Borough and State: Manhattan, New York
Type of district: certified local historic district
Main Intersection: Broadway and West 27th Street
The Madison Square North Historic District is comprised of 96 buildings. From 1849 to 1864, the district was a fashionable residential area with hotels and fine houses lining Broadway and other residences on the side streets. Between 1870 and 1910, the area became an entertainment district filled with theaters, clubs and more hotels. When electric lights arrived on Broadway above 23rd Street, it received its nickname of the “Great White Way.” After the Civil War, commercial interests began to migrate north from Ladies’ Mile to Madison Square North, with much taller speculative buildings mixing ground-floor stores with lofts or offices above. Most of these buildings are located along Broadway and Fifth Avenue. Early row houses were also converted to allow for storefronts on their lower floors; most of these buildings survive on the side streets.