Upper West Side
The Upper West Side (UWS) once called Bloemendaal by the Dutch, “Valley of flowers” is a neighborhood graced with two world-class parks by reknowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead: Riverside Park, a serene four mile serpentine route along the Hudson River and Central Park a national landmark. The 59th Street traffic circle, the main gateway to the Upper West Side was designed in 1857, as part of Olmstead’s vision for Central Park, including the “Grand Circle” at the Merchants’ Gate and in 1882 the installation of the Columbus Column in the circle’s center became known as Columbus Circle. From west to east, the avenue of the UWS are Riverside Drive parallel to the West Side Highway, West End Avenue (11th Avenue), Broadway, Amsterdam (10th Avenue), Columbus Avenue (9th Avenue), and Central Park West (8th Avenue). The Broadway is the oldest north-south throughfare in New York City, dating to the New Amsterdam settlement and forms the spine of the nighborhood. The name Broadway is the English translation of the Dutch name “Brede Weg”. Broadway enters the neighborhood at the juncture of Central Park West and 59th Street, crosses Columbus Avenue at Lincoln Square (65th Street), Amsterdam Avenue at Verdi Square (71st Street) and then merges with West End Avenue at Straus Park; aka Bloomingdale Square (107th Street).
As of 2003, centered to the west of the circle resides Time Warner Center designed by David Childs of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill comprising two glass towers, the South Tower at 25 Columbus Circle, features luxury condominiums, and the North Tower, at 80 Columbus Circle, boasts similarly luxurious apartments from the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. The Time Warner Center’s grand design is its east-facing atrium, “the Great Room” with a curving, two-block long gallery with majestic views of Columbus Circle streetscape including a peek to the park. The verticle center resides the Turnstyle Under Ground Market a collection of retail shops including Whole Foods super market; the shops at Columbus Circle, a prestigious collecion of Michelin-starred restaurants, 150,000-square-foot Jazz at Lincoln Center with its three main performance spaces, CNN’s studios in the Time Warner Center, are one of the network’s three primary broadcast sites. A number of other cultural institutions create the vibe of the area: Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, a 16.3 acre complex of buildings in the Lincoln Square neighborhood where the nationally and internationally renowned New York Philharmonic, Metropolitan and New York City Opera, New York City Ballet, a Center for Theater and Film Society reside. Flanking Central Park is the New York Historical Society, The American Museum of Natural History and immersive Hayden Planetarium, which is the largest museum of the world and historical Central Park West contains a number of prominent landmarks and desirable apartment buildings.
The area boasts the largest collection of notable prewar residential buildings on West End Avenue, Riverside and Central Park West, but new construction has significantly increased the number of high-end apartments here too. The Upper West Side is worth an exploration it has its own off the beaten path hidden spots and Pomander Walk is one of them. Nestled behind an iron gate on West 95th near West End Avenue lies Pomander Walk an enclave of tudor style homes from another era, a block-long complex built in 1921 and modeled after the London state set of a play by the same name. And, you can always find many delicacies or picnic snacks at the UWS’s foodie desinations: Fairway, Citarella and Zabar’s.
Historic District: Upper West Side
New York City Map 360: Transportation Maps
Upper West Side Listings
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