avenue in 1987, in recognition of the Puerto Rican heritage of the neighborhood. Loisaida is Spanglish and is pronounced // LOH-ee-SY-də (Lower East Side). The history of the neighborhood was described in the book Selling The Lower East Side. Although the East Village designation of this area has received widespread acceptance, many longtime Loisaida residents still consider it part of the Lower East Side, as evidenced by the public art found on the buildings along Avenue C.
At the corner of Loisaida and 9th Street, there are two sizable (by Manhattan standards) community gardens that are maintained by the surrounding community. Their hours vary with the season and ability of their volunteers, but they are open to everyone and there is no admission fee. The famous punk house C-Squat sits at another corner of 9th Street. The Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space, which opened in 2012, is located at C-Squat.
A bicycle lane has existed on the Avenue since 1999, and was recently repainted after Avenue C was repaved. It is now a buffered lane for the majority of its route and has been extended to nearly the full length of the avenue.
The Public National Bank Building at 106 Avenue C at the corner of East 7th Street (also known as 231 East 7th Street) was built in 1923 as a branch bank, and was designed by Eugene Schoen, a noted advocate of modernism at the time. The Public National Bank was a New York State-based bank, and Schoen designed a number of branches for them. This building was sold in 1954, and turned into a nursing home with the addition of a third story. It was converted to residential use in the 1980s.
- Google (September 12, 2015). "Montgomery Street, Pitt Street, Avenue C" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved September 12, 2015.[permanent dead link]
- Morris, Gouverneur; De Witt, Simeon; and Rutherford, John [sic] (March 1811) "Remarks Of The Commissioners For Laying Out Streets And Roads In The City Of New York, Under The Act Of April 3, 1807", Cornell University Library. Accessed June 27, 2016. "These are one hundred feet wide, and such of them as can be extended as far north as the village of Harlem are numbered (beginning with the most eastern, which passes from the west of Bellevue Hospital to the east of Harlem Church) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12. This last runs from the wharf at Manhattanville nearly along the shore of the Hudson river, in which it is finally lost, as appears by the map. The avenues to the eastward of number one are marked A, B, C, and D."
- Roberts, Sam. "A History of New York in 50 Objects", The New York Times, September 2, 2012. Accessed July 7, 2016. "It was called the Lower East Side, the East Village, Alphabet City. But in Nuyorican, the local Latino vernacular, it is Loisaida. Popularized by the poet Bittman Rivas in 1974, the name became official when the city sanctioned Loisaida Avenue as another name for Avenue C in 1987."
- "Manhattan Bus Map" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. July 2019. Retrieved December 1, 2020.
- "NYC DOT - Bicycle Maps" (PDF). nyc.gov. New York City Department of Transportation. 2019. Retrieved May 14, 2019.
- Shockley, Jay. "Public National Bank of New York Building Designation Report" New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (September 16, 2008)