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The Lower East Side, sometimes abbreviated as LES, is a historic neighborhood in the southEastern part of Manhattan in New York City. It is located roughly between the Bowery and the East River from Canal to Houston streets. Historically, it was understood to encompass a much larger area, from Broadway to the East River and from East 14th Street to Fulton and Franklin Streets.
Traditionally an immigrant, working class neighborhood, it began rapid gentrification in the mid-2000s, prompting the National Trust for Historic Preservation to place the neighborhood on their list of America's Most Endangered Places in 2008.[6][7]
The Lower East Side is part of Manhattan Community District 3, and its primary ZIP Code is 10002.[1] It is patrolled by the 7th Precinct of the New York City Police Department.
Tenement buildings on the Lower East SideThe Lower East Side is roughly bounded by East 14th Street on the north, by the East River to the east, by Fulton and Franklin Streets to the south, and by Pearl Street and Broadway to the west. This more extensive definition of the neighborhood includes Chinatown, the East Village, and Little Italy.[8] A less extensive definition would have the neighborhood bordered in the south and west by Chinatown, – which extends north to roughly Grand Street – in the west by Nolita and in the north by the East Village.[9][10]
Historically, the "Lower East Side" referred to the area alongside the East River from about the Manhattan Bridge and Canal Street up to 14th Street, and roughly bounded on the west by Broadway. It included areas known today as East Village, Alphabet City, Chinatown, Bowery, Little Italy, and NoLIta. Parts of the East Village are still known as Loisaida, a Latino pronunciation of "Lower East Side".
Political representationPolitically, the neighborhood is in New York's 7th[11] and 12th[12] congressional districts.[13] It is in the New York State Assembly's 65th district and 74th district;[14][15] the New York State Senate's 26th district;[16] and New York City Council's 1st and 2nd districts.[17]
HistoryPrior to EuropeansAs was true of all of Manhattan Island, the area now known as the Lower East Side was occupied by members of the Lenape tribe, who were organized in bands that moved from place to place according to the seasons, fishing on the rivers in the summer, and moving inland in the fall and winter to gather crops and hunt for food. Their main trail took approximately the route of Broadway. One encampment in the Lower East Side area, near Corlears Hook was called Rechtauck or Naghtogack.[18]
Early settlementCorlears Hook (red arrow) is Crown Point in this British map of 1776; "Delaney's [sic] New Square" (blue square northwest of Corlears Hook) was never builtThe population of the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam was located primarily below the current Fulton Street, while north of it were a number of small plantations and large farms called "bouwerij" ("bowery", equivalent to "boerderij" in present-day Dutch). Around these farms were a number of enclaves of free or "half-free" Africans, which served as a buffer between the Dutch and the Native Americans. One of the largest of these was located along the modern Bowery between Prince Street and Astor Place, as well as the "only separate enclave" of this type within Manhattan.[19] These black farmers were some of the earliest settlers of the area.[20]
Gradually, during the 17th century, there was an overall consolidation of the boweries and farms into larger parcels, and much of the Lower East Side was then part of the Delancey farm.[20]
James Delancey's pre-Revolutionary farm east of post road leading from the city (Bowery) survives in the names Delancey Street and Orchard Street. On the modern map of Manhattan, the Delancey farm[21] is represented in the grid of streets from Division Street north to Houston Street.[22] In response to the pressures of a growing city, Delancey began to survey streets in the southern part of the "West Farm"[23] in the 1760s. A spacious projected Delancey Square—intended to cover the area within today's Eldridge, Essex, Hester and Broome Streets—was eliminated when the loyalist Delancey family's property was confiscated after the American Revolution. The city Commissioners of Forfeiture eliminated the aristocratic planned square for a grid, effacing Delancey's vision of a New York laid out like the West End of London.
Corlears HookThe point of land on the East River now called Corlears Hook was also called Corlaers Hook under Dutch and British rule and briefly Crown Point during British occupation in the Revolution. It was named after the schoolmaster Jacobus van Corlaer, who settled on this "plantation" that in 1638 was called by a Europeanized version of its Lenape name, Nechtans[24] or Nechtanc.[25] Corlaer sold the plantation to Wilhelmus Hendrickse Beekman (1623–1707), founder of the Beekman family of New York; his son Gerardus Beekman was christened at the plantation on August 17, 1653.
On February 25, 1643, as part of Kieft's War, volunteers from the New Amsterdam colony killed forty Wiechquaesgecks at their encampment in the Massacre at Corlears Hook,[26] in retaliation for ongoing conflicts between the colonists and the natives of the area, including the natives' unwillingness to pay tribute and their refusal to turn over the accused killer of a colonist.[27]
The projection into the East River that retained Corlaer's name was an important landmark for navigators for 300 years. On older maps and documents, it is usually spelled Corlaers Hook, but since the early 19th century, the spelling has been anglicized to Corlears. The rough unplanned settlement that developed at Corlaer's Hook under the British occupation of New York during the Revolution was separated from the densely populated city by rugged hills of glacial till: "this region lay beyond the city proper, from which it was separated by high, uncultivated, and rough hills", observers recalled in 1843.[28]
As early as 1816, Corlears Hook was notorious for streetwalkers, "a resort for the lewd and abandoned of both sexes", and in 1821 its "streets abounding every night with preconcerted groups of thieves and prostitutes" were noted by The Christian Herald.[29] In the course of the 19th century, they came to be called hookers.[30] In the 1832 summer of New York City's cholera epidemic, a two-story wooden workshop in the neighborhood was commandeered to serve as a makeshift cholera hospital; between July 18 and September 15, when the hospital was closed as the epidemic wound down, 281 patients were admitted, both black and white, of whom 93 died.[31]
In 1833, Corlear's Hook was the location of some of the first tenements built in New York City.[20]
Corlears Hook is mentioned on the first page of Chapter 1 of Herman Melville's Moby Dick, first published in 1851: "Circumambulate the city of a dreamy Sabbath afternoon. Go from Corlears Hook to Coenties Slip, and from thence, by Whitehall, northward. What do you see? ..." and again in Chapter 99—The Doubloon.
The original location of Corlears Hook is now obscured by shoreline landfill.[32] It was near the east end of the present pedestrian bridge over the FDR Drive near Cherry Street. The name is preserved in Corlears Hook Park at the intersection of Jackson and Cherry Streets along the East River Drive.[33]
The Lower East Side in the early 1900s
The Lower East Side and Lower Manhattan skyline photographed using Agfacolor in 1938.The bulk of immigrants who came to New York City in the late 19th and early 20th centuries came to the Lower East Side, moving into crowded tenements there.[34] By the 1840s, large numbers of German immigrants settled in the area, and a large part of it became known as "Little Germany" or "Kleindeutschland".[20][35] This was followed by groups of Italians and Eastern European Jews, as well as Greeks, Hungarians, Poles, Romanians, Russians, Slovaks and Ukrainians, each of whom settled in relatively hom*ogeneous enclaves. By 1920, the Jewish neighborhood was one of the largest of these ethnic groupings, with 400,000 people, pushcart vendors and storefronts prominent on Orchard and Grand Streets, and numerous Yiddish theatres along Second Avenue between Houston and 14th Streets.[20]
Living conditions in these "slum" areas were far from ideal, although some improvement came from a change in the zoning laws, which required "new law" tenements to be built with air shafts between them so that fresh air and some light could reach each apartment. Still, reform movements, such as the one started by Jacob Riis's book How the Other Half Lives continued to attempt to alleviate the problems of the area through settlement houses, such as the Henry Street Settlement, and other welfare and service agencies. The city itself moved to address the problem when it built First Houses, the first such public housing project in the United States, in 1935-1936. The development, located on the south side of East 3rd Street between First Avenue and Avenue A, and on the west side of Avenue A between East 2nd and East 3rd Streets, is now considered to be located within the East Village.[20]
Societal change and declineBy the turn of the twentieth century, the neighborhood had become closely associated with radical politics, such as anarchism, socialism, and communism. It was also known as a place where many popular performers had grown up, such as Eddie Cantor, Al Jolson, George and Ira Gershwin, Jimmy Durante, and Irving Berlin. Later, more radical artists such as the Beat poets and writers were drawn to the neighborhood – especially the parts which later became the East Village – by the inexpensive housing and cheap food.[20]
The German population decreased in the early twentieth century as a result of the General Slocum disaster and due to anti-German sentiment prompted by World War I. After World War II, the Lower East Side became New York City's first racially integrated neighborhood with the influx of African Americans and Puerto Ricans. Areas where Spanish speaking was predominant began to be called Loisaida.[20]
By the 1960s, the influence of the Jewish and Eastern European groups declined as many of these residents had left the area, while other ethnic groups had coalesced into separate neighborhoods, such as Little Italy. The Lower East Side then experienced a period of "persistent poverty, crime, drugs, and abandoned housing".[20] A substantial portion of the neighborhood was slated for demolition under the Cooper Square Urban Renewal Plan of 1956, which was to redevelop the area from Ninth to Delancey Streets from the Bowery/Third Avenue to Chrystie Street/Second Avenue with new privately owned cooperative housing.[34]: 38 [36] The United Housing Foundation was selected as the sponsor for the project, which faced great opposition from the community.[37] Neither the original large-scale development nor a 1961 revised proposal was implemented,[34]: 39  and it was not until 1991 that an agreement was made to redevelop a small portion of the proposed renewal site.[38]
East Village split and gentrification
The Hotel on Rivington was completed in 2005
The Blue Condominium was completed in 2007The East Village was once considered the Lower East Side's northwest corner. However, in the 1960s, the demographics of the area above Houston Street began to change as hipsters, musicians, and artists moved in. Newcomers and real estate brokers popularized the East Village name, and the term was adopted by the popular media by the mid-1960s. As the East Village developed a culture separate from the rest of the Lower East Side, the two areas came to be seen as two separate neighborhoods rather than the former being part of the latter.[39][40]
By the 1980s, the Lower East Side had begun to stabilize after its period of decline, and once again began to attract students, artists, and adventurous members of the middle-class, as well as immigrants from countries such as Taiwan, Indonesia, Bangladesh, China, the Dominican Republic, India, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, and Poland.[20]
In the early 2000s, the gentrification of the East Village spread to the Lower East Side proper, making it one of the trendiest neighborhoods in Manhattan. Orchard Street, despite its "Bargain District" moniker, is now lined with upscale boutiques. Similarly, trendy restaurants, including Clinton St. Baking Company & Restaurant, are found on a stretch of tree-lined Clinton Street that New York Magazine described as the "hippest restaurant row" on the Lower East Side.[41][42]
In November 2007, the Blue Condominium, a 32-unit, 16-story luxury condominium tower, was completed at 105 Norfolk Street just north of Delancey Street. The pixellated, faceted blue design starkly contrasts with the surrounding neighborhood.[43] Following the construction of the Hotel on Rivington one block away, several luxury condominiums around Houston, and the New Museum on Bowery, this new wave of construction is another sign that the gentrification cycle is entering a high-luxury phase similar to in SoHo and Nolita in the previous decade.
More recently, the gentrification that was previously confined to the north of Delancey Street continued south. Several restaurants, bars, and galleries opened below Delancey Street after 2005, especially around the intersection of Broome and Orchard Streets. The neighborhood's second boutique hotel, Blue Moon Hotel, opened on Orchard Street just south of Delancey Street in early 2006. However, unlike The Hotel on Rivington, the Blue Moon used an existing tenement building, and its exterior is almost identical to neighboring buildings. In September 2013, it was announced that the Essex Crossing redevelopment project was to be built in the area, centered around the intersection of Essex and Delancey Streets, but mostly utilizing land south of Delancey Street.[44]
DemographicsThe census tabulation area for the Lower East Side is bounded to the north by 14th Street and to the west by Avenue B, Norfolk Street, Essex Street, and Pike Street. Based on data from the 2010 United States Census, the population of Lower East Side was 72,957, an increase of 699 (1.0%) from the 72,258 counted in 2000. Covering an area of 535.91 acres (216.88 ha), the neighborhood had a population density of 136.1 inhabitants per acre (87,100/sq mi; 33,600/km2).[2] The racial makeup of the neighborhood was 22.6% (16,453) White, 10.9% (7,931) African American, 0.2% (142) Native American, 24.9% (18,166) Asian, 0.0% (13) Pacific Islander, 0.3% (191) from other races, and 1.6% (1,191) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 39.6% (28,870) of the population.[3]
The racial composition of the Lower East Side changed moderately from 2000 to 2010, with the most significant changes being the White population's increase by 18% (2,514), the Asian population's increase by 10% (1,673), and the Hispanic / Latino population's decrease by 10% (3,219). The minority Black population experienced a slight increase by 1% (41), while the very small population of all other races decreased by 17% (310).[45]
The Lower East Side lies in Manhattan Community District 3, which encompasses the Lower East Side, the East Village and Chinatown. Community District 3 had 171,103 inhabitants as of NYC Health's 2018 Community Health Profile, with an average life expectancy of 82.2 years.[46]: 2, 20  This is higher than the median life expectancy of 81.2 for all New York City neighborhoods.[47]: 53 (PDF p. 84)  Most inhabitants are adults: a plurality (35%) are between the ages of 25–44, while 25% are between 45–64, and 16% are 65 or older. The ratio of youth and college-aged residents was lower, at 13% and 11%, respectively.[46]: 2 
As of 2017, the median household income in Community District 3 was $39,584,[48] though the median income in the Lower East Side individually was $51,649.[4] In 2018, an estimated 18% of Community District 3 residents lived in poverty, compared to 14% in all of Manhattan and 20% in all of New York City. One in twelve residents (8%) were unemployed, compared to 7% in Manhattan and 9% in New York City. Rent burden, or the percentage of residents who have difficulty paying their rent, is 48% in Community District 3, compared to the boroughwide and citywide rates of 45% and 51%, respectively. Based on this calculation, as of 2018, Community District 3 is considered to be gentrifying: according to the Community Health Profile, the district was low-income in 1990 and has seen above-median rent growth up to 2010.[46]: 7 
"Cliff Dwellers" by Bellows, depicting the Lower East Side as it was in the early 20th century
Katz's Delicatessen, a symbol of the neighborhood's Jewish cultural historyImmigrant neighborhoodOne of the oldest neighborhoods of the city, the Lower East Side has long been a lower-class worker neighborhood and often a poor and ethnically diverse section of New York. As well as Irish, Italians, Poles, Ukrainians, and other ethnic groups, it once had a sizeable German population and was known as Little Germany (Kleindeutschland). Today it is a predominantly Puerto Rican and Dominican community, and in the process of gentrification (as documented by the portraits of its residents in the Clinton+Rivington chapter of The Corners Project.)[49]
Since the immigration waves from Eastern Europe in the late 19th and early 20th century, the Lower East Side became known as having been a center of Jewish immigrant culture. In her 2000 book Lower East Side Memories: A Jewish Place in America, Hasia Diner explains that the Lower East Side is especially remembered as a place of Jewish beginnings for Ashkenazi American Jewish culture.[50] Vestiges of the area's Jewish heritage exist in shops on Hester and Essex Streets, and on Grand Street near Allen Street. An Orthodox Jewish community is based in the area, operating yeshiva day schools and a mikvah. A few Judaica shops can be found along Essex Street and a few Jewish scribes and variety stores. Some kosher delis and bakeries, as well as a few "kosher style" delis, including the famous Katz's Deli, are located in the neighborhood. Second Avenue in the Lower East Side was home to many Yiddish theatre productions in the Yiddish Theater District during the early part of the 20th century, and Second Avenue came to be known as "Yiddish Broadway," though most of the theaters are gone. Songwriter Irving Berlin, actor John Garfield, and singer Eddie Cantor grew up here.
Since the mid-20th century, the area has been settled primarily by immigrants, primarily from Latin America, especially Central America and Puerto Rico. They have established their own groceries and shops, marketing goods from their culture and cuisine. Bodegas have replaced Jewish shops. They are mostly Roman Catholic.
In what is now the East Village, the earlier populations of Poles and Ukrainians have moved on and been largely supplanted by newer immigrants. The immigration of numerous Japanese people over the last fifteen years or so has led to the proliferation of Japanese restaurants and specialty food markets. There is also a notable population of Bangladeshis and other immigrants from Muslim countries, many of whom are congregants of the small Madina Masjid (Mosque), located on First Avenue and 11th Street.
The neighborhood still has many historic synagogues, such as the Bialystoker Synagogue,[51] Beth Hamedrash Hagadol, the Eldridge Street Synagogue,[52] Kehila Kedosha Janina (the only Greek synagogue in the Western Hemisphere),[53] the Angel Orensanz Center (the fourth oldest synagogue building in the United States), and various smaller synagogues along East Broadway. Another landmark, the First Roumanian-American congregation (the Rivington Street synagogue), partially collapsed in 2006 and was subsequently demolished. In addition, there is a major Hare Krishna temple and several Buddhist houses of worship.
Chinese residents have also been moving into Lower East Side, and since the late 20th century, they have comprised a large immigrant group in the area. The part of the neighborhood south of Delancey Street and west of Allen Street has, in large measure, become part of Chinatown. Grand Street is one of the major business and shopping streets of Chinatown. Also contained within the neighborhood are strips of lighting and restaurant supply shops on the Bowery.
Jewish neighborhood
Meseritz SynagogueWhile the Lower East Side has been a place of successive immigrant populations, many American Jews relate to the neighborhood in a strong manner, and Chinatown holds a special place in the imagination of Chinese Americans,[54][55] just as Astoria in Queens holds a place in the hearts of Greek Americans. It was a center for the ancestors of many people in the metropolitan area, and it was written about and portrayed in fiction and films.
In the late twentieth century, Jewish communities have worked to preserve a number of buildings associated with the Jewish immigrant community.[56][57][58]
Landmarks include:
The Educational Alliance Settlement house – 175 East BroadwayHenry Street Settlement – 263–267 Henry Street and 466 Grand Street[59]University Settlement House - 184 Eldridge StreetKatz's Deli – 205 East Houston StreetGuss' Pickles – 87 Orchard StreetKossar's Bialys – 367 Grand Street[60]Gertel's Bake Shop – formerly at 53 Hester Street from 1914 until it closed in 2007[61]Knickerbocker Village – 10 Monroe StreetStreit Matzo Co. – 150 Rivington StreetYonah Schimmel's Knish Bakery – 137 East Houston Street[62]Mendel Goldberg Fabrics, since 1890 - 72 Hester StreetHarris Levy Fine Linens, since 1894 – 98 Forsyth StreetRuss & Daughters – 179 East Houston Street[63]Schapiro's Kosher Wine – Essex Street MarketForward BuildingSynagogues include:
Adath Jeshurun of Jassy SynagogueBialystoker Synagogue – 7–11 Willet Street, occupies a building constructed in Greek Revival style for the Willett Street Methodist Episcopal Church in 1826 and acquired in 1905 for the Orthodox Jewish congregation.[64][65]Beth Hamedrash Hagadol – 60–64 Norfolk StreetEldridge Street Synagogue – 12 Eldridge StreetKehila Kedosha Janina – 280 Broome StreetAngel Orensanz Center – the fourth-oldest synagogue building in the United StatesCongregation Chasam Sopher – 10 Clinton StreetMeseritz SynagoguePodhajcer Shul – 108 East First StreetStanton Street Synagogue – 180 Stanton StreetBoyaner kloiz at 247 East Broadway, opened in 1928 by the Boyaner Rebbe of New YorkLittle Fuzhou, Chinatown
Little Fuzhou in the Chinatown section of the Lower East Side has the highest concentration of Chinese people in the Western Hemisphere.[54][55]Little Fuzhou (Chinese: 小福州; pinyin: Xiǎo Fúzhōu; Foochow Romanized: Siēu-hók-ciŭ), or Fuzhou Town (Chinese: 福州埠; pinyin: Fúzhōu Bù; Foochow Romanized: Hók-ciŭ-pú) is a neighborhood within the Eastern sliver of Chinatown, in the Two Bridges and Lower East Side areas of Manhattan. Starting in the 1980s and especially in the 1990s, the neighborhood became a prime destination for immigrants from Fuzhou, Fujian, China. Manhattan's Little Fuzhou is centered on East Broadway. However, since the 2000s, Chinatown, Brooklyn became New York City's new primary destination for the Fuzhou immigrants evolving a second Little Fuzhou of the city and has now far surpassed as being the largest Fuzhou cultural center of the New York metropolitan area and still rapidly growing in contrast to Manhattan's Little Fuzhou, now undergoing gentrification.
Since the 2010s, the Fuzhou immigrant population and businesses have been declining throughout the whole Eastern portion of Manhattan's Chinatown due to gentrification. There is a rapidly increasing influx of high-income professionals moving into this area, often non-Chinese, including high-end hipster-owned businesses.[66][67]
Line of patrons at the Clinton Street Baking Company & Restaurant in 2010The neighborhood has become home to numerous contemporary art galleries. One of the first was ABC No Rio.[68] Begun by a group of Colab no wave artists (some living on Ludlow Street), ABC No Rio opened an outsider gallery space that invited community participation and encouraged the widespread production of art. Taking an activist approach to art that grew out of The Real Estate Show (the take over of an abandoned building by artists to open an outsider gallery only to have it chained closed by the police) ABC No Rio kept its sense of activism, community, and outsiderness. The product of this open, expansive approach to art was a space for creating new works that did not have links to the art market place and that were able to explore new artistic possibilities.
Other outsider galleries sprung up throughout the Lower East Side and East Village—some 200 at the height of the scene in the 1980s, including the 124 Ridge Street Gallery among others. In December 2007, the New Museum relocated to a brand-new, critically acclaimed building on Bowery at Prince. A growing number of galleries are opening in the Bowery neighborhood to be in close proximity to the museum. The Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space, which opened in 2012, exhibits photography featuring the neighborhood in addition to chronicling its history of activism.
Social service agencies like Henry Street Settlement and Educational Alliance have visual and performing arts programs, the former at Abrons Arts Center, a home for contemporary interdisciplinary arts.
The neighborhood is also home to several graffiti artists, such as Chico and Jean-Michel Basquiat.
Nightlife and live musicAs the neighborhood gentrified and has become safer at night, it has become a popular late night destination. Orchard, Ludlow and Essex between Rivington Street and Stanton Street have become especially packed at night, and the resulting noise is a cause of tension between bar owners and longtime residents.[69][70] Further, as gentrification continues, many established landmarks and venues have been lost.[71]
The Lower East Side is also home to many live music venues. Punk bands played at C-Squat and alternative rock bands play at Bowery Ballroom on Delancey Street and Mercury Lounge on East Houston Street. Punk bands play at Otto's Shrunken Head and R-Bar. Punk and alternative bands play at Bowery Electric just north of the old CBGB's location.[72] There are also bars that offer performance space, such as Pianos on Ludlow Street and Arlene's Grocery on Stanton Street.
The Lower East Side is the location of the Slipper Room a burlesque, variety and vaudeville theatre on Orchard and Stanton. Lady Gaga, Leonard Cohen and U2 have all appeared there, while popular downtown performers Dirty Martini, Murray Hill and Matt Fraser often appear. Variety shows are regularly hosted by comedians James Habacker, Bradford Scobie, Matthew Holtzclaw, and Matt Roper under the guise of various characters.
Police and crimeThe NYPD 7th Precinct (top) and FDNY Engine Co. 15/Ladder Co. 18/Battalion 4 (bottom) are housed in the same buildingThe Lower East Side is patrolled by the 7th Precinct of the NYPD, located at 19+1⁄2 Pitt Street.[73] The 7th Precinct, along with the neighboring 5th Precinct, ranked 48th safest out of 69 patrol areas for per-capita crime in 2010.[74] As of 2018, with a non-fatal assault rate of 42 per 100,000 people, the Lower East Side and East Village's rate of violent crimes per capita is less than that of the city as a whole. The incarceration rate of 449 per 100,000 people is higher than that of the city as a whole.[46]: 8 
The 7th Precinct has a lower crime rate than in the 1990s, with crimes across all categories having decreased by 64.8% between 1990 and 2019. The precinct reported 0 murders, 7 rapes, 149 robberies, 187 felony assaults, 94 burglaries, 507 grand larcenies, and 18 grand larcenies auto in 2019.[75]
Fire safetyThe Lower East Side is served by two New York City Fire Department (FDNY) fire stations:[76]
Engine Co. 15/Ladder Co. 18/Battalion 4 – 25 Pitt Street[77]Engine Co. 9/Ladder Co. 6 – 75 Canal Street[78]HealthAs of 2018, preterm births and births to teenage mothers are less common in the Lower East Side and East Village than in other places citywide. In the Lower East Side and East Village, there were 82 preterm births per 1,000 live births (compared to 87 per 1,000 citywide), and 10.1 births to teenage mothers per 1,000 live births (compared to 19.3 per 1,000 citywide).[46]: 11  The Lower East Side and East Village have a low population of residents who are uninsured. In 2018, this population of uninsured residents was estimated to be 11%, slightly less than the citywide rate of 12%.[46]: 14 
The concentration of fine particulate matter, the deadliest type of air pollutant, in the Lower East Side and East Village is 0.0089 milligrams per cubic metre (8.9×10−9 oz/cu ft), more than the city average.[46]: 9  Twenty percent of Lower East Side and East Village residents are smokers, which is more than the city average of 14% of residents being smokers.[46]: 13  In the Lower East Side and East Village, 10% of residents are obese, 11% are diabetic, and 22% have high blood pressure—compared to the citywide averages of 24%, 11%, and 28% respectively.[46]: 16  In addition, 16% of children are obese, compared to the citywide average of 20%.[46]: 12 
Eighty-eight percent of residents eat some fruits and vegetables every day, which is about the same as the city's average of 87%. In 2018, 70% of residents described their health as "good," "very good," or "excellent," less than the city's average of 78%.[46]: 13  For every supermarket in the Lower East Side and East Village, there are 18 bodegas.[46]: 10 
The nearest major hospitals are Beth Israel Medical Center in Stuyvesant Town, as well as the Bellevue Hospital Center and NYU Langone Medical Center in Kips Bay, and NewYork-Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital in the Civic Center area.[79][80] In addition, FDNY EMS Division 1/Station 4 is located on Pier 39.
Post offices and ZIP CodeThe Lower East Side is located within the ZIP Code 10002.[81] The United States Postal Service operates two post offices in the Lower East Side:
Knickerbocker Station – 128 East Broadway[82]Pitt Station – 185 Clinton Street[83]Education
New York Public Library's Seward Park branchThe Lower East Side and East Village generally have a higher rate of college-educated residents than the rest of the city as of 2018. A plurality of residents age 25 and older (48%) have a college education or higher, while 24% have less than a high school education and 28% are high school graduates or have some college education. By contrast, 64% of Manhattan residents and 43% of city residents have a college education or higher.[46]: 6  The percentage of Lower East Side and East Village students excelling in math rose from 61% in 2000 to 80% in 2011, and reading achievement increased from 66% to 68% during the same time period.[84]
The Lower East Side and East Village's rate of elementary school student absenteeism is lower than the rest of New York City. In the Lower East Side and East Village, 16% of elementary school students missed twenty or more days per school year, less than the citywide average of 20%.[47]: 24 (PDF p. 55) [46]: 6  Additionally, 77% of high school students in the Lower East Side and East Village graduate on time, more than the citywide average of 75%.[46]: 6 
SchoolsThe New York City Department of Education operates public schools in the Lower East Side as part of Community School District 1.[85] District 1 does not contain any zoned schools, which means that students living in District 1 can apply to any school in the district, including those in the East Village.[86][87]
The following public elementary schools are located in the Lower East Side, serving grades PK-5 unless otherwise indicated:[85]
New Explorations Into Science Tech and Math (NEST+m) (grades K-12)[88]PS 1 Alfred E Smith[89]PS 2 Meyer London[90]PS 20 Anna Silver[91]PS 42 Benjamin Altman[92]PS 110 Florence Nightingale[93]PS 134 Henrietta Szold[94]PS 142 Amalia Castro[95]The following public elementary/middle schools are located in the Lower East Side, serving grades PK-8 unless otherwise indicated:[85]
PS 126 Jacob August Riis[96]PS 140 Nathan Straus[97]PS 184 Shuang Wen[98]East Village Community School[99]PS 188 The Island School - It is in a pink brick building and opened prior to 1916. In 2016 it had 500 students, almost all of them classified as low income, over 60% being Hispanic or Latino, and 47% being homeless. Due to the large number of homeless students, the rosters often change and students are often absent. The school has specific employees who check on students, and the school offers end of the year events to entice students to stay at the end of the year. PS 188 has its students wear school uniforms.[100]The following public middle and high schools are located in the Lower East Side:[85]
Orchard Collegiate Academy (grades 9-12)[101]School for Global Leaders (grades 6-8)[102]University Neighborhood Middle School (grades 5-8)[103]The Lower East Side Preparatory High School (LESPH) and Emma Lazarus High School (ELHS) are second-chance schools that enable students, aged 17–21, to obtain their high school diplomas. LESPH is a bilingual Chinese-English school with a high proportion of Asian students. ELHS' instructional model is English-immersion with an ethnically diverse student body.
The Seward Park Campus comprises five schools with an average graduation rate of about 80%. The original school in the building was opened 1929 and closed 2006.[104]
LibrariesThe New York Public Library (NYPL) operates two branches in the Lower East Side. The Seward Park branch is located at 4192 East Broadway. It was founded by the Aguilar Free Library Society in 1886, and the current three-story Carnegie library building was opened in 1909 and renovated in 2004.[105] The Hamilton Fish Park branch is located at 415 East Houston Street. It was originally built as a Carnegie library in 1909, but was torn down when Houston Street was expanded; the current one-story structure was completed in 1960.[106]
View of La Plaza Cultural from East 9th Street
South end soccer field of Sara D. Roosevelt ParkThe Lower East Side is home to many private parks, such as La Plaza Cultural.[107] There are several public parks in the area, including Sara D. Roosevelt Park between Chrystie and Forsyth Streets from Houston to Canal Streets,[108] as well as Seward Park on Essex Street between Hester Street and East Broadway.[109]
The East River shorefront contains the John V. Lindsay East River Park, a public park running between East 12th Street in the East Village and Montgomery Street in the Lower East Side.[110] Planned for the waterfront is Pier 42, the first section of which is scheduled to open in 2021.[111]
TransportationThere are multiple New York City Subway stations in the neighborhood, including Grand Street (B and ​D trains), Bowery (J and ​Z trains), Second Avenue (F and <F>​ trains), Delancey Street–Essex Street (F, <F>​​, J, M, and Z​ trains), and East Broadway (F and <F>​ trains).[112] New York City Bus routes include M9, M14A SBS, M14D SBS, M15, M15 SBS, M21, M22, M103 and B39.[113]
The Williamsburg Bridge and Manhattan Bridge connect the Lower East Side to Brooklyn. The FDR Drive is on the neighborhood's south and east ends.[114]
As of 2018, thirty-seven percent of roads in the Lower East Side have bike lanes.[46]: 10  Bike lanes are present on Allen, Chrystie, Clinton, Delancey, Grand, Houston, Montgomery, Madison, Rivington, Stanton, and Suffolk Streets; Bowery, East Broadway, and FDR Drive; the Williamsburg and Manhattan bridges; and the East River Greenway.[115]
The Lower East Side is served by NYC Ferry's Lower East Side route, which stops at Corlears Hook in the East River Park.[116] The service started operating on August 29, 2018.[117][118]
In popular cultureChildren's literature
All-of-a-Kind Family, a five-book series by Sydney Taylor first published from 1951 to 1978[119]The House on the Roof; A Sukkot Story by David A. AdlerRebecca Rubin, a character in the American Girl doll and book series, is a Jewish girl growing up in an immigrant family in 1914.[120]Novels
Yekl: A Tale of the New York Ghetto by Abraham Cahan. The film Hester Street is based on the book.[121]Bread Givers by Anzia Yezierska[122]Call It Sleep by Henry Roth[123]Ragtime by E. L. DoctorowThe Basketball Diaries by Jim CarrollLow Life by Lucy Sante[124]Lush Life by Richard Price[125]Wonder by R.J. PalacioSongs
"Slum Goddess" by The Fugs"Ballad Of The Lower East Side" by Michael Monroe"Beautiful Night" by B2ST"Clinton St Girl" by Wakey!Wakey!"Down on the Lower East Side" by Justin Townes Earle"East Side Beat" by The Toasters"East Side Story" by Emily King"For My Family" by Agnostic Front"Heavy Metal Lover" by Lady Gaga"In the Flesh" by Blondie"L.E.S. Artistes" by Santigold"L.E.S." by Childish Gambino (aka Donald Glover)"Living in L.E.S." by INDK"Lower East Side Crew" by Warzone"Lower East Side" by David Peel"The Luckiest Guy On The Lower East Side" by The Magnetic Fields"Ludlow St" by Julian Casablancas"Ludlow Street" by Suzanne Vega"Marry the Night" by Lady Gaga"New York City Tonight" by GG Allin"She Took a Lot of Pills (And Died)" by Robbie Fulks"Southside" by Fun Lovin' Criminals"What's My Name?" by Rihanna ft. Drake"Veni Vidi Vici" by MadonnaMotor-Cycle LP by Lotti GoldenDavid Peel & the Lower East Side Band, an early punk bandGogol Bordello, a gypsy punk band from the areaThe Holy Modal Rounders, a freak-folk band in the 1960sNausea, a crust punk band in the late 1980s and early 1990sPlays
Secret History of the Lower East Side by Alice Tuan[126]Welcome to Arroyo's by Kristoffer Diaz[127]Films
Alphabet CityBatteries Not IncludedBeautiful LosersBefore We GoCloverfieldThe CobblerThe CorruptorCrossing Delancey[128]Date NightDie Hard with a VengeanceDonnie BrascoDowntown 81Frogs for SnakesGangs of New YorkThe Girl Is in TroubleHester Street[129]His PeopleI Am LegendThe ItalianJohnny DangerouslyLucky Number SlevinMarried to the MobMen In BlackMixed bloodThe Naked CityNick and Norah's Infinite PlaylistThe Night They Raided Minsky'sOnce Upon a Time in AmericaP.S. I Love YouRaising Victor VargasRentRhythm ThiefSex and the CityTaxi DriverThe WolfpackWhen Harry Met Sally...Television
The Andy Milonakis ShowFlight of the Conchords (TV series)Forever[130][131][132]Gossip GirlHow To Make It In AmericaMr. RobotBreadwinners parodies the Lower East Side as the "Lower Yeast Side."Master of NoneMoon Girl and Devil DinosaurVideo games
The DarknessSyphon Filter 2Grand Theft Auto IVMusic videos
"Girls Just Want To Have Fun" by Cyndi Lauper"Can't Hold Us Down" by Christina Aguilera"I'll Be Loving You Forever" by New Kids On The Block"Darling It's True" by Locksley"It Ain't Hard to Tell" by NasNotable residentsAdrienne Bailon (born 1983), television personality, singer, and actress[133]George Barris (1922-2016), photographer and photojournalist[134]Sy Berger (1923-2014), baseball card designer with Topps[135]Mark Bloch (born 1956), artist and writerJoseph B. Bloomingdale (1842-1904), businessman[136]Lyman G. Bloomingdale (1841-1905), businessman and philanthropist[136]Arlyne Brickman (1934-2020), mafia informant[137]Lepke Buchalter (1897-1944), mobster and head of Murder, Inc.[138]George Burns (1896-1996), comedian, actor, writer, and singer[139]James Cagney (1899-1986), actor, dancer, and film director[140]Sammy Cahn (1913-1993), lyricist, songwriter, and musician[141]Michael Che (born 1983), stand-up comedian, actor, and writer[142]Joshua Lionel Cowen (1877-1965), inventor[143]Jimmy Durante (1893-1980), comedian, actor, singer, and pianist[144]Monk Eastman (1875-1920), gangster[145]Miriam Friedlander (1914-2009), politician[146]Lady Gaga (born 1986), singer, songwriter, and actressJohn Garfield (1913-1952), actorBen Gazzara (1930-2012), actor and directorGeorge Gershwin (1898-1937), composer and pianistVincent Gigante (1928-2005), mobsterLotti Golden (born 1949), singer-songwriter, record producer, poet, and artistMarcus Goldman (1821-1904), investment banker, businessman, and financierRalph Goldstein (1913-1997), Olympic épée fencer[147]Ruby Goldstein (1907-1984), professional boxer and prize fight refereeSamuel Gompers (1850-1924), cigar maker and labor union leaderDavid Gordon (1936-2022), post-modern dancer, choreographer, and theatrical director[148]Stephen Grammauta (1916-2016), mobsterRocky Graziano (1919-1990), professional boxer and actorSamuel Greenberg (1893-1917), poet and artistDavid Greenglass (1922-2014), machinist and atomic spySally Gross (1933-2015), dancer and choreographer [149]Luis Guzmán (born 1956), actorMaggie Gyllenhaal (born 1977), actress and filmmakerYip Harburg (1896-1981), song lyricist and librettist[150]Lazarus Joseph (1891-1966), lawyer and politician[151]Jane Katz (born 1943), educator, author, and Olympic swimmer[152]Jack Kirby (1917-1994), comic book artist, writer, and editor[153]LA II (born 1967), graffiti and visual artist[154]Fiorello LaGuardia (1882-1947), attorney and politicianMeyer Lansky (1902-1983), organized crime figureEmanuel Lehman (1827-1907), businessman and bankerHenry Lehman (1822-1855), businessman and bankerMayer Lehman (1830-1897), businessman, banker, and philanthropistSaul Leiter (1923-2013), photographer and painterMelissa Leo (born 1960), actress[155]Lucky Luciano (1897-1962), gangsterSidney Lumet (1924-2011), film directorMadonna (born 1958), singer, songwriter, and actress[156]Joseph Mankiewicz (1909-1993), film director, screenwriter, and producerJackie Mason (1931-2021), stand-up comedian and actorWalter Matthau (1920-2000), actor, comedian, and film directorJulia Migenes (born 1949), sopranoZero Mostel (1915-1977), actor, comedian, and singerJim Neu (1943-2010), playwrightMikhail Odnoralov (1944-2016), artistCharlie Parker (1920-1955), jazz saxophonist, band leader, and composerGenesis P-Orridge (1950-2020), singer-songwriter, musician, poet, performance artist, visual artist, and occultistAnthony Provenzano (1917-1988), mobsterLee Quiñones (born 1960), artist and actorLou Reed (1942-2013), musician, songwriter, and poetEdward G. Robinson (1893-1973), actorSonny Rollins (born 1930), jazz tenor saxophonistJoseph Seligman (1819-1880), banker and businessmanBugsy Siegel (1906-1947), mobsterSheldon Silver (1944-2022), politician and attorney[157]Al Singer (1909-1961), professional boxer[158]Mose Solomon (1900-1966), professional baseball playerDavid South, musician and filmmakerJohn Spacely (died 1993), musician, actor, and nightlife personality[159]Ysanne Spevack (born 1972), composer, conductor, and arranger; changed her name in 2018 to Meena YsanneJohnny Thunders (1952-1991), guitarist, singer, and songwriterRachel Trachtenburg (born 1993), musician and singerLuther Vandross (1951-2005), singer, songwriter, and record producerB. D. Wong (born 1960), actorChristopher Woodrow (born 1977), entrepreneur, financier, and movie producerSee alsoAlife Rivington ClubCooperative VillageGrand Street SettlementEast Side (Manhattan)East Side Hebrew Institute (ESHI)East Village/Lower East Side Historic DistrictFirst HousesHenry Street SettlementLower East Side ConservancyLower East Side History ProjectLower East Side Tenement MuseumMoshe FeinsteinMuseum of Reclaimed Urban SpaceRay's Candy StoreTEATRO SEATompkins Square ParkUniversity Settlement HouseThe Robert F. Kennedy Bridge (RFK Bridge; formerly known and still commonly referred to as the Triborough Bridge) is a complex of bridges and elevated expressway viaducts[3] in New York City. The bridges link the boroughs of Manhattan, Queens, and the Bronx. The viaducts cross Randalls and Wards Islands, previously two islands and now joined by landfill.
The RFK Bridge, a toll bridge, carries Interstate 278 (I-278) as well as the unsigned highway New York State Route 900G. It connects with the FDR Drive and the Harlem River Drive in Manhattan, the Bruckner Expressway (I-278) and the Major Deegan Expressway (Interstate 87) in the Bronx, and the Grand Central Parkway (I-278) and Astoria Boulevard in Queens.
The three primary bridges of the RFK Bridge complex are:[3]
The vertical-lift bridge over Harlem River, the largest in the world, connecting Manhattan Island to Randalls Island (all within the Manhattan borough)The truss bridge over Bronx Kill, connecting Randalls Island to the BronxThe suspension bridge over Hell Gate (a strait of the East River), connecting Wards Island to Astoria in QueensThese three bridges are connected by an elevated highway viaduct across Randalls and Wards Islands and 14 miles (23 km) of support roads. The viaduct includes a smaller span across the former site of Little Hell Gate, which separated Randalls and Wards Islands.[3][4] Also part of the complex is a grade-separated T-interchange on Randalls Island, which sorted out traffic in a way that ensured that drivers paid a toll at only one bank of tollbooths.[5] The tollbooths have since been removed, and all tolls are collected electronically at the approaches to each bridge.
The bridge complex was designed by Allston Dana and with the collaboration of Othmar Ammann and architect Aymar Embury II,[6] and has been called "not a bridge so much as a traffic machine, the largest ever built".[5] The American Society of Civil Engineers designated the Triborough Bridge Project as a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark in 1986.[7] The bridge is owned and operated by MTA Bridges and Tunnels (formally the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority, or TBTA), an affiliate of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
DescriptionThe RFK Bridge is made of four segments. The three primary spans traverse the East River to Queens; the Harlem River to Manhattan; and Bronx Kill to the Bronx,[8] while the fourth is a T-shaped approach viaduct that leads to an interchange plaza between the three primary spans on Randalls Island. The Queens arm of the viaduct formerly crossed Little Hell Gate, a creek located between Randalls Island to the north and Wards Island to the south.[3] Excluding elevated ramps, the segments are a total of 17,710 feet (5,400 m) long, with a 13,560-foot-long (4,130 m) span between the Bronx and Queens, and a 4,150-foot-long (1,260 m) span between Manhattan and the interchange plaza.[9][10][8] In total, the bridge contains 17.5 miles (28.2 km) of roadway, including elevated ramps.[11]
The bridge was primarily designed by chief engineer Othmar H. Ammann and architect Aymar Embury II.[6] Wharton Green served as the Public Works Administration (PWA)'s resident engineer for the project.[12]The East River suspension bridge, pictured in 2021East River suspension bridge (I-278)The East River span, a suspension bridge across the Hell Gate of the East River, connects Queens with Wards Island. It carries eight lanes of Interstate 278, four in each direction, as well as a sidewalk on the northEastern side. The span connects to Grand Central Parkway, and indirectly to the Brooklyn–Queens Expressway (I-278), in Astoria, Queens.[13] Originally it connected to the intersection of 25th Avenue and 31st Street; the former was later renamed Hoyt Avenue.[14] The suspension span was designed by chief engineer Othmar Ammann.[15] The span was originally designed to be double-decked, with eight lanes on each deck.[16][10] When the construction of the Triborough Bridge was paused in 1932 due to lack of funding, the suspension span was downsized to a single deck. There are Warren trusses on each side of the span, which stiffen the deck.[16]
The center span between the two suspension towers is 1,380 feet (421 m) long, and the side spans between the suspension towers and the anchorages are each 700 feet (213 m) long.[16] The total length of the bridge is 2,780 feet (847 m), and the deck is 98 feet (30 m) wide.[16]
At mean high water, the towers are 315 feet (96 m) tall, and there is 143 feet (44 m) of clearance under the middle of the main span.[16] The suspension towers were originally designed by Arthur I. Perry. Each tower was supposed to have two ornate arches at the top, similar to the Brooklyn Bridge, and was to have been supported by four legs: two on the outside and two in the center.[17][10] A 1932 article described that each tower would be made of 5,000 tons of material, including 3,680 tons of steel.[10] The final design of the suspension towers, by Ammann, consists of comparatively simple cross bracing supported by two legs.[17] The tops of each tower contain cast iron saddles in the Art Deco style, over which the bridge's main cables run. These are topped by 30-foot (9.1 m) decorative lanterns with red aircraft warning lights.[18]
The span is supported by two main cables, which suspend the deck and are held up by the suspension towers. Each cable is 20 inches (51 cm) in diameter and contains 10,800 miles (17,400 km) of individual wires.[19] At the Wards Island and Astoria ends of the suspension span, there are two anchorages that hold the main cables.[10] The anchorages contain a combined 133,500 tons of concrete.[19]The Harlem River lift bridge in 2007Harlem River lift bridge (NY 900G)For the railroad bridge between Manhattan and the Bronx, see Harlem River Lift Bridge.New York State Route 900G
LocationManhattan–Randall's IslandLength0.66 mi[20] (1,060 m)The Harlem River span is a lift bridge that connects Manhattan with Randalls Island, designed by chief engineer Ammann.[15] It carries six lanes of New York State Route 900G (NY 900G), an unsigned reference route, as well as two sidewalks, one on each side. The span connects to the Harlem River Drive and the FDR Drive, as well as the intersection of Second Avenue and East 125th Street, in East Harlem, Manhattan. A direct-access ramp leads from the westbound bridge to the northbound Harlem River Drive.[13] At the time of its completion, the Harlem River lift bridge had the largest deck of any lift bridge in the world, with a surface area of 20,000 square feet (1,900 m2). To lighten the deck, it was made of asphalt paved onto steel girders, rather than of concrete.[21]
The movable span is 310 feet (94 m) long, and the side spans between the movable span and the approach viaducts are each 195 feet (59 m) long. The total length of the bridge is 700 feet (213 m).[21] The towers are 210 feet (64 m) above mean high water. Each of the lift towers is supported by two clusters of four columns, which supports the bridge deck. A curved truss at the top of each pair of column clusters forms an arch directly underneath the deck.[21]
The lift span is 55 feet (17 m) above mean high water in the "closed" position, but can be raised to 135 feet (41 m). The movable section is suspended by a total of 96 wire ropes, which are wrapped around pulleys with 15-foot (4.6 m) diameters.[22] These pulleys, in turn, are powered by four motors that can operate at 200 horsepower (149 kW).[21][23]
Major intersectionsNY 900G is officially maintained as a north-south route, despite its largely east-west progression.[20] The entire route is in the New York City borough of Manhattan. All exits are unnumbered.
Locationmi[24]kmDestinationsNotesRandall's Island0.00.0I-278 to I-87 north / Grand Central Parkway – Queens, Bronx, Airports, Bruckner ExpresswayExit 46 on I-278Randall's Island, Icahn Stadium0.10.16Toll gantry (southbound only)Harlem River0.2–0.40.32–0.64BridgeEast Harlem0.40.64
FDR Drive south / Harlem River Drive northExit 17 on FDR Drive/Harlem River Drive0.60.97124th StreetSouthbound entrance only2nd Avenue / 125th Street / 126th StreetAt-grade intersection; northern terminus1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi Electronic toll collection Incomplete access
Bronx Kill crossing in 2008Bronx Kill crossing (I-278)The Bronx Kill span is a truss bridge that connects the Bronx with Randalls Island. It carries eight lanes of I-278, as well as two sidewalks, one on each side. The span connects to Major Deegan Expressway (I-87) and the Bruckner Expressway (I-278) in Mott Haven, Bronx.[13] It originally connected to the intersection of East 134th Street and Cypress Avenue, a site now occupied by the interchange between I-87 and I-278.[14] The truss span was designed by consulting engineers Ash-Howard-Needles and Tammen.[15]
The Bronx Kill span contains three main truss crossings, which are fixed spans because the Bronx Kill is not used by regular boat traffic.[23] The main truss span across the Bronx Kill is 383 feet (117 m) long,[15] while the approaches are a combined 1,217 feet (371 m).[4][15] The total length of the bridge is 1,600 feet (488 m). The truss span is 55 feet (17 m) above mean high water.[15]
Interchange plaza and approach viaductsAn elevated roadway being widened, seen from the groundRenovation of interchange plaza viaduct, seen in 2016A two-story stone building with trees in frontTBTA headquarters on Randalls Island, near the Manhattan spanThe three spans of the RFK Bridge intersect at a grade-separated T-interchange on Randalls Island.[13] The span to Manhattan intersects perpendicularly with the I-278 viaduct between the Bronx and Queens spans.[23] Although I-278 is signed as a west-east highway, the orientation of I-278 on the bridge is closer to a north-south alignment, with the southbound roadway carrying westbound traffic, and the northbound roadway carrying eastbound traffic.[13] Two circular ramps carry traffic to and from eastbound I-278 and the RFK lift bridge to Manhattan.[13][25][26] Randalls and Wards Islands are accessed via exits and entrances to and from westbound I-278; to and from the westbound lift bridge viaduct; to eastbound I-278; and from the eastbound lift bridge viaduct. Eastbound traffic on I-278 accesses the island by first exiting onto the lift bridge viaduct.[13]
The interchange plaza originally contained two tollbooths: one for traffic traveling to and from Manhattan, and one for traffic traveling on I-278 between the Bronx and Queens. The tollbooths were arranged so vehicles only paid one toll upon entering Randalls and Wards Islands, and there was no charge to exit the island.[5][25][26] The elevated toll plazas had a surface area of about 9 acres (3.6 ha) and were supported by 1,700 columns, all hidden behind a concrete retaining wall.[25] In 2017, the MTA started collecting all tolls electronically at the approaches to each bridge,[27] and the tollbooths were removed from the toll plazas on the RFK Bridge and all other MTA Bridges and Tunnels crossings.[28][29]
The Robert Moses Administration Building, a two-story Art Deco structure designed by Embury, served as the headquarters of the TBTA (now the MTA's Bridges and Tunnels division). The building was next to the Manhattan span's plaza, to which it was connected. In 1969, the Manhattan span's toll plaza was relocated west and the I-278 toll plaza was relocated south, and both toll plazas were expanded more than threefold. This required the destruction of the building's original towers. A room was built in 1966 to store Moses's models and blueprints of planned roads and crossings, but they were relocated to the MTA's headquarters at 2 Broadway in the 1980s. The building was renamed after Moses in 1989.[30]
The interchange plaza connects with the over-water spans via a three-legged concrete viaduct that has a total length of more than 2.5 miles (4.0 km). The segments of the viaduct rest atop steel girders, which in turn are placed perpendicularly between concrete piers spaced 60 to 140 feet (18 to 43 m) apart.[21] Each pier is supported by a set of three octagonal columns. The viaduct is mostly eight lanes wide, except at the former locations of the toll plazas, where it widens. The viaduct once traversed Little Hell Gate, a small creek that formerly separated Randalls Island to the north and Wards Island to the south; the waterway has since been filled in.[25] The viaduct rose 62 feet (19 m) above the mean high water of Little Hell Gate.[23]
HistoryInitial plansEdward A. Byrne, chief engineer of the New York City Department of Plant and Structures, first announced plans for connecting Manhattan, Queens and the Bronx in 1916.[31][15] The next year, the Harlem Boards of Trade and Commerce and the Harlem Luncheon Association announced their support for such a bridge, which was proposed to cost $10 million. The "Tri-Borough Bridge", as it was called, would connect 125th Street in Manhattan, St. Ann's Avenue in the Bronx, and an as-yet-undetermined location in Queens. It would parallel the Hell Gate Bridge, a railroad bridge connecting Queens and the Bronx via Randalls and Wards Islands.[32] Plans for the Tri-Borough Bridge were bolstered by the 1919 closure of a ferry between Yorkville in Manhattan and Astoria in Queens.[33]Map of the bridge's path, highlighted in redA bill to construct the bridge was proposed in the New York State Legislature in 1920.[34] Gustav Lindenthal, who had designed the Hell Gate Bridge, criticized the Tri-Borough plan as "uncalled for", as the new Tri-Borough Bridge would parallel the existing Hell Gate Bridge. He stated that the Hell Gate Bridge could be retrofitted with an upper deck for vehicular and pedestrian use.[35] Queens borough president Maurice K. Connolly also opposed the bridge, arguing that there was no need to construct a span between Queens and the Bronx due to low demand. Connolly also said that a bridge between Queens and Manhattan needed to be built further downstream, closer to the Queensboro Bridge, which at the time was the only bridge between the two boroughs.[36][37]
The Port of New York Authority included the proposed Tri-Borough Bridge in a report to the New York state legislature in 1921.[38] The following year, the planned bridge was also included in a "transit plan" published by Mayor John Francis Hylan, who called for the construction of the Tri-Borough Bridge as part of the city-operated Independent Subway System (see § Public transportation).[39][40] In March 1923, a vote was held on whether to allocate money to perform surveys and test borings, as well as create structural plans for the Tri-Borough Bridge. The borough presidents of Manhattan and the Bronx voted for the allocation of the funds, while the presidents of Queens and Staten Island agreed with Hylan, who preferred the construction of the new subway system instead of the Tri-Borough Bridge.[41] The bridge allocation was ultimately not approved.[42] Another attempt at obtaining funds was declined in 1924, although there was a possibility that the bridge could be built based on assessment plans that were being procured.[43]
FundingThe Tri-Borough Bridge project finally received funding in June 1925, when the city appropriated $50,000 for surveys, test borings and structural plans. Work started on a tentative design for the bridge.[4][44] By December 1926, the $50,000 allotment had been spent on bores.[45] Around the same time, the proposal to convert the Hell Gate Bridge resurfaced.[46] Albert Goldman, the Commissioner of Plant and Structures, had finished a tentative report for the Tri-Borough Bridge by that time; however, it was not immediately submitted to the New York City Board of Estimate as a result of a reorganization of the city's proposed budget.[47][48] Goldman finally published the report in March 1927, stating that the bridge was estimated to cost $24.6 million.[49] He explained that the Hell Gate Bridge only had enough space for five lanes of roadway, so a new bridge would have to be constructed parallel to it.[50]
Though two mayoral committees endorsed the Tri-Borough plan,[51] as did several merchants' associations,[52] construction was delayed for a year because of a lack of funds.[53] However, the Board of Estimate did approve $150,000 for preliminary borings and soundings.[54] Following this, in September 1927, a group of entrepreneurs proposed to fund the bridge privately.[55] Under this plan, the bridge would be set up as a toll bridge, and ownership would be transferred to the city once the bridge was paid for.[56] In August 1928, Mayor Jimmy Walker received a similar proposal from the Long Island Board of Commerce to build the Tri-Borough Bridge using $32 million of private capital.[57] The Queens Chamber of Commerce also favored setting up tolls on the bridge to pay for its construction.[58] Yet another plan called for financing the bridge using proceeds from a bond issue, which would also pay for the proposed Queens–Midtown Tunnel.[59]
The Tri-Borough Bridge was being planned in conjunction with the Brooklyn–Queens Expressway, which would create a continuous highway between the Bronx and Brooklyn with a southward extension over The Narrows to Staten Island. In January 1929, New York City aldermanic president Joseph V. McKee endorsed the bridge, saying there was enough funding to begin one of four proposed bridges on the expressway's route.[60] The newly elected borough president of Queens, George U. Harvey, also endorsed the bridge, as did Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce leader George Vincent McLaughlin.[61] Trade groups petitioned Mayor Walker to take up the bridge's construction.[62] By the end of the month, Walker acquiesced, and he had included both the Tri-Borough Bridge and a tunnel under the Narrows in his 10-year traffic program.[63] The preliminary borings were completed by late February 1929.[64] The results of the preliminary borings showed that the bedrock in the ground underneath the proposed bridge was sufficient to support the spans' foundations.[65]
In early March, the Board of Estimate voted to start construction on the bridge and on the Narrows tunnel once funding was obtained. The same month, the board allocated $3 million toward the bridge's construction.[66][67] Separately, the Board of Estimate voted to create an authority to impose toll charges on both crossings.[68] In April 1929, the New York state legislature voted to approve the Tri-Borough Bridge as well as a prison on Rikers Island before adjourning for the fiscal year.[69] The same month, New York state governor Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the bill to approve the relocation of about 700 beds in Wards Island's mental hospital, which were in the way of the proposed bridge's suspension span to Queens.[70] The New York state legislature later approved a bill that provided for the relocation of the Queens span's Wards Island end, 1,100 feet (340 m) to the west, thereby preserving hospital buildings from demolition.[71]Queens suspension span over the East River, seen at sunriseThe bridge was ultimately planned to cost $24 million and was planned to start construction in August 1929.[72] By July, the groundbreaking was scheduled for September.[73] The preliminary Triborough Bridge proposal comprised four bridges: a suspension span across the East River to Queens; a truss span across Bronx Kill to the Bronx; a fixed span across the Harlem River to Manhattan; and a steel arch viaduct across the no-longer-extant Little Hell Gate between Randalls and Wards Islands.[73]
In August 1929, plans for the bridge were submitted to the United States Department of War for approval to ensure that the proposed Tri-Borough Bridge would not block any maritime navigation routes. Railroad and shipping groups objected that the proposed Harlem River span, with a height of 50 feet (15 m) above mean high water, was too short for most ships, and suggested building a 135-foot-high (41 m) suspension span over the Harlem River instead.[74] Because of complaints about maritime navigational clearance, the Department of War approved an increase in the Harlem River fixed bridge's height to 55 feet (17 m), as well as an increase in the length of the Hell Gate suspension bridge's main span from 1,100 to 1,380 feet (340 to 420 m).[71]
ConstructionThe scale of the Triborough Bridge project, including its approaches, was such that hundreds of large apartment buildings were demolished to make way for it. The structure used concrete from factories "from Maine to the Mississippi", and steel from 50 mills in Pennsylvania. To make the formwork for pouring the concrete, a forest's worth of trees on the Pacific Coast was cut down.[9] Robert Caro, the author of a biography on Long Island State Parks commissioner and Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority chairman Robert Moses, wrote about the project:
Triborough was not a bridge so much as a traffic machine, the largest ever built. The amount of human energy expended in its construction gives some idea of its immensity: more than five thousand men would be working at the site, and these men would only be putting into place the materials furnished by the labor of many times five thousand men; before the Triborough Bridge was completed, its construction would have generated more than 31,000,000 man-hours of work in 134 cities in twenty states.[5]
Initial effortsThe Board of Estimate approved the first contracts for the Triborough Bridge in early October 1929, specifically for the construction bridge piers on Randalls and Wards Islands and in Queens. This allowed for the start of construction on the Triborough Bridge's suspension span to Queens.[71] A groundbreaking ceremony was held in Astoria Park, Queens, on October 25, 1929, just a day after Black Thursday, which started the Great Depression.[19] Mayor Walker turned over the first spadeful of dirt for the bridge in front of 10,000 visitors.[75] After the groundbreaking ceremony, further construction was delayed because the company originally contracted to build the piers, the Albert A. Volk Company, refused to carry out the contract. In early December, the contract for the piers was reassigned to the McMullen Company.[76] Meanwhile, the Board was condemning the land in the path of the bridge's approaches.[77] However, this process was also postponed because homeowners wanted to sell their property to the city at exceedingly high prices.[78]
The War Department gave its approval to the Bronx Kills, East River, and Little Hell Gate spans in late April 1930, after construction was already underway on the Queens suspension span across the East River.[79] A week later, the War Department also approved the Harlem River span, with another amendment: the span was now a movable lift bridge, which could be raised to allow maritime traffic to pass.[80] Shortly afterward, a special mayoral committee sanctioned a $5 million expenditure for the Triborough project,[81] and in July 1930, a $5 million bond issue to fund the Triborough Bridge's construction was passed.[82]
Plans for an expressway to connect to the bridge's Queens end were also filed in July 1930. This later became the Brooklyn Queens Expressway, which was connected to the bridge via the Grand Central Parkway.[83] There were also proposals for an expressway to connect to the Bronx end of the bridge along Southern Boulevard.[84] Robert Moses, the Long Island state parks commissioner, wanted to expand Grand Central Parkway from its western terminus at the time, Union Turnpike in Kew Gardens, Queens, northwest to the proposed bridge.[85] The Brooklyn-Queens Expressway proposal, which would create a highway from the Queens end of the bridge to Queens Boulevard in Woodside, Queens, was also considered.[86]Manhattan lift bridge over the Harlem RiverA contract to build the suspension anchorage on Wards Island was awarded in January 1931.[87] At the time, progress on the bridge approaches was proceeding rapidly, and it was expected that the entire Triborugh Bridge complex would be completed in 1934.[14] By August 1931, it was reported that the Wards Island anchorage was 33% completed, and that the corresponding anchorage on the Queens side was 15% completed. Work on drainage dikes, as well as contracts for bridge approach piers, were also progressing.[88] A report the next month indicated that the overall project was 6% completed, and that another $2.45 million in contracts was planned to be awarded over the following year.[89][90] In October, contracts for constructing the bridge piers were advertised.[91] By December 1931, the project was 15% completed,[92] and the city was accepting designs for the Queens span's suspension towers.[93] The granite foundations in the water near each bank of the East River, which would support the suspension towers, were completed in early or mid-1932.[94][95] At the time, there were no funds to build six additional piers on Randalls Island and one in Little Hell Gate, nor were there funds to build the suspension towers themselves.[94]
Funding issuesThe Great Depression severely impacted the city's ability to finance the Triborough Bridge's construction.[19] City comptroller Charles W. Berry had stated in February 1930 that the city was in sound financial condition, even though other large cities were nearing bankruptcy.[96] However, the New York City government was running out of money by that July.[97] The Triborough project's outlook soon began to look bleak. Chief engineer Othmar Ammann was enlisted to help guide the project, but the combination of Tammany Hall graft, the stock market crash, and the Great Depression which followed it, brought the project to a virtual halt.[98] Investors shied away from purchasing the municipal bonds needed to fund it.[6]
By the spring of 1932, the Triborough Bridge project was moribund.[99] As part of $213 million in cuts to the city's budget, Berry wanted to halt construction on the span in order to avoid a $43.7 million budget shortage by the end of that year.[100] With no new contracts being awarded, the chief engineer of the Department of Plant and Structures, Edward A. Byrne, warned in March 1932 that construction on the Triborough Bridge would have to be halted.[101] Though Queens borough president Harvey objected to the impending postponement of the bridge's construction,[102] the project was still included in the $213 million worth of budget cuts.[103] Following this, Goldman submitted a proposal to fund the planning stages for the remaining portions of construction, so that work could resume immediately once sufficient funding was available.[104]
In August 1932, Senator Robert F. Wagner announced that he would ask for a $26 million loan from the federal government, namely President Herbert Hoover's Reconstruction Finance Corporation, so there could be funds for the construction of both the Triborough Bridge and Queens-Midtown Tunnel.[105] Queens borough president Harvey also went to the RFC to ask for funding for the bridge.[106] Soon after, the RFC moved to prepare the loan for the Triborough Bridge project.[107] However, when Mayor Walker resigned suddenly in September 1932, his successor Joseph V. McKee refused to seek RFC or other federal aid for the two projects, stating, "If we go to Washington for funds to complete the Triborough Bridge [...] where would we draw the line?"[108] Governor Al Smith agreed, saying that such requests were unnecessary because the bridge could pay for itself.[109] Harvey continued to push for federal funding for the Triborough Bridge, prioritizing its completion over other projects such as the development of Jamaica Bay in southern Queens.[110] Civic groups also advocated for the city to apply for RFC funding.[111]
In February 1933, a nine-person committee, appointed by Lehman and chaired by Moses, applied to the RFC for a $150 million loan for projects in New York state, including the Triborough Bridge.[112] However, although the RFC favored a loan for the Triborough project,[113] the new mayor, John P. O'Brien, banned the RFC from giving loans to the city.[114] Instead, O'Brien wanted to create a bridge authority to sell bonds to pay for the construction of the Triborough Bridge as well as for the Queens-Midtown Tunnel.[115] Robert Moses was also pushing the state legislature to create an authority to fund, build, and operate the Triborough Bridge.[98] A bill to create the Triborough Bridge Authority (TBA) passed quickly through both houses of the state legislature,[116] and was signed by Governor Herbert H. Lehman that April. The bill included a provision that the authority could sell up to $35 million in bonds and fund the remainder of construction through bridge tolls.[117][118] George Gordon Battle, a Tammany Hall attorney, was appointed as chairman of the new authority, and three commissioners were appointed.[119]
Shortly after the TBA bill was signed, the War Department extended its deadline for the Triborough Bridge's completion by three years, to April 28, 1936.[120] Lehman also signed bills to clear land for a bridge approach in the Bronx,[121] and he promised to resume construction of the bridge.[122] That May, the TBA asked the RFC for a $35 million loan to pay for the bridge.[123][124] The RFC ultimately agreed in August to grant $44.2 million, to be composed of a loan of $37 million, as well as a $7.2 million subsidy.[125] However, the loan would only be given under a condition that 18,000 workers be hired first,[126] so the city's Board of Estimate voted to hire 18,000 workers to work on the Triborough project.[127] The funds for the Triborough Bridge, as well as for the Lincoln Tunnel from Manhattan to New Jersey, were ready by the beginning of September.[128]
Construction resumes
Art Deco saddle housing on Queens suspension bridgeThe city purchased land in the path of the Triborough Bridge in September 1933,[129] and construction on the Triborough Bridge resumed that November.[99] By January 1934, contracts were being prepared for the completion of the suspension span and the construction of the other three spans;[130] one of these contracts included the construction of the bridge's piers.[131] Families living in the path of the bridge's approaches protested against the eviction notices given to them.[132] The construction of the Triborough Bridge across Little Hell Gate also required the demolition of hospital buildings on Randalls and Wards Islands.[133] Work on land-clearing for the bridge began that April.[134] The New York City Department of Hospitals later decided to apply for funds to build the Seaview Hospital on Staten Island, which would house the hospital facilities displaced by the Triborough Bridge.[135]
In February 1934, the TBA contemplated condensing the Queens span's 16-lane, double-deck roadway into an 8-lane, single deck road, as well as simplify the suspension towers' designs, in order to save $5 million.[136] With a 16-lane capacity, the span would have been able to carry 40 million vehicles a year, but this was not projected to be reached until forty years after the bridge's opening.[137] In April, a new plan was approved that would reduce the bridge's cost from $51 million to $42 million so the subsidy could pay for the bridge's entire cost.[137][138][139] Chief engineer Ammann had decided to collapse the original design's two-deck roadway into one, requiring lighter towers and lighter piers.[98] The steel company constructing the towers challenged the TBA's decision in an appellate court, but the court ruled in favor of the TBA.[140]
During this time, the TBA was in turmoil: by January 1934, one of the TBA's commissioners had resigned,[141] and New York City Mayor Fiorello H. La Guardia was trying another TBA commissioner, John Stratton O'Leary, for corruption.[142] As a result, Public Works Administration (PWA) administrator Harold L. Ickes refused to distribute more of the RFC grant until the existing funds could be accounted for.[143] After O'Leary had been removed, La Guardia appointed Moses to the position.[144] After O'Leary's removal, Ickes gave the city $1.5 million toward the bridge's construction.[145][146] Moses became the chairman of the TBA in April 1934, after a series of interim chairmen had held the post.[147] Moses leveraged his leadership of the Authority as well as the state and city positions he also held, to expedite the project.[99] The first major construction contract after Moses gained control of the TBA was awarded in May 1934, for the construction of an approach highway to the Queens span.[148]
Moses continued to advocate for new roads and parkways to feed into the bridge. The complex of roads included the Grand Central Parkway and Astoria Boulevard in Queens; 125th Street, the East River Drive (now the FDR Drive), and Harlem River Drive in Manhattan; and Whitlock Avenue and Eastern Boulevard (now Bruckner Expressway) in the Bronx.[149] All of these roads would be part of an interconnected parkway system that would allow cars to move smoothly through the New York City area.[150] Civic groups also wanted a road from the West Bronx to connect to the bridge, but it was rejected.[151] The first of those roads, the Grand Central Parkway extension from Kew Gardens to the Triborough Bridge, was planned to start construction in spring 1934.[152] Further changes to the plan for the Bronx span came in July 1934: instead of being a lift bridge, as originally proposed, it was approved by the Department of War as a fixed truss span, since the Bronx Kill was not a navigable waterway. However, it could be replaced with a lift bridge if needed.[149][153] The same month, the city approved construction for the first segment of the East River Drive, leading from York Avenue and 92nd Street to the Triborough Bridge approach at 125th Street.[154][155] The bridge approach on the Bronx side was finalized, running along Southern and Eastern Boulevards,[155] with a future extension to Pelham Bay Park in the northEastern Bronx.[156] The Board of Estimate approved the East River Drive approach that October, while voting against the proposed West Bronx approach highway.[157]
While reformers embraced Moses's plans to expand the parkway system, state and city officials were overwhelmed by their scale, and slow to move to provide financing for the vast system.[98] Partial funding came from interest-bearing bonds issued by the Triborough Bridge Authority, to be secured by future toll revenue.[158][159] Financing disputes with the PWA involved complex political infighting between Moses, Ickes, now-President Roosevelt, and Mayor La Guardia.[160] The political disputes peaked in January 1935, when Ickes passed a rule that effectively prohibited PWA funding for the TBA unless Moses resigned the post of either TBA chairman or New York City Parks Commissioner.[161] This came as a result of Moses's criticism that New Deal funding programs like the PWA were too slow to disburse funds.[162] Ickes threatened to withhold salaries for TBA workers as well.[163] Though La Guardia was supportive of Moses, even petitioning Roosevelt to intervene, he was willing to replace the TBA chairman if it resulted in funding for the bridge, since Roosevelt sided with Ickes.[164] In mid-March, Ickes suddenly backed down on his ultimatum, and not only was Moses allowed to keep both of his positions, but also the PWA resumed its payments to the TBA.[165][166][167]
Significant progressIn February 1935, while the feud between Moses and Ickes was ongoing, the TBA awarded a contract to build supporting piers for the Harlem River lift structure to Manhattan.[168] Despite an impending lack of funds due to the dispute between Moses and Ickes, the TBA announced its intent to open offers for bridge steelwork.[169] By March, the suspension towers for the East River span to Queens were nearing completion, as only the tops of the towers remained outstanding. The support piers on Randalls and Wards Islands had progressed substantially.[156] After the Moses/Ickes dispute had subsided, the TBA started advertising for offers to build the steel roadways of the Randalls and Wards Islands viaducts, as well as the East River suspension span.[170] Less than a week afterward, the first temporary wires were strung between the two towers of the suspension span, marking the future locations of that span's main cables.[171] A contract for the Harlem River lift span's steel superstructure was awarded that May,[172] followed by a contract for the Bronx Kill truss span's structure the following month.[173]
The spinning of the main span's suspension cables was finished in July 1935. By that time, half of the $41 million federal grant had been spent on construction, and the bridge was expected to open the following year.[174] The projected completion of the Triborough Bridge in July 1936 was expected to relieve traffic on highways in the New York City area,[175] and with the upcoming 1939 New York World's Fair being held in Queens, it would also provide a new fast route to the fairground at Flushing Meadows–Corona Park.[176] By October 1935, the Queens approach and the Randalls and Wards Islands viaduct was nearly complete. Vertical suspender cables had been hung from the main cables of the Queens suspension span, and the steel slabs to support the span's roadway deck were being erected. However, progress on the Bronx and Manhattan spans had not progressed as much: the concrete piers supporting Bronx span were being constructed, and the site of the Manhattan span was marked only by its foundations.[177] The deck of the Queens suspension span was completed the following month.[178]The interchange plaza between the Queens, Bronx, and Manhattan spansIn November 1935, a controversy emerged over the fact that the Triborough Bridge would use steel imported from Nazi Germany, rather than American producers.[179] Although American steel producers objected to the contract, the PWA approved of it anyway, because the German steel contract was cheaper than any of the offers presented by American producers.[180] Moses also approved of the decision because it would save money.[181][182] However, La Guardia blocked the deal, writing that "the only commodity we can get from Hitlerland [Germany] is hatred, and we don't want any in our country."[183] Shortly afterward, imported materials were banned for use on any PWA projects.[184]
By February 1936, the TBA had awarded contracts for paving the Bronx Kill and East River spans, as well as for constructing several administrative buildings for the TBA near the bridge.[185] Moses wanted to speed up construction on the Triborough Bridge so that it would meet a deadline of July 11, 1936. He objected to an order that Ickes made in March 1936, decentralizing control of PWA resident engineers, who would report to state PWA bosses instead of directly to the PWA's main office in Washington, D.C. Moses believed that the PWA boss for New York, Arthur S. Tuttle, was indecisive.[186] In return, Ickes assured Moses of Tuttle's full cooperation.[187] Moses also appealed to Ickes to increase the construction workers' workweeks from 30 to 40 hours so the bridge would be able to open on time, but was initially rejected.[188][189] A 40-hour workweek was approved in June 1936, one month before the bridge's projected opening.[190]
The 300-by-84-foot superstructure of the Harlem River lift span was assembled in Weehawken, New Jersey. It was floated northward to the Triborough Bridge site in April 1936.[191] Early the next month, the 200-ton main lift span was hoisted into place above the Harlem River in a process that took sixteen minutes.[192] In addition, the city gave the New York City Omnibus Corporation a temporary permit to operate bus routes on the Triborough Bridge, connecting the bus stops on each of the bridge's ends, during the summer months.[193]
A byproduct of the Triborough project was the creation of parks and playgrounds in the lands underneath the bridges and approaches.[99] The largest of these parks was Randall's Island Park, located on Wards and Randalls Islands.[194][195] The park on Randalls Island was approved in February 1935,[196] and included the construction of an Olympic-sized running track called Downing Stadium, work on which began in summer 1935.[195][197][198] Smaller parks were also built in Astoria and Manhattan.[99][4]
OpeningBy May 1936, the opening ceremonies for both the Triborough Bridge and the Downing Stadium were scheduled for July 11.[199] The dedication was scheduled to occur on the Manhattan lift span.[200] Due to the previous conflicts between President Roosevelt and Robert Moses, the attendance of the former was not certain until two weeks before the ceremony.[201] PWA administrator Ickes's attendance was only finalized four days beforehand.[202]
The completed structure, described by The New York Times as a "Y-shaped sky highway", was dedicated on July 11, 1936, along with the Downing Stadium.[203] The ceremony for the Triborough Bridge was held at the interchange plaza, and was attended by President Roosevelt, Mayor La Guardia, Governor Lehman, PWA administrator Ickes, and Postmaster General James A. Farley, who all gave speeches.[204][205] Robert Moses acted as the master of ceremonies.[203][206] The ceremonies were broadcast via a nationwide radio connection.[206] A parade was also held on 125th Street in Manhattan to celebrate the bridge's opening.[207] The Triborough Bridge opened to the general public at 1:30 p.m., and by that midnight an estimated 200,000 people had visited the bridge via car, bus, or foot.[203][11] The next day, 40,000 vehicles used the bridge on its first full day of service.[208] July 13 was the first weekday that the bridge was in service, and it saw about 1,000 vehicles an hour.[209] In the first month of service, the TBA recorded an average bridge usage of 31,000 vehicles per day.[210] The American Institute of Steel Construction later declared the Triborough Bridge to be the most beautiful steel bridge constructed in 1936.[211]
The ferry between Yorkville, Manhattan, and Astoria, Queens, was made redundant by the new Triborough Bridge. Upon the bridge's opening, Moses unsuccessfully attempted to destroy the ferry house before being stopped by La Guardia.[212][213] The city had closed the ferry by the end of July.[214] Traffic on the Queensboro Bridge, the only other vehicular bridge that connected Manhattan and Queens, declined after the Triborough Bridge opened.[215]
The Triborough Bridge, the largest PWA project in the Eastern U.S.,[216] cost $60.3 million (equivalent to $1 billion in 2022) according to final TBA figures.[1][217] Based on expenditures, the PWA had originally estimated the bridge's cost to be as high as $64 million.[216][218] In either case, the Triborough Bridge was one of the largest public works projects of the Great Depression, more expensive than the Hoover Dam.[4][206][219] Of this, $16 million came from the city and $9 million directly from the PWA. The latter also purchased $35 million worth of TBA bonds, which were eventually bought back and resold to the public.[99] The PWA had finished giving out the $35 million loan by February 1937,[220] and the Reconstruction Finance Corporation had sold the last of the TBA's funds that July.[221] Additional funding came from toll collection: the toll was initially set at 25 cents per passenger car, with lower rates for motorcycles and higher rates for commercial vehicles.[222] In the first year of the bridge's operation it generated $2.72 million (equivalent to $55.37 million in 2022), collected from 9.65 million vehicles.[6]
Early years
The Grand Central Parkway/I-278 approach to the bridge's Queens suspension spanWhen the bridge opened, none of the spans had direct connections to the greater system of highways in New York City.[8] In Queens, the Grand Central Parkway extension to the Triborough Bridge was nearly completed at the time of the bridge's opening. The Manhattan span was planned to connect to the East River Drive (now the FDR Drive), the first segments of which were still under construction.[8] The section of the East River Drive from the bridge south to 92nd Street opened that October.[223]
The Bronx span ended in local traffic at the no-longer extant intersection of 135th Street and Cypress Avenue.[8] The first of two approach highways in the Bronx was approved late in 1936;[224] it connected to the West Bronx, following the present route of the Major Deegan Expressway (I-87) northwest to the intersection of 138th Street and Grand Concourse, where there were flyover ramps connecting to the Grand Concourse.[225] Another approach highway in the Bronx, the present Bruckner Boulevard, was approved in 1938.[226] This highway was built on the site of Whitlock Avenue, extending northeast through the South Bronx from the bridge to the Bronx River, where it followed Eastern Boulevard eastward to what is now the Bruckner Interchange.[227] Both Bronx approach roads were completed quickly in preparation for the 1939 New York World's Fair, which was held in Queens. The first segment of the West Bronx approach highway to the Grand Concourse was opened in April 1939, in time for the fair.[228] The West Bronx highway later became part of the Major Deegan Expressway, an Interstate-standard highway that reached to the New York State Thruway at the New York City border.[229]
Originally, there was no direct access from the Queens span to Wards Island, but in November 1937, Moses announced the construction of a ramp from the Queens span that would lead down to the island.[230] The next year, a lawsuit was filed by two Wards Islands landowners, who alleged that the Triborough Bridge had been built on portions of their land. They each received nominal damages of $1.[231][232]
The Triborough Bridge Authority was headquartered in an administration building adjacent to the Manhattan span's toll plaza, where by 1940, it controlled the operation of all toll bridges located entirely within New York City.[30] An additional bridge between the Bronx and Queens, the Bronx–Whitestone Bridge, was opened in April 1939.[233][234] However, the Triborough Bridge did not see any initial decline in traffic, likely because both spans were heavily used during the World's Fair.[235] Soon after, vehicle rationing caused by the onset of World War II resulted in a decline in traffic at crossings operated by the TBA including the Triborough Bridge.[236] Still, by 1940, the Triborough Bridge was the most profitable crossing operated by the TBA.[237] The TBA became the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority (TBTA) in 1946 after it took over the construction of the Queens–Midtown Tunnel and Brooklyn–Battery Tunnel, though TBTA operations continued to be managed from the Triborough Bridge.[238]
Years after the Triborough Bridge's opening, Moses continued expanding the system of highways in the New York City area, including arteries that led to the Triborough Bridge. Construction on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway in Queens—between the Grand Central Parkway interchange, just east of the Triborough Bridge, and the Kosciuszko Bridge at the Brooklyn border—was underway by the late 1940s.[239] In addition, Moses wanted to build an elevated expressway atop Bruckner Boulevard.[240] In 1956, the New York City Planning Commission approved the conversion of Bruckner Boulevard between the Triborough Bridge and the Bruckner Interchange to a grade-separated expressway as part of the Interstate Highway System.[241] The entire Bruckner Expressway except for the Bruckner Interchange opened in 1962,[242] while the entire Brooklyn-Queens Expressway was completed in 1964.[243] Both segments became part of I-278, as did the Queens and Bronx spans of the Triborough Bridge.[244]
Later history
Reconstruction of the viaduct between the Manhattan lift span to the Queens suspension bridge spanIn 1968, the Triborough Bridge received its first major renovation in its 31-year history. Seven tollbooths were added, three at the Manhattan span's toll plaza and four at the Queens/Bronx spans' toll plaza, and several ramps were widened at a cost of $20 million. The project also added a direct ramp from the Manhattan span to the southbound lanes of Second Avenue in East Harlem.[245] The TBTA administration building was also expanded during this project.[30] Traffic from the Manhattan span was temporarily diverted during this project.[246][247]
In 1997, more renovations were announced as part of the Triborough Bridge Rehabilitation Project.[248] The project consisted of three phases. The first phase involved renovating the Queens span and approach ramps, as well as replacing the suspender cables. On the Queens side, an exit ramp from westbound I-278 to 31st Street necessitated the destruction of the entrance to the southern sidewalk. The second phase involved renovating the Bronx span and approach ramps. The third phase involved renovating the Manhattan span and approach ramps.[249] Work on replacing the Queens span's suspender cables and adding an orthotropic deck to the Queens suspension span started in 2000.[250][251]
At some point in the past, a sign on the bridge informed travelers, "In event of attack, drive off bridge," New York Times columnist William Safire wrote in 2008. The "somewhat macabre sign", he wrote, must have "drawn a wry smile from millions of motorists."[252]
On November 19, 2008, the Triborough Bridge was officially renamed after Robert F. Kennedy, former U.S. Senator representing New York and U.S. Attorney General, at the request of the Kennedy family.[253] Forty years had passed since Kennedy had been assassinated during a 1968 presidential offer.[254][255][256] Traffic and news reports have come to commonly refer to the bridge as the "RFK Triborough Bridge" and at times simply the "Triborough Bridge" to avoid confusion among residents long accustomed to its original name.[257]
The MTA announced further renovations to the Triborough Bridge in 2008; the work included the replacement of the roadways at the toll plazas, as well as the rehabilitation of various ramps and the construction of a new service building.[248] The same year, the MTA awarded contracts to renovate the Queens span's anchorages.[258] In 2015, the MTA started two reconstruction projects on different parts of the bridge[259] as part of a $1 billion, 15-year program to renovate the bridge complex.[260] The MTA commenced construction on a $213 million rehabilitation of the 1930s-era toll plaza between the Queens and Bronx spans, which included a rebuilding of the roadway and the supporting structure underneath. The new toll plaza structure was completed in 2019.[259]
Cashless tolling was implemented on June 15, 2017,[27][261] allowing drivers to pay tolls electronically via E-ZPass or Toll-by-Mail without having to stop at any tollbooths.[27] Shortly afterward, the tollbooths were demolished.[28][29] In addition, a ramp from the Manhattan span to the northbound Harlem River Drive was being built for $68.3 million, and was to be finished by December 2017;[259] however, this was later delayed pending the reconstruction of the Harlem River Drive viaduct around the area.[262] In February 2020, the northbound Harlem River Drive ramp's completion was tentatively announced for 2021.[263][264] At that point, the ramp was expected to cost $72.6 million.[265] The ramp opened in November 2020.[266]
UsageThe toll revenues from the RFK Bridge pay for a portion of the public transit funding for the New York City Transit Authority and the commuter railroads.[267] The bridge had annual average daily traffic of 164,116 in 2014. For that year, the bridge saw annual toll-paying traffic rise by 2.9% to 59.9 million, generating $393.6 million in revenue at an average toll of $6.57.[268]Entrance to the Queens spanPedestrian and bicycle sidewalksThe bridge has sidewalks on all three spans where the TBTA officially requires bicyclists to walk their bicycles across[269] due to safety concerns.[270] However, the signs stating this requirement have been usually ignored by bicyclists,[271]: 16  and the New York City Government has recommended that the TBTA should reassess this kind of bicycling ban.[271]: 57  Stairs on the 2 km (1.2 mi) Queens span impede handicapped access, and only the northern sidewalk on that span is open to traffic; the Queens end of the southern sidewalk was demolished in the early 2000s.[272] The two sidewalks of the Bronx span are connected to one long and winding ramp at the Randalls Island end,[273] though another pedestrian bridge between Randalls Island and the neighborhood of Port Morris, Bronx, opened to the east of the RFK Bridge in November 2015.[274]
Public transportationThe RFK Bridge carries the M35, M60 SBS and X80 bus routes operated by MTA New York City Transit, as well as several express bus routes operated by the MTA Bus Company: BxM6, BxM7, BxM8, BxM9, BxM10 and BxM11. The M35 travels from Manhattan to Randalls and Wards Islands (with the X80 also operating during special events), while the M60 SBS runs between Manhattan and Queens, and the MTA Bus express routes travel between Manhattan and the Bronx.[275]
In the 1920s, John F. Hylan proposed building the Triborough Bridge as part of his planned Independent Subway System. The proposal entailed extending the New York City Subway's BMT Astoria Line along the same route the Triborough now follows. It would have created a crosstown subway line along 125th Street, as well as a new subway line in the Bronx under St. Ann's Avenue.[39][40][276]
TollsAs of April 11, 2021, drivers pay $10.17 per car or $4.28 per motorcycle for tolls by mail/non-NYCSC E-ZPass. E-ZPass users with transponders issued by the New York E‑ZPass Customer Service Center pay $6.55 per car or $2.85 per motorcycle. Mid-Tier NYCSC E-ZPass users pay $8.36 per car or $3.57 per motorcycle. All E-ZPass users with transponders not issued by the New York E-ZPass CSC will be required to pay Toll-by-mail rates.[277]
When the Triborough Bridge opened, it had a combined 22 tollbooths spread across two toll plazas.[222] Motorists were first able to pay with E‑ZPass in lanes for automatic coin machines at the toll plazas on August 21, 1996.[278]
Open-road cashless tolling began on June 15, 2017.[27] The tollbooths were dismantled, and drivers are no longer able to pay cash at the bridge. Instead, there are cameras mounted onto new overhead gantries manufactured by TransCore[279] near where the booths were formerly located.[280][281] A vehicle without an E-ZPass has a picture taken of its license plate and a bill for the toll is mailed to its owner.[282] For E-ZPass users, sensors detect their transponders tollsHistory of passenger cash tolls for the Triborough BridgeYearsTollToll equivalentin 2022[283]Ref.1936–1972$0.25$1.75–5.27[284][285]1972–1975$0.50$2.72–3.50[285][286]1975–1980$0.75$2.66–4.08[286][287]1980–1982$1.00$3.03–3.55[287][288]1982–1984$1.25$3.52–3.79[288][289]1984–1986$1.50$4.08–4.00[289][290]1986–1987$1.75$4.51–4.67[290][291]1987–1989$2.00$4.72–5.15[291][292]1989–1993$2.50$5.06–5.90[292][293]1993–1996$3.00$5.60–6.08[293][294]1996–2003$3.50$6.53–6.53[294][295]2003–2005$4.00$5.99–7.46[295][296]2005–2008$4.50$6.12–6.74[296][297]2008–2010$5.00$6.71–6.80[297][298]2010–2015$6.50$8.02–8.72[298][299]2015–2017$8.00$9.55–9.88[300][301]2017–2019$8.50$9.73–10.15[302][303]2019–2021$9.50$10.74–$10.87[304][305]April 2021 – present$10.17$10.17[306]See alsoiconEngineering portalFlagNew York City portaliconTransport portalList of bridges documented by the Historic American Engineering Record in New YorkNational Register of Historic Places listings in New York County, New YorkNational Register of Historic Places listings in Queens County, New YorkNational Register of Historic Places listings in Bronx County, New YorkList of reference routes in New YorkManhattan (/mænˈhætən, mən-/) is the most densely populated and geographically smallest of the five boroughs of New York City. The borough is also coextensive with New York County, one of the original counties of the U.S. state of New York. Located near the southern tip of the State of New York, Manhattan is based in the Eastern Time Zone and constitutes both the geographical and demographic center of the Northeast megalopolis and the urban core of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass.[7] Over 58 million people live within 250 miles of Manhattan,[8] which serves as New York City's economic and administrative center, cultural identifier, center of glamor,[9] and the city's historical birthplace.[10] Residents of the outer boroughs of New York City often refer to Manhattan as "the City".[11]
Manhattan has been described as the cultural, financial, media, and entertainment capital of the world,[12][13][14][15] and hosts the United Nations headquarters.[16] Manhattan also serves as the headquarters of the global art market, with numerous art galleries and sale houses collectively hosting half of the world's art sales.[17]
Situated on one of the world's largest natural harbors, the borough consists mostly of Manhattan Island, bounded by the Hudson, East, and Harlem rivers along with several small adjacent islands, including Roosevelt, U Thant, and Randalls and Wards Islands. The Borough of Manhattan also includes the small neighborhood of Marble Hill on the U.S. mainland, which was separated from Manhattan Island by construction of the Harlem Ship Canal and was later connected using landfill to the Bronx. Manhattan Island is divided into three informally bounded components, each cutting across the borough's long axis: Lower, Midtown, and Upper Manhattan.
Anchored by Wall Street in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan, New York City has been called both the most economically powerful city and the leading financial and fintech center of the world,[18][19][20][21] and Manhattan is home to the world's two largest stock exchanges by total market capitalization, the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq.[22][23] Many multinational media conglomerates are based in Manhattan, and the borough has been the setting for numerous books, films, and television shows. Manhattan's residential and commercial real estate markets are the most expensive in the world,[24] with the value of Manhattan Island, including real estate, estimated to exceed US$4 trillion in 2021, and with Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan commanding the highest retail rents in the world, at US$3,000 per square foot ($32,000/m2) per year in 2017.[25] In 2022, the average monthly apartment rent in Manhattan climbed over US$5,000 for the first time.[26]
The area of present-day Manhattan was originally part of Lenape territory.[27] European settlement began with the establishment of a trading post founded by colonists from the Dutch Republic in 1624 on Lower Manhattan; the post was named New Amsterdam in 1626. The territory and its surroundings came under English control in 1664[28] and were renamed New York after King Charles II of England granted the lands to his brother, the Duke of York.[29] New York, based in present-day Manhattan, served as the capital of the United States from 1785 until 1790.[30] The Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor greeted millions of immigrants as they came to America by ship in the late 19th century[31] and is a world symbol of the United States and its ideals of liberty and peace.[32] Manhattan became a borough during the consolidation of New York City in 1898.
New York County is the smallest county by land area in the contiguous United States, as well as the most densely populated U.S. county.[33] Manhattan is one of the most densely populated locations in the world, with a 2020 census population of 1,694,251 living in a land area of 22.83 square miles (59.13 km2),[34][35][5] or 72,918 residents per square mile (28,154 residents/km2), one of the highest urban densities in the world and higher than the density of any individual U.S. city.[36] On business days, the influx of commuters increases this number to over 3.9 million,[37] or more than 170,000 people per square mile (66,000 people/km2). Manhattan has the third-largest population of New York City's five boroughs, after Brooklyn and Queens, and is the smallest borough in terms of land area.[38] If each borough were ranked as a city, Manhattan would rank as the sixth-most populous in the U.S.
Many districts and landmarks in Manhattan are well known, as New York City received a record 62.8 million tourists in 2017,[39] and Manhattan hosts three of the world's 10 most-visited tourist attractions in 2013: Times Square, Central Park, and Grand Central Terminal.[40] The Empire State Building has become the global standard of reference to describe the height and length of other structures.[41] Penn Station in Midtown Manhattan is the busiest transportation hub in the Western Hemisphere.[42] The borough hosts many prominent bridges, including the Brooklyn, Manhattan, Williamsburg, Queensboro, Triborough, and George Washington Bridges; tunnels such as the Holland and Lincoln Tunnels; skyscrapers including the Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, and One World Trade Center;[43] and parks, such as Central Park. Chinatown incorporates the highest concentration of Chinese people in the Western Hemisphere,[44] and Koreatown is replete with karaoke bars.[45] The Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, part of the Stonewall National Monument, is considered the birthplace of the modern gay rights movement, cementing Manhattan's central role in LGBT culture.[46][47] The City of New York was founded at the southern tip of Manhattan,[48] and the borough houses New York City Hall, the seat of the city's government.[49] Numerous colleges and universities are located in Manhattan,[50] including Columbia University, New York University, Cornell Tech, Weill Cornell Medical College, and Rockefeller University, which have been ranked among the top 40 in the world.[51][52] The Metropolitan Museum of Art is both the largest and most visited art museum in the United States and hosts the globally focused Met Gala haute couture fashion event annually. Governors Island in New York Harbor is planned to host a US$1 billion research and education center poised to make New York City the global leader in addressing the climate crisis.[53]
EtymologyThe name Manhattan originated from the Lenapes language, Munsee, manaháhtaan (where manah- means "gather", -aht- means "bow", and -aan is an abstract element used to form verb stems). The Lenape word has been translated as "the place where we get bows" or "place for gathering the (wood to make) bows".
According to a Munsee tradition recorded by Albert Seqaqkind Anthony in the 19th century, the island was named so for a grove of hickory trees at its southern end that was considered ideal for the making of bows.[54] It was first recorded in writing as Manna-hata, in the 1609 logbook of Robert Juet, an officer on Henry Hudson's yacht Halve Maen (Half Moon).[55]
A 1610 map depicts the name Manna-hata twice, on both the east and west sides of the Mauritius River, later named the North River and ultimately the Hudson River. Alternative etymologies in folklore include "island of many hills",[56] "the island where we all became intoxicated" and simply "island", as well as a phrase descriptive of the whirlpool at Hell Gate.[57] It is thought that the term Manhattoe may originally have referred only to a location at the southern tip of the island before eventually signifying the entire island to the Dutch through pars pro toto.
HistorySee also: History of New York CityHistory of New York CityLenape and New Netherland, to 1664New AmsterdamBritish and Revolution, 1665–1783Federal and early American, 1784–1854Tammany and Consolidation, 1855–1897(Civil War, 1861–1865)Early 20th century, 1898–1945Post–World War II, 1946–1977Modern and post-9/11, 1978–presentSee alsoTransportationTimelines: NYC • Bronx • Brooklyn • Queens • Staten IslandCategoryvteLenape settlementManhattan was historically part of the Lenapehoking territory inhabited by the Munsee Lenape[58] and Wappinger tribes.[59] There were several Lenape settlements in the area of Manhattan including Sapohanikan, Nechtanc, and Konaande Kongh that were interconnected by a series of trails. The primary trail on the island ran from what is now Inwood in the north to Battery Park in the south. There were various sites for fishing and planting established by the Lenape throughout Manhattan.[27] The 48-acre (19 ha) Collect Pond, which fed the fresh water streams and marshes around it, was also an important meeting and trading location for the people in the area.[60][61]
Colonial eraMain articles: New Netherland, New Amsterdam, and Province of New York
Peter Minuit, who founded New Sweden in 1638
Pieter Schaghen's 1626 letter saying Manhattan had been purchased for 60 Dutch guilders
The Castello Plan showing the Dutch city of New Amsterdam at Manhattan's southern tip in 1660
New Amsterdam centered in what eventually became Lower Manhattan in 1664, the year England took control and renamed it New YorkIn 1524, Florentine explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano, sailing in service of King Francis I of France, became the first documented European to visit the area that would become New York City. Verrazzano entered the tidal strait now known as The Narrows and named the land around Upper New York Harbor New Angoulême, in reference to the family name of King Francis I that was derived from Angoulême in France; he sailed far enough into the harbor to sight the Hudson River, which he referred to in his report to the French king as a "very big river"; and he named the Bay of Santa Margarita – what is now Upper New York Bay – after Marguerite de Navarre, the elder sister of the king.[62][63]
Manhattan was first mapped during a 1609 voyage of Henry Hudson, an Englishman who worked for the Dutch East India Company.[64] Hudson came across Manhattan Island and the native people living there, and continued up the river that would later bear his name, the Hudson River, until he arrived at the site of present-day Albany.[65]
A permanent European presence in New Netherland began in 1624, with the founding of a Dutch fur trading settlement on Governors Island. In 1625, construction was started on the citadel of Fort Amsterdam on Manhattan Island, later called New Amsterdam (Nieuw Amsterdam), in what is now Lower Manhattan.[66][67] The 1625 establishment of Fort Amsterdam at the southern tip of Manhattan Island is recognized as the birth of New York City.[68]
According to a letter by Pieter Janszoon Schagen, Peter Minuit and Walloon colonists of the West India Company acquired the island of Manhattan on May 24, 1626, from unnamed native people, who are believed to have been Canarsee Indians of the Manhattoe, in exchange for traded goods worth 60 guilders,[69] often said to be worth US$24. The figure of 60 guilders comes from a letter by a representative of the Dutch Estates General and member of the board of the Dutch West India Company, Pieter Janszoon Schagen, to the Estates General in November 1626.[70] In 1846, New York historian John Romeyn Brodhead converted the figure of Fl 60 (or 60 guilders) to US$24 (he arrived at $24 = Fl 60/2.5, because the US dollar was erroneously equated with the Dutch rijksdaalder having a standard value of 2.5 guilders).[71] "[A] variable-rate myth being a contradiction in terms, the purchase price remains forever frozen at twenty-four dollars," as authors Edwin G. Burrows and Mike Wallace remarked in their history of New York.[72] Sixty guilders in 1626 was valued at approximately $1,000 in 2006 and $963 in 2020, according to the Institute for Social History of Amsterdam.[73] Based on the price of silver, "The Straight Dope" newspaper column calculated an equivalent of $72 in 1992.[74] Historians James and Michelle Nevius revisited the issue in 2014, suggesting that using the prices of beer and brandy as monetary equivalencies, the price Minuit paid would have the purchasing power of somewhere between $2,600 and $15,600 in current dollars.[75] According to the writer Nathaniel Benchley, Minuit conducted the transaction with Seyseys, chief of the Canarsee, who were willing to accept valuable merchandise in exchange for the island that was mostly controlled by the Weckquaesgeeks, a band of the Wappinger.[76]
In 1647, Peter Stuyvesant was appointed as the last Dutch Director-General of the colony.[77] New Amsterdam was formally incorporated as a city on February 2, 1653.[78] In 1674, the English bought New Netherland, after Holland lost rentable sugar business in Brazil, and renamed it "New York" after the English Duke of York and Albany, the future King James II.[79] The Dutch, under Director General Stuyvesant, successfully negotiated with the English to produce 24 articles of provisional transfer, which sought to retain for the extant citizens of New Netherland their previously attained liberties (including freedom of religion) under their new English rulers.[80][67]
The Dutch Republic re-captured the city in August 1673, renaming it "New Orange". New Netherland was ultimately ceded to the English in November 1674 through the Treaty of Westminster.[81]
American Revolution and the early United StatesFurther information: American Revolution
Washington's statue in front of Federal Hall on Wall Street, where in 1789 he was sworn in as the first U.S. president[82]Manhattan was at the heart of the New York Campaign, a series of major battles in the early stages of the American Revolutionary War. The Continental Army was forced to abandon Manhattan after the Battle of Fort Washington on November 16, 1776. The city, greatly damaged by the Great Fire of New York during the campaign, became the British military and political center of operations in North America for the remainder of the war.[83] The military center for the colonists was established in neighboring New Jersey.[84][85] British occupation lasted until November 25, 1783, when George Washington returned to Manhattan, as the last British forces left the city.[86]
From January 11, 1785, to the fall of 1788, New York City was the fifth of five capitals of the United States under the Articles of Confederation, with the Continental Congress meeting at New York City Hall (then at Fraunces Tavern). New York was the first capital under the newly enacted Constitution of the United States, from March 4, 1789, to August 12, 1790, at Federal Hall.[87] Federal Hall was also the site where the United States Supreme Court met for the first time,[88] the United States Bill of Rights were drafted and ratified,[89] and where the Northwest Ordinance was adopted, establishing measures for adding new states to the Union.[90]
19th century
Manhattan in 1873; the Brooklyn Bridge, connecting Manhattan with Brooklyn, was constructed between 1870 and 1883.New York grew as an economic center, first as a result of Alexander Hamilton's policies and practices as the first Secretary of the Treasury and, later, with the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825, which connected the Atlantic port to the vast agricultural markets of the Midwestern United States and Canada.[91][92] By 1810, New York City, then confined to Manhattan, had surpassed Philadelphia as the largest city in the United States.[93] The Commissioners' Plan of 1811 laid out the island of Manhattan in its familiar grid plan.
Tammany Hall, a Democratic Party political machine, began to grow in influence with the support of many of the immigrant Irish, culminating in the election of the first Tammany mayor, Fernando Wood, in 1854. Tammany Hall dominated local politics for decades. Central Park, which opened to the public in 1858, became the first landscaped public park in an American city.[94][95]
New York City played a complex role in the American Civil War. The city's strong commercial ties to the southern United States existed for many reasons, including the industrial power of the Hudson River, which allowed trade with stops such as the West Point Foundry, one of the great manufacturing operations in the early United States; and the city's Atlantic Ocean ports, rendering New York City the American powerhouse in terms of industrial trade between the northern and southern United States. Anger arose about conscription, with resentment at those who could afford to pay $300 to avoid service leading to resentment against Lincoln's war policies and fomenting paranoia about free Blacks taking the poor immigrants' jobs,[96] culminating in the three-day-long New York Draft Riots of July 1863. These intense war-time riots are counted among the worst incidents of civil disorder in American history, with an estimated 119 participants and passersby massacred.[97]
The rate of immigration from Europe grew steeply after the Civil War, and Manhattan became the first stop for millions seeking a new life in the United States, a role acknowledged by the dedication of the Statue of Liberty on October 28, 1886, a gift from the people of France.[98][99] New York's growing immigrant population, which had earlier consisted mainly of German and Irish immigrants, began in the late 1800s to include waves of impoverished Italians and Central and Eastern European Jews flowing in en masse. This new European immigration brought further social upheaval. In a city of tenements packed with poorly paid laborers from dozens of nations, the city became a hotbed of revolution (including anarchists and communists among others), syndicalism, racketeering, and unionization.
In 1883, the opening of the Brooklyn Bridge established a road connection to Brooklyn, across the East River. In 1874, the western portion of the present Bronx County was transferred to New York County from Westchester County, and in 1895 the remainder of the present Bronx County was annexed.[100] In 1898, when New York City consolidated with three neighboring counties to form "the City of Greater New York", Manhattan and the Bronx, though still one county, were established as two separate boroughs. On January 1, 1914, the New York State Legislature created Bronx County and New York County was reduced to its present boundaries.[101]The "Sanitary & Topographical Map of the City and Island of New York", commonly known as the Viele Map, developed by Egbert Ludovicus Viele in 186520th centuryFurther information: Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire and Stonewall riots
Manhattan's Little Italy on the Lower East Side, c. 1900The construction of the New York City Subway, which opened in 1904, helped bind the new city together, as did additional bridges to Brooklyn. In the 1920s Manhattan experienced large arrivals of African-Americans as part of the Great Migration from the southern United States, and the Harlem Renaissance, part of a larger boom time in the Prohibition era that included new skyscrapers competing for the skyline. New York City became the most populous city in the world in 1925, overtaking London, which had reigned for a century.[102] Manhattan's majority white ethnic group declined from 98.7% in 1900 to 58.3% by 1990.[103]
On March 25, 1911, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in Greenwich Village killed 146 garment workers. The disaster eventually led to overhauls of the city's fire department, building codes, and workplace regulations.[104]
The period between the World War I and World War II saw the election of reformist mayor Fiorello La Guardia and the fall of Tammany Hall after 80 years of political dominance.[105] As the city's demographics stabilized, labor unionization brought new protections and affluence to the working class, the city's government and infrastructure underwent a dramatic overhaul under La Guardia.Manhattan personified in the early 20th centuryDespite the Great Depression, some of the world's tallest skyscrapers were completed in Manhattan during the 1930s, including numerous Art Deco masterpieces that are still part of the city's skyline, most notably the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, and the 30 Rockefeller Plaza.[106]
Returning World War II veterans created a postwar economic boom, which led to the development of huge housing developments targeted at returning veterans, the largest being Peter Cooper Village-Stuyvesant Town, which opened in 1947.[107] In 1951–1952, the United Nations relocated to a new headquarters the East Side of Manhattan.[108][109]
The Stonewall riots were a series of spontaneous, violent protests by members of the gay community against a police raid that took place in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Lower Manhattan. They are widely considered to constitute the single most important event leading to the gay liberation movement[110][111] and the modern fight for LGBT rights.[112][113]
In the 1970s, job losses due to industrial restructuring caused New York City, including Manhattan, to suffer from economic problems and rising crime rates.[114] While a resurgence in the financial industry greatly improved the city's economic health in the 1980s, New York's crime rate continued to increase through the decade and into the beginning of the 1990s.[115]
The 1980s saw a rebirth of Wall Street, and Manhattan reclaimed its role at the center of the worldwide financial industry. The 1980s also saw Manhattan at the heart of the AIDS crisis, with Greenwich Village at its epicenter. The organizations Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC) and AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) were founded to advocate on behalf of those stricken with the disease.
By the 1990s, crime rates started to drop dramatically due to revised police strategies, improving economic opportunities, gentrification, and new residents, both American transplants and new immigrants from Asia and Latin America. Murder rates that had reached 2,245 in 1990 plummeted to 537 by 2008, and the crack epidemic and its associated drug-related violence came under greater control.[116] The outflow of population turned around, as the city once again became the destination of immigrants from around the world, joining with low interest rates and Wall Street bonuses to fuel the growth of the real estate market.[117] Important new sectors, such as Silicon Alley, emerged in Manhattan's economy.
The newly completed Singer Building towering above the city, 1909The newly completed Singer Building towering above the city, 1909
A construction worker atop the Empire State Building as it was being built in 1930; to the right is the Chrysler BuildingA construction worker atop the Empire State Building as it was being built in 1930; to the right is the Chrysler Building
Aerial view of the tip of Lower Manhattan, 1931Aerial view of the tip of Lower Manhattan, 1931
Lower East Side and Lower Manhattan skyline photographed using Agfacolor, 1938Lower East Side and Lower Manhattan skyline photographed using Agfacolor, 1938
V-J Day in Times Square in Times Square, 1945V-J Day in Times Square in Times Square, 1945
The Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, a designated U.S. National Historic Landmark and National Monument, as the site of the June 1969 Stonewall riots and the cradle of the modern gay rights movement[110][118][119]The Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, a designated U.S. National Historic Landmark and National Monument, as the site of the June 1969 Stonewall riots and the cradle of the modern gay rights movement[110][118][119]
21st centurySee also: September 11 attacks
United Airlines Flight 175 hits the South Tower on September 11, 2001.
Flooding on Avenue C caused by Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2012[120]On September 11, 2001, two of four hijacked planes were flown into the Twin Towers of the original World Trade Center, and the towers subsequently collapsed in the September 11 attacks launched by al-Qaeda terrorists. 7 World Trade Center collapsed due to fires and structural damage caused by heavy debris falling from the collapse of the Twin Towers. The other buildings within the World Trade Center complex were damaged beyond repair and soon after demolished. The collapse of the Twin Towers caused extensive damage to other surrounding buildings and skyscrapers in Lower Manhattan, and resulted in the deaths of 2,606 people, in addition to those on the planes. Many rescue workers and residents of the area developed several life-threatening illnesses that have led to some of their subsequent deaths.[121]
Since 2001, most of Lower Manhattan has been restored, although there has been controversy surrounding the rebuilding. A memorial at the site was opened to the public on September 11, 2011, and the museum opened in 2014. In 2014, the new One World Trade Center, at 1,776 feet (541 m) and formerly known as the Freedom Tower, became the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere,[122] while other skyscrapers were under construction at the site.
The Occupy Wall Street protests in Zuccotti Park in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan began on September 17, 2011, receiving global attention and spawning the Occupy movement against social and economic inequality worldwide.[123]
On October 29 and 30, 2012, Hurricane Sandy caused extensive destruction in the borough, ravaging portions of Lower Manhattan with record-high storm surge from New York Harbor,[124] severe flooding, and high winds, causing power outages for hundreds of thousands of city residents[125] and leading to gasoline shortages[126] and disruption of mass transit systems.[127][128][129][130] The storm and its profound impacts have prompted the discussion of constructing seawalls and other coastal barriers around the shorelines of the borough and the metropolitan area to minimize the risk of destructive consequences from another such event in the future.[131] Around 15 percent of the borough is considered to be in flood-risk zones.[132]
On October 31, 2017, a terrorist took a rental pickup truck and deliberately drove down a bike path alongside the West Side Highway in Lower Manhattan, killing eight people and injuring a dozen others before crashing into a school bus.[133]
GeographySee also: Geography of New York City
Satellite image of Manhattan, bounded by the Hudson River to the west, the Harlem River to the north, the East River to the east, and New York Harbor to the south, with rectangular Central Park prominently visible. Roosevelt Island, in the East River, belongs to Manhattan.
Location of Manhattan (in red) and the rest of New York City (in yellow)
A 2019 USGS map of Central Park, covering part of ManhattanComponentsThe borough consists of Manhattan Island, Marble Hill, and several small islands, including Randalls Island and Wards Island, and Roosevelt Island in the East River, and Governors Island and Liberty Island to the south in New York Harbor.[134]
According to the United States Census Bureau, New York County has a total area of 33.6 square miles (87 km2), of which 22.8 square miles (59 km2) is land and 10.8 square miles (28 km2) (32%) is water.[2] The northern segment of Upper Manhattan represents a geographic panhandle. Manhattan Island is 22.7 square miles (59 km2) in area, 13.4 miles (21.6 km) long and 2.3 miles (3.7 km) wide, at its widest (near 14th Street).[135] Icebergs are often compared in size to the area of Manhattan.[136][137][138]
Manhattan IslandManhattan Island is loosely divided into Downtown (Lower Manhattan), Midtown (Midtown Manhattan), and Uptown (Upper Manhattan), with Fifth Avenue dividing Manhattan lengthwise into its East Side and West Side. Manhattan Island is bounded by the Hudson River to the west and the East River to the east. To the north, the Harlem River divides Manhattan Island from the Bronx and the mainland United States.
Early in the 19th century, landfill was used to expand Lower Manhattan from the natural Hudson shoreline at Greenwich Street to West Street.[139] When building the World Trade Center in 1968, 1.2 million cubic yards (917,000 m3) of material was excavated from the site.[140] Rather than dumping the spoil at sea or in landfills, the fill material was used to expand the Manhattan shoreline across West Street, creating Battery Park City.[141] The result was a 700-foot (210 m) extension into the river, running six blocks or 1,484 feet (452 m), covering 92 acres (37 ha), providing a 1.2-mile (1.9 km) riverfront esplanade and over 30 acres (12 ha) of parks;[142] Hudson River Park was subsequently opened in stages beginning in 1998.[143] Little Island opened on the Hudson River in May 2021, connected to the western termini of 13th and 14th Streets by footbridges.[144]
Marble HillOne neighborhood of New York County, Marble Hill, is contiguous with the U.S. mainland. Marble Hill at one time was part of Manhattan Island, but the Harlem River Ship Canal, dug in 1895 to improve navigation on the Harlem River, separated it from the remainder of Manhattan as an island between the Bronx and the remainder of Manhattan.[145] Before World War I, the section of the original Harlem River channel separating Marble Hill from the Bronx was filled in, and Marble Hill became part of the mainland.[146]
Marble Hill is one example of how Manhattan's land has been considerably altered by human intervention. The borough has seen substantial land reclamation along its waterfronts since Dutch colonial times, and much of the natural variation in its topography has been evened out.[56]
Smaller islandsSee also: List of smaller islands in New York CityWithin New York Harbor, there are three smaller islands:
Ellis Island, shared with New JerseyGovernors IslandLiberty IslandOther smaller islands, in the East River, include (from north to south):
Randalls and Wards Islands, joined by landfillMill RockRoosevelt IslandU Thant Island (legally Belmont Island)GeologyBedrock
A schist outcropping in Central ParkThe bedrock underlying much of Manhattan is a mica schist known as Manhattan schist[147] of the Manhattan Prong physiographic region. It is a strong, competent metamorphic rock that was created when Pangaea formed. It is well suited for the foundations of tall buildings. In Central Park, outcrops of Manhattan schist occur and Rat Rock is one rather large a predominant feature of the substrata of Manhattan is that the underlying bedrock base of the island rises considerably closer to the surface near Midtown Manhattan, dips down lower between 29th Street and Canal Street, then rises toward the surface again in Lower Manhattan. It has been widely believed that the depth to bedrock was the primary underlying reason for the clustering of skyscrapers in the Midtown and Financial District areas, and their absence over the intervening territory between these two areas.[151][152] However, research has shown that economic factors played a bigger part in the locations of these skyscrapers.[153][154][155]
Updated seismic analysisAccording to the United States Geological Survey, an updated analysis of seismic hazard in July 2014 revealed a "slightly lower hazard for tall buildings" in Manhattan than previously assessed. Scientists estimated this lessened risk based upon a lower likelihood than previously thought of slow shaking near New York City, which would be more likely to cause damage to taller structures from an earthquake in the vicinity of the city.[156]
LocationsA tall green statue on an island in a harbor.Liberty Island, an exclave of Manhattan, New York City, and New York state, that is surrounded by New Jersey watersAdjacent countiesBergen County, New Jersey—west and northwestHudson County, New Jersey—west and southwestBronx County (The Bronx)—north and northeastQueens County (Queens)—eastKings County (Brooklyn)—south and southeastRichmond County (Staten Island)—southwestNational protected areasAfrican Burial Ground National MonumentCastle Clinton National MonumentFederal Hall National MemorialGeneral Grant National MemorialGovernors Island National MonumentHamilton Grange National MemorialLower East Side Tenement National Historic SiteStatue of Liberty National Monument (part)Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic SiteNeighborhoodsMain articles: Neighborhoods in New York City and List of Manhattan neighborhoods
The Empire State Building (in foreground) looking south from the top of Rockefeller Center with One World Trade Center (in background); the Midtown South Community Council acts as a civic caretaker for much of the neighborhood between the skyscrapers of Midtown and Lower Manhattan.Manhattan's many neighborhoods are not named according to any particular convention, nor do they have official boundaries. Some are geographical (the Upper East Side), or ethnically descriptive (Little Italy). Others are acronyms, such as TriBeCa (for "TRIangle BElow CAnal Street") or SoHo ("SOuth of HOuston"), or the far more recent vintages NoLIta ("NOrth of Little ITAly").[157][158] and NoMad ("NOrth of MADison Square Park").[159][160][161] Harlem is a name from the Dutch colonial era after Haarlem, a city in the Netherlands.[162] Alphabet City comprises Avenues A, B, C, and D, to which its name refers. Some have simple folkloric names, such as Hell's Kitchen, alongside their more official but lesser used title (in this case, Clinton).
Some neighborhoods, such as SoHo, which is mixed use, are known for upscale shopping as well as residential use. Others, such as Greenwich Village, the Lower East Side, Alphabet City and the East Village, have long been associated with the Bohemian subculture.[163] Chelsea is one of several Manhattan neighborhoods with large gay populations and has become a center of both the international art industry and New York's nightlife.[164] Chinatown has the highest concentration of people of Chinese descent outside of Asia.[165][166] Koreatown is roughly bounded by 6th and Madison Avenues,[167][168][169] between 31st and 33rd Streets, where Hangul signage is ubiquitous. Rose Hill features a growing number of Indian restaurants and spice shops along a stretch of Lexington Avenue between 25th and 30th Streets which has become known as Curry Hill.[170] Washington Heights in Uptown Manhattan is home to the largest Dominican immigrant community in the United States.[171] Harlem, also in Upper Manhattan, is the historical epicenter of African American culture. Since 2010, a Little Australia has emerged and is growing in Nolita, Lower Manhattan.[172]
In Manhattan, uptown means north (more precisely north-northeast, which is the direction the island and its street grid system are oriented) and downtown means south (south-southwest).[173] This usage differs from that of most American cities, where downtown refers to the central business district. Manhattan has two central business districts, the Financial District at the southern tip of the island, and Midtown Manhattan. The term uptown also refers to the northern part of Manhattan above 72nd Street and downtown to the southern portion below 14th Street,[174] with Midtown covering the area in between, though definitions can be rather fluid depending on the situation.
Fifth Avenue roughly bisects Manhattan Island and acts as the demarcation line for east/west designations (e.g., East 27th Street, West 42nd Street); street addresses start at Fifth Avenue and increase heading away from Fifth Avenue, at a rate of 100 per block on most streets.[174] South of Waverly Place, Fifth Avenue terminates and Broadway becomes the east/west demarcation line. Although the grid does start with 1st Street, just north of Houston Street (the southernmost street divided in west and east portions; pronounced HOW-stin), the grid does not fully take hold until north of 14th Street, where nearly all east–west streets are numerically identified, which increase from south to north to 220th Street, the highest numbered street on the island. Streets in Midtown are usually one-way, with the few exceptions generally being the busiest cross-town thoroughfares (14th, 23rd, 34th, and 42nd Streets, for example), which are offerirectional across the width of Manhattan Island. The rule of thumb is that odd-numbered streets run west, while even-numbered streets run east.[135]
Central Park in autumnUnder the Köppen climate classification, using the 0 °C (32 °F) isotherm, New York City features both a humid subtropical climate (Cfa) and a humid continental climate (Dfa);[175] it is the northernmost major city on the North American continent with a humid subtropical climate. The city averages 234 days with at least some sunshine annually.[176] The city lies in the USDA 7b plant hardiness zone.[177]
Winters are cold and damp, and prevailing wind patterns that blow offshore temper the moderating effects of the Atlantic Ocean; yet the Atlantic and the partial shielding from colder air by the Appalachians keep the city warmer in the winter than inland North American cities at similar or lesser latitudes such as Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and Indianapolis. The daily mean temperature in January, the area's coldest month, is 32.6 °F (0.3 °C);[178] temperatures usually drop to 10 °F (−12 °C) several times per winter,[178][179] and reach 60 °F (16 °C) several days in the coldest winter month.[178] Spring and autumn are unpredictable and can range from chilly to warm, although they are usually mild with low humidity. Summers are typically warm to hot and humid, with a daily mean temperature of 76.5 °F (24.7 °C) in July.[178] Nighttime conditions are often exacerbated by the urban heat island phenomenon, while daytime temperatures exceed 90 °F (32 °C) on average of 17 days each summer[180] and in some years exceed 100 °F (38 °C). Extreme temperatures have ranged from −15 °F (−26 °C), recorded on February 9, 1934, up to 106 °F (41 °C) on July 9, 1936.[180]
Summer evening temperatures are elevated by the urban heat island effect, which causes heat absorbed during the day to be radiated back at night, raising temperatures by as much as 7 °F (4 °C) when winds are slow.[181] Manhattan receives 49.9 inches (1,270 mm) of precipitation annually, which is relatively evenly spread throughout the year. Average winter snowfall between 1981 and 2010 has been 25.8 inches (66 cm); this varies considerably from year to year.[180] Governors Island in New York Harbor is planned to host a US$1 billion research and education center with the intention of making New York City the global leader in addressing the climate crisis.[53]
vteClimate data for New York (Belvedere Castle, Central Park), 1991–2020 normals,[b] extremes 1869–present[c]MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYearRecord high °F (°C)72(22)78(26)86(30)96(36)99(37)101(38)106(41)104(40)102(39)94(34)84(29)75(24)106(41)Mean maximum °F (°C)60.4(15.8)60.7(15.9)70.3(21.3)82.9(28.3)88.5(31.4)92.1(33.4)95.7(35.4)93.4(34.1)89.0(31.7)79.7(26.5)70.7(21.5)62.9(17.2)97.0(36.1)Average high °F (°C)39.5(4.2)42.2(5.7)49.9(9.9)61.8(16.6)71.4(21.9)79.7(26.5)84.9(29.4)83.3(28.5)76.2(24.6)64.5(18.1)54.0(12.2)44.3(6.8)62.6(17.0)Daily mean °F (°C)33.7(0.9)35.9(2.2)42.8(6.0)53.7(12.1)63.2(17.3)72.0(22.2)77.5(25.3)76.1(24.5)69.2(20.7)57.9(14.4)48.0(8.9)39.1(3.9)55.8(13.2)Average low °F (°C)27.9(−2.3)29.5(−1.4)35.8(2.1)45.5(7.5)55.0(12.8)64.4(18.0)70.1(21.2)68.9(20.5)62.3(16.8)51.4(10.8)42.0(5.6)33.8(1.0)48.9(9.4)Mean minimum °F (°C)9.8(−12.3)12.7(−10.7)19.7(−6.8)32.8(0.4)43.9(6.6)52.7(11.5)61.8(16.6)60.3(15.7)50.2(10.1)38.4(3.6)27.7(−2.4)18.0(−7.8)7.7(−13.5)Record low °F (°C)−6(−21)−15(−26)3(−16)12(−11)32(0)44(7)52(11)50(10)39(4)28(−2)5(−15)−13(−25)−15(−26)Average precipitation inches (mm)3.64(92)3.19(81)4.29(109)4.09(104)3.96(101)4.54(115)4.60(117)4.56(116)4.31(109)4.38(111)3.58(91)4.38(111)49.52(1,258)Average snowfall inches (cm)8.8(22)10.1(26)5.0(13)0.4(1.0)0.0(0.0)0.0(0.0)0.0(0.0)0.0(0.0)0.0(0.0)0.1(0.25)0.5(1.3)4.9(12)29.8(76)Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)10.810.011.111.411.511.210.510. snowy days (≥ 0.1 in) relative humidity (%)61.560.258.555.362.765. dew point °F (°C)18.0(−7.8)19.0(−7.2)25.9(−3.4)34.0(1.1)47.3(8.5)57.4(14.1)61.9(16.6)62.1(16.7)55.6(13.1)44.1(6.7)34.0(1.1)24.6(−4.1)40.3(4.6)Mean monthly sunshine hours162.7163.1212.5225.6256.6257.3268.2268.2219.3211.2151.0139.02,534.7Percent possible sunshine54555757575759635961514857Average ultraviolet index2346788864215Source 1: NOAA (relative humidity and sun 1961–1990; dew point 1965–1984)[180][178][176][183]Source 2: Weather Atlas[184]See Climate of New York City for additional climate information from the outer boroughs.
Sea temperature data for New YorkMonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYearAverage sea temperature °F (°C)41.7(5.4)39.7(4.3)40.2(4.5)45.1(7.3)52.5(11.4)64.5(18.1)72.1(22.3)74.1(23.4)70.1(21.2)63.0(17.2)54.3(12.4)47.2(8.4)55.4(13.0)Source: Weather Atlas[184]Boroughscape
Ten-mile Manhattan skyline panorama from 120th Street to the Battery, taken February 21, 2018, from across the Hudson River in Weehawken, New Jersey.Riverside ChurchTime Warner Center220 Central Park SouthCentral Park TowerOne57432 Park Avenue53W53Chrysler BuildingBank of America TowerConde Nast BuildingThe New York Times BuildingEmpire State BuildingManhattan Westa: 55 Hudson Yards, b: 35 Hudson Yards, c: 10 Hudson Yards, d: 15 Hudson Yards56 Leonard Street8 Spruce StreetWoolworth Building70 Pine Street30 Park Place40 Wall StreetThree World Trade CenterFour World Trade CenterOne World Trade CenterDemographicsLooking at crowds down BroadwayBroadway in Midtown Manhattan. As of the 2020 U.S. census, Manhattan was 74,870.7 inhabitants per square mile (28,907.7/km2), rendering it the most densely populated municipality in the United States.In 2020, 1,694,251 people lived in Manhattan. At the 2010 U.S. census, there were 1,585,873 people living in Manhattan, an increase of 3.2% since 2000. Since 2010, Manhattan's population was estimated by the U.S. Census Bureau to have increased 2.7% to 1,628,706 as of 2018, representing 19.5% of New York City's population of 8,336,817 and 8.4% of New York State's population of 19,745,289.[34][185]
Racial composition2020[186]2010[187]2000[188]1990[189]1950[189]1900[189]White50.0%57.4%54.3%58.3%79.4%97.8%—Non-Hispanic46.8%48%45.7%48.9%n/an/aBlack or African American13.5%15.6%17.3%22.0%19.6%2.0%Hispanic or Latino (of any race)23.8%25.4%27.1%26.0%n/an/aAsian13.1%11.3%9.4%7.4%0.8%0.3%
Ethnic origins in ManhattanNew York City's five boroughsvteJurisdictionPopulationLand areaDensity of populationGDP †BoroughCountyCensus(2020)squaremilessquarekmpeople/sq. milepeople/sq. kmbillions(2012 US$) 2The BronxBronx1,472,65442.2109.334,92013,482$38.726BrooklynKings2,736,07469.4179.739,43815,227$92.300ManhattanNew York1,694,25122.758.874,78128,872$651.619QueensQueens2,405,464108.7281.522,1258,542$88.578Staten IslandRichmond495,74757.5148.98,6183,327$14.806City of New York8,804,190302.6783.829,09511,234$885.958State of New York20,215,75147,126.4122,056.8429166$1,514.779† GDP = Gross Domestic Product Sources:[190][191][192][193] and see individual borough articles.As of the 2020 census, the population density of New York County was 74,870.7 inhabitants per square mile (28,907.7/km2), the highest population density of any county in the United States.[34] In 1910, at the height of European immigration to New York, Manhattan's population density reached a peak of 101,548 people per square mile (39,208 people/km2).[34][185]
Historical populationYearPop.±%16561,000— 16984,937+393.7%17125,841+18.3%17237,248+24.1%17318,622+19.0%174611,717+35.9%175613,040+11.3%177121,863+67.7%178623,614+8.0%179033,131+40.3%180060,489+82.6%181096,373+59.3%1820123,706+28.4%1830202,589+63.8%1840312,710+54.4%1850515,547+64.9%1860813,669+57.8%1870942,292+15.8%18801,164,674+23.6%18901,441,216+23.7%19001,850,093+28.4%19102,331,542+26.0%19202,284,103−2.0%19301,867,312−18.2%19401,889,924+1.2%19501,960,101+3.7%19601,698,281−13.4%19701,539,233−9.4%19801,428,285−7.2%19901,487,536+4.1%20001,537,195+3.3%20101,585,873+3.2%20201,694,251+6.8%Sources:[34][194][195][5]Manhattan is one of the highest-income places in the United States with a population greater than one million. As of 2012, Manhattan's cost of living was the highest in the United States.[196] Manhattan is also the United States county with the highest per capita income, being the sole county whose per capita income exceeded $100,000 in 2010.[197] However, from 2011–2015 Census data of New York County, the per capita income was recorded in 2015 dollars as $64,993, with the median household income at $72,871, and poverty at 17.6%.[198] In 2012, The New York Times reported that inequality was higher than in most developing countries, stating, "The wealthiest fifth of Manhattanites made more than 40 times what the lowest fifth reported, a widening gap (it was 38 times, the year before) surpassed by only a few developing countries".[199]
ReligionIn 2010, the largest organized religious group in Manhattan was the Archdiocese of New York, with 323,325 Catholics worshipping at 109 parishes, followed by 64,000 Orthodox Jews with 77 congregations, an estimated 42,545 Muslims with 21 congregations, 42,502 non-denominational adherents with 54 congregations, 26,178 TEC Episcopalians with 46 congregations, 25,048 ABC-USA Baptists with 41 congregations, 24,536 Reform Jews with 10 congregations, 23,982 Mahayana Buddhists with 35 congregations, 10,503 PC-USA Presbyterians with 30 congregations, and 10,268 RCA Presbyterians with 10 congregations. Altogether, 44.0% of the population was claimed as members by religious congregations, although members of historically African-American denominations were underrepresented due to incomplete information.[200] In 2014, Manhattan had 703 religious organizations, the seventeenth most out of all US counties.[201] There is a large Buddhist temple in Manhattan located at the foot of the Manhattan Bridge in Chinatown.[202]
LanguagesAs of 2010, 59.98% (902,267) of Manhattan residents, aged five and older, spoke only English at home, while 23.07% (347,033) spoke Spanish, 5.33% (80,240) Chinese, 2.03% (30,567) French, 0.78% (11,776) Japanese, 0.77% (11,517) Russian, 0.72% (10,788) Korean, 0.70% (10,496) German, 0.66% (9,868) Italian, 0.64% (9,555) Hebrew, and 0.48% (7,158) spoke African languages at home. In total, 40.02% (602,058) of Manhattan's population, aged five and older, spoke a language other than English at home.[203]
As of 2015, 60.0% (927,650) of Manhattan residents, aged five and older, spoke only English at home, while 22.63% (350,112) spoke Spanish, 5.37% (83,013) Chinese, 2.21% (34,246) French, 0.85% (13,138) Korean, 0.72% (11,135) Russian, and 0.70% (10,766) Japanese. In total, 40.0% of Manhattan's population, aged five and older, spoke a language other than English at home.[204]
Landmarks and architectureMain article: Architecture of New York CitySee also: List of skyscrapers in New York City
Estonian House, a main center of Estonian culture among Estonian AmericansPoints of interest on Manhattan Island include the American Museum of Natural History; the Battery; Broadway and the Theater District; Bryant Park; Central Park, Chinatown; the Chrysler Building; The Cloisters; Columbia University; Curry Hill; the Empire State Building; Flatiron Building; the Financial District (including the New York Stock Exchange Building; Wall Street; and the South Street Seaport); Grand Central Terminal; Greenwich Village (including New York University; Washington Square Arch; and Stonewall Inn); Harlem and Spanish Harlem; the High Line; Koreatown; Lincoln Center; Little Australia; Little Italy; Madison Square Garden; Museum Mile on Fifth Avenue (including the Metropolitan Museum of Art); Penn Station, Port Authority Bus Terminal; Rockefeller Center (including Radio City Music Hall); Times Square; and the World Trade Center (including the National September 11 Museum and One World Trade Center).
There are also numerous iconic bridges across rivers that connect to Manhattan Island, as well as an emerging number of supertall skyscrapers. The Statue of Liberty rests on a pedestal on Liberty Island, an exclave of Manhattan, and part of Ellis Island is also an exclave of Manhattan. The borough has many energy-efficient, Environmentally friendly office buildings, such as the Hearst Tower, the rebuilt 7 World Trade Center,[205] and the Bank of America Tower—the first skyscraper designed to attain a Platinum LEED history
Alexander Turney Stewart on 9th Street in Manhattan in 1870
Many tall buildings have setbacks on their facade due to the 1916 Zoning Resolution, exemplified at Park Avenue and 57th Street in Midtown Manhattan.The skyscraper, which has shaped Manhattan's distinctive skyline, has been closely associated with New York City's identity since the end of the 19th century. From 1890 to 1973, the title of world's tallest building resided continually in Manhattan (with a gap between 1894 and 1908, when the title was held by Philadelphia City Hall), with eight different buildings holding the title.[208] The New York World Building on Park Row, was the first to take the title in 1890, standing 309 feet (94 m) until 1955, when it was demolished to construct a new ramp to the Brooklyn Bridge.[209] The nearby Park Row Building, with its 29 stories standing 391 feet (119 m) high, became the world's tallest office building when it opened in 1899.[210] The 41-story Singer Building, constructed in 1908 as the headquarters of the eponymous sewing machine manufacturer, stood 612 feet (187 m) high until 1967, when it became the tallest building ever demolished.[211] The Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Tower, standing 700 feet (210 m) at the foot of Madison Avenue, wrested the title in 1909, with a tower reminiscent of St Mark's Campanile in Venice.[212] The Woolworth Building, and its distinctive Gothic architecture, took the title in 1913, topping off at 792 feet (241 m).[213] Structures such as the Equitable Building of 1915, which rises vertically forty stories from the sidewalk, prompted the passage of the 1916 Zoning Resolution, requiring new buildings to contain setbacks withdrawing progressively at a defined angle from the street as they rose, in order to preserve a view of the sky at street level.[214]
The Roaring Twenties saw a race to the sky, with three separate buildings pursuing the world's tallest title in the span of a year. As the stock market soared in the days before the Wall Street Crash of 1929, two developers publicly competed for the crown.[215] At 927 feet (283 m), 40 Wall Street, completed in May 1930 in only eleven months as the headquarters of the Bank of Manhattan, seemed to have secured the title.[216] At Lexington Avenue and 42nd Street, auto executive Walter Chrysler and his architect William Van Alen developed plans to build the structure's trademark 185-foot (56 m) spire in secret, pushing the Chrysler Building to 1,046 feet (319 m) and making it the tallest in the world when it was completed in 1929.[217] Both buildings were soon surpassed with the May 1931 completion of the 102-story Empire State Building with its Art Deco tower reaching 1,250 feet (380 m) at the top of the building. The 203-foot (62 m) high pinnacle was later added bringing the total height of the building to 1,453 ft (443 m).[218][219]
The former Twin Towers of the World Trade Center were located in Lower Manhattan. At 1,368 and 1,362 feet (417 and 415 m), the 110-story buildings were the world's tallest from 1972 until they were surpassed by the construction of the Willis Tower in 1974 (formerly known as the Sears Tower, located in Chicago).[220] One World Trade Center, a replacement for the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, is currently the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere.[221]
In 1961, the Pennsylvania Railroad unveiled plans to tear down the old Penn Station and replace it with a new Madison Square Garden and office building complex. Organized protests were aimed at preserving the McKim, Mead & White-designed structure completed in 1910, widely considered a masterpiece of the Beaux-Arts style and one of the architectural jewels of New York City.[222] Despite these efforts, demolition of the structure began in October 1963. The loss of Penn Station—called "an act of irresponsible public vandalism" by historian Lewis Mumford—led directly to the enactment in 1965 of a local law establishing the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, which is responsible for preserving the "city's historic, aesthetic, and cultural heritage".[223] The historic preservation movement triggered by Penn Station's demise has been credited with the retention of some one million structures nationwide, including over 1,000 in New York City.[224] In 2017, a multibillion-dollar rebuilding plan was unveiled to restore the historic grandeur of Penn Station, in the process of upgrading the landmark's status as a critical transportation hub.[225]
ParklandParkland composes 17.8% of the borough, covering a total of 2,686 acres (10.87 km2). The 843-acre (3.41 km2) Central Park, the largest park comprising 30% of Manhattan's parkland, is bordered on the north by West 110th Street (Central Park North), on the west by Eighth Avenue (Central Park West), on the south by West 59th Street (Central Park South), and on the east by Fifth Avenue. Central Park, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, offers extensive walking tracks, two ice-skating rinks, a wildlife sanctuary, and several lawns and sporting areas, as well as 21 playgrounds and a 6-mile (9.7 km) road from which automobile traffic is banned.[226] While much of the park looks natural, it is almost entirely landscaped, and the construction of Central Park in the 1850s was one of the era's most massive public works projects, with some 20,000 workers crafting the topography to create the English-style pastoral landscape Olmsted and Vaux sought to create.[227]
The remaining 70% of Manhattan's parkland includes 204 playgrounds, 251 Greenstreets, 371 basketball courts, and many other amenities.[228] The next-largest park in Manhattan, the Hudson River Park, stretches 4.5 miles (7.2 km) on the Hudson River and comprises 550 acres (220 ha).[229] Other major parks include:[230]
Bowling GreenBryant ParkCity Hall ParkDeWitt Clinton ParkEast River GreenwayFort Tryon ParkFort Washington ParkHarlem River ParkHolcombe Rucker ParkImagination PlaygroundInwood Hill ParkIsham ParkJ. Hood Wright ParkJackie Robinson ParkMadison Square ParkMarcus Garvey ParkMorningside ParkRandall's Island ParkRiverside ParkSara D. Roosevelt ParkSeward ParkSt. Nicholas ParkStuyvesant SquareThe BatteryThe High LineThomas Jefferson ParkTompkins Square ParkUnion Square ParkWashington Square ParkEconomyMain article: Economy of New York City
By a significant margin, the New York Stock Exchange is the world's largest stock exchange; the market capitalization of its listed companies[231][232] is US$23.1 trillion as of April 2018, the largest of any stock exchange in the world[233]Manhattan is the economic engine of New York City, with its 2.3 million workers in 2007 drawn from the entire New York metropolitan area accounting for almost two-thirds of all jobs in New York City.[234] In the first quarter of 2014, the average weekly wage in Manhattan (New York County) was $2,749, representing the highest total among large counties in the United States.[235] Manhattan's workforce is overwhelmingly focused on white collar professions, with manufacturing nearly extinct. Manhattan also has the highest per capita income of any county in the United States.
In 2010, Manhattan's daytime population was swelling to 3.94 million, with commuters adding a net 1.48 million people to the population, along with visitors, tourists, and commuting students. The commuter influx of 1.61 million workers coming into Manhattan was the largest of any county or city in the country,[236] and was more than triple the 480,000 commuters who headed into second-ranked Washington, D.C.[237]
Financial sectorMain article: Wall Street
The Financial District of Lower Manhattan, seen from BrooklynManhattan's most important economic sector lies in its role as the headquarters for the U.S. financial industry, metonymously known as Wall Street. Manhattan is home to the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), at 11 Wall Street in Lower Manhattan, and the Nasdaq, now located at 4 Times Square in Midtown Manhattan, representing the world's largest and second-largest stock exchanges, respectively, when measured both by overall share trading value and by total market capitalization of their listed companies in 2013.[23] The NYSE American (formerly the American Stock Exchange, AMEX), New York Board of Trade, and the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) are also located downtown. Financial technology (fintech) and cryptocurrency have emerged as more recent constituents of the financial sector as well as the tech sector.
Corporate sector
Manhattan contains over 520 million square feet (48,000,000 m2) of office space. During the COVID-19 pandemic, hybrid work prompted consideration of commercial-to-residential conversion in Manhattan.[238]New York City is home to the most corporate headquarters of any city in the United States, the overwhelming majority based in Manhattan.[239] Manhattan contained over 520 million square feet (48.3 million m2) of office space in 2022,[240] making it the largest office market in the United States; while Midtown Manhattan, with over 400 million square feet (37.2 million m2) is the largest central business district in the world.[241] New York City's role as the top global center for the advertising industry is metonymously reflected as "Madison Avenue".
Tech and biotechFurther information: Tech companies in Manhattan, Biotech companies in Manhattan, Silicon Alley, and Tech:NYC
The Flatiron District, the birthplace and center of Silicon Alley[242]Manhattan has driven New York's status as a top-tier global high technology hub.[243] Silicon Alley, once a metonym for the sphere encompassing the metropolitan region's high technology industries,[244] is no longer a relevant moniker as the city's tech Environment has expanded dramatically both in location and in its scope. New York City's current tech sphere encompasses a universal array of applications involving artificial intelligence, the internet, new media, financial technology (fintech) and cryptocurrency, biotechnology, game design, and other fields within information technology that are supported by its entrepreneurship ecosystem and venture capital investments.As of 2014, New York City hosted 300,000 employees in the tech sector.[245][246] In 2015, Silicon Alley generated over US$7.3 billion in venture capital investment,[247] most based in Manhattan, as well as in Brooklyn, Queens, and elsewhere in the region. High technology startup companies and employment are growing in Manhattan and across New York City, bolstered by the city's emergence as a global node of creativity and entrepreneurship,[247] social tolerance,[248] and Environmental sustainability,[249][250] as well as New York's position as the leading Internet hub and telecommunications center in North America, including its vicinity to several transatlantic fiber optic trunk lines, the city's intellectual capital, and its extensive outdoor wireless connectivity.[251] Verizon Communications, headquartered at 140 West Street in Lower Manhattan, was at the final stages in 2014 of completing a US$3 billion fiberoptic telecommunications upgrade throughout New York City.[252] As of October 2014, New York City hosted 300,000 employees in the tech sector,[246] with a significant proportion in Manhattan. The technology sector has been expanding across Manhattan since 2010.[253]
The biotechnology sector is also growing in Manhattan based upon the city's strength in academic scientific research and public and commercial financial support. By mid-2014, Accelerator, a biotech investment firm, had raised more than US$30 million from investors, including Eli Lilly and Company, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson, for initial funding to create biotechnology startups at the Alexandria Center for Life Science, which encompasses more than 700,000 square feet (65,000 m2) on East 29th Street and promotes collaboration among scientists and entrepreneurs at the center and with nearby academic, medical, and research institutions. The New York City Economic Development Corporation's Early Stage Life Sciences Funding Initiative and venture capital partners, including Celgene, General Electric Ventures, and Eli Lilly, committed a minimum of US$100 million to help launch 15 to 20 ventures in life sciences and biotechnology.[254] In 2011, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg had announced his choice of Cornell University and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology to build a US$2 billion graduate school of applied sciences on Roosevelt Island, Manhattan, with the goal of transforming New York City into the world's premier technology capital.[255][256]
TourismMain article: Tourism in New York City
Times Square is the hub of Broadway's theater district and a major Manhattan cultural venue with 50 million tourists annually, making it one of the world's most popular tourist destinations.[40]Tourism is vital to Manhattan's economy, and the landmarks of Manhattan are the focus of New York City's tourists, enumerating an eighth consecutive annual record of approximately 62.8 million visitors in 2017.[39] According to The Broadway League, for the 2018–2019 season (which ended May 26, 2019) total attendance was 14,768,254 and Broadway shows had US$1,829,312,140 in grosses, with attendance up 9.5%, grosses up 10.3%, and playing weeks up 9.3%.[257]
Real estateReal estate is a major force in Manhattan's economy. Manhattan has perennially been home to some of the nation's, as well as the world's, most valuable real estate, including the Time Warner Center, which had the highest-listed market value in the city in 2006 at US$1.1 billion,[258] to be subsequently surpassed in October 2014 by the Waldorf Astoria New York, which became the most expensive hotel ever sold after being purchased by the Anbang Insurance Group, based in China, for US$1.95 billion.[259] When 450 Park Avenue was sold on July 2, 2007, for US$510 million, about US$1,589 per square foot (US$17,104/m²), it broke the barely month-old record for an American office building of US$1,476 per square foot (US$15,887/m²) based on the sale of 660 Madison Avenue.[260] In 2014, Manhattan was home to six of the top ten zip codes in the United States by median housing price.[261] In 2019, the most expensive home sale ever in the United States occurred in Manhattan, at a selling price of US$238 million, for a 24,000-square-foot (2,200 m2) penthouse apartment overlooking Central Park,[262] while Central Park Tower, topped out at 1,550 feet (472 m) in 2019, is the world's tallest residential building, followed globally in height by 111 West 57th Street and 432 Park Avenue, both also located in Midtown Manhattan.
Manhattan had approximately 520 million square feet (48.1 million m²) of office space in 2013,[263] making it the largest office market in the United States.[264] Midtown Manhattan is the largest central business district in the nation based on office space,[265] while Lower Manhattan is the third-largest (after Chicago's Loop).[266][267]
As of the fourth quarter of 2021, the median value of homes in Manhattan was $1,306,208. It ranked second among US counties for highest median home value at the time, second to Nantucket.[268]
MediaMain articles: Media in New York City and New Yorkers in journalismManhattan has been described as the media capital of the world.[269][270] An integral component of this status is the significant array of media outlets and their journalists who report about international, American, business, entertainment, and New York metropolitan area-related matters from Manhattan.
The headquarters of The New York Times at 620 Eighth AvenueManhattan is served by the major New York City daily news publications, including The New York Times, which has won the most Pulitzer Prizes for journalism and is considered the U.S. media's "newspaper of record";[271] the New York Daily News; and the New York Post, which are all headquartered in the borough. The nation's largest newspaper by circulation, The Wall Street Journal, is also based in Manhattan. Other daily newspapers include AM New York and The Villager. The New York Amsterdam News, based in Harlem, is one of the leading Black-owned weekly newspapers in the United States. The Village Voice, historically the largest alternative newspaper in the United States, announced in 2017 that it would cease publication of its print edition and convert to a fully digital venture.[272]
Television, radio, filmSee also: List of films set in New York City and List of television shows set in New York CityThe television industry developed in Manhattan and is a significant employer in the borough's economy. The four major American broadcast networks, ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox, as well as Univision, are all headquartered in Manhattan, as are many cable channels, including CNN, MSNBC, MTV, Fox News, HBO, and Comedy Central. In 1971, WLIB became New York City's first Black-owned radio station and began broadcasts geared toward the African-American community in 1949. WQHT, also known as Hot 97, claims to be the premier hip-hop station in the United States. WNYC, comprising an AM and FM signal, has the largest public radio audience in the nation and is the most-listened to commercial or non-commercial radio station in Manhattan.[273] WBAI, with news and information programming, is one of the few socialist radio stations operating in the United States.
The oldest public-access television cable TV channel in the United States is the Manhattan Neighborhood Network, founded in 1971, offers eclectic local programming that ranges from a jazz hour to discussion of labor issues to foreign language and religious programming.[274] NY1, Time Warner Cable's local news channel, is known for its beat coverage of City Hall and state politics.
EducationSee also: Education in New York City, List of high schools in New York City, and List of colleges and universities in New York City
The notable architectural design of Butler Library at Columbia University, an Ivy League university in Manhattan[275]
Stuyvesant High School in Tribeca[276]
New York Public Library Main Branch at 42nd Street and Fifth AvenueEducation in Manhattan is provided by a vast number of public and private institutions. Non-charter public schools in the borough are operated by the New York City Department of Education,[277] the largest public school system in the United States. Charter schools include Success Academy Harlem 1 through 5, Success Academy Upper West, and Public Prep.
Several notable New York City public high schools are located in Manhattan, including A. Philip Randolph Campus High School, Beacon High School, Stuyvesant High School, Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School, High School of Fashion Industries, Eleanor Roosevelt High School, NYC Lab School, Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics, Hunter College High School, and High School for Math, Science and Engineering at City College. Bard High School Early College, a hybrid school created by Bard College, serves students from around the city.
Many private preparatory schools are also situated in Manhattan, including the Upper East Side's Brearley School, Dalton School, Browning School, Spence School, Chapin School, Nightingale-Bamford School, Convent of the Sacred Heart, Hewitt School, Saint David's School, Loyola School, and Regis High School. The Upper West Side is home to the Collegiate School and Trinity School. The borough is also home to Manhattan Country School, Trevor Day School, Xavier High School and the United Nations International School.
Based on data from the 2011–2015 American Community Survey, 59.9% of Manhattan residents over age 25 have a bachelor's degree.[278] As of 2005, about 60% of residents were college graduates and some 25% had earned advanced degrees, giving Manhattan one of the nation's densest concentrations of highly educated people.[279]
Manhattan has various colleges and universities, including Columbia University (and its affiliate Barnard College), Cooper Union, Marymount Manhattan College, New York Institute of Technology, New York University (NYU), The Juilliard School, Pace University, Berkeley College, The New School, Yeshiva University, and a campus of Fordham University. Other schools include Bank Street College of Education, Boricua College, Jewish Theological Seminary of America, Manhattan School of Music, Metropolitan College of New York, Parsons School of Design, School of Visual Arts, Touro College, and Union Theological Seminary. Several other private institutions maintain a Manhattan presence, among them Mercy College, St. John's University, Adelphi University, The King's College, and Pratt Institute. Cornell Tech, part of Cornell University, is developing on Roosevelt Island.
The City University of New York (CUNY), the municipal college system of New York City, is the largest urban university system in the United States, serving more than 226,000 degree students and a roughly equal number of adult, continuing and professional education students.[280] A third of college graduates in New York City graduate from CUNY, with the institution enrolling about half of all college students in New York City. CUNY senior colleges located in Manhattan include: Baruch College, City College of New York, Hunter College, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and the CUNY Graduate Center (graduate studies and doctorate granting institution). The only CUNY community college located in Manhattan is the Borough of Manhattan Community College. The State University of New York is represented by the Fashion Institute of Technology, State University of New York State College of Optometry, and Stony Brook University – Manhattan.
Manhattan is a world center for training and education in medicine and the life sciences.[281] The city as a whole receives the second-highest amount of annual funding from the National Institutes of Health among all U.S. cities,[282] the bulk of which goes to Manhattan's research institutions, including Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Rockefeller University, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, Weill Cornell Medical College, and New York University School of Medicine.
Manhattan is served by the New York Public Library, which has the largest collection of any public library system in the country.[283] The five units of the Central Library—Mid-Manhattan Library, 53rd Street Library, the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library, and the Science, Industry and Business Library—are all located in Manhattan.[284] More than 35 other branch libraries are located in the borough.[285]
CultureSee also: Culture of New York CityFurther information: Broadway theatre, LGBT culture in New York City, List of museums and cultural institutions in New York City, Music of New York City, Met Gala, New York Fashion Week, NYC Pride March, and Stonewall Riots
The Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
The Metropolitan Museum of ArtManhattan is the borough most closely associated with New York City by non-residents; regionally, residents within the New York City metropolitan area, including natives of New York City's boroughs outside Manhattan, will often describe a trip to Manhattan as "going to the City".[286] Journalist Walt Whitman characterized the streets of Manhattan as being traversed by "hurrying, feverish, electric crowds".[287]
Manhattan has been the scene of many important global and American cultural movements. In 1912, about 20,000 workers, a quarter of them women, marched upon Washington Square Park to commemorate the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, which killed 146 workers on March 25, 1911. Many of the women wore fitted tucked-front blouses like those manufactured by the Triangle Shirtwaist Company, a clothing style that became the working woman's uniform and a symbol of women's liberation, reflecting the alliance of labor and suffrage movements.[288]
The Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s established the African-American literary canon in the United States and introduced writers Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston. Manhattan's vibrant visual art scene in the 1950s and 1960s was a center of the pop art movement, which gave birth to such giants as Jasper Johns and Roy Lichtenstein. The downtown pop art movement of the late 1970s included artist Andy Warhol and clubs like Serendipity 3 and Studio 54, where he socialized.
Broadway theatre is considered the highest professional form of theatre in the United States. Plays and musicals are staged in one of the 39 larger professional theatres with at least 500 seats, almost all in and around Times Square. Off-Broadway theatres feature productions in venues with 100–500 seats.[289][290] Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, anchoring Lincoln Square on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, is home to 12 influential arts organizations, including the Metropolitan Opera, New York Philharmonic, and New York City Ballet, as well as the Vivian Beaumont Theater, the Juilliard School, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and Alice Tully Hall. Performance artists displaying diverse skills are ubiquitous on the streets of Manhattan.
Manhattan is also home to some of the most extensive art collections in the world, both contemporary and classical art, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the Frick Collection, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Guggenheim Museum. The Upper East Side has many art galleries,[291][292] and the downtown neighborhood of Chelsea is known for its more than 200 art galleries that are home to modern art from both upcoming and established artists.[293][294] Many of the world's most lucrative art sales are held in Manhattan.[295][296]
The Empire State Building displays the colors of the Rainbow Flag as an LGBT icon, top. The annual NYC Pride March in June (seen here in 2018) is the world's largest LGBT event, imaged below.[297][298]Manhattan is the epicenter of LGBT culture and the central node of the LGBTQ+ sociopolitical ecosystem.[299] The borough is widely acclaimed as the cradle of the modern LGBTQ rights movement, with its inception at the June 1969 Stonewall Riots in Greenwich Village, Lower Manhattan – widely considered to constitute the single most important event leading to the gay liberation movement[111][300][301] and the modern fight for LGBT rights in the United States.[112][302] Brian Silverman, the author of Frommer's New York City from $90 a Day, wrote the city has "one of the world's largest, loudest, and most powerful LGBT communities", and "Gay and lesbian culture is as much a part of New York's basic identity as yellow cabs, high-rise buildings, and Broadway theatre"—[303] radiating from this central hub, as LGBT travel guide Queer in the World states, "The fabulosity of Gay New York is unrivaled on Earth, and queer culture seeps into every corner of its five boroughs".[304] Multiple gay villages have developed, spanning the length of the borough from the Lower East Side, East Village, and Greenwich Village, through Chelsea and Hell's Kitchen, uptown to Morningside Heights.
The annual NYC Pride March (or gay pride parade) traverses southward down Fifth Avenue and ends at Greenwich Village; the Manhattan parade is the largest pride parade in the world, attracting tens of thousands of participants and millions of sidewalk spectators each June.[298][297] Stonewall 50 – WorldPride NYC 2019 was the largest international Pride celebration in history, produced by Heritage of Pride. The events were in partnership with the I ❤ NY program's LGBT division, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, with 150,000 participants and five million spectators attending in Manhattan.[305]
The borough is represented in several prominent idioms. The phrase New York minute is meant to convey an extremely short time such as an instant,[306] sometimes in hyperbolic form, as in "perhaps faster than you would believe is possible," referring to the rapid pace of life in Manhattan.[307][308] The expression "melting pot" was first popularly coined to describe the densely populated immigrant neighborhoods on the Lower East Side in Israel Zangwill's play The Melting Pot, which was an adaptation of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet set by Zangwill in New York City in 1908.[309] The iconic Flatiron Building is said to have been the source of the phrase "23 skidoo" or scram, from what cops would shout at men who tried to get glimpses of women's dresses being blown up by the winds created by the triangular building.[310] The "Big Apple" dates back to the 1920s, when a reporter heard the term used by New Orleans stablehands to refer to New York City's horse racetracks and named his racing column "Around The Big Apple". Jazz musicians adopted the term to refer to the city as the world's jazz capital, and a 1970s ad campaign by the New York Convention and Visitors Bureau helped popularize the term.[311] Manhattan, Kansas, a city of 53,000 people,[312] was named by New York investors after the borough and is nicknamed the "little apple".[313]
Clockwise, from upper left: the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, the world's largest parade;[314] the annual Halloween Parade in Greenwich Village, the world's largest Halloween parade, with millions of spectators annually, and with its roots in New York's queer community;[315] the annual Philippine Independence Day Parade, the largest outside the Philippines; and the ticker-tape parade for the Apollo 11 astronautsManhattan is well known for its street parades, which celebrate a broad array of themes, including holidays, nationalities, human rights, and major league sports team championship victories. The majority of higher profile parades in New York City are held in Manhattan. The primary orientation of the annual street parades is typically from north to south, marching along major avenues. The annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is the world's largest parade,[314] beginning alongside Central Park and processing southward to the Flagship Macy's Herald Square store;[316] the parade is viewed on telecasts worldwide and draws millions of spectators in person.[314] Other notable parades including the annual St. Patrick's Day Parade in March, the New York City Pride Parade in June, the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade in October, and numerous parades commemorating the independence days of many nations. Ticker-tape parades celebrating championships won by sports teams as well as other heroic accomplishments march northward along the Canyon of Heroes on Broadway from Bowling Green to City Hall Park in Lower Manhattan. New York Fashion Week, held at various locations in Manhattan, is a high-profile semiannual event featuring models displaying the latest wardrobes created by prominent fashion designers worldwide in advance of these fashions proceeding to the retail marketplace.
The skating pond in Central Park in 1862
Madison Square Garden, home to the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League and the New York Knicks of the National Basketball AssociationManhattan is home to the NBA's New York Knicks and the NHL's New York Rangers, both of which play their home games at Madison Square Garden, the only major professional sports arena in the borough. The Garden was also home to the WNBA's New York Liberty through the 2017 season, but that team's primary home is now the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The New York Jets proposed a West Side Stadium for their home field, but the proposal was eventually defeated in June 2005, and they now play at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.[317]
While Manhattan does not currently have a professional baseball franchise, three of the four Major League Baseball teams to have played in New York City played in Manhattan. The original New York Giants baseball team played in the various incarnations of the Polo Grounds at 155th Street and Eighth Avenue from their inception in 1883—except for 1889, when they split their time between Jersey City, New Jersey and Staten Island, and when they played in Hilltop Park in 1911—until they headed to California with the Brooklyn Dodgers after the 1957 season.[318] The New York Yankees began their franchise as the Highlanders, named for Hilltop Park, where they played from their creation in 1903 until 1912. The team moved to the Polo Grounds with the 1913 season, where they were officially christened the New York Yankees, remaining there until they moved across the Harlem River in 1923 to Yankee Stadium.[319] The New York Mets played in the Polo Grounds in 1962 and 1963, their first two seasons, before Shea Stadium was completed in 1964.[320] After the Mets departed, the Polo Grounds was demolished in April 1964, replaced by public housing.[321][322]
The first national college-level basketball championship, the National Invitation Tournament, was held in New York in 1938 and remains in the city.[323] The New York Knicks started play in 1946 as one of the National Basketball Association's original teams, playing their first home games at the 69th Regiment Armory, before making Madison Square Garden their permanent home.[324] The New York Liberty of the WNBA shared the Garden with the Knicks from their creation in 1997 as one of the league's original eight teams through the 2017 season,[325] after which the team moved nearly all of its home schedule to White Plains in Westchester County.[326] Rucker Park in Harlem is a playground court, famed for its streetball style of play, where many NBA athletes have played in the summer league.[327]
Although both of New York City's football teams play today across the Hudson River in MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, both teams started out playing in the Polo Grounds. The New York Giants played side-by-side with their baseball namesakes from the time they entered the National Football League in 1925, until crossing over to Yankee Stadium in 1956.[328] The New York Jets, originally known as the Titans of New York, started out in 1960 at the Polo Grounds, staying there for four seasons before joining the Mets in Queens at Shea Stadium in 1964.[329]
The New York Rangers of the National Hockey League have played in the various locations of Madison Square Garden since the team's founding in the 1926–1927 season. The Rangers were predated by the New York Americans, who started play in the Garden the previous season, lasting until the team folded after the 1941–1942 NHL season, a season it played in the Garden as the Brooklyn Americans.[330]
The New York Cosmos of the North American Soccer League played their home games at Downing Stadium for two seasons, starting in 1974. The playing pitch and facilities at Downing Stadium were in unsatisfactory condition, however, and as the team's popularity grew they too left for Yankee Stadium, and then Giants Stadium. The stadium was demolished in 2002 to make way for the $45 million, 4,754-seat Icahn Stadium, which includes an Olympic-standard 400-meter running track and, as part of Pelé's and the Cosmos' legacy, includes a FIFA-approved floodlit soccer stadium that hosts matches between the 48 youth teams of a Manhattan soccer club.[331][332]
GovernmentMain article: Government of New York City
Manhattan Municipal BuildingSince New York City's consolidation in 1898, Manhattan has been governed by the New York City Charter, which has provided for a strong mayor–council system since its revision in 1989.[333] The centralized New York City government is responsible for public education, correctional institutions, libraries, public safety, recreational facilities, sanitation, water supply, and welfare services in Manhattan.
The office of Borough President was created in the consolidation of 1898 to balance centralization with local authority. Each borough president had a powerful administrative role derived from having a vote on the New York City Board of Estimate, which was responsible for creating and approving the city's budget and proposals for land use. In 1989, the Supreme Court of the United States declared the Board of Estimate unconstitutional because Brooklyn, the most populous borough, had no greater effective representation on the Board than Staten Island, the least populous borough, a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause pursuant to the high court's 1964 "one man, one vote" decision.[334]
Since 1990, the largely powerless Borough President has acted as an advocate for the borough at the mayoral agencies, the City Council, the New York state government, and corporations. Manhattan's current Borough President is Mark Levine, elected as a Democrat in November 2021. Levine replaced Gale Brewer, who went on to represent the sixth district of the New York City Council.
Alvin Bragg, a Democrat, is the District Attorney of New York County. Manhattan has ten City Council members, the third largest contingent among the five boroughs. It also has twelve administrative districts, each served by a local Community Board. Community Boards are representative bodies that field complaints and serve as advocates for local residents.
As the host of the United Nations, the borough is home to the world's largest international consular corps, comprising 105 consulates, consulates general and honorary consulates.[335] It is also the home of New York City Hall, the seat of New York City government housing the Mayor of New York City and the New York City Council. The mayor's staff and thirteen municipal agencies are located in the nearby Manhattan Municipal Building, completed in 1914, one of the largest governmental buildings in the world.[336]
PoliticsSee also: Community boards of Manhattan¶ The presidential election results below for the years 1876–1912 are not strictly comparable with the earlier and later ones because New York County included the West Bronx after 1874 and all of what is now the Borough of the Bronx (Bronx County, New York) from 1895 until The Bronx became a separate borough in 1914.
United States presidential election results for New York County, New York[337][338][339]YearRepublican / WhigDemocraticThird partyNo. %No. %No. %202085,18512.21%603,04086.42%9,5881.37%201664,9309.71%579,01386.56%24,9973.74%201289,55914.92%502,67483.74%8,0581.34%200889,94913.47%572,37085.70%5,5660.83%2004107,40516.73%526,76582.06%7,7811.21%200082,11314.38%454,52379.60%34,3706.02%199667,83913.76%394,13179.96%30,9296.27%199284,50115.88%416,14278.20%31,4755.92%1988115,92722.89%385,67576.14%4,9490.98%1984144,28127.39%379,52172.06%2,8690.54%1980115,91126.23%275,74262.40%50,24511.37%1976117,70225.54%337,43873.22%5,6981.24%1972178,51533.38%354,32666.25%2,0220.38%1968135,45825.59%370,80670.04%23,1284.37%1964120,12519.20%503,84880.52%1,7460.28%1960217,27134.19%414,90265.28%3,3940.53%1956300,00444.26%377,85655.74%00.00%1952300,28439.30%446,72758.47%16,9742.22%1948241,75232.75%380,31051.51%116,20815.74%1944258,65033.47%509,26365.90%4,8640.63%1940292,48037.59%478,15361.45%7,4660.96%1936174,29924.51%517,13472.71%19,8202.79%1932157,01427.78%378,07766.89%30,1145.33%1928186,39635.74%317,22760.82%17,9353.44%1924190,87141.20%183,24939.55%89,20619.25%1920275,01359.22%135,24929.12%54,15811.66%1916113,25442.65%139,54752.55%12,7594.80%191263,10718.15%166,15747.79%118,39134.05%1908154,95844.71%160,26146.24%31,3939.06%1904155,00342.11%189,71251.54%23,3576.35%1900153,00144.16%181,78652.47%11,7003.38%1896156,35950.73%135,62444.00%16,2495.27%189298,96734.73%175,26761.50%10,7503.77%1888106,92239.20%162,73559.67%3,0761.13%188490,09539.54%133,22258.47%4,5301.99%188081,73039.79%123,01559.90%6360.31%187658,56134.17%112,53065.66%2890.17%187254,67641.27%77,81458.73%00.00%186847,73830.59%108,31669.41%00.00%186436,68133.23%73,70966.77%00.00%186033,29034.83%62,29365.17%00.00%185617,77122.32%41,91352.65%19,92225.03%185223,12439.98%34,28059.27%4360.75%184829,07054.51%18,97335.57%5,2909.92%184426,38548.15%28,29651.64%1170.21%184020,95848.69%21,93650.96%1530.36%183616,34848.42%17,41751.58%00.00%183212,50640.97%18,02059.03%00.00%18289,63838.44%15,43561.56%00.00%
James A. Farley Post OfficeThe Democratic Party holds most public offices. Registered Republicans are a minority in the borough, constituting 9.88% of the electorate as of April 2016. Registered Republicans are more than 20% of the electorate only in the neighborhoods of the Upper East Side and the Financial District as of 2016. Democrats accounted for 68.41% of those registered to vote, while 17.94% of voters were unaffiliated.[340][341]
No Republican has won the presidential election in Manhattan since 1924, when Calvin Coolidge won a plurality of the New York County vote over Democrat John W. Davis, 41.20%–39.55%. Warren G. Harding was the most recent Republican presidential candidate to win a majority of the Manhattan vote, with 59.22% of the 1920 vote.[citation needed] In the 2004 presidential election, Democrat John Kerry received 82.1% of the vote in Manhattan and Republican George W. Bush received 16.7%.[342] The borough is the most important source of funding for presidential campaigns in the United States; in 2004, it was home to six of the top seven ZIP codes in the nation for political contributions.[343] The top ZIP code, 10021 on the Upper East Side, generated the most money for the United States presidential election for all presidential candidates, including both Kerry and Bush during the 2004 election.[344]
Representatives in the U.S. CongressIn 2018, four Democrats represented Manhattan in the United States House of Representatives.[345]
Nydia Velázquez (first elected in 1992) represents New York's 7th congressional district, which includes the Lower East Side and Alphabet City. The district also covers central and western Brooklyn and a small part of Queens.[345][346][347]Jerry Nadler (first elected in 1992) represents New York's 10th congressional district, which includes the West Side neighborhoods of Battery Park City, Chelsea, Chinatown, the Financial District, Greenwich Village, Hell's Kitchen, SoHo, Tribeca, and the Upper West Side. The district also covers southwestern Brooklyn.[345][348][349]Carolyn Maloney (first elected in 1992) represents New York's 12th congressional district, which includes the East Side neighborhoods of Gramercy Park, Kips Bay, Midtown Manhattan, Murray Hill, Roosevelt Island, Turtle Bay, Upper East Side, and most of the Lower East Side and the East Village. The district also covers western Queens.[345][350][351]Adriano Espaillat (first elected in 2016) represents New York's 13th congressional district, which includes the Upper Manhattan neighborhoods of East Harlem, Harlem, Inwood, Marble Hill, Washington Heights, and portions of Morningside Heights, as well as part of the northwest Bronx.[345][352][353]Federal officesThe United States Postal Service operates post offices in Manhattan. The James Farley Post Office at 421 Eighth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan, between 31st Street and 33rd Street, is New York City's main post office.[354] Both the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York and United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit are located in Lower Manhattan's Foley Square, and the U.S. Attorney and other federal offices and agencies maintain locations in that area.
Crime and public safetyMain article: Crime in New York City
An 1885 sketch of Five PointsStarting in the mid-19th century, the United States became a magnet for immigrants seeking to escape poverty in their home countries. After arriving in New York, many new arrivals ended up living in squalor in the slums of the Five Points neighborhood, an area between Broadway and the Bowery, northeast of New York City Hall. By the 1820s, the area was home to many gambling dens and brothels, and was known as a dangerous place to go. In 1842, Charles Dickens visited the area and was appalled at the horrendous living conditions he had seen.[355] The area was so notorious that it even caught the attention of Abraham Lincoln, who visited the area before his Cooper Union speech in 1860.[356] The predominantly Irish Five Points Gang was one of the country's first major organized crime entities.
As Italian immigration grew in the early 20th century many joined ethnic gangs, including Al Capone, who got his start in crime with the Five Points Gang.[357] The Mafia (also known as Cosa Nostra) first developed in the mid-19th century in Sicily and spread to the East Coast of the United States during the late 19th century following waves of Sicilian and Southern Italian emigration. Lucky Luciano established Cosa Nostra in Manhattan, forming alliances with other criminal enterprises, including the Jewish mob, led by Meyer Lansky, the leading Jewish gangster of that period.[358] From 1920–1933, Prohibition helped create a thriving black market in liquor, upon which the Mafia was quick to capitalize.[358]
New York City as a whole experienced a sharp increase in crime during the post-war period.[359] The murder rate in Manhattan hit an all time high of 42 murders per 100,000 residents in 1979.[360] Manhattan retained the highest murder rate in the city until 1985 when it was surpassed by the Bronx. Most serious violent crime has been historically concentrated in Upper Manhattan and the Lower East Side, though robbery in particular was a major quality of life concern throughout the borough. Through the 1990s and 2000s, crime in Manhattan plummeted in all categories versus historic highs.[citation needed]
Today crime rates in most of Lower Manhattan, Midtown, the Upper East Side, and the Upper West Side are consistent with other major city centers in the United States. However, crime rates remain high in the Upper Manhattan neighborhoods of East Harlem, Harlem, Washington Heights, Inwood, and NYCHA developments across the borough despite significant reductions. In more recent years[clarification needed] there has been an increase in violent crime, particularly in Upper Manhattan and NYCHA houses in 1936
At the time of its construction, London Terrace in Chelsea was the largest apartment building in the world.During Manhattan's early history, wood construction and poor access to water supplies left the city vulnerable to fires. In 1776, shortly after the Continental Army evacuated Manhattan and left it to the British, a massive fire broke out destroying one-third of the city and some 500 houses.[364]
The rise of immigration near the turn of the 20th century left major portions of Manhattan, especially the Lower East Side, densely packed with recent arrivals, crammed into unhealthy and unsanitary housing. Tenements were usually five stories high, constructed on the then-typical 25 by 100 feet (7.6 by 30.5 m) lots, with "co*ckroach landlords" exploiting the new immigrants.[365][366] By 1929, stricter fire codes and the increased use of elevators in residential buildings, were the impetus behind a new housing code that effectively ended the tenement as a form of new construction, though many tenement buildings survive today on the East Side of the borough.[366] Conversely, there were also areas with luxury apartment developments, the first of which was the Dakota on the Upper West Side.[367]
Manhattan offers a wide array of public (NYCHA) and private housing options. Affordable rental and co-operative housing units throughout the borough were created under the Mitchell–Lama Housing Program. There were 852,575 housing units in 2013[34] at an average density of 37,345 units per square mile (14,419/km2). As of 2003, only 20.3% of Manhattan residents lived in owner-occupied housing, the second-lowest rate of all counties in the nation, behind the Bronx.[368] Although the city of New York has the highest average cost for rent in the United States, it simultaneously hosts a higher average of income per capita. Because of this, rent is a lower percentage of annual income than in several other American cities.[369]
Manhattan's real estate market for luxury housing continues to be among the most expensive in the world,[370] and Manhattan residential property continues to have the highest sale price per square foot in the United States.[371] Manhattan's apartments cost $1,773 per square foot ($19,080/m2), compared to San Francisco housing at $1,185 per square foot ($12,760/m2), Boston housing at $751 per square foot ($8,080/m2), and Los Angeles housing at $451 per square foot also: Transportation in New York CityPublic transportation
Grand Central Terminal, a National Historic Landmark
Ferries departing Battery Park City Terminal and helicopters flying above Manhattan
The Staten Island Ferry, seen from the Battery, crosses Upper New York Bay, providing free public transportation between Staten Island and Manhattan.Manhattan is unique in the U.S. for intense use of public transportation and lack of private car ownership. While 88% of Americans nationwide drive to their jobs, with only 5% using public transport, mass transit is the dominant form of travel for residents of Manhattan, with 72% of borough residents using public transport to get to work, while only 18% drove.[373][374] According to the 2000 United States Census, 77.5% of Manhattan households do not own a car.[375]
In 2008, Mayor Michael Bloomberg proposed a congestion pricing system to regulate entering Manhattan south of 60th Street. The state legislature rejected the proposal in June 2008.[376]
The New York City Subway, the largest subway system in the world by number of stations, is the primary means of travel within the city, linking every borough except Staten Island. There are 151 subway stations in Manhattan, out of the 472 stations.[377] A second subway, the PATH system, connects six stations in Manhattan to northern New Jersey. Passengers pay fares with pay-per-ride MetroCards, which are valid on all city buses and subways, as well as on PATH trains.[378][379] There are 7-day and 30-day MetroCards that allow unlimited trips on all subways (except PATH) and MTA bus routes (except for express buses).[380] The PATH QuickCard is being phased out, having been replaced by the SmartLink. The MTA is testing "smart card" payment systems to replace the MetroCard.[381] Commuter rail services operating to and from Manhattan are the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR), which connects Manhattan and other New York City boroughs to Long Island; the Metro-North Railroad, which connects Manhattan to Upstate New York and Southwestern Connecticut; and NJ Transit trains, which run to various points in New Jersey.
The US$11.1 billion East Side Access project, which brings LIRR trains to Grand Central Terminal, opened in 2023; this project utilized a pre-existing train tunnel beneath the East River, connecting the East Side of Manhattan with Long Island City, Queens.[382][383] Four multi-billion-dollar projects were completed in the mid-2010s: the $1.4 billion Fulton Center in November 2014,[384] the $2.4 billion 7 Subway Extension in September 2015,[385] the $4 billion World Trade Center Transportation Hub in March 2016,[386][387] and Phase 1 of the $4.5 billion Second Avenue Subway in January 2017.[388][389]
MTA New York City Transit offers a wide variety of local buses within Manhattan under the brand New York City Bus. An extensive network of express bus routes serves commuters and other travelers heading into Manhattan.[390] The bus system served 784 million passengers citywide in 2011, placing the bus system's ridership as the highest in the nation, and more than double the ridership of the second-place Los Angeles system.[391]
The Roosevelt Island Tramway, one of two commuter cable car systems in North America, whisks commuters between Roosevelt Island and Manhattan in less than five minutes, and has been serving the island since 1978. (The other system in North America is the Portland Aerial Tram.)[392][393]
The Staten Island Ferry, which runs 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, annually carries over 21 million passengers on the 5.2-mile (8.4 km) run between Manhattan and Staten Island. Each weekday, five vessels transport about 65,000 passengers on 109 boat trips.[394][395] The ferry has been fare-free since 1997, when the then-50-cent fare was eliminated.[396] In February 2015, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the city government would begin NYC Ferry to extend ferry transportation to traditionally underserved communities in the city.[397][398] The first routes of NYC Ferry opened in 2017.[399][400] All of the system's routes have termini in Manhattan, and the Lower East Side and Soundview routes also have intermediate stops on the East River.[401]
The metro region's commuter rail lines converge at Penn Station and Grand Central Terminal, on the west and east sides of Midtown Manhattan, respectively. They are the two busiest rail stations in the United States. About one-third of users of mass transit and two-thirds of railway passengers in the country live in New York and its suburbs.[402] Amtrak provides inter-city passenger rail service from Penn Station to Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C.; Upstate New York and New England; cross-Canadian border service to Toronto and Montreal; and destinations in the Southern and Midwestern United States.
Major highwaysI-78I-95I-278I-478I-495US 9NY 9ANY 495TaxisMain article: Taxicabs of New York CityNew York's iconic yellow taxicabs, which number 13,087 city-wide and must have the requisite medallion authorizing the pick up of street hails, are ubiquitous in the borough.[403] Various private vehicle for hire companies provide significant competition for taxicab drivers in Manhattan.[404]
BicyclesMain article: Cycling in New York CityManhattan also has tens of thousands of bicycle commuters.
Streets and roadsSee also: List of numbered streets in Manhattan and List of eponymous streets in New York City
The Brooklyn Bridge (on right) and Manhattan Bridge (on left), two of three bridges that connect Lower Manhattan with Brooklyn over the East River.
Eighth Avenue, looking northward ("Uptown"), in the rain; most streets and avenues in Manhattan's grid plan incorporate a one-way traffic configuration.
Tourists observing Manhattanhenge on July 12, 2016The Commissioners' Plan of 1811 called for twelve numbered avenues running north and south roughly parallel to the shore of the Hudson River, each 100 feet (30 m) wide, with First Avenue on the east side and Twelfth Avenue on the west side. There are several intermittent avenues east of First Avenue, including four additional lettered avenues running from Avenue A eastward to Avenue D in an area now known as Alphabet City in Manhattan's East Village. The numbered streets in Manhattan run east–west, and are generally 60 feet (18 m) wide, with about 200 feet (61 m) between each pair of streets. With each combined street and block adding up to about 260 feet (79 m), there are almost exactly 20 blocks per mile. The typical block in Manhattan is 250 by 600 feet (76 by 183 m).
According to the original Commissioner's Plan, there were 155 numbered crosstown streets,[405] but later the grid was extended up to the northernmost corner of Manhattan, where the last numbered street is 220th Street. Moreover, the numbering system continues even in the Bronx, north of Manhattan, despite the fact that the grid plan is not as regular in that borough, whose last numbered street is 263rd Street.[406] Fifteen crosstown streets were designated as 100 feet (30 m) wide, including 34th, 42nd, 57th and 125th Streets,[407] which became some of the borough's most significant transportation and shopping venues. Broadway is the most notable of many exceptions to the grid, starting at Bowling Green in Lower Manhattan and continuing north into the Bronx at Manhattan's northern tip. In much of Midtown Manhattan, Broadway runs at a diagonal to the grid, creating major named intersections at Union Square (Park Avenue South/Fourth Avenue and 14th Street), Madison Square (Fifth Avenue and 23rd Street), Herald Square (Sixth Avenue and 34th Street), Times Square (Seventh Avenue and 42nd Street), and Columbus Circle (Eighth Avenue/Central Park West and 59th Street).
"Crosstown traffic" refers primarily to vehicular traffic between Manhattan's East Side and West Side. The trip is notoriously frustrating for drivers because of heavy congestion on narrow local streets laid out by the Commissioners' Plan of 1811, absence of express roads other than the Trans-Manhattan Expressway at the far north end of Manhattan Island; and restricted to very limited crosstown automobile travel within Central Park. Proposals in the mid-1900s to build express roads through the city's densest neighborhoods, namely the Mid-Manhattan Expressway and Lower Manhattan Expressway, did not go forward. Unlike the rest of the United States, New York State prohibits right or left turns on red in cities with a population greater than one million, to reduce traffic collisions and increase pedestrian safety. In New York City, therefore, all turns at red lights are illegal unless a sign permitting such maneuvers is present, significantly shaping traffic patterns in Manhattan.[408]
Another consequence of the strict grid plan of most of Manhattan, and the grid's skew of approximately 28.9 degrees, is a phenomenon sometimes referred to as Manhattanhenge (by analogy with Stonehenge).[409] On separate occasions in late May and early July, the sunset is aligned with the street grid lines, with the result that the sun is visible at or near the western horizon from street level.[409][410] A similar phenomenon occurs with the sunrise in January and December.
The FDR Drive and Harlem River Drive, both designed by controversial New York master planner Robert Moses,[411] comprise a single, long limited-access parkway skirting the east side of Manhattan along the East River and Harlem River south of Dyckman Street. The Henry Hudson Parkway is the corresponding parkway on the West Side north of 57th Street.
River crossings
Ferry service departing Battery Park City Ferry Terminal for Paulus Hook in New JerseyBeing primarily an island, Manhattan is linked to New York City's outer boroughs by numerous bridges, of various sizes. Manhattan has fixed highway connections with New Jersey to its west by way of the George Washington Bridge, the Holland Tunnel, and the Lincoln Tunnel, and to three of the four other New York City boroughs—the Bronx to the northeast, and Brooklyn and Queens (both on Long Island) to the east and south. Its only direct connection with the fifth New York City borough, Staten Island, is the Staten Island Ferry across New York Harbor, which is free of charge. The ferry terminal is located near Battery Park at Manhattan's southern tip. It is also possible to travel on land to Staten Island by way of Brooklyn, via the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge.
The George Washington Bridge, the world's busiest motor vehicle bridge,[412][413] connects Washington Heights, in Upper Manhattan, to Bergen County, in New Jersey. There are numerous bridges to the Bronx across the Harlem River, and five (listed north to south)—the Triborough (known officially as the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge), Ed Koch Queensboro (also known as the 59th Street Bridge), Williamsburg, Manhattan, and Brooklyn Bridges—that cross the East River to connect Manhattan to Long Island.
Several tunnels also link Manhattan Island to New York City's outer boroughs and New Jersey. The Lincoln Tunnel, which carries 120,000 vehicles a day under the Hudson River between New Jersey and Midtown Manhattan, is the busiest vehicular tunnel in the world.[414] The tunnel was built instead of a bridge to allow unfettered passage of large passenger and cargo ships that sail through New York Harbor and up the Hudson River to Manhattan's piers. The Holland Tunnel, connecting Lower Manhattan to Jersey City, New Jersey, was the world's first mechanically ventilated vehicular tunnel.[415] The Queens–Midtown Tunnel, built to relieve congestion on the bridges connecting Manhattan with Queens and Brooklyn, was the largest non-federal project in its time when it was completed in 1940;[416] President Franklin D. Roosevelt was the first person to drive through it.[417] The Brooklyn–Battery Tunnel runs underneath Battery Park and connects the Financial District at the southern tip of Manhattan to Red Hook in Brooklyn.
Several ferry services operate between New Jersey and Manhattan.[418] These ferries mainly serve midtown (at W. 39th St.), Battery Park City (WFC at Brookfield Place), and Wall Street (Pier 11).
HeliportsManhattan has three public heliports: the East 34th Street Heliport (also known as the Atlantic Metroport) at East 34th Street, owned by New York City and run by the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC); the Port Authority Downtown Manhattan/Wall Street Heliport, owned by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and run by the NYCEDC; and the West 30th Street Heliport, a privately owned heliport owned by the Hudson River Park Trust.[419] US Helicopter offered regularly scheduled helicopter service connecting the Downtown Manhattan Heliport with John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens and Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey, before going out of business in 2009.[420]
UtilitiesGas and electric service is provided by Consolidated Edison to all of Manhattan. Con Edison's electric business traces its roots back to Thomas Edison's Edison Electric Illuminating Company, the first investor-owned electric utility. The company started service on September 4, 1882, using one generator to provide 110 volts direct current (DC) to 59 customers with 800 light bulbs, in a one-square-mile area of Lower Manhattan from his Pearl Street Station.[421] Con Edison operates the world's largest district steam system, which consists of 105 miles (169 km) of steam pipes, providing steam for heating, hot water, and air conditioning[422] by some 1,800 Manhattan customers.[423] Cable service is provided by Time Warner Cable and telephone service is provided by Verizon Communications, although AT&T is available as well.
Manhattan witnessed the doubling of the natural gas supply delivered to the borough when a new gas pipeline opened on November 1, 2013.[424]
The New York City Department of Sanitation is responsible for garbage removal.[425] The bulk of the city's trash ultimately is disposed at mega-dumps in Pennsylvania, Virginia, South Carolina and Ohio (via transfer stations in New Jersey, Brooklyn and Queens) since the 2001 closure of the Fresh Kills Landfill on Staten Island.[426] A small amount of trash processed at transfer sites in New Jersey is sometimes incinerated at waste-to-energy facilities. Like New York City, New Jersey and much of Greater New York relies on exporting its trash to far-flung areas.
New York City has the largest clean-air diesel-hybrid and compressed natural gas bus fleet, which also operates in Manhattan, in the country. It also has some of the first hybrid taxis, most of which operate in Manhattan.[427]
Health careMain article: List of hospitals in New York City § ManhattanThere are many hospitals in Manhattan, including two of the 25 largest in the United States (as of 2017):[428]
Bellevue HospitalLenox Hill HospitalLower Manhattan HospitalMetropolitan Hospital CenterMount Sinai Beth Israel HospitalMount Sinai HospitalNewYork–Presbyterian HospitalNYC Health + Hospitals/HarlemNYU Langone Medical CenterWater purity and availabilityMain articles: Food and water in New York City and New York City water supply systemNew York City is supplied with drinking water by the protected Catskill Mountains watershed.[429] As a result of the watershed's integrity and undisturbed natural water filtration system, New York is one of only four major cities in the United States the majority of whose drinking water is pure enough not to require purification by water treatment plants.[430] The Croton Watershed north of the city is undergoing construction of a US$3.2 billion water purification plant to augment New York City's water supply by an estimated 290 million gallons daily, representing a greater than 20% addition to the city's current availability of water.[431] Manhattan, surrounded by two brackish rivers, had a limited supply of fresh water. To satisfy its growing population, the City of New York acquired land in adjacent Westchester County and constructed the old Croton Aqueduct system there, which went into service in 1842 and was superseded by the new Croton Aqueduct, which opened in 1890. This, however, was interrupted in 2008 for the ongoing construction of a US$3.2 billion water purification plant that can supply an estimated 290 million gallons daily when completed, representing an almost 20% addition to the city's availability of water, with this addition going to Manhattan and the Bronx.[432] Water comes to Manhattan through the tunnels 1 and 2, completed in 1917 and 1935, and in future through Tunnel No. 3, begun in 1970.[433]
Address algorithmMain article: Manhattan address algorithmThe address algorithm of Manhattan refers to the formulas used to estimate the closest east–west cross street for building numbers on north–south avenues. It is commonly noted in telephone directories, New York City travel guides, and MTA Manhattan bus maps.
See alsoLGBT portalWorld portalFlagUnited States portalFlagNew York (state) portalFlagNew York City portalHistory of New York CityList of Manhattan neighborhoodsList of people from Register of Historic Places listings in ManhattanSawing-off of Manhattan IslandTimeline of New York CityNotesArea codes 718, 347, and 929 are used in Marble Hill.Mean monthly maxima and minima (i.e. the expected highest and lowest temperature readings at any point during the year or given month) calculated based on data at said location from 1991 to 2020.Official weather observations for Central Park were conducted at the Arsenal at Fifth Avenue and 64th Street from 1869 to 1919, and at Belvedere Castle since 1919.[182]References
Harlem is a neighborhood in Upper Manhattan, New York City. It is bounded roughly by the Hudson River on the west; the Harlem River and 155th Street on the north; Fifth Avenue on the east; and Central Park North on the south. The greater Harlem area encompasses several other neighborhoods and extends west and north to 155th Street, east to the East River, and south to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Central Park, and East 96th Street.
Originally a Dutch village, formally organized in 1658,[5] it is named after the city of Haarlem in the Netherlands. Harlem's history has been defined by a series of economic boom-and-bust cycles, with significant population shifts accompanying each cycle.[6] Harlem was predominantly occupied by Jewish and Italian Americans in the 19th century, but African-American residents began to arrive in large numbers during the Great Migration in the 20th century. In the 1920s and 1930s, Central and West Harlem were the center of the Harlem Renaissance, a major African-American cultural movement. With job losses during the Great Depression of the 1930s and the deindustrialization of New York City after World War II, rates of crime and poverty increased significantly.[7] In the 21st century, crime rates decreased significantly, and Harlem started to gentrify.
The area is served by the New York City Subway and local bus routes. It contains several public elementary, middle, and high schools, and is close to several colleges, including Columbia University, Manhattan School of Music, and the City College of New York. Central Harlem is part of Manhattan Community District 10.[1] It is patrolled by the 28th and 32nd Precincts of the New York City Police Department. The greater Harlem area also includes Manhattan Community Districts 9 and 11 and several police precincts, while fire services are provided by four New York City Fire Department companies.
A map of Upper Manhattan, with Greater Harlem highlighted. Harlem proper is the neighborhood in the center.Harlem is located in Upper Manhattan, often referred to as "Uptown" by locals. The three neighborhoods comprising the greater Harlem area—West, Central, and East Harlem—stretch from the Harlem River and East River to the east, to the Hudson River to the west; and between 155th Street in the north, where it meets Washington Heights, and an uneven boundary along the south that runs along 96th Street east of Fifth Avenue, 110th Street between Fifth Avenue to Morningside Park, and 125th Street west of Morningside Park to the Hudson River.[8][9][10] Encyclopædia Britannica references these boundaries,[11] though the Encyclopedia of New York City takes a much more conservative view of Harlem's boundaries, regarding only central Harlem as part of Harlem proper.[12]: 573 
Central Harlem is the name of Harlem proper; it falls under Manhattan Community District 10.[8] This section is bounded by Fifth Avenue on the east; Central Park on the south; Morningside Park, St. Nicholas Avenue and Edgecombe Avenue on the west; and the Harlem River on the north.[8] A chain of three large linear parks—Morningside Park, St. Nicholas Park and Jackie Robinson Park—situated on steeply rising banks, form most of the district's western boundary. Fifth Avenue, as well as Marcus Garvey Park (also known as Mount Morris Park), separate this area from East Harlem to the east.[8] Central Harlem includes the Mount Morris Park Historic District.
West Harlem (Manhattanville and Hamilton Heights) comprises Manhattan Community District 9 and does not form part of Harlem proper. The two neighborhoods' area is bounded by Cathedral Parkway/110th Street on the south; 155th Street on the north; Manhattan/Morningside Ave/St. Nicholas/Bradhurst/Edgecombe Avenues on the east; and Riverside Park/the Hudson River on the west. Manhattanville begins at roughly 123rd Street and extends northward to 135th Street. The northernmost section of West Harlem is Hamilton Heights.[9]
East Harlem, also called Spanish Harlem or El Barrio, is located within Manhattan Community District 11, which is bounded by East 96th Street on the south, East 138th Street on the north, Fifth Avenue on the west, and the Harlem River on the east. It is not part of Harlem proper.[10]
SoHa controversyFurther information: Morningside Heights, Manhattan § SoHa controversyIn the 2010s some real estate professionals started rebranding south Harlem and Morningside Heights as "SoHa" (a name standing for "South Harlem" in the style of SoHo or NoHo) in an attempt to accelerate gentrification of the neighborhoods. "SoHa", applied to the area between West 110th and 125th Streets, has become a controversial name.[13][14][15] Residents and other critics seeking to prevent this renaming of the area have labelled the SoHa brand as "insulting and another sign of gentrification run amok"[16] and have said that "the rebranding not only places their neighborhood's rich history under erasure but also appears to be intent on attracting new tenants, including students from nearby Columbia University".[17]
Multiple New York City politicians have initiated legislative efforts to curtail this practice of neighborhood rebranding, which when successfully introduced in other New York City neighborhoods, have led to increases in rents and real estate values, as well as "shifting demographics".[17] In 2011, U.S. Representative Hakeem Jeffries attempted but failed to implement legislation "that would punish real estate agents for inventing false neighborhoods and redrawing neighborhood boundaries without city approval."[17] By 2017, New York State Senator Brian Benjamin also worked to render illegal the practice of rebranding historically recognized neighborhoods.[17]
Political representationPolitically, central Harlem is in New York's 13th congressional district.[18][19] It is in the New York State Senate's 30th district,[20][21] the New York State Assembly's 68th and 70th districts,[22][23] and the New York City Council's 7th, 8th, and 9th districts.[24]
Harlem, from the old fort in the Central Park, New York Public Library
Three Harlem Women, ca. 1930Main article: History of HarlemBefore the arrival of European settlers, the area that would become Harlem (originally Haarlem) was inhabited by a Native American band, the Wecquaesgeek, dubbed Manhattans or Manhattoe by Dutch settlers, who along with other Native Americans, most likely Lenape,[25] occupied the area on a semi-nomadic basis. As many as several hundred farmed the Harlem flatlands.[26] Between 1637 and 1639, a few settlements were established.[27][28] The settlement of Harlem was formally incorporated in 1660[2] under the leadership of Peter Stuyvesant.[29]
During the American Revolution, the British burned Harlem to the ground.[30] It took a long time to rebuild, as Harlem grew more slowly than the rest of Manhattan during the late 18th century.[31] After the American Civil War, Harlem experienced an economic boom starting in 1868. The neighborhood continued to serve as a refuge for New Yorkers, but increasingly those coming north were poor and Jewish or Italian.[32] The New York and Harlem Railroad,[33] as well as the Interborough Rapid Transit and elevated railway lines,[34] helped Harlem's economic growth, as they connected Harlem to lower and midtown Manhattan.Apartment building in Central Harlem
A condemned building in Harlem after the 1970sThe Jewish and Italian demographic decreased, while the black and Puerto Rican population increased in this time.[35] The early-20th century Great Migration of black people to northern industrial cities was fueled by their desire to leave behind the Jim Crow South, seek better jobs and education for their children, and escape a culture of lynching violence; during World War I, expanding industries recruited black laborers to fill new jobs, thinly staffed after the draft began to take young men.[36] In 1910, Central Harlem population was about 10% black people. By 1930, it had reached 70%.[37]
Starting around the time of the end of World War I, Harlem became associated with the New Negro movement, and then the artistic outpouring known as the Harlem Renaissance, which extended to poetry, novels, theater, and the visual arts. So many black people came that it "threaten[ed] the very existence of some of the leading industries of Georgia, Florida, Tennessee and Alabama."[38] Many settled in Harlem. By 1920, central Harlem was 32.43% black. The 1930 census revealed that 70.18% of central Harlem's residents were black and lived as far south as Central Park, at 110th Street.[39]
However, by the 1930s, the neighborhood was hit hard by job losses in the Great Depression. In the early 1930s, 25% of Harlemites were out of work, and employment prospects for Harlemites stayed poor for decades. Employment among black New Yorkers fell as some traditionally black businesses, including domestic service and some types of manual labor, were taken over by other ethnic groups. Major industries left New York City altogether, especially after 1950. Several riots happened in this period, including in 1935 and 1943.
There were major changes following World War II. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Harlem was the scene of a series of rent strikes by neighborhood tenants, led by local activist Jesse Gray, together with the Congress of Racial Equality, Harlem Youth Opportunities Unlimited (HARYOU), and other groups. These groups wanted the city to force landlords to improve the quality of housing by bringing them up to code, to take action against rats and roaches, to provide heat during the winter, and to keep prices in line with existing rent control regulations.[40]
The largest public works projects in Harlem in these years were public housing, with the largest concentration built in East Harlem.[41] Typically, existing structures were torn down and replaced with city-designed and managed properties that would, in theory, present a safer and more pleasant Environment than those available from private landlords. Ultimately, community objections halted the construction of new projects.[42]
From the mid-20th century, the low quality of education in Harlem has been a source of distress. In the 1960s, about 75% of Harlem students tested under grade levels in reading skills, and 80% tested under grade level in math.[43] In 1964, residents of Harlem staged two school boycotts to call attention to the problem. In central Harlem, 92% of students stayed home.[44] In the post-World War II era, Harlem ceased to be home to a majority of the city's black people,[45] but it remained the cultural and political capital of black New York, and possibly black America.[46][47]
By the 1970s, many of those Harlemites who were able to escape from poverty left the neighborhood in search of better schools and homes, and safer streets. Those who remained were the poorest and least skilled, with the fewest opportunities for success. Though the federal government's Model Cities Program spent $100 million on job training, health care, education, public safety, sanitation, housing, and other projects over a ten-year period, Harlem showed no improvement.[48] The city began saleing its enormous portfolio of Harlem properties to the public in 1985. This was intended to improve the community by placing property in the hands of people who would live in them and maintain them. In many cases, the city would even pay to completely renovate a property before selling it (by lottery) below market value.[49]
After the 1990s, Harlem began to grow again. Between 1990 and 2006 the neighborhood's population grew by 16.9%, with the percentage of black people decreasing from 87.6% to 69.3%,[39] then dropping to 54.4% by 2010,[50] and the percentage of whites increasing from 1.5% to 6.6% by 2006,[39] and to "almost 10%" by 2010.[50] A renovation of 125th Street and new properties along the thoroughfare[51][52] also helped to revitalize Harlem.[53]
CultureSee also: Harlem Renaissance
Welcome to Harlem sign above the now defunct Victoria 5 cinema theater on 125th stIn the 1920s and 1930s, Central and West Harlem was the focus of the "Harlem Renaissance", an outpouring of artistic work without precedent in the American Black community. Though Harlem musicians and writers are particularly well remembered, the community has also hosted numerous actors and theater companies, including the New Heritage Repertory Theater,[29] National Black Theater, Lafayette Players, Harlem Suitcase Theater, The Negro Playwrights, American Negro Theater, and the Rose McClendon Players.[54]The Apollo Theater on 125th Street in November 2006The Apollo Theater opened on 125th Street on January 26, 1934, in a former burlesque house. The Savoy Ballroom, on Lenox Avenue, was a renowned venue for swing dancing, and was immortalized in a popular song of the era, "Stompin' at the Savoy". In the 1920s and 1930s, between Lenox and Seventh Avenues in central Harlem, over 125 entertainment venues were in operation, including speakeasies, cellars, lounges, cafes, taverns, supper clubs, rib joints, theaters, dance halls, and bars and grills.[55]
133rd Street, known as "Swing Street", became known for its cabarets, speakeasies and jazz scene during the Prohibition era, and was dubbed "Jungle Alley" because of "inter-racial mingling" on the street.[56][57] Some jazz venues, including the Cotton Club, where Duke Ellington played, and Connie's Inn, were restricted to whites only. Others were integrated, including the Renaissance Ballroom and the Savoy Ballroom.
In 1936, Orson Welles produced his black Macbeth at the Lafayette Theater in Harlem.[58] Grand theaters from the late 19th and early 20th centuries were torn down or converted to churches. Harlem lacked any permanent performance space until the creation of the Gatehouse Theater in an old Croton aqueduct building on 135th Street in 2006.[59]Spiritual African Drummer on 135th Street between Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard and Frederick Douglass BoulevardFrom 1965 until 2007, the community was home to the Harlem Boys Choir, a touring choir and education program for young boys, most of whom are black.[60] The Girls Choir of Harlem was founded in 1989, and closed with the Boys Choir.[61]
From 1967 to 1969, the Harlem Cultural Festival took place in Mount Morris Park. Another name for this festival is "Black Woodstock". Artists like Stevie Wonder, The 5th Dimension, and Gladys Knight performed here.[62][63]
Harlem is also home to the largest African American Day Parade, which celebrates the culture of African diaspora in America. The parade was started up in the spring of 1969 with Congressman Adam Clayton Powell Jr. as the Grand Marshal of the first celebration.[64]
Arthur Mitchell, a former dancer with the New York City Ballet, established Dance Theatre of Harlem as a school and company of classical ballet and theater training in the late 1960s. The company has toured nationally and internationally. Generations of theater artists have gotten a start at the school.
By the 2010s, new dining hotspots were opening in Harlem around Frederick Douglass Boulevard.[65] At the same time, some residents fought back against the powerful waves of gentrification the neighborhood is experiencing. In 2013, residents staged a sidewalk sit-in to protest a five-days-a-week farmers market that would shut down Macombs Place at 150th Street.[66]
Uptown Night Market was founded in 2021 to celebrate cuisine, community, and culture.[67] It is one of the largest night markets in Manhattan. The main attractions include musical performances, arts and crafts shows, and food.[68]
Black Ivory in Harlem 2017Many R&B/Soul groups and artists formed in Harlem. The Main Ingredient, Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers, Black Ivory, Cameo, Keith Sweat, Freddie Jackson, Alyson Williams, Johnny Kemp, Teddy Riley and others got their start in Harlem.
Manhattan's contributions to hip-hop stems largely from artists with Harlem roots such as Doug E. Fresh, Big L, Kurtis Blow, The Diplomats, Mase or Immortal Technique. Harlem is also the birthplace of popular hip-hop dances such as the Harlem shake, toe wop, and Chicken Noodle Soup.
Harlem's classical music birthed organizations and chamber ensembles such as Roberta Guaspari's Opus 118,[69] Harlem Chamber Players,[70] Omnipresent Music Festival BIPOC Musicians Festival,[71] Harlem Quartet, and musicians such as violinist Edward W. Hardy.[72]
In the 1920s, African American pianists who lived in Harlem invented their own style of jazz piano, called stride, which was heavily influenced by ragtime. This style played a very important role in early jazz piano[73][74]
LanguageIn 1938, jazz bandleader and singer Cab Calloway published the first dictionary by an African-American, Cab Calloway's Cat-ologue: A "Hepster's" Dictionary, which became the official jive language reference book of the New York Public Library.[75][76] In 1939, Calloway published an accompanying book titled Professor Cab Calloway’s Swingformation Bureau, which instructed readers how to apply the words and phrases from the dictionary. He released several editions until 1944, the last being The New Cab Calloway’s Hepsters Dictionary: Language of Jive.[77] Poet Lemn Sissay observed that "Cab Calloway was taking ownership of language for a people who, just a few generations before, had their own languages taken away."[78]
Religious life
St. Andrew's Episcopal ChurchReligious life has historically had a strong presence in Black Harlem. The area is home to over 400 churches,[79] some of which are official city or national landmarks.[80][81] Major Christian denominations include Baptists, Pentecostals, Methodists (generally African Methodist Episcopal Zionist, or "AMEZ" and African Methodist Episcopalian, or "AME"), Episcopalians, and Roman Catholic. The Abyssinian Baptist Church has long been influential because of its large congregation. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints built a chapel on 128th Street in 2005.
Many of the area's churches are "storefront churches", which operate in an empty store, or a basem*nt, or a converted brownstone townhouse. These congregations may have fewer than 30–50 members each, but there are hundreds of them.[82] Others are old, large, and designated landmarks. Especially in the years before World War II, Harlem produced popular Christian charismatic "cult" leaders, including George Wilson Becton and Father Divine.[83]
Mosques in Harlem include the Masjid Malcolm Shabazz (formerly Mosque No. 7 Nation of Islam, and the location of the 1972 Harlem mosque incident), the Mosque of Islamic Brotherhood and Masjid Aqsa. Judaism, too, maintains a presence in Harlem through the Old Broadway Synagogue. A non-mainstream synagogue of Black Hebrews, known as Commandment Keepers, was based in a synagogue at 1 West 123rd Street until 2008.
St Martin's Episcopal Church, at Lenox Avenue and 122nd Street
Hotel Theresa building at the corner of Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard and 125th Street
Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building, at the same intersection as the Hotel TheresaOfficially designated landmarksMany places in Harlem are official city landmarks labeled by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission or are listed on the National Register of Historic Places:
12 West 129th Street, a New York City landmark[84]17 East 128th Street, a New York City landmark[85]369th Regiment Armory, a New York City landmark and NRHP-listed site[86][81]Abyssinian Baptist Church, a New York City landmark[87]Apollo Theater, a New York City landmark and NRHP-listed site[88][81]Astor Row, a set of New York City landmark houses[80]: 207 Blockhouse No. 1, Fort Clinton, and Nutter's Battery, part of Central Park, a New York City scenic landmark and NRHP-listed site[89][81]Central Harlem West–130–132nd Streets Historic District, a New York City landmark[90]Dunbar Apartments, a New York City landmark[91]Graham Court Apartments, a New York City landmark[92]Hamilton Grange, a New York City landmark and NRHP-listed site[93]Harlem River Houses, a New York City landmark[94]Harlem YMCA, a New York City landmark[95]Hotel Theresa, a New York City landmark[96]Jackie Robinson YMCA Youth Center, a New York City landmark[97]Langston Hughes House, a New York City landmark and NRHP-listed site[98][81]Macombs Dam Bridge and 155th Street Viaduct, a New York City landmark[99]Manhattan Avenue-West 120th-123rd Streets Historic District, a NRHP historic district[81]Metropolitan Baptist Church, a New York City landmark and NRHP-listed site[100][81]Minton's Playhouse, a NRHP-listed site[81]Morningside Park, a New York City scenic landmark[101]Mother African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, a New York City landmark[102]Mount Morris Park Historic District, a New York City landmark district[103]Mount Olive Fire Baptized Holiness Church, a New York City landmark[104]New York Public Library 115th Street Branch, a New York City landmark and NRHP-listed site[105][81]Regent Theatre, a New York City landmark[106]Schomburg Collection for Research in Black Culture, a New York City landmark and NRHP-listed site[107][81]St. Aloysius Roman Catholic Church, a New York City landmark[108]St. Andrew's Church, a New York City landmark and NRHP-listed site[109][81]St. Philip's Protestant Episcopal Church, a New York City landmark[110]St. Martin's Episcopal Church (formerly Trinity Church), a New York City landmark[111]St. Nicholas Historic District, a New York City landmark district[112]St. Paul's German Evangelical Lutheran Church, a New York City landmark[113]Wadleigh High School for Girls, a New York City landmark[114]Washington Apartments, a New York City landmark[115]Other points of interestOther prominent points of interest include:
Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office BuildingAll Saints ChurchATLAH World Missionary ChurchBushman Steps, stairway that led baseball fans from the subway to The Polo Grounds ticket booth.[116]Cotton ClubDuke Ellington CircleFrederick Douglass CircleHarbor Conservatory for the Performing ArtsHarlem Children's ZoneHarlem Hospital CenterThe Harlem School of the ArtsLenox LoungeMarcus Garvey ParkHarlem Fire Watchtower, a New York City landmark and NRHP-listed site[117][81]Morningside ParkNational Black TheatreNew York College of Podiatric MedicineRed RoosterRucker ParkSavoy BallroomSt. Nicholas HousesStudio Museum in HarlemSylvia's Soul FoodTouro College of Osteopathic MedicineNew York Amsterdam NewsDemographicsThe demographics of Harlem's communities have changed throughout its history. In 1910, black residents formed 10% of Harlem's population, but by 1930, they had become a 70% majority.[7] The period between 1910 and 1930 was marked by the Great Migration of African Americans from the South to northern cities, including New York. Within the city, this era also witnessed an influx of black residents from downtown Manhattan neighborhoods, where blacks were feeling less welcome, to the Harlem area.[7] The black population in Harlem peaked in 1950, with a 98% share of the population of 233,000. As of 2000, central Harlem's black residents comprised 77% of the total population of that area; however, the black population has recently declined as many African Americans move out and more immigrants move in.[118] As of 2021, central Harlem's black residents comprises 44% of the total population area, estimating 56,668 black residents. [119] In that regard, there are an estimated 27% (34,773) Hispanics, 18% (23,182) White, 4% (5,151) Asian, 6% (7,727) of two or more races and 2% (2,575) Other.
Harlem suffers from unemployment rates generally more than twice the citywide average, as well as high poverty rates.[120] and the numbers for men have been consistently worse than the numbers for women. Private and governmental initiatives to ameliorate unemployment and poverty have not been successful. During the Great Depression, unemployment in Harlem went past 20% and people were being evicted from their homes.[121] At the same time, the federal government developed and instituted the redlining policy. This policy rated neighborhoods, such as Central Harlem, as unappealing based on the race, ethnicity, and national origins of the residents.[3] Central Harlem was deemed 'hazardous' and residents living in Central Harlem were refused home loans or other investments.[3] Comparably, wealthy and white residents in New York City neighborhoods were approved more often for housing loans and investment applications.[3] Overall, they were given preferential treatment by city and state institutions.
In the 1960s, uneducated blacks could find jobs more easily than educated ones could, confounding efforts to improve the lives of people who lived in the neighborhood through education.[3] Land owners took advantage of the neighborhood and offered apartments to the lower-class families for cheaper rent but in lower-class conditions.[122] By 1999 there were 179,000 housing units available in Harlem.[123] Housing activists in Harlem state that, even after residents were given vouchers for the Section 8 housing that was being placed, many were not able to live there and had to find homes elsewhere or become homeless.[123] These policies are examples of societal racism, also known as structural racism. As public health leaders have named structural racism as a key social determinant of health disparities between racial and ethnic minorities,[124] these 20th century policies have contributed to the current population health disparities between Central Harlem and other New York City neighborhoods.[3]
Central HarlemFor census purposes, the New York City government classifies Central Harlem into two neighborhood tabulation areas: Central Harlem North and Central Harlem South, divided by 126th street.[125] Based on data from the 2010 United States Census, the population of Central Harlem was 118,665, a change of 9,574 (8.1%) from the 109,091 counted in 2000. Covering an area of 926.05 acres (374.76 ha), the neighborhood had a population density of 128.1 inhabitants per acre (82,000/sq mi; 31,700/km2).[126] The racial makeup of the neighborhood was 9.5% (11,322) White, 63% (74,735) African American, 0.3% (367) Native American, 2.4% (2,839) Asian, 0% (46) Pacific Islander, 0.3% (372) from other races, and 2.2% (2,651) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 22.2% (26,333) of the population. Harlem's Black population was more concentrated in Central Harlem North, and its White population more concentrated in Central Harlem South, while the Hispanic / Latino population was evenly split.[127]
The most significant shifts in the racial composition of Central Harlem between 2000 and 2010 were the White population's increase by 402% (9,067), the Hispanic / Latino population's increase by 43% (7,982), and the Black population's decrease by 11% (9,544). While the growth of the Hispanic / Latino was predominantly in Central Harlem North, the decrease in the Black population was slightly greater in Central Harlem South, and the drastic increase in the White population was split evenly across the two census tabulation areas. Meanwhile, the Asian population grew by 211% (1,927) but remained a small minority, and the small population of all other races increased by 4% (142).[128]
The entirety of Community District 10, which comprises Central Harlem, had 116,345 inhabitants as of NYC Health's 2018 Community Health Profile, with an average life expectancy of 76.2 years.[3]: 2, 20  This is lower than the median life expectancy of 81.2 for all New York City neighborhoods.[129]: 53 (PDF p. 84)  Most inhabitants are children and middle-aged adults: 21% are between the ages of 0–17, while 35% are between 25 and 44, and 24% between 45 and 64. The ratio of college-aged and elderly residents was lower, at 10% and 11% respectively.[3]: 2 
As of 2017, the median household income in Community District 10 was $49,059.[4] In 2018, an estimated 21% of Community District 10 residents lived in poverty, compared to 14% in all of Manhattan and 20% in all of New York City. Around 12% of residents were unemployed, compared to 7% in Manhattan and 9% in New York City. Rent burden, or the percentage of residents who have difficulty paying their rent, is 48% in Community District 10, compared to the boroughwide and citywide rates of 45% and 51% respectively. Based on this calculation, as of 2018, Community District 10 is considered to be gentrifying: according to the Community Health Profile, the district was low-income in 1990 and has seen above-median rent growth up to 2010.[3]: 7 
Other sectionsIn 2010, the population of West Harlem was 110,193.[130] West Harlem, consisting of Manhattanville and Hamilton Heights, is predominately Hispanic / Latino, while African Americans make up about a quarter of the West Harlem population.[9]
In 2010, the population of East Harlem was 120,000.[131] East Harlem originally formed as a predominantly Italian American neighborhood.[132] The area began its transition from Italian Harlem to Spanish Harlem when Puerto Rican migration began after World War II,[133] though in recent decades, many Dominican, Mexican and Salvadoran immigrants have also settled in East Harlem.[134] East Harlem is now predominantly Hispanic / Latino, with a significant African-American presence.[133]
2020 CensusIn the 2020 census, Harlem's demographics were broken up into North Harlem, South Harlem, Hamilton Heights, West Harlem, and Morningside Heights. North Harlem had 40,000+ Black residents being the largest concentration of the black population of the Harlem area, 20,000 to 29,999 Hispanic residents, 5,000 to 9,999 White residents, and less than 5000 Asian residents. South Harlem had 20,000 to 29,999 Black residents, 5,000 to 9,999 Hispanic residents, 10,000 to 19,999 White residents, and fewer than 5,000 Asian residents. Hamilton Heights had 10,000 to 19,999 Black residents, 20,000 to 29,999 Hispanic residents being the largest population group in this section, 5,000 to 9,999 White residents, and fewer than 5,000 Asian residents. West Harlem had an equal number of Black and Hispanic residents with each of their population at 5,000 to 9,999 residents and each the White and Asian population were fewer than 5,000 residents. Morningside Heights had and equal amount of Black and Hispanic residents with each of their population at 5,000 to 9,999 residents, 10,000 to 19,999 White residents, and 5,000 to 9,999 Asian residents; the only section of Harlem to have a significant concentration of Asian residents.[135]
Police and crime
NYPD Police Service Area 6, which serves NYCHA developments in greater HarlemCentral Harlem is patrolled by two precincts of the New York City Police Department (NYPD).[136] Central Harlem North is covered by the 32nd Precinct, located at 250 West 135th Street,[137] while Central Harlem South is patrolled by the 28th Precinct, located at 2271–2289 Eighth Avenue.[138]
The 28th Precinct has a lower crime rate than it did in the 1990s, with crimes across all categories having decreased by 72.2% between 1990 and 2021. The precinct reported 2 murders, 9 rapes, 172 robberies, 245 felony assaults, 153 burglaries, 384 grand larcenies, and 52 grand larcenies auto in 2021.[139] Of the five major violent felonies (murder, rape, felony assault, robbery, and burglary), the 28th Precinct had a rate of 1,125 crimes per 100,000 residents in 2019, compared to the boroughwide average of 632 crimes per 100,000 and the citywide average of 572 crimes per 100,000.[140][141][142]
The crime rate in the 32nd Precinct has also decreased since the 1990s, with crimes across all categories having decreased by 71.4% between 1990 and 2021. The precinct reported 16 murders, 18 rapes, 183 robberies, 519 felony assaults, 168 burglaries, 320 grand larcenies, and 54 grand larcenies auto in 2021.[143] Of the five major violent felonies (murder, rape, felony assault, robbery, and burglary), the 32nd Precinct had a rate of 1,042 crimes per 100,000 residents in 2019, compared to the boroughwide average of 632 crimes per 100,000 and the citywide average of 572 crimes per 100,000.[140][141][142]
As of 2018, Community District 10 has a non-fatal assault hospitalization rate of 116 per 100,000 people, compared to the boroughwide rate of 49 per 100,000 and the citywide rate of 59 per 100,000. Its incarceration rate is 1,347 per 100,000 people, the second-highest in the city, compared to the boroughwide rate of 407 per 100,000 and the citywide rate of 425 per 100,000.[3]: 8 
Crime trendsMain article: Crime in Harlem
Police hit a man on the ground with batons during the Harlem riot of 1964In the early 20th century, Harlem was a stronghold of the Sicilian Mafia, other Italian organized crime groups, and later the Italian-American Mafia. As the ethnic composition of the neighborhood changed, black criminals began to organize themselves similarly. However, rather than compete with the established mobs, gangs concentrated on the "policy racket", also called the numbers game, or bolita in East Harlem. This was a gambling scheme similar to a lottery that could be played, illegally, from countless locations around Harlem. According to Francis Ianni, "By 1925 there were thirty black policy banks in Harlem, several of them large enough to collect bets in an area of twenty city blocks and across three or four avenues."[144]
By the early 1950s, the total money at play amounted to billions of dollars, and the police force had been thoroughly corrupted by bribes from numbers bosses.[145] These bosses became financial powerhouses, providing capital for loans for those who could not qualify for them from traditional financial institutions, and investing in legitimate businesses and real estate. One of the powerful early numbers bosses was a woman, Madame Stephanie St. Clair, who fought gun battles with mobster Dutch Schultz over control of the lucrative trade.[146]
The popularity of playing the numbers waned with the introduction of the state lottery, which is legal but has lower payouts and has taxes collected on winnings.[147] The practice continues on a smaller scale among those who prefer the numbers tradition or who prefer to trust their local numbers bank to the state.
Statistics from 1940 show about 100 murders per year in Harlem, "but rape is very rare".[148] By 1950, many whites had left Harlem and by 1960, much of the black middle class had departed. At the same time, control of organized crime shifted from Italian syndicates to local black, Puerto Rican, and Cuban groups that were somewhat less formally organized.[144] At the time of the 1964 riots, the drug addiction rate in Harlem was ten times higher than the New York City average, and twelve times higher than the United States as a whole. Of the 30,000 drug addicts then estimated to live in New York City, 15,000 to 20,000 lived in Harlem. Property crime was pervasive, and the murder rate was six times higher than New York's average. Half of the children in Harlem grew up with one parent, or none, and lack of supervision contributed to juvenile delinquency; between 1953 and 1962, the crime rate among young people increased throughout New York City, but was consistently 50% higher in Harlem than in New York City as a whole.[149]
Injecting heroin grew in popularity in Harlem through the 1950s and 1960s, though the use of this drug then leveled off. In the 1980s, use of crack cocaine became widespread, which produced collateral crime as addicts stole to finance their purchasing of additional drugs, and as dealers fought for the right to sell in particular regions, or over deals gone bad.[150]
With the end of the "crack wars" in the mid-1990s, and with the initiation of aggressive policing under mayors David Dinkins and his successor Rudy Giuliani, crime in Harlem plummeted. Compared to in 1981, when 6,500 robberies were reported in Harlem, reports of robberies dropped to 4,800 in 1990; to 1,700 in 2000; and to 1,100 in 2010.[151] Within the 28th and 32nd precincts, there have been similar changes in all categories of crimes tracked by the NYPD.[137][138]
Despite reductions versus historic highs, Harlem continues to have a high rate of violent crime and one of the highest rates of violent crime in New York City.[140] This crime is largely correlated with high concentrations of poverty. Illicit activities such as theft, robbery, drug trafficking, prostitution are prevalent. Criminal organizations like street gangs are responsible for many of the murders and shootings in the neighborhood.
GangsThere are many gangs in Harlem, often based in housing projects; when one gang member is killed by another gang, revenge violence erupts which can last for years.[152] In addition, the East Harlem Purple Gang of the 1970s, which operated in East Harlem and surroundings, was an Italian American group of hitmen and heroin dealers.[153]
Harlem and its gangsters have a strong link to hip hop, rap and R&B culture in the United States, and many successful rappers in the music industry came from gangs in Harlem.[154] Gangster rap, which has its origins in the late 1980s, often has lyrics that are "misogynistic or that glamorize violence", glamorizing guns, drugs and easy women in Harlem and New York City.[155][154]
Fire safety
The Quarters of FDNY Engine Company 59/Ladder Company 30Central Harlem is served by four New York City Fire Department (FDNY) fire stations:[156]
Engine Company 37/Ladder Company 40 – 415 West 125th Street[157]Engine Company 58/Ladder Company 26 – 1367 5th Avenue[158]Engine Company 59/Ladder Company 30 – 111 West 133rd Street[159]Engine Company 69/Ladder Company 28/Battalion 16 – 248 West 143rd Street[160]Five additional firehouses are located in West and East Harlem. West Harlem contains Engine Company 47 and Engine Company 80/Ladder Company 23, while East Harlem contains Engine Company 35/Ladder Company 14/Battalion 12, Engine Company 53/Ladder Company 43, and Engine Company 91.[156]
HealthAs of 2018, preterm births and births to teenage mothers are more common in Central Harlem than in other places citywide. In Central Harlem, there were 103 preterm births per 1,000 live births (compared to 87 per 1,000 citywide), and 23 births to teenage mothers per 1,000 live births (compared to 19.3 per 1,000 citywide), though the teenage birth rate is based on a small sample size.[3]: 11  Central Harlem has a low population of residents who are uninsured. In 2018, this population of uninsured residents was estimated to be 8%, less than the citywide rate of 12%.[3]: 14 
The concentration of fine particulate matter, the deadliest type of air pollutant, in Central Harlem is 0.0079 milligrams per cubic metre (7.9×10−9 oz/cu ft), slightly more than the city average.[3]: 9  Ten percent of Central Harlem residents are smokers, which is less than the city average of 14% of residents being smokers.[3]: 13  In Central Harlem, 34% of residents are obese, 12% are diabetic, and 35% have high blood pressure, the highest rates in the city—compared to the citywide averages of 24%, 11%, and 28% respectively.[3]: 16  In addition, 21% of children are obese, compared to the citywide average of 20%.[3]: 12 
Eighty-four percent of residents eat some fruits and vegetables every day, which is less than the city's average of 87%. In 2018, 79% of residents described their health as "good," "very good," or "excellent," more than the city's average of 78%.[3]: 13  For every supermarket in Central Harlem, there are 11 bodegas.[3]: 10 
The nearest major hospital is NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem in north-central Harlem.[161][162]
Social factorsThe population health of Central Harlem is closely linked to influential social factors on health, also known as social determinants of health, and the impact of structural racism on the neighborhood. The impact of discriminatory policies such as redlining have contributed to residents' bearing worse health outcomes in comparison to the average New York city resident. This applies to life expectancy, poverty rates, Environmental neighborhood health, housing quality, and childhood and adult asthma rates. Additionally, the health of Central Harlem residents are linked to their experience of racism.[163][164] Public health and scientific research studies have found evidence that experiencing racism creates and exacerbates chronic stress that can contribute to major causes of death, particularly for African-American and Hispanic populations in the United States, like cardiovascular health disparities between Central Harlem and the rest of New York City can be attributed to 'avoidable causes' such as substandard housing quality, poverty, and law enforcement violence – all of which are issues identified by the American Public Health Association as key social determinants of health. These deaths that can be attributed to avoidable causes are known as "avertable deaths" of "excess mortality'"in public health.[168]
Health problemsHealth and housing conditionsAccess to affordable housing and employment opportunities with fair wages and benefits are closely associated with good health.[169] Public health leaders have shown that inadequate housing qualities is linked to poor health.[170] As Central Harlem also bears the effects of racial segregation, public health researchers claim that racial segregation is also linked to substandard housing and exposure to pollutants and toxins. These associations have been documented to increase individual risk of chronic diseases and adverse birth outcomes.[124] Historical income segregation via redlining also positions residents to be more exposed to risks that contribute to adverse mental health status, inadequate access to healthy foods, asthma triggers, and lead exposure.[170][169]Drew Hamilton Houses, a large low-income NYCHA housing project in Central HarlemAsthmaAsthma is more common in children and adults in Central Harlem, compared to other New York City neighborhoods.[171] The factors that can increase risk of childhood and adult asthma are associated with substandard housing conditions.[172] Substandard housing conditions are water leaks, cracks and holes, inadequate heating, presence of mice or rats, peeling paint and can include the presence of mold, moisture, dust mites.[173] In 2014, Central Harlem tracked worse in regards to home maintenance conditions, compared to the average rates Manhattan and New York City. Twenty percent of homes had cracks or holes; 21% had leaks and 19% had three or more maintenance deficiencies.[171]
Adequate housing is defined as housing that is free from heating breakdowns, cracks, holes, peeling paint and other defects. Housing conditions in Central Harlem reveal that only 37% of its renter-occupied homes were adequately maintained by landlords in 2014. Meanwhile, 25% of Central Harlem households and 27% of adults reported seeing co*ckroaches (a potential trigger for asthma), a rate higher than the city average. Neighborhood conditions are also indicators of population: in 2014, Central Harlem had 32 per 100,000 people hospitalized due to pedestrian injuries, higher than Manhattan's and the city's average.[171]
The Environment also factors into the health of the people of Central Harlem with the neighborhood being found to have levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) at 7.9 micrograms per cubic meter compared to all of NYC at 7.5 micrograms per cubic meter. Poorer neighborhoods have some of the highest levels of air pollution in the city. Adults with asthma emergencies experiencing high rates of poverty visit the emergency department at rates nearly 5 times higher than those neighborhoods with lower levels of poverty. Nearly 3 in 4 deaths related to PM2.5 occurs in adults 65 years or older. The attribution of premature adult mortality rate to exposure of PM2.5 experiencing 77.4-117.7 deaths per 100,000 people.[174]
Additionally, poverty levels can indicate one's risk of vulnerability to asthma. In 2016, Central Harlem saw 565 children aged 5–17 years old per 10,000 residents visiting emergency departments for Asthma emergencies, over twice both Manhattan's and the citywide rates. The rate of childhood asthma hospitalization in 2016 was more than twice that of Manhattan and New York City, with 62 hospitalizations per 10,000 residents.[171] Rates of adult hospitalization due to asthma in Central Harlem trends higher in comparison to other neighborhoods. In 2016, 270 adults per 10,000 residents visited the emergency department due to asthma, close to three times the average rates of both Manhattan and New York City.[171]
Other health problemsHealth outcomes for men have generally been worse than those of women. Infant mortality was 124 per thousand in 1928, meaning that 12.4% of infants would die.[175] By 1940, infant mortality in Harlem was 5%, and the death rate from disease generally was twice that of the rest of New York. Tuberculosis was the main killer, and four times as prevalent among Harlem citizens than among the rest of New York's population.[175]
A 1990 study of life expectancy of teenagers in Harlem reported that 15-year-old girls in Harlem had a 65% chance of surviving to the age of 65, about the same as women in Pakistan. Fifteen-year-old men in Harlem, on the other hand, had a 37% chance of surviving to 65, about the same as men in Angola; for men, the survival rate beyond the age of 40 was lower in Harlem than Bangladesh.[176] Infectious diseases and diseases of the circulatory system were to blame, with a variety of contributing factors, including consumption of the deep-fried foods traditional to the South, which may contribute to heart disease.
Post offices and ZIP CodesHarlem is located within five primary ZIP Codes. From south to north they are 10026 (from 110th to 120th Streets), 10027 (from 120th to 133rd Streets), 10037 (east of Lenox Avenue and north of 130th Street), 10030 (west of Lenox Avenue from 133rd to 145th Streets) and 10039 (from 145th to 155th Streets). Harlem also includes parts of ZIP Codes 10031, 10032, and 10035.[177] The United States Postal Service operates five post offices in Harlem:
Morningside Station – 232 West 116th Street[178]Manhattanville Station and Morningside Annex – 365 West 125th Street[179]College Station – 217 West 140th Street[180]Colonial Park Station – 99 Macombs Place[181]Lincoln Station – 2266 5th Avenue[182]EducationMain article: Education in HarlemCentral Harlem generally has a similar rate of college-educated residents to the rest of the city as of 2018. While 42% of residents age 25 and older have a college education or higher, 19% have less than a high school education and 39% are high school graduates or have some college education. By contrast, 64% of Manhattan residents and 43% of city residents have a college education or higher.[3]: 6  The percentage of Central Harlem students excelling in math rose from 21% in 2000 to 48% in 2011, and reading achievement increased from 29% to 37% during the same time period.[183]
Central Harlem's rate of elementary school student absenteeism is higher than the rest of New York City. In Central Harlem, 25% of elementary school students missed twenty or more days per school year, more than the citywide average of 20%.[129]: 24 (PDF p. 55) [3]: 6  Additionally, 64% of high school students in Central Harlem graduate on time, less than the citywide average of 75%.[3]: 6 
SchoolsThe New York City Department of Education operates the following public elementary schools in Central Harlem:[184]
PS 76 A Phillip Randolph (grades PK-8)[185]PS 92 Mary Mcleod Bethune (grades PK-5)[186]PS 123 Mahalia Jackson (grades PK-8)[187]PS 149 Sojourner Truth (grades PK-8)[188]PS 154 Harriet Tubman (grades PK-5)[189]PS 175 Henry H Garnet (grades PK-5)[190]PS 185 the Early Childhood Discovery and Design Magnet School (grades PK-2)[191]PS 194 Countee Cullen (grades PK-5)[192]PS 197 John B Russwurm (grades PK-5)[193]PS 200 The James Mccune Smith School (grades PK-5)[194]PS 242 The Young Diplomats Magnet School (grades PK-5)[195]Stem Institute of Manhattan (grades K-5)[196]Thurgood Marshall Academy Lower School (grades K-5)[197]The following middle and high schools are located in Central Harlem:[184]
Frederick Douglass Academy (grades 6–12)[198]Frederick Douglass Academy II Secondary School (grades 6–12)[199]Mott Hall High School (grades 9–12)[200]Thurgood Marshall Academy For Learning And Social Change (grades 6–12)[201]Wadleigh Secondary School for the Performing and Visual Arts (grades 6–12)[202]Harlem has a high rate of charter school enrollment: a fifth of students were enrolled in charter schools in 2010.[203] By 2017, that proportion had increased to 36%, about the same that attended their zoned public schools. Another 20% of Harlem students were enrolled in public schools elsewhere.[204]
Higher educationThe CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy, New York College of Podiatric Medicine, City College of New York, and Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, in addition to a branch of College of New Rochelle, are all located in Harlem. The Morningside Heights and Manhattanville campuses of Columbia University are located just west of Harlem.
New York Public Library, Schomburg Center for Research in Black CultureThe New York Public Library (NYPL) operates four circulating branches and one research branch in Harlem, as well as several others in adjacent neighborhoods.
The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, a research branch, is located at 515 Malcolm X Boulevard. It is housed in a Carnegie library structure that opened in 1905, though the branch itself was established in 1925 based on a collection from its namesake, Arturo Alfonso Schomburg. The Schomburg Center is a National Historic Landmark, as well as a city designated landmark and a National Register of Historic Places (NRHP)-listed site.[205]The Countee Cullen branch is located at 104 West 136th Street. It was originally housed in the building now occupied by the Schomburg Center. The current structure, in 1941, is an annex of the Schomburg building.[206]The Harry Belafonte 115th Street branch is located at 203 West 115th Street. The three-story Carnegie library, built in 1908, is both a city designated landmark and an NRHP-listed site. It was renamed for the entertainer and Harlem resident Harry Belafonte in 2017.[207]The Harlem branch is located at 9 West 124th Street. It is one of the oldest libraries in the NYPL system, having operated in Harlem since 1826. The current three-story Carnegie library building was built in 1909 and renovated in 2004.[208]The Macomb's Bridge branch is located at 2633 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard. The branch opened in 1955 at 2650 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard, inside the Harlem River Houses, and was the smallest NYPL branch at 685 square feet (63.6 m2). In January 2020, the branch moved across the street to a larger space.[209]Other nearby branches include the 125th Street and Aguilar branches in East Harlem; the Morningside Heights branch in Morningside Heights; and the George Bruce and Hamilton Grange branches in western spanning the Harlem River between Harlem to the left and the Bronx to the right
Harlem–125th Street station on the Metro-North RailroadThe Harlem River separates the Bronx and Manhattan, necessitating several spans between the two New York City boroughs. Five free bridges connect Harlem and the Bronx: the Willis Avenue Bridge (for northbound traffic only), Third Avenue Bridge (for southbound traffic only), Madison Avenue Bridge, 145th Street Bridge, and Macombs Dam Bridge. In East Harlem, the Wards Island Bridge, also known as the 103rd Street Footbridge, connects Manhattan with Wards Island. The Triborough Bridge is a complex of three separate bridges that offers connections between Queens, East Harlem, and the Bronx.[211]
Public transportationPublic transportation service is provided by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. This includes the New York City Subway and MTA Regional Bus Operations. Some Bronx local routes also serve Manhattan, providing customers with access between both boroughs.[212][213] Metro-North Railroad has a commuter rail station at Harlem–125th Street, serving trains to the Lower Hudson Valley and Connecticut.[214]
SubwayHarlem is served by the following subway lines:
IRT Lenox Avenue Line (2 and ​3 trains) between Central Park North–110th Street and Harlem–148th Street[215]IND Eighth Avenue Line (A, ​B, ​C, and ​D trains) between Cathedral Parkway–110th Street and 155th Street[215]IND Concourse Line (B and ​D trains) at 155th Street[215]In addition, several other lines stop nearby:
IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line (1 train) between Cathedral Parkway–110th Street and 145th Street, serving western Harlem[215]IRT Lexington Avenue Line (4, ​5, ​6, and <6> trains) between 96th Street and 125th Street, serving East Harlem[215]Phase 2 of the Second Avenue Subway is also planned to serve East Harlem, with stops at 106th Street, 116th Street, and Harlem–125th Street.[216][217]
BusHarlem is served by numerous local bus routes operated by MTA Regional Bus Operations:[213]
Bx6 and Bx6 SBS along 155th StreetBx19 along 145th StreetBx33 along 135th StreetM1 along Fifth/Madison AvenuesM2 along Seventh Avenue, Central Park North, and Fifth/Madison AvenuesM3 along Manhattan Avenue, Central Park North, and Fifth/Madison AvenuesM4 along Broadway, Central Park North, and Fifth/Madison AvenuesM60 SBS, M100, M101 and Bx15 along 125th StreetM7 and M102 along Lenox Avenue and 116th StreetM10 along Frederick Douglass BoulevardM116 along 116th StreetRoutes that run near Harlem, but do not stop in the neighborhood, include:[213]
M5 along Riverside DriveM11 along Amsterdam AvenueM35 via Triborough BridgeM98 and M103 along Third/Lexington AvenuesM104 along BroadwaySee alsoList of films shot in HarlemList of people from Harlem
Upper Manhattan is the most northern region of the New York City borough of Manhattan. Its southern boundary has been variously defined, but some of the most common usages are 96th Street, the northern boundary of Central Park (110th Street), 125th Street, or 155th Street.[citation needed] The term Uptown can refer to Upper Manhattan, but is often used more generally for neighborhoods above 59th Street; in the broader definition, Uptown encompasses Upper Manhattan.[1]
Upper Manhattan is generally taken to include the neighborhoods of Marble Hill, Inwood, Washington Heights (including Fort George, Sherman Creek and Hudson Heights), Harlem (including Sugar Hill, Hamilton Heights and Manhattanville), East Harlem, Morningside Heights, and Manhattan Valley (in the Upper West Side).
The George Washington Bridge connects Washington Heights in Upper Manhattan across the Hudson River to Fort Lee, New Jersey, and is the world's busiest motor vehicle bridge.[2][3]
In the late 19th century, the IRT Ninth Avenue Line and other elevated railroads brought people to the previously rustic Upper Manhattan. Until the late 20th century it was less influenced by the gentrification that had taken place in other parts of New York over the previous 30 years.
Tourist attractionsLike other residential areas, Upper Manhattan is not a major center of tourism in New York City, although many tourist attractions lie within it, such as Grant's Tomb, the Apollo Theater, United Palace, and The Cloisters, Sylvia's Restaurant, the Hamilton Grange, the Morris–Jumel Mansion, Minton's Playhouse, Sugar Hill, Riverside Church, the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, and the Dyckman House, along with Fort Tryon Park, most of Riverside Park, Riverbank State Park, Sakura Park, and other parks.
GalleryCity College of New York in Hamilton HeightsCity College of New York in Hamilton Heights
The Cloisters in Fort Tryon Park houses the medieval art collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.The Cloisters in Fort Tryon Park houses the medieval art collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The Little Red Lighthouse under the George Washington BridgeThe Little Red Lighthouse under the George Washington Bridge
Inwood Hill Park contains the last remnant of the primeval forest which once covered Manhattan; these caves were used by native Lenape people.Inwood Hill Park contains the last remnant of the primeval forest which once covered Manhattan; these caves were used by native Lenape people.

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