Park Row (Manhattan)
Route map: Bing
15 Park Row, a building on Park Row
|West end||Broadway/Vesey Street/Ann Street|
|East end||Chatham Square|
Park Row is a street located in the Financial District, Civic Center, and Chinatown sections of the New York City borough of Manhattan. The street runs east-west, sometimes called north-south because the western end is nearer to Downtown Manhattan. At the north end of Park Row is the confluence of Bowery, East Broadway, St. James Place, Oliver Street, Mott Street, and Worth Street at Chatham Square. At the street's south end, Broadway, Vesey Street, Barclay Street, and Ann Street intersect.
In the late 18th century Eastern Post Road became the more important road connecting New York to Albany and New England. This section of the road was previously called Chatham Street and during the late 19th century it was nicknamed Newspaper Row, as most of New York City's newspapers located on the street to be close to the action at New York City Hall. Early in the 19th century most of the Manhattan portion of this road was suppressed, the Commons became City Hall Park, and the stub then known as Chatham Street was renamed Park Row.
Part of the southern section of the street was known as Printing House Square. Today, a statue of Benjamin Franklin by Ernst Plassman stands there, in front of the One Pace Plaza and 41 Park Row buildings of Pace University, holding a copy of his Pennsylvania Gazette, a reminder of what Park Row once was.
The New York Times was originally located at 113 Nassau Street in 1851. In 1854, it moved to 138 Nassau Street, and in 1858 it moved a little more than one block away to 41 Park Row, possibly making it the first newspaper in New York City housed in a building built specifically for its use. The New Yorker Staats-Zeitung moved to its own building at 17 Chatham Street at very nearly the same time.
One of the first structures to be called a skyscraper, the Park Row Building (also known as '15 Park Row') is located at the western end of Park Row, opposite City Hall Park. At 391 feet (119 m) tall it was the tallest office building in the world from 1899 until 1908, when it was surpassed by the Singer Building. The building is 29 stories tall, with 26 full floors and two, three-story cupolas. It has a frontage of 103 ft (31 m) on Park Row, 23 on Ann Street and 48 feet (15 m) on Theater Alley. The base of the building covers a land area of approximately 15,000 square feet (1,400 m2).
Police Plaza closure
As of 2011, the segment of Park Row between Frankfort Street and Chatham Square is only open to MTA buses and government and emergency vehicles. The section of Park Row has been closed to civilian traffic since 2001. The NYPD asserts that this is necessary to protect its headquarters from a truck bomb attack. Chinatown residents are increasingly frustrated at the disruption caused by the closure of the thoroughfare, especially nearby residents. People who live nearby argue that the police department has placed a chokehold on an entire neighborhood and that if One Police Plaza is such an obvious terrorist target, perhaps it should be moved from a residential area. Members of the Civic Center Residents Coalition have been fighting the security perimeter around the building for years.
The NYPD has stated that it will not be moving despite the numerous complaints from residents, explaining that they had tried to alleviate the impact of the security measures by forbidding officers from parking in nearby public spaces and reopening a stairway that skirts the headquarter's south side and leads down to street level near the Brooklyn Bridge. The department also plans to redesign its guard booths and security barriers to make them more attractive, and is involved in efforts to convert two lanes of Park Row into a pedestrian greenway.
- PDF, The New York Times, June 22, 1893, p. 2. "About forty years ago the original Harris Cohen established a second-hand clothing store at the corner of Baxter Street and Park Row, (then Chatham Street.)"
- Shepard, Richard F. "SEEING THE EVOLUTION OF NEW YORK CITY THROUGH ARTISTS' EYES", The New York Times, March 20, 1987. Accessed February 24, 2008. "There are murals of City Hall, Newspaper Row, or Park Row and Nassau Street, at the century's turn the home of New York newspaperdom."
- Dunlap, David W. "150th Anniversary: 1851–2001; Six Buildings That Share One Story", The New York Times, November 14, 2001. Accessed October 10, 2008. "Surely the most remarkable of these survivors is 113 Nassau Street, where the New-York Daily Times was born in 1851.... After three years at 113 Nassau Street and four years at 138 Nassau Street, The Times moved to a five-story Romanesque headquarters at 41 Park Row, designed by Thomas R. Jackson. For the first time, a New York newspaper occupied a structure built for its own use."
- An Epitome of the New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung's Sixty-Five Years of Progress. 1899. Complimentary pamphlet prepared and distributed by the Staats-Zeitung to describe its history and new press capacity. This source indicates that the Staats-Zeitung was publishing from its building on Chatham Street no later than April 1858, and possibly as early as a year prior to that.
- Buckley, Cara. "Chinatown Residents Frustrated Over Street Closed Since 9/11", The New York Times, September 24, 2007. "The Police Department says that most of Park Row has to be blocked off to protect its headquarters, called One Police Plaza, against terrorist threats, particularly truck bombs."
- Dave Hogarty (2007-09-24). "Park Row Paralysis". Gothamist. Retrieved 2011-03-16.
- Park Row: A New York Songline – virtual walking tour