Thursday, May 29, 2014

Broadway (II)

Location:   Manhattan and points north
Year:   1642

Broadway, circa 1860

Broadway preceded the street grid plan imposed on Manhattan Island in 1811. Thus, although Broadway runs in a due north-south direction it does so irregularly, transecting Midtown diagonally. Thus, at various points it forms intersections with both east-west streets and north-south avenues. Broadway's intersections with north-south avenues are called "squares." Herald Square and Times Square are two of the city's more famous squares. The odd corners of these intersections have caused some to be turned into parks, while others have given rise to unusual and iconic architecture like the world's first skyscraper, the Flatiron Building. The Flatiron Building stands at Madison Square. 

The section of lower Broadway from its origin at Bowling Green to City Hall Park is the historical location for the city's ticker-tape parades. 

The area west of Broadway as far as Canal Street was the city's fashionable residential area until the 1820s. This was once waterfront property. Landfill has more than tripled the area of lower Manhattan since the early 19th Century.

Further north, Broadway marks the boundary between Greenwich Village to the west and the East Village to the east.

The original Macy's Department Store stands at Herald Square. 

Times Square lies where Broadway crosses Seventh Avenue. Times Square, where stood the headquarters of The New York Times, was New York City's red-light district from approximately 1965 to 1985; the area has now been thoroughly gentrified. 

Broadway at Times Square, circa 1968

Broadway at Times Square, Circa 2010
Just north of Times Square begins the Theatre District ("The Great White Way") wherein are concentrated most of New York City's famed theatres and a large number of of Broadway's commercial enterprises. 

North of Columbus Circle, Broadway becomes a wide boulevard passing through a residential district to 169th Street. 

Both of the well-known performing arts landmarks, Juilliard and Lincoln Center, are located along this stretch.

From West 70th to West 73rd Streets, passing through Harlem, Broadway intersects with Amsterdam Avenue. Two small squares, Sherman Square and Verdi Square  occupy this wide intersection. Although both Sherman Square (named for Civil War General William Tecumseh Sherman) and Verdi Square (named for Italian composer Guiseppe Verdi) are considered landmark parks, from the mid-1960s to the mid-1980s, they were the haunts of drug dealers and users, called collectively "Needle Park."

Just north of Needle Park lies the 72nd Street Subway Station, one of the original subway stations in the city, and maintained in its original form. The Ansonia stands nearby, as does the site of Plato's Retreat, and the Beacon Theatre.  

In the area of 95th Street stands the Titanic Memorial in Straus Park (one of two Titanic Memorials in the city) near to the concert venue The Symphony Space. 

Columbia University begins at 116th Street in the Morningside Heights neighborhood, followed quickly by Barnard College, Union Theological Seminary, the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, the Manhattan School of Music, and CUNY---City College.

To the immediate east are the handsome brownstones of Hamilton Heights. NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital lies on Broadway between 166th and 168th Streets in Washington Heights. 

Broadway crosses the Harlem River in Inwood at the Broadway Bridge, passes through the mainland Manhattan neighborhood of Marble Hill, and crosses into the Bronx at Spuyten Duyvil. 

It passes into Westchester County, until it forms the main street of legendary Sleepy Hollow, where it ends at the town's northern border.   

225 Broadway, Sleepy Hollow, NY

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