View Full Version : How Manhattan Street Numbers Are Found

January 19th, 2010, 09:10 PM
I learn something new every day. Came across this while thumbing thru a 1965 World Almanac (I like to keep up on the latest information:rolleyes:). Now we know how Manhattan street numbers are found. Now good luck remembering all those numbers......


January 19th, 2010, 09:39 PM
THANK GOD for Mapquest!!!!!!!!!!

January 19th, 2010, 10:41 PM
You're still up to date, Radiohead :).

Some (current) guidebooks include a Manhattan street finder.

Finding the street from a number and avenue:

To find the approximate cross street, take the building number and divide by 20; then add (or subtract) the magic number from the following table. (For example, 660 Madison Avenue would be 660/20=33 plus the Madison Avenue index from the table below (+27), 33+27=60th Street)

Avenue A....+3
Avenue B....+3
Avenue C....+3
Avenue D....+3
1st Ave +3
2nd Ave +3
3rd Ave +10
4th Ave +8
6th Ave -12
8th Ave +9
9th Ave +13
10th Ave +14
11th Ave +15
Amsterdam Ave +59
Audubon Ave +165
Ave of the Americas -12
Columbus Ave +59(+60)
Convent Ave +127
Edgecomb Ave +134
Ft. Washington Ave +158
Lenox Ave +110
Lexington Ave +22
Madison Ave +27
Manhattan Ave +100
Park Ave +34
Park Ave South +8
Pleasant Ave +101
St. Nicholas Ave +110
Wadsworth Ave +173
West End Ave +59
York Ave +4

Special Cases
5th Avenue:
63-108 +11
109-200 +13
201-400 +16
401-600 +18
601-775 +20
For 776-1286, divide by 10
(instead of 20) and then subtract 18 7th Avenue:
1-1800 +12
Above 1800 +20

More Special Cases
1-754 (south of 8th street, not numbered streets)
756-846 -29
847-953 -25
Above 953 -31 Central Park West:
Divide building number by 10 and add 60
Divide building number by 10 and then add as follows:
1-567 +72
Above 567 +78


This one (http://www.ny.com/locator) works it out for you.

I was interested in learning how the algorithm was worked out, and I submitted a question here (http://wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=19824&highlight=algorithm) at WNY and to the New York Times FYI column, but it's still a mystery.

March 16th, 2010, 06:34 AM
^ That's sorted, but what about building numbers?

What a marvelous name for a government department :):

Bureau of Encroachments and IncumbrancesCase of the Missing Building Numbers


Something’s missing: the present absence of building numbers on a stretch of 181st Street in Washington Heights,
where 42 percent of locations lack building numbers, according to a new study.

In most of this country and much of the world, buildings have numbers on them on the outside. The numbers correspond to the building’s street address. For example, the building at 100 Main Street will often have the numeral “100” affixed to it. These numbers are used to identify the building and to help people find it.

In New York City, we do things a little differently.

Here, to the frequent annoyance of native and tourist, shopper and letter carrier alike, buildings may be jammed with signage but lack that simple identifying feature, as if to sneer at the urban unsophisticate, “If you have to ask, you don’t deserve to know.”

This is hardly a new phenomenon. “The vogue of numerology has certainly not extended to theatres nor to many of the stores, shops and office buildings in the theatrical district,” the Times fulminated 81 years ago under the large headline “Elusive New York House Numbers” (see below).

What’s new, at least in this century, is that an elected official is attempting to do something about it.

The Manhattan borough president, Scott M. Stringer, released a study Monday of what he swore were randomly selected, heavily trafficked areas of the borough. The survey (http://www.mbpo.org/release_details.asp?id=1522&page=1) looked at 1,837 locations along 13 corridors. It found that 729 of them, or about 40 percent, were unmarked.

The worst corridor in the survey was Eighth Avenue from 42nd to 59th Street, where 58 percent of locations surveyed bore no address. Other major offenders: Columbus Avenue from 67th to 83rd Street (54 percent); Greenwich Street from Murray to Spring Street (49 percent); and 181st Street between Cabrini and Amsterdam (42 percent).

To Mr. Stringer, this constitutes not merely an urban inconvenience but a public-safety hazard. “When addresses aren’t displayed,” he said, “it creates obstacles for firefighters, E.M.T.s and other first responders who don’t have a second of extra time to spare. You need to know where emergency vehicles are going. You need to be able to call for help. This is a city where every second matters.”

According to Section 3-505 (http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/nycode/ADC/3/5/3-505) of the city’s administrative code, building numbers must be posted on the front of all buildings. Those who dare to flout this rule risk a $25 fine.

In the old days, the numbering rule was enforced by the borough president’s Bureau of Encroachments and Incumbrances. Mr. Stringer no longer has such an army at his disposal.

So he is proposing that the Department of Sanitation, which does some supplemental enforcement on non-garbage-related subjects like sidewalk cafes, be given the power to enforce the code. He’s also urging the City Council to mandate that building numbers be posted on all doors for residences or businesses, including those on side streets for buildings with main entries on an avenue.

It is, to be sure, a mammoth job, as the director of the Bureau of Encroachments and Incumbrances himself, Edward Brady, warned in 1929.

“Mr. Brady and his colleagues regret that they cannot promise to the harassed address hunter a millennial condition wherein all buildings will prominently display their numerals,” the Times wrote.

“Although they are proceeding at the rate of 10,000 houses a year, there are more than 100,000 separate structures in Manhattan alone and they, perhaps, fear that by the time they have made a complete round of notification, it will probably be necessary to begin all over again.

Missing Building Numbers, 1929 Edition (http://www.scribd.com/doc/28403013/Missing-Building-Numbers-1929-Edition)


July 8th, 2010, 10:26 PM
We have the same problem where I live.

Chelsea Pedestrians Desperate for Map, Sherpa Guide


We’re on a road to nowhere: 23rd St. lacks sufficient signage.

Back in the bygone days of March 2010 — when we were praying for the hot weather we’ve been cursing lately — the office of Borough President Scott M. Stringer released a rather scathing press release taking our fair city to task for the shameful fact that “40 percent of Manhattan’s street addresses are unmarked.” In all, the survey looked at 1,837 locations, and found 729 of those were unmarked. Besides the inconvenience to pedestrians, the report pointed out that the problem is so widespread, it constitutes a “potential public safety hazard.”

That was March. These days, wasting valuable seconds verifying an unidentified address only adds to the time it will take to ferry you across town in an ambulance as you bemoan the loss of St. Vincent’s. What’s more, a recent (unscientific and informal) survey by Chelsea Now revealed that on 23rd Street (between 10th Ave. & 5th Ave), many if not all of the report’s original March statistics hold true (the report cited the fact that 33% of 185 locations on 23rd St. had no labeled address).

Commenting via a June 29 email, Stringer press secretary Carmen E. Boon noted, “As part of the report’s recommendations, our office suggested legislation mandating that all doors for residences or businesses in a building be labeled with an address number and proposed the Department of Sanitation (DOS) is given enforcement powers for buildings that do not have their numbers labeled externally. We still have not received any feedback from the city on these two recommendations.” So much for ambitious undertakings in the third term!