Sixth Avenue (Manhattan)

Sixth Avenue (Manhattan)

Sixth Avenue is a major avenue in New York City's borough of Manhattan. Although the Avenue's official name was changed to Avenue of the Americas in 1945 by Mayor Fiorello La Guardia"Name of 6th Ave. to Be Changed To the Avenue of the Americas; Council Votes Proposal at Mayor's Request, 12 to 1, After a Debate Rages for 2 Hours --Isaacs Fears Oblivion for Historic Sites", "The New York Times", September 21, 1945. p. 23] New Yorkers remained faithful to the old name. After the name change, the street signs carried a unique design and the streetlights were adorned with "Avenue of the Americas" medallions (many of these were removed in 1992 when the majority of the streetlights were replaced). Since New Yorkers seldom use this term, calling the avenue by that name has even become a shibboleth of sorts for something a tourist in the city might say (such as mispronouncing "Houston Street"). To avoid confusion among visitors, the street was signed as both Avenue of the Americas and Sixth Avenue in the 1980s.

Traffic on Sixth Avenue moves uptown (northbound). At its southern end, Sixth Avenue was extended in 1926 from Bleecker Street south through Little Italy. "Ten thousand people were displaced, most of them Italian immigrants who knew no other home in America". [Joyce Gold, "From Trout Stream to Bohemia: A Walking Guide to Greenwich Village History" (1988:49); blank side walls facing the "uninspiring thoroughfare" ("WPA Guide to New York City" [1939] 1982:138) and small leftover spaces forming "vest-pocket parks" bear witness to this early example of urban renewal.] This was done in order to ease traffic in the Holland Tunnel and to intersect Church Street diagonally a few blocks south of Canal Street.

Sixth Avenue's northern end is at 59th Street (Central Park South) where equestrian bronzes of José de San Martín, Simón Bolívar and José Martí in the small Bolívar Plaza flank the Artists Gate traffic entrance to Central Park at Center Drive (closed to motor traffic during restricted times, such as weekends). What would be Sixth Avenue north of Central Park, above Central Park North (110th Street), is called Lenox Avenue or Malcolm X Boulevard, itself a dual-named source of confusion like its southern counterpart. ["What's in a Street Rename? Disorder", "The New York Times", July 20, 1987. p. B1]

Sixth Avenue is served by the IND Sixth Avenue subway line. The PATH train to New Jersey also runs under Sixth Avenue as far as 34th Street. Formerly the elevated IRT Sixth Avenue Line ran up Sixth Avenue, darkening the street and reducing its real-estate value. After the "el" came down in stages, beginning in Greenwich Village in 1938-39, ['WPA Guide to New York City" (1939) 1984:138] , Sixth Avenue, in Midtown, began being rebuilt in the 1960s as an all-but-uninterrupted avenue of corporate headquarters housed in glass slab towers of International Modernist style, [The "el" had angled west at 53rd Street; its effect can still be seen on Sixth Avenue: below 53rd Street the avenue formerly of small-scale tenements has been entirely rebuilt, whereas above 53rd Street the avenue is still lined with handsome pre-War residential and commercial blocks.] of which the outstanding example is the CBS Building at 52nd Street, by Eero Saarinen (1965), dubbed "Black Rock" from its dark granite piers that run from base to crown with a break, this designated New York City landmark is Saarinen's only skyscraper.

In the mid-1970s, the city "spruced up" the street, including the addition of patterned brick crosswalks, repainting of streetlamps, and new pedestrian plazas. Special lighting, which is rare through most of the city, was also installed. [ [ deepsixth ] ]

Sights along Sixth Avenue include Greenwich Village, with the polychrome High Victorian Gothic Jefferson Market Courthouse ("illustration", currently occupied by the Jefferson Market Library); the surviving stretch of grand department stores of 1880 to 1900 that runs from 14th Street to Herald Square, passing through the wholesale flower district and ending with Macy's department store; Bryant Park (40th to 42nd Streets) followed by the corporate stretch,Bank of America Tower (New York), W. R. Grace Building, International Center of Photography, Rockefeller Center — including the Time-Life Building, Exxon Building and McGraw-Hill Building — and Radio City Music Hall.Under LaGuardia's original urbanistic proposal, Avenue of the Americas would have started at Battery Park, continuing up Greenwich Street, Trinity Place, Church Street, and then continuing up Sixth Avenue.

Recently, the National Hockey League opened a flagship retail store on Sixth Ave. between West 46th and West 47th Sts.


Avenues of New York City
West = Seventh Avenue
Avenue = Sixth Avenue
(Avenue of the Americas)
East = Fifth Avenue

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Sixth Avenue — may refer to: *Sixth Avenue (Manhattan), in New York City *Sixth Avenue, Singapore *Sixth Avenue (Tacoma), in Tacoma, Washington *6th Ave (freeway), in the Denver metropolitan area …   Wikipedia

  • Sixth Avenue Line — may refer to any of the following transit lines: *IND Sixth Avenue Line (rapid transit) *IRT Sixth Avenue Line (former rapid transit) *Sixth Avenue Line (Manhattan surface) (bus, formerly streetcar) *Sixth and Amsterdam Avenues Line (former… …   Wikipedia

  • Sixth Avenue Line (Manhattan surface) — The Sixth Avenue Line was a public transit line in Manhattan, New York City, United States, running mostly along Sixth Avenue from Lower Manhattan to Central Park. Originally a streetcar line and later a bus route, it has been absorbed into the… …   Wikipedia

  • Sixth Avenue (BMT Canarsie Line) — Infobox NYCS name = Sixth Avenue bg color = #838A88 line = BMT Canarsie Line service = Canarsie platforms = 1 island platform tracks = 2 passengers = 14.134 million (station complex) pass year=2006 pass percent=2 borough = Manhattan transfer… …   Wikipedia

  • Sixième avenue (Manhattan) — Sixième Avenue Les gratte ciel de la Sixième Avenue La Sixième Avenue est une avenue de Manhattan, à New York. Son nom a officiellement changé en 1945 en Avenue of the Americas, sous le mandat de Fiorello LaGuardia, mais les New Yorkais l… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Seventh Avenue (Manhattan) — Seventh Avenue/Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard is a thoroughfare on the West Side of the borough of Manhattan in New York City. It carries traffic downtown (southbound) south of Central Park but both ways north of it. Seventh Avenue originates… …   Wikipedia

  • Ninth Avenue (Manhattan) — Ninth Avenue at 49th St, facing South Interna …   Wikipedia

  • Eleventh Avenue (Manhattan) — Eleventh Avenue is a north south thoroughfare on the far West Side of the borough of Manhattan in New York City, not far from the Hudson River. It carries downtown (southbound) traffic only, south of West 44th Street, and two way traffic north of …   Wikipedia

  • Dyer Avenue (Manhattan) — Not to be confused with Dyre Avenue (Bronx) Dyer Avenue is a short, north south thoroughfare in the Hell s Kitchen neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City, located between Ninth Avenue and Tenth Avenue. It is primarily used by traffic exiting… …   Wikipedia

  • Morningside Avenue (Manhattan) — Morningside Avenue Buildings on Morningside Avenue. Morningsid …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.