Hmm. From the “you don’t probably care, but it’s good to know” files, comes this bit of information:

In 1811, the city created Fourth Avenue, along which commercial and residential development was stifled for many years north of 42nd Street by the presence of New York Central Railroad tracks.

In 1903, the state Legislature passed a law requiring the railroad to cover its tracks in Midtown. The railroad built a deck over the newly electrified tracks between Madison and Lexington avenues and East 42nd and East 56th streets. Down the middle of the deck a grand boulevard, named Park Avenue, was built.

More importantly:

In 1916, America’s first zoning law established Park Avenue north of 60th Street as a residential neighborhood.

Over the next three decades, new hotels, office buildings, and apartments sprang up along Park Avenue south of 60th Street, forming the core of what would become the world’s greatest business district. Even today, people from around the world want to live, work, and own real estate on the grandest boulevard in New York City, as is evident from the following transactions.

Fascinating. That explains a lot.

What I don’t know is, why the hell did they rename Sixth Avenue, “The Avenue of the Americas”, and what’s the point – everyone still calls it Sixth Avenue. Oh, right.

(Okay, those who live there will say, there IS a Fourth Avenue, in the Lower East Side. Yes, there appears to be, but just for a short couple of blocks.

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Updated: January 2018

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