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Seventh Avenue (Manhattan)
|Seventh Avenue South (south of 11th St)
Fashion Avenue (26th–42nd Sts)
Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard (north of 110th St)
|Owner||City of New York|
|Length||5.3 mi (8.5 km)|
|Location||Manhattan, New York City|
|South end||Varick / Clarkson Streets in West Village|
|Times Square in Midtown
Macombs Dam Bridge in Harlem
|North end||Harlem River Drive / 155th Street in Harlem|
|East||Sixth Avenue (below 59th St)
Lenox Avenue (above 110th St)
|West||Eighth Avenue (below 59th St)
Douglass Boulevard (above 110th St)
Seventh Avenue – known as Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard north of Central Park – is a thoroughfare on the West Side of the borough of Manhattan in New York City. It is southbound below Central Park and a two-way street north of the park.
Seventh Avenue originates in the West Village at Clarkson Street, where Varick Street becomes Seventh Avenue South (which becomes Seventh Avenue proper after the road crosses Greenwich Avenue and West 11th Street). A part of the avenue in the Garment District is co-named Fashion Avenue. It is interrupted by Central Park from 59th to 110th Street. Artisans' Gate is the 59th Street exit from Central Park to Seventh Avenue. North of Warriors' Gate at the north end of the Park, the avenue carries traffic in both directions through Harlem, where it is called Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard. Addresses continue as if the street was continuous through Central Park, with the first block north of the park being the 1800 block. The United States Postal Service delivers mail using either street name. As is the case with "Sixth Avenue" and "Avenue of the Americas", long-time New Yorkers continue to use the older name.
The street has two northern termini; an upper level terminates at the western end of the Macombs Dam Bridge, traveling over the Harlem River, where Jerome Avenue commences in the Bronx. A lower level continues a bit further north and curves into the lower level of West 155th Street.
Seventh Avenue was originally laid out in the Commissioners' Plan of 1811.
The southern terminus of Seventh Avenue was Eleventh Street in Greenwich Village through the early part of the 20th century. It was extended southward, as Seventh Avenue South, to link up with Varick Street in 1914, and Varick was widened at the same time. Extension of the avenue allowed better vehicular connections between midtown Manhattan and the commercial district in what is now TriBeCa. It also permitted construction of the New York City Subway IRT Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line which opened in 1918.
Extension of the avenue was under consideration for several years, and was approved by the New York City Board of Estimate in September 1911, when the first $3 million appropriation was made for the initial planning of the work. The extension had been urged by civic groups to meet the commercial needs of Greenwich Village. A significant number of old buildings were marked for demolition in the extension, and the demolished buildings included the Bedford Street Methodist Church, constructed in 1840.
Seventh Avenue is served by the 1, 2, and 3 trains for most of its length, with N, Q, R, and W service between 42nd Street and Central Park South. The Seventh Avenue station also serves the B, D, and E trains. North of the park, Powell Boulevard is served by the Harlem–148th Street on the 3 train, and the 155th Street station on the B and D trains. It is also served by numerous local MTA New York City Bus routes, primarily the M7 and M20 south of Central Park and the M2 north of the park.
Notable districts and buildings
Running through the Garment District (which stretches from 12th Avenue to 5th Avenue and 34th Street to 39th Street), it is referred to as Fashion Avenue due to its role as a center of the garment and fashion industry and the famed fashion designers who established New York as the world fashion capital. The first, temporary signs designating the section of Seventh Avenue as "Fashion Avenue" were dual-posted in 1972, with permanent signs added over the ensuing years.
Notable buildings located on Seventh Avenue include:
- Alwyn Court Apartments, 58th Street
- Carnegie Hall, Osborne Apartments, and Rodin Studios, 57th Street
- AXA Center (originally The Equitable Tower), at 51st Street
- Madison Square Garden and Penn Station, 32nd Street
- Fashion Institute of Technology, 27th Street
In popular culture
Seventh Avenue is frequently mentioned in films, plays and books.
- Seventh Avenue was mentioned in the Simon and Garfunkel song "The Boxer," in which the protagonist mentions receiving a "come-on from the whores on Seventh Avenue."
- In the 1962 play and 1965 film A Thousand Clowns, Seventh Avenue is frequently mentioned as being in proximity.
- In the 1973 Steely Dan song "The Boston Rag", the protagonist declares, "There was nothing that I could do So I pointed my car down Seventh Avenue".
- In the 1978 Rolling Stones song "Shattered", from the Some Girls album, Mick Jagger sings "I can't give it away on Seventh Avenue." The title of the June 2019 book Can't Give It Away on Seventh Avenue: The Rolling Stones and New York City is a reference to that lyric.
- Seventh Avenue is also mentioned in Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon, when detective Sam Spade tells the gunsel[clarification needed] Wilmer that his telling him to "shove off" "would go over big back on Seventh Avenue. But you're not in Romeville now. You're in my burg."
- In Dave Gibbons's Watching the Watchmen (2008), the comics artist speculates that the Gunga Diner, Utopia Cinema, Promethean Cab Co. and Institute for Extraspatial Studies are situated at the intersection of Seventh Avenue and West 31st Street.
- Seventh Avenue was the title and subject of a 1977 NBC TV miniseries which focused on the Garment District.
- In the 2008 The Gaslight Anthem song "Here's Looking At You, Kid", Seventh Avenue is mentioned in the lyric, "goes crazy over that New York scene on Seventh Avenue".
- The Pet Shop Boys' song "New York City Boy" has as its prominent refrain the line, "'Cause you're a New York City boy, where Seventh Avenue meets Broadway".
- The 1980s hair metal band Ratt featured a song dedicated to Seventh Avenue on their third studio album Dancing Undercover. The song referred to meeting a Playboy Bunny on Seventh Avenue.
- Google (September 13, 2015). "Seventh Avenue" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved September 13, 2015.
- Google (September 13, 2015). "Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved September 13, 2015.
- Staff (March 22, 1914) "Wreckers Busy in Old Greenwich", The New York Times
- Staff (September 24, 1911) "Seventh Avenue Extension Will Create Great Business Revival in Old Greenwich" The New York Times
- Staff (July 2, 1918) "Open New Subway to Regular Traffic", The New York Times
- Ingraham, Joseph (June 7, 1954). "7th and 8th Aves. Shift to One-Way". The New York Times. Retrieved August 28, 2012.
- Ingraham, Joseph (March 11, 1957). "Midtown Gets New Traffic Pattern". The New York Times. Retrieved August 28, 2012.
- "Subway Map" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. October 21, 2019. Retrieved January 18, 2018.
- "MTA Neighborhood Maps: Harlem / Hamilton Heights" (PDF). mta.info. Metropolitan Transportation Authority. 2018. Retrieved October 1, 2018.
- "Manhattan Bus Map" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. July 2019. Retrieved December 1, 2020.
- Nemy, Enid.(June 8, 1972) "Everybody -- Well, Almost -- Attended A Mammoth Party on 'Fashion Ave.'" The New York Times
- "The Rolling Stones in NYC Book: Author Q-and-A". Best Classic Bands. Retrieved 12 February 2020.
- "Seventh Avenue" (1977), Internet Movie Database
- "Here's Looking At You, Kid", SongMeanings.net"
- New York Songlines: Seventh Avenue, a virtual walking tour
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