Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Manhattan Address Locator
I've always had a love of numbers and have enjoyed studying the street and avenue numbering systems of New York City, specifically Manhattan. For the numerically inclined, there is no better place. Here, north of 14th Street, the borough is a numbered grid. The original design was created as the Commissioners' Plan of 1811.
There is a method to the madness of the street and avenue numbering. Algorithms are available and have been translated to various forms of address calculators, available in phone books, maps, tourist guides, and online. They can also be found as small, laminated wallet-sized cards - I have carried such an address locator since my early days in New York City in 1969.
Locating avenues given the numbered cross street address is relatively simple and really requires no guide, calculator, or GPS. Fifth Avenue divides Manhattan into East and West. Cross street numbers increase moving away from Fifth, typically by 100 per block. So, for example, 325 East 57th Street will be between 2nd and 1st Avenues.
Locating streets given avenue numbers is more involved. There is an algorithm, but it is complex, with many exceptions and special considerations for certain avenues. Here, it is better to use a chart or calculator such as the one that I have customized. Enjoy your Manhattan Address Locator :)
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