West End Avenue


West End Avenue

West End Avenue is a north-south thoroughfare on the West Side of the borough of Manhattan in New York City, not far from the Hudson River.

West End Avenue 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.

History

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. [Gray, Christopher. [http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/13/realestate/13scap.html?scp=10&sq=%22west%20end%20avenue%22%201880&st=cse "How the West Side Was Won"] , "The New York Times", May 13, 2007. Accessed August 4, 2008.] 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.

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. The city's economic comeback in the 1980s brought recovery and gentrification.

The street retains stretches of late nineteenth century town houses and several handsome churches and synagogues, but is almost entirely comprised 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.Jackson, Nancy Beth. [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C0CE0DE143DF930A15751C0A9659C8B63&scp=2&sq=%22west%20end%20avenue%22%20%22residential%20character%22&st=cse "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.]

Points of interest

Points of interest on or within one block of West End Avenue include:
*Abraham Joshua Heschel School (high school division, at 60th Street)
*Lincoln Towers, runs from West 66th Street to West 70th Street, with all buildings having West End Avenue addresses
*Straus Park (between 106th and 107th Streets)
*Riverside Park

Notable residents

Notable current and former residents of West End Avenue include:
*Joseph Heller (1923-1990), wrote "Catch-22" while living at 390 West End Avenue.

References

Avenues of New York City
West = West Side Highway or
Riverside Drive
Avenue = Eleventh Avenue
East = Tenth Avenue


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