Looking northwards from Greenwich Village to Central Park
Seventh Avenue – known as Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard north of Central Park – is a thoroughfare on the West Side of the borough of Manhattan in New York City. It is southbound below Central Park and a two-way street north of the park.
Seventh Avenue originates in the West Village at Clarkson Street, where Varick Street becomes Seventh Avenue South (which becomes Seventh Avenue proper after the road crosses Greenwich Avenue and West 11th Street). It is interrupted by Central Park from 59th to 110th Street. Artisans' Gate is the 59th Street exit from Central Park to Seventh Avenue. North of Warriors' Gate at the north end of the Park, the avenue carries traffic in both directions through Harlem, where it is called Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard. Addresses continue as if the street was continuous through Central Park, with the first block north of the park being the 1800 block. The United States Postal Service delivers mail using either street name. As is the case with "Sixth Avenue" and "Avenue of the Americas", long-time New Yorkers continue to use the older name.
The street has two northern termini; an upper level terminates at the western end of the Macombs Dam Bridge, traveling over the Harlem River, where Jerome Avenue commences in the Bronx. A lower level continues a bit further north and curves into the lower level of West 155th Street.
Seventh Avenue was originally laid out in the Commissioners' Plan of 1811.
The southern terminus of Seventh Avenue was Eleventh Street in Greenwich Village through the early part of the 20th century. It was extended southward, as Seventh Avenue South, to link up with Varick Street in 1914, and Varick was widened at the same time.Staff (March 22, 1914) "Wreckers Busy in Old Greenwich", The New York Times Extension of the avenue allowed better vehicular connections between midtown Manhattan and the commercial district in what is now TriBeCa. It also permitted construction of the New York City Subway IRT Broadway – Seventh Avenue LineStaff (September 24, 1911) "Seventh Avenue Extension Will Create Great Business Revival in Old Greenwich" The New York Times which opened in 1918.Staff (July 2, 1918) "Open New Subway to Regular Traffic", The New York Times
Extension of the avenue was under consideration for several years, and was approved by the New York City Board of Estimate in September 1911, when the first $3 million appropriation was made for the initial planning of the work. The extension had been urged by civic groups to meet the commercial needs of Greenwich Village. A significant number of old buildings were marked for demolition in the extension, and the demolished buildings included the Bedford Street Methodist Church, constructed in 1840.
Most of Seventh Avenue has carried traffic one-way southbound since June 6, 1954. The portion north of Times Square carried two-way traffic until March 10, 1957.
Seventh Avenue is served by the for most of its length, with service between 42nd Street and Central Park South. The Seventh Avenue station also serves the . North of the park, Powell Boulevard is served by the Harlem–148th Street on the, and the 155th Street station on the . It is also served by numerous local MTA New York City Bus routes, primarily the south of Central Park and the north of the park.
In popular culture
Seventh Avenue is frequently mentioned in films, plays and books.
- Seventh Avenue was mentioned in the Simon and Garfunkel song "The Boxer," in which the protagonist mentions receiving a "come-on from the whores on Seventh Avenue."
- In the 1962 play and 1965 film A Thousand Clowns, Seventh Avenue is frequently mentioned as being in proximity.
- In the 1973 Steely Dan song "The Boston Rag", the protagonist declares, "There was nothing that I could do So I pointed my car down Seventh Avenue".
- In the 1978 Rolling Stones song "Shattered", from the Some Girls album, Mick Jagger sings "I can't give it away on Seventh Avenue."
- Seventh Avenue is also mentioned in Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon, when detective Sam Spade tells the gunsel Wilmer that his telling him to "shove off" "would go over big back on Seventh Avenue. But you're not in Romeville now. You're in my burg."
- In Dave Gibbons's Watching the Watchmen (2008), the comics artist speculates that the Gunga Diner, Utopia Cinema, Promethean Cab Co. and Institute for Extraspatial Studies are situated at the intersection of Seventh Avenue and West 31st Street.
- Seventh Avenue was the title and subject of a 1977 NBC TV miniseries which focused on the Garment District.
- In the 2008 The Gaslight Anthem song "Here's Looking At You, Kid", Seventh Avenue is mentioned in the lyric, "goes crazy over that New York scene on Seventh Avenue".
- The Pet Shop Boys' song "New York City Boy" has as its prominent refrain the line, "'Cause you're a New York City boy, where Seventh Avenue meets Broadway".
- The 1980s hair metal band Ratt featured a song dedicated to Seventh Avenue on their third studio album Dancing Undercover. The song referred to meeting a Playboy Bunny on Seventh Avenue.