Fifth Avenue is a major thoroughfare in the borough of Manhattan in New York City. It stretches north from Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village to West 143rd Street in Harlem. It is considered one of the most expensive and elegant streets in the world.
Looking northward from the Metropolitan Museum of Art at 81st Street
|Other name(s)||Museum Mile|
|Owner||City of New York|
|Length||6.197 mi (9.973 km)|
|Location||Manhattan, New York City|
|South end||Washington Square North in Greenwich Village|
|Madison Square in Flatiron|
Grand Army Plaza in Midtown
Duke Ellington Circle in East Harlem
Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem
Madison Avenue Bridge in Harlem
Harlem River Drive in Harlem
|North end||Harlem River Drive / 143rd Street in Harlem|
|East||University Place (south of 14th)|
Broadway (14th to 23rd)
Madison Avenue (north of 23rd)
|West||Sixth Avenue (south of 59th)|
Central Park-East Drive (59th to 110th)
Lenox Avenue (north of 110th)
Originally a narrower thoroughfare, much of Fifth Avenue south of Central Park was widened in 1908, sacrificing its wide sidewalks to accommodate the increasing traffic. The midtown blocks, now famously commercial, were largely a residential district until the start of the 20th century. The first commercial building on Fifth Avenue was erected by Benjamin Altman who bought the corner lot on the northeast corner of 34th Street in 1896, and demolished the "Marble Palace" of his arch-rival, A. T. Stewart. In 1906 his department store, B. Altman and Company, occupied the whole of its block front. The result was the creation of a high-end shopping district that attracted fashionable women and the upscale stores that wished to serve them. Lord & Taylor's flagship store is still located on Fifth Avenue near the Empire State Building and the New York Public Library.
In the 1920s, traffic towers controlled important intersections from 14th to 59th Streets.
Fifth Avenue originates at Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village and runs northwards through the heart of Midtown, along the eastern side of Central Park, where it forms the boundary of the Upper East Side and through Harlem, where it terminates at the Harlem River at 142nd Street. Traffic crosses the river on the Madison Avenue Bridge. Fifth Avenue serves as the dividing line for house numbering and west-east streets in Manhattan, just as Jerome Avenue does in the Bronx. It separates, for example, East 59th Street from West 59th Street.
From this zero point for street addresses, numbers increase in both directions as one moves away from Fifth Avenue, The building lot numbering system worked similarly on the East Side as well, before Madison & Lexington Aves. were retrofitted into the street grid, confusing the building numbers. Confusingly, an address on a cross street cannot be predicted at the intersection of Madison Ave. or Lexington Ave., as these were added decades after the building numbers. It's as if the two retrofitted avenues are not counted for purposes of cross street addresses.
The "most expensive street in the world" moniker changes depending on currency fluctuations and local economic conditions from year to year. For several years starting in the mid-1990s, the shopping district between 49th and 57th Streets was ranked as having the world's most expensive retail spaces on a cost per square foot basis. In 2008, Forbes magazine ranked Fifth Avenue as being the most expensive street in the world. Some of the most coveted real estate on Fifth Avenue are the penthouses perched atop the buildings.
The American Planning Association (APA) compiled a list of "2012 Great Places in America" and declared Fifth Avenue to be one of the greatest streets to visit in America. This historic street has many world-renowned museums, businesses and stores, parks, luxury apartments, and historical landmarks that are reminiscent of its history and vision for the future. By 2018 portions of Fifth Avenue had large numbers of vacant store fronts for long periods, part of a citywide trend of vacant store fronts attributed to high rental costs.
Fifth Avenue from 142nd Street to 135th Street carries two-way traffic. Fifth Avenue carries one-way traffic southbound from 135th Street to Washington Square North. The changeover to one-way traffic south of 135th Street took place on January 14, 1966, at which time Madison Avenue was changed to one way uptown (northbound). From 124th Street to 120th Street, Fifth Avenue is cut off by Marcus Garvey Park, with southbound traffic diverted around the park via Mount Morris Park West.
Fifth Avenue is the traditional route for many celebratory parades in New York City; thus, it is closed to traffic on numerous Sundays in warm weather. The longest running parade is the annual St. Patrick's Day Parade. Parades held are distinct from the ticker-tape parades held on the "Canyon of Heroes" on lower Broadway, and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade held on Broadway from the Upper West Side downtown to Herald Square. Fifth Avenue parades usually proceed from south to north, with the exception of the LGBT Pride March, which goes north to south to end in Greenwich Village. The Latino literary classic by New Yorker Giannina Braschi, entitled "Empire of Dreams," takes place on the Puerto Rican Day Parade on Fifth Avenue.
Bicycling on Fifth Avenue ranges from segregated with a bike lane south of 23rd Street, to scenic along Central Park, to dangerous through Midtown with very heavy traffic during rush hours. There is no dedicated bike lane along Fifth Avenue.
In July 1987, then New York City Mayor Edward Koch proposed banning bicycling on Fifth, Park, and Madison Avenues during weekdays, but many bicyclists protested and had the ban overturned. When the trial was started on Monday, August 24, 1987 for 90 days to ban bicyclists from these three avenues from 31st Street to 59th Street between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on weekdays, mopeds would not be banned. On Monday, August 31, 1987, a state appeals court judge halted the ban for at least a week pending a ruling after opponents against the ban brought a lawsuit.
Fifth Avenue is one of the few major streets in Manhattan along which streetcars did not operate. Instead, Fifth Avenue Coach offered a service more to the taste of fashionable gentlefolk, at twice the fare. Double-decker buses were operated by the Fifth Avenue Coach Company until 1953, and again by MTA Regional Bus Operations from 1976 to 1978. Today, local bus service along Fifth Avenue is provided by the MTA's M1, M2, M3, and M4 buses. The M5 and Q32 also run on Fifth Avenue in Midtown, while the M55 runs on Fifth Avenue south of 44th Street. Numerous express buses from Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Staten Island also run along Fifth Avenue.
In the late 19th century, the very rich of New York began building mansions along the stretch of Fifth Avenue between 59th Street and 96th Street, looking onto Central Park. By the early 20th century, this portion of Fifth Avenue had been nicknamed "Millionaire's Row", with mansions such as the Mrs. William B. Astor House and William A. Clark House. Entries to Central Park along this stretch include Inventor's Gate at 72nd Street, which gave access to the park's carriage drives, and Engineers' Gate at 90th Street, used by equestrians.
A milestone change for Fifth Avenue came in 1916, when the grand corner mansion at 72nd Street and Fifth Avenue that James A. Burden II had erected in 1893 became the first private mansion on Fifth Avenue above 59th Street to be demolished to make way for a grand apartment house. The building at 907 Fifth Avenue began a trend, with its 12 stories around a central court, with two apartments to a floor. Its strong cornice above the fourth floor, just at the eaves height of its neighbors, was intended to soften its presence.
In January 1922, the city reacted to complaints about the ongoing replacement of Fifth Avenue's mansions by apartment buildings by restricting the height of future structures to 75 feet (23 m), about half the height of a ten-story apartment building. Architect J. E. R. Carpenter brought suit, and won a verdict overturning the height restriction in 1923. Carpenter argued that "the avenue would be greatly improved in appearance when deluxe apartments would replace the old-style mansions." Led by real estate investors Benjamin Winter, Sr. and Frederick Brown, the old mansions were quickly torn down and replaced with apartment buildings.
This area contains many notable apartment buildings, including 810 Fifth Avenue and the Park Cinq, many of them built in the 1920s by architects such as Rosario Candela and J. E. R. Carpenter. A very few post-World War II structures break the unified limestone frontage, notably the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum between 88th and 89th Streets.
Museum Mile is the name for a section of Fifth Avenue running from 82nd to 105th streets on the Upper East Side, in an area sometimes called Upper Carnegie Hill. The Mile, which contains one of the densest displays of culture in the world, is actually three blocks longer than one mile (1.6 km). Nine museums occupy the length of this section of Fifth Avenue. A ninth museum, the Museum for African Art, joined the ensemble in 2009; its museum at 110th Street, the first new museum constructed on the Mile since the Guggenheim in 1959, opened in late 2012.
In addition to other programming, the museums collaborate for the annual Museum Mile Festival to promote the museums and increase visitation. The Museum Mile Festival traditionally takes place here on the second Tuesday in June from 6 – 9 p.m. It was established in 1979 to increase public awareness of its member institutions and promote public support of the arts in New York City. The first festival was held on June 26, 1979. The nine museums are open free that evening to the public. Several of the participating museums offer outdoor art activities for children, live music and street performers. During the event, Fifth Avenue is closed to traffic.
Museums on the mile include:
New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission is the New York City agency that is responsible for identifying and designating the City's landmarks and the buildings in the City's historic districts. Below is a list of historic sites on Fifth Avenue with their designation dates:
The National Historic Landmark program (NRHP) focuses on places of significance in American history, architecture, engineering, or culture. It recognizes structures, buildings, sites, and districts associated with important events, people, or architectural movements. Listed below is a list of National Historic Landmarks located along Fifth Avenue:
In addition, the cooperative apartment building at 2 Fifth Avenue was named a New York cultural landmark on December 12, 2013 by the Historic Landmark Preservation Center, as the last residence of former New York City Mayor Ed Koch.
Many luxury goods, fashion, and sport brand boutiques are located on Fifth Avenue, including Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co., Gucci, Prada, Armani, Tommy Hilfiger, Cartier, Omega, Chanel, Harry Winston, Salvatore Ferragamo, Nike, Escada, Swarovski, Bvlgari, Emilio Pucci, Ermenegildo Zegna, Abercrombie & Fitch, De Beers, Emanuel Ungaro, Gap, Lindt Chocolate Shop, Henri Bendel, NBA Store, Oxxford Clothes, Microsoft Store, Sephora, Zara, and H&M. Luxury department stores include Lord & Taylor, Saks Fifth Avenue and Bergdorf Goodman. Fifth Avenue also is home to New York's fifth most photographed building, the Apple Store.
Many airlines at one time had ticketing offices along Fifth Avenue. In the years leading up to 1992, the number of ticketing offices along Fifth Avenue decreased. Pan American World Airways went out of business, while Air France, Finnair, and KLM moved their ticket offices to other areas in Midtown Manhattan.
’Braschi, one of the most revolutionary voices in Latin America today’ is the author of Empire of Dreams.
42nd Street–Bryant Park/Fifth Avenue is an underground New York City Subway station complex, consisting of stations on the IRT Flushing Line and IND Sixth Avenue Line, formerly without direct connection, now connected by a pedestrian tunnel. Located at 42nd Street between Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenue (Avenue of the Americas) in Manhattan, it is served by the:
7, D, and F trains at all times
B and M trains on weekdays
<7> train on weekdays in the peak direction59th Street (Manhattan)
59th Street is a crosstown street in the New York City borough of Manhattan, running from York Avenue/Sutton Place to the West Side Highway, with a discontinuity between Ninth Avenue/Columbus Avenue and Eighth Avenue/Central Park West where the Time Warner Center is located. At Second Avenue, 59th Street branches off onto the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge, which is often referred to as the 59th Street Bridge, even though 59th Street continues east to York Avenue/Sutton Place.
The portion of the street forming the southern boundary of Central Park from Columbus Circle at Eighth Avenue/Central Park West on the west to Grand Army Plaza at Fifth Avenue on the east is known as Central Park South. Entry into Central Park can be made at the Scholars' Gate at Fifth Avenue, the Artists' Gate at Sixth Avenue, the Artisans' Gate at Seventh Avenue, and the Merchants' Gate at Columbus Circle. Central Park South contains four famous upscale hotels: the Plaza Hotel, the Ritz-Carlton, which is the flagship of the Ritz-Carlton chain, the Park Lane, and JW Marriott Essex House, and a notable residential building, the Gainsborough Studios.
While Central Park South is bi-directional, the section of 59th Street between Ninth and Eleventh Avenue/West End Avenue is one-way westbound, and the section between Fifth Avenue and Second Avenue is one-way eastbound.
59th Street forms the border between Midtown Manhattan and Uptown Manhattan. North of 59th Street, the Manhattan neighborhoods of the Upper West Side and Upper East Side continue on either side of Central Park. On the West Side, Manhattan's numbered avenues are renamed north of 59th Street, with Eighth Avenue becoming Central Park West, Ninth Avenue renamed Columbus Avenue, Tenth Avenue renamed Amsterdam Avenue, and Eleventh Avenue becoming West End Avenue.Bergdorf Goodman
Bergdorf Goodman Inc. is a luxury department store based on Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan in New York City. The company was founded in 1899 by Herman Bergdorf and was later owned and managed by Edwin Goodman, and later his son Andrew Goodman.
Today, Bergdorf Goodman operates from two stores situated across the street from each other at Fifth Avenue between 57th and 58th streets. The main store, which opened at its current location in 1928, is located on the west side of Fifth Avenue. A separate men's store, established in 1990, is located on the east side of Fifth Avenue, directly across the street.
Bergdorf Goodman is a subsidiary of Neiman Marcus, which is owned by the private equity firm Ares Management.Crown Building (Manhattan)
The Crown Building (formerly known as the Heckscher Building) is a mixed use property located at 57th Street and Fifth Avenue in New York City, one of the most expensive retail and office space locations in the United States. The property is an iconic fixture in Midtown Manhattan designed by Warren and Wetmore, architects of the Helmsley Building and Grand Central Terminal.Fifth Avenue/53rd Street (IND Queens Boulevard Line)
Fifth Avenue/53rd Street is a station on the IND Queens Boulevard Line of the New York City Subway. Located at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and 53rd Street in Manhattan, it is served by the E train at all times and the M train weekdays except late nights.
Fifth Avenue/53rd Street was opened in 1933 as part of the Independent Subway System (IND)'s Queens Boulevard Line. It contains two side platforms on separate levels: southbound trains to Lower Manhattan use the upper level, while northbound trains to Queens use the lower level.Fifth Avenue Coach Company
The Fifth Avenue Coach Company was a bus operator in Manhattan, The Bronx, Queens, and Westchester County, New York, providing public transit between 1896 and 1954 after which services were taken over by the New York City Omnibus Corporation. It succeeded the Fifth Avenue Transportation Company.Fifth Avenue Line (Brooklyn elevated)
The Fifth Avenue Line, also called the Fifth Avenue elevated or Fifth Avenue–Bay Ridge line, was an elevated rail line in Brooklyn, New York City, United States. It ran above Hudson Avenue, Flatbush Avenue, Fifth Avenue, 38th Street, and Third Avenue from Downtown Brooklyn south to Bay Ridge. The portion on Third Avenue was called the Third Avenue elevated to distinguish service from the West End elevated; it was separate from the Third Avenue elevated in Manhattan and the Bronx.Fifth Avenue Theatre
Fifth Avenue Theatre was a Broadway theatre in New York City in the United States located at 31 West 28th Street and Broadway (1185 Broadway). It was demolished in 1939.
Built in 1868, it was managed by Augustin Daly in the mid-1870s. In 1877, it became the first air-conditioned theatre in the world. In 1879, it presented the world premiere of The Pirates of Penzance by Gilbert and Sullivan and the New York premiere of H.M.S. Pinafore, followed by other Gilbert and Sullivan operas throughout the 1880s. The theatre continued to present both plays and musicals through the end of the century. At the beginning of the 20th century, the theatre presented English classics and then vaudeville, and later films, as well as plays and musicals.Fifth Avenue–59th Street (BMT Broadway Line)
Fifth Avenue–59th Street is a station on the BMT Broadway Line of the New York City Subway. Located under Grand Army Plaza near the intersection of 5th Avenue and 60th Street in Manhattan, it is served by the N train at all times, W on weekdays, and R at all times except late nights.Fifth and Madison Avenues Line
The M1, M2, M3, and M4 are four local bus routes that operate the Fifth and Madison Avenues Lines – along one-way pair of Madison and Fifth Avenues in the Manhattan borough of New York City. Though the routes also run along other major avenues, the majority of their route is along Madison and Fifth Avenues between Greenwich Village to Harlem.
The routes are the successors to the New York and Harlem Railroad's Fourth and Madison Avenues Line, which began operations in 1832 as the first street railway in the world, and several lines of the Fifth Avenue Coach Company, a bus operator that started running on Fifth Avenue in 1886.Frick Collection
The Frick Collection is an art museum located in the Henry Clay Frick House on the Upper East Side in Manhattan, New York City at 1 East 70th Street, at the northeast corner with Fifth Avenue. It houses the collection of industrialist Henry Clay Frick (1849–1919).Madison Square and Madison Square Park
Madison Square is a public square formed by the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Broadway at 23rd Street in the New York City borough of Manhattan. The square was named for James Madison, fourth President of the United States. The focus of the square is Madison Square Park, a 6.2-acre (2.5-hectare) public park, which is bounded on the east by Madison Avenue (which starts at the park's southeast corner at 23rd Street); on the south by 23rd Street; on the north by 26th Street; and on the west by Fifth Avenue and Broadway as they cross.
The park and the square are at the northern (uptown) end of the Flatiron District neighborhood of Manhattan. The neighborhood to the north and west of the park is NoMad ("NOrth of MADison Square Park") and to the north and east is Rose Hill.
Madison Square is probably best known around the world for providing the name of Madison Square Garden, a sports arena and its successor which were located just northeast of the park for 47 years, until 1925. The current Madison Square Garden, the fourth such building, is not in the area. Notable buildings around Madison Square include the Flatiron Building, the Toy Center, the New York Life Building, the New York Merchandise Mart, the Appellate Division Courthouse, the Met Life Tower, and One Madison Park, a 50-story condominium tower.Marymount School of New York
Marymount School of New York is a college preparatory, independent, Catholic day school for girls located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. It was founded by Mother Marie Joseph Butler in 1926 as part of a network of schools directed by the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary. The school enrolls students in Nursery through Class XII. 'Marymount's mission statement reads:
"Marymount School is an independent, Catholic day school that seeks to educate young women who continue to question, risk, and grow—young women who care, serve, and lead—young women prepared to challenge, shape, and change the world."New York Transportation Company
The New York Transportation Company (originally New York Electrical Vehicle Transportation Company) was a company incorporated in New Jersey in 1899 as the 'New York Electrical Vehicle Transportation Company' which changed its name to the "New York Transportation Company" in 1902 and was wound up in 1936. From 1922 it was controlled by the 'Fifth Avenue Bus Securities Corporation' which was incorporated in Delaware in 1922 which was controlled by The Omnibus Corporation also incorporated in Delaware.Rockefeller Center
Rockefeller Center is a large complex consisting of 19 commercial buildings covering 22 acres (89,000 m2) between 48th and 51st Streets, facing Fifth Avenue, in New York City. Commissioned by the Rockefeller family, it is located in the center of Midtown Manhattan. The 14 original Art Deco buildings span the area between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, split by a large sunken square and a private street called Rockefeller Plaza. Five International Style buildings, built later, are located on the west side of Sixth Avenue and at the north end of Rockefeller Plaza.
In 1928, the site's then-owner, Columbia University, leased the land to John D. Rockefeller Jr., who was the main person behind the complex's construction. Originally envisioned as the site for a new Metropolitan Opera building, the current Rockefeller Center came about after the Met could not afford to move to the proposed new building. Various plans were discussed before the current one was approved in 1932. Construction of Rockefeller Center started in 1931, and the first buildings opened in 1933. The core of the complex was completed by 1939.
Rockefeller Center has two parts: the original center and the later International-style buildings. The original center has several sections: Radio City, for RCA's radio-related enterprises such as the Music Hall and 30 Rockefeller Plaza; the International Complex, for foreign tenants; and the remainder of the original complex, which originally hosted printed media as well as Eastern Air Lines. While 600 Fifth Avenue is located at the southeast corner of the complex and contains architecture similar to the original complex, it was built by private interests in the 1950s and was only acquired by the center in 1963.
Described as one of the greatest projects of the Great Depression era, Rockefeller Center was declared a New York City landmark in 1985 and a National Historic Landmark in 1987. It is noted for the large quantities of art present in almost all of its Art Deco buildings, as well as its Radio City section and its ice-skating rink. The complex is also famous for its annual lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree.Saks Fifth Avenue
Saks Fifth Avenue is an American chain of luxury department stores owned by the oldest commercial corporation in North America, the Hudson's Bay Company. Its main flagship store is located on Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan, New York City.Trump Tower
Trump Tower is a 58-story, 664-foot-tall (202 m) mixed-use skyscraper at 721–725 Fifth Avenue, between 56th and 57th Streets, in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. Trump Tower serves as the headquarters for The Trump Organization. Additionally, it houses the penthouse condominium residence of the building's namesake and developer, U.S. President Donald Trump, who was a businessman and real estate developer when the tower was developed. Several members of the Trump family also live, or have resided, in the building. The tower stands on a plot where the flagship store of department-store chain Bonwit Teller was formerly located.
Der Scutt of Poor, Swanke, Hayden & Connell designed Trump Tower, and Trump and the Equitable Life Assurance Company (now the AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company) developed it. Although it is in one of Midtown Manhattan's special zoning districts, the tower was approved because it was to be built as a mixed-use development. Trump was permitted to add more stories to the tower because of the atrium on the ground floor. There were controversies during construction, including the destruction of historically important sculptures from the Bonwit Teller store; Trump's alleged underpaying of contractors; and a lawsuit that Trump filed because the tower was not tax-exempt.
Construction on the building began in 1979. The atrium, apartments, offices, and stores opened on a staggered schedule from February to November 1983. At first, there were few tenants willing to move in to the commercial and retail spaces; the residential units were sold out within months of opening. Since 2016, the tower has seen a large increase in visitation because of Trump's 2016 presidential campaign and subsequent election—both his 2016 and 2020 campaigns are headquartered in the tower.Upper East Side
The Upper East Side is a neighborhood in the borough of Manhattan in New York City, between Central Park/Fifth Avenue, 59th Street, the East River, and 96th Street. The area incorporates several smaller neighborhoods, including Lenox Hill, Carnegie Hill, and Yorkville. Once known as the Silk Stocking District, it is now one of the most affluent neighborhoods in New York City.Vanderbilt family
The Vanderbilt family is an American family of Dutch origin who gained prominence during the Gilded Age. Their success began with the shipping and railroad empires of Cornelius Vanderbilt, and the family expanded into various other areas of industry and philanthropy. Cornelius Vanderbilt's descendants went on to build grand mansions on Fifth Avenue in New York City, luxurious "summer cottages" in Newport, Rhode Island, the palatial Biltmore House in Asheville, North Carolina, and various other opulent homes.
The Vanderbilts were once the wealthiest family in America. Cornelius Vanderbilt was the richest American until his death in 1877. After that, his son William acquired his father's fortune, and was the richest American until his death in 1885. The Vanderbilts' prominence lasted until the mid-20th century, when the family's 10 great Fifth Avenue mansions were torn down, and most other Vanderbilt houses were sold or turned into museums in what has been referred to as the "Fall of the House of Vanderbilt".Branches of the family are found on the United States East Coast. Contemporary descendants include fashion designer Gloria Vanderbilt, her youngest son, journalist Anderson Cooper, actor Timothy Olyphant, musician John P. Hammond and screenwriter James Vanderbilt.