Park Avenue (Manhattan)

From Academic Kids

Missing image
Park Avenue in the Upper East Side (2004)

Park Avenue (formerly Fourth Avenue) runs north and south between Madison Avenue and Lexington Avenue in Manhattan in New York City, carrying both directions of traffic. It is noted for its perennially high real estate prices along much of its length, especially the Upper East Side. From 40th Street to 60th Street, Park Avenue runs through Midtown Manhattan and is distinguished by its glass box skyscrapers, many of which serve as corporate headquarters for corporations such as J.P. Morgan Chase, Citigroup, and MetLife.

The name Park Avenue South begins at 14th Street; south of there (to Eighth Street) it is still Fourth Avenue, and it is Lafayette Place south of Eighth. From 14th Street to 17th Street, it is also known as Union Square East, as it borders Union Square.

The name of the avenue changes from Park Avenue South to Park Avenue at 32nd Street. The Murray Hill Tunnel carries two lanes, one in each direction, between 33rd Street and 40th Street. Immediately across from 40th Street, these center lanes rise onto an elevated structure that goes over and around Grand Central Terminal, carrying each direction on opposite sides of the building, which takes up the space formerly occupied by Park Avenue from 42nd Street to 45th Street. The bridge, one of two structures known as the Park Avenue Viaduct, returns to ground level at 46th Street.

From Grand Central to 97th Street, Metro-North Railroad tracks run in a tunnel underneath Park Avenue (the Park Avenue Tunnel). At 97th, the tracks come above ground, rising onto the other structure known as the Park Avenue Viaduct. The first street to pass under the viaduct is 102nd Street; from there to the Harlem River the railroad viaduct runs down the middle of Park Avenue.

Park Avenue ends north of 132nd Street, with connections to FDR Drive. The name is continued on the other side of the river in the Bronx by the street just east of the railroad; see Park Avenue (Bronx).

The following corporations are headquartered on Park Avenue:


Park Avenue was originally known as Fourth Avenue and carried the tracks of the New York and Harlem Railroad starting in the 1830s. The railroad originally built an open cut through Murray Hill which was covered with grates and grass between 34th and 40th Street in the early 1850s. A section of this "park" was renamed Park Avenue in 1860. In 1867 the name applied all the way to 42nd Street. When Grand Central Depot was opened in the 1870s the railroad between 56th and 96th Street were sunk out of sight and in 1888, Park Avenue was extended to Harlem River.

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The railroad tunnel in 1941

In 1936, an elevated structure was built around Grand Central Terminal to allow automobile traffic to pass the station unimpeded. In October 1937, a part of the Murray Hill Tunnel was reopened for road traffic.

In 1959, the City Council changed the name of Fourth Avenue between 17th and 32nd Streets to Park Avenue South. In 1963, the Pan Am Building was built straddling Park Avenue atop Grand Central Terminal, with a tunnel through it to accommodate the automobile bridge.

To the west:
Madison Avenue
Major Avenues
of New York City:
Park Avenue
To the east:
Lexington Avenue


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