Key West, Florida
Duval Street, 14 blocks between the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean.
After being mapped and plotted in 1829, Key West quickly became the largest city in Florida. It enjoyed a post–Civil War construction boom that was coupled with a large Cuban immigration following the beginning of Cuba's Ten Years' War in 1868. Today, the many cigar stores on Duval Street recall the days when Key West was known as "Cigar City USA" and the cradle of Cuban Independence. During this time, the street's impressive collection of wood frame Victorian structures, built of hearty Dade County pine, were constructed to house the rapidly growing population.
The Southernmost House Hotel at 1400 Duval St., built in 1896, was once a one-bedroom Victorian mansion built of tropically colored bricks and ornamental woodwork. A favorite of both President Harry Truman and author Ernest Hemingway, the building boasts an impressive list of former guests and was restored to its former opulence after a $3 million renovation in 1996.
During the 1930s, Victorian buildings began to fall out of style and were quickly replaced with more modern structures throughout the country; however, Key West's insolvency left it unable to afford demolitions, resulting in the unintended preservation of Duval Street. The street maintains a pedestrian scale thanks to wide, tree-lined sidewalks, a consistent street wall, and stringent zoning and construction laws.
The preservation of Duval Street officially began in 1960 when the Old Island Restoration Foundation was formed by local preservationists to protect and restore the historic buildings of Key West at risk of destruction. Since then, more than five historic surveys have been completed allowing for an accurate and evolving database of historic properties along Duval Street. This work, in conjunction with strict architecture guidelines, ensures the street's longevity and appeal regardless of how many tourists or events.
"Lower Duval," from the Gulf of Mexico to Petronia Street, is steps from the cruise ship port and the commercial entertainment center composed of specialty shops, sidewalk cafes, and lounges with live entertainment. "Upper Duval," from Petronia to United streets, presents a more relaxed atmosphere with galleries, art stores, and residential buildings. This impressive combination of architecture and amenities make Duval Street a lively thoroughfare all day and all year.
- Oldest House, formerly Captain Francis Watlington House on Whitehead St., relocated to 322 Duval St. (1836); now a museum operated by the Old Island Restoration Foundation
- La Terraza de Marti, 1125 Duval St., built 1882 for cigar czar Teodoro Perez; Cuban independence sympathizer Jose Marti was a guest here during his tour through Florida
- Fogarty Mansion, (Duval and Caroline Streets) built 1887; nearly demolished during 1970s due to neglect; since restored and includes the 1875 Restaurant
- Southernmost House constructed for Dr. Jeptha Vinning Harris as a family home (1896)
- Florida First National Bank (Duval and Front streets) built 1897; red and yellow brick building with Spanish influences including a carved balcony, finely detailed column capitals
- Sloppy Joe's, 201 Duval St., founded 1933; favorite of author Ernest Hemingway; still serves famous slushy drinks; added to National Register of Historic Places (2006)
- La Concha Hotel, 430 Duval St. (1924); six-story, Spanish stucco hotel is city's tallest building; playwright Tennessee Williams finished A Streetcar Named Desire while a guest in 1947
- National Park Service surveys 18 buildings as part of 1967 Historic American Building Survey; jumpstarts Key West's historic property database
- Key West Historic District, six blocks of Duval, added to the National Register of Historic Places (1971)
- Historic Key West Preservation Board formed (1972); drafts citywide historic plan
- Key West Historic District expanded to include all of Duval Street (1983)
- First Key West Comprehensive Plan adopted (1994)
- Historic Florida Keys Foundation handles preservation board duties and stewardship (1997)
- City of Key West Florida Historic Sites Survey completed (1998)
- Historic Architecture Guidelines approved 2000; set standards for construction on Duval, in city
- Evaluation and Appraisal Report (2005); identified transportation, preservation, other issues
Events and Amenities
- Key West's year-round tourist season averages 2.2 million visitors a year
- Upper Duval First Friday Art Stroll featuring music, art, food (monthly)
- Duval Uncorked; a key event during Key West Food & Wine Festival (January)
- Duval Crawl at Lobsterfest; all-night-long event starts at sunset on a Friday (August)
- Fantasy Fest; 10-day bacchanal that brings 50,000 to 70,000 tourists to Duval Street (October)
- Annual Holiday Parade; features civic leaders, local organizations (first Saturday in December)
- Ten-foot-wide, tree-lined sidewalks, benches, bicycle racks reinforce non-motorist orientation
- Outdoor cafes, food carts, uninterrupted line of buildings create street where every block has something interesting to see or do; historic lighting fixtures, varying pavement surfaces
Duval Street, the undisputed "Main Street" of Key West, is the only place in the U.S. where one street allows you to walk from the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico. A citywide commitment to preserving the National Register of Historic Places single-largest collection of wooden structures has allowed Duval Street and the rest of Key West to transition from an economy based on maritime industries and Cuban travel during its earlier years to one now supported by entertainment, art, and tourism.
Kansas City, Missouri
Twelve miles of the parkway between Brookside Boulevard and Wornall Road.
Young land developers Hugh Ward and J.C. Nichols envisioned a majestic boulevard in 1907 that would surpass all others in Kansas City and enhance the value of their neighboring land. To guarantee their goal, they employed George Kessler, a landscape architect and Kansas City, Missouri's parks and boulevard designer, to create a "great parade of America." The first homes built on the parkway are across from each other at 1200 W. 55th St. and 5500 Ward Parkway, the latter the 30,000-square-foot mansion of early 20th century lumber tycoon Mack Nelson.
As Ward Parkway continues south following the natural terrain, visitors encounter the parks, fountains, and historic homes that make the parkway unique. A 90-foot-wide median allows pedestrians to meander from one amenity to the next, including the two creeks that occupy the center for a short distance.
Near the southern end of the parkway is a business area anchored by international engineering firm Burns & McDonnell, employer of thousands of area residents. The Ward Parkway Center, built in 1959 and extending from West 85th Street to West 89th Street, contains the country's first multiscreen theater located inside of a shopping center. The city's five-year capital improvements plan for 2012-2013 includes several maintenance and enhancement projects for Ward as well as the city's other parkways.
Parks, Monuments, Fountains
- Plaza Tennis Courts, Broadside Boulevard and Ward Parkway; 14 courts along Brush Creek
- Arno Park, Arno Road and Ward; favorite of residents with playground, basketball court, fields
- Russell Majors Waddell Park at W 84th Street and Ward Parkway
- Sea Horse Fountain at Meyer Circle; August Meyer developed city's park and boulevard system
- Mirror Pool, West 61st Terrace and Ward Parkway, built 1924 and refurbished 1965
- Romany Fountain, Romany Drive and Ward Parkway, has pedestal fountain and sunken garden
- Monuments: Chinese Warriors, Meyer Circle Gateway, the Eagle, the Wagon Master, Sister Cities International Bridge, United Daughters of the Confederacy Memorial, Venetian Relief
Parkway Funding, Improvements
- Ward Parkway Center Community Improvement District, West 85th Terrace, Ward Parkway, West 89th Street and State Line Road; one percent sales tax for Ward Parkway Center redevelopment
- One cent capital improvement sales tax, renewed until 2017, helps fund parkway projects
- Arterial impact fee assessed on new development on Ward Parkway to fund road work
- City allocates more than $9 million for park maintenance annually including $4 million for park grounds, trees, and facilities maintenance along parkways; $350,000 for parkway fountains and monuments; $250,000 for tennis courts
- Brush Creek Basin Feasibility Study resulted in a watershed plan and commitment to $31 million towards upkeep, new amenities by 2016; creek adjacent to northern segment of parkway
- Private donations provide partial funding for tree replacement and mowing along Ward Parkway
- Construction on parkway requires Historic Preservation Commission certificate; urban design guidelines for buildings along parkway adopted 1996
- Park Manor Historic District, 910-920 Ward Parkway; national historic site designated 2006. Three apartment buildings designed by Elmer Boillot and Jesse Lauck; three- and four-story Spanish Colonial buildings feature buff brick veneer accented with cast stone
- Serena Apartment Hotel, a nine-story Italian Renaissance Revival Villa, 325 Ward Parkway ; added to National Register of Historic Places 2009
- Several parkway residences added to National Register of Historic Places, including Alexander Majors Antebellum house at West 83rd (1970); Prairie-style Bernard Corrigan home, designed by Louis Curtiss, at West 55th (1978); two-story Neo-Classical Revival George Nicholson home at West 58th (2005)
Ward Parkway is Kansas City's eminent thoroughfare, a right-of-way that begins at Country Club Plaza and transitions to a grand boulevard with manicured lawns and gardens as it follows sweeping curves southward. A commitment by both citizens and city government to maintain the parkway has allowed it to remain one of the area's most coveted addresses with historic homes, neighborhood parks, picturesque fountains, ornamental monuments, and rolling landscapes.
Nine blocks between 3rd and Broadway Avenues.
Today there's a stunning collection of late 19th and early 20th century buildings within the Main Street Historic District, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1987 and includes the 1919 Ellen Theatre. That Renaissance Revival building, designed by local architect Fred Willson, was once a showcase for vaudeville and other musical acts until falling into disrepair in the 1960s. In 2008 Montana TheatreWorks restored the building, located at 17 West Main St., and returned it to its former glory.
During the early hours of March 5, 2009, a natural gas explosion and subsequent fire swept the 200 block of East Main, destroying four buildings. The community, city leaders, and Downtown Bozeman Partnership have supported the owners who have rebuilt three of the buildings in accordance with the Downtown Bozeman Improvement Plan and city's Historic Preservation Design Guidelines.
Given Bozeman's proximity to Yellowstone National Park and nearby opportunities for outdoor recreation, thousands of tourists each year are drawn to the town and its 100-plus Main Street businesses.
- Main Street Historic District added to National Register of Historic Places (1987); extends 100 block West Main to 300 block East Main; 40-plus contributing properties from 1880s to 1940
- Baxter Hotel, 105 West Main; added to National Register 1984; six-story Italianate/Art Deco hotel (1929)
- Four-story Romanesque Bozeman Hotel (1891); built during city's bid as the state capital
- Charles Lundwall Building, 123-125 West Main Street; 1905 Art Deco building for Lundwall's plumbing business; has since been used for wallpaper store, mortuary, apartments
- Gallatin County Courthouse (1936) at North Third; Moderne-style, constructed with Works Progress Administration (WPA) funds through the New Deal
- Tax increment fund was created to fund the implementation of a 1995 Downtown Bozeman Urban Renewal Plan; instrumental to funding projects along Main Street including a public library, landscaping Soroptomist Park, and addition of benches, trash cans, bike racks
- Business improvement district founded 2000, expanded 2006, renewed 2010 to ensure downtown's long-term vitality; revenues are derived from voluntary annual assessment
- Business Improvement district overseen by a board appointed by city commission; graffiti removal program, maintains 230 summer flower baskets and 100-plus street lamp banners
- Big box ordinance (2003) limits retail to 75,000 square feet to discourage very large stores in greater Bozeman community; gives some protection to Main Street businesses
- Bozeman Guidelines for Historic Preservation enacted to preserve the integrity and character of Bozeman through city design review process (2006)
- Greater Bozeman Area Transportation Plan (2007); recommends Main Street bus shelters, traffic calming, new street lights
- Downtown Bozeman Improvement Plan (2009) calls for streetscape improvement for Main, side streets; preserving historic signs; bicycle lanes; decreasing new development parking
- Capital Improvements (Fiscal Years 2013-2017) include city gateways along Main Street
Arts and Culture
- Downtown Bozeman Association (1980) generates revenue from annual membership dues; sponsors Christmas Stroll, Bridal Walk, Crazy Days, Art Walks, Music on Main, Cruisin' on Main
- Christmas Stroll attracts more than 5,000; includes winter decoration lighting along Main
- More than 4,000 attend Music on Main during summer; features local, regional, national bands
- Seven traffic control boxes along Main part of A.R.T. (Artistically Reclaimed Traffic boxes) project (2011); each box covered with locally designed artwork; helps discourages graffiti
- Sweet Pea Festival marked 35th year in August 2012; Main Street featured during festival's Bite of Bozeman and Sweet Pea parade
- Montana State University Cat Walk, the school year kickoff, held on Main Street in August
When Georgia miner and entrepreneur John Bozeman scouted the Bozeman Trail, an overland route connecting Montana gold country to the Oregon Trail, he discovered the fertile Gallatin Valley and an ideal location for a new town. With Bozeman founded in 1864, businesses catering to miners, ranchers, and farmers lined that portion of the Bozeman Trail running through town and formed the nucleus of Main Street. Through the 20th century the commercial district grew into a regional crossroad given its designation as a portion of the Yellowstone Trail, the first transcontinental automobile highway through the country's upper tier of states and, eventually, U.S. Highway 191.
Kingston, New York
Eight blocks of Wall Street between Franklin Street and North Front Street.
In 1777, patriots fleeing the British in New York City convened in the Ulster County Courthouse on Wall Street and signed a new state constitution, choosing George Clinton to lead them. Within six months, the first session of the New York Supreme Court was being held in this very building. By October 16, 1777, the British had reached Kingston and quickly destroyed 326 buildings in the city, sparing only the Tobias Van Steenburgh House at Wall and Franklin streets. Old Dutch Church, designed by Minard Lafever in the Renaissance Revival style in 1852, sits at the corner of Wall and Main streets and is home to a congregation that traces its roots to 1659.
Wall Street is not defined only by its history, however. Preservation guidelines enacted by the City of Kingston ensure that any architectural changes to Wall Street are harmonious with the Italianate, Classical Revival, and Art Deco buildings that front the street. Events year-round attract residents and visitors alike to the street's bluestone sidewalks, providing an economic boost to the city. In his 2012 State of the City address, Mayor Shayne Gallo referred to Kingston as a model city, evidenced, in part, by Wall Street's rich cultural heritage, well-preserved architecture, local businesses, and weekly and seasonal festivals.
History and Architecture
- Dutch colonial governor Peter Stuyvesant constructs stockade (1658); its streets form grid used today and some places still have raised earth where walls once stood
- Tobias Van Steenburgh House, built ca. 1700; one-and-a-half story limestone rubble building exudes Georgian feel with symmetrical facades, gabled roofs, central hall floor plan
- Ulster County Courthouse (285 Wall St.) where state constitution signed April 20, 1777, and Kingston becomes New York's first state capital
- The Fred J. Johnston House at Wall and Main streets (1812); excellent example of the late Federal style with its symmetrical facade, fanlights, six-over-six windows, cornice dentils
- Clermont Building, Wall and John Streets; late 19th century commercial building with metal cresting on slate mansard roof; recent $20,000 restoration includes repointing all masonry
- Old Dutch Church cemetery on Wall Street has graves of city's forefathers including George Clinton, New York's first governor and Vice President for Thomas Jefferson and James Madison
Planning and Revitalization
- Historic Landmarks Preservation Commission (1969); reviews proposed changes to property exteriors within Stockade Historic District
- Stockade Historic District includes two blocks of Wall Street (Main to North Front streets); added to National Register of Historic Places (1975)
- Declining sales lead city to introduce Pike Plan (1976); calls for porticos to be erected down Wall Street to spruce up Victorian facades and help revitalize economy
- Kingston named one of New York's 16 Urban Cultural Parks (1982); designation helps increase Wall Street's urban population and encourages more economic activity
- Zoning updated 1984; 62-foot height limit so Old Dutch Church steeple remains tallest structure
- Matching grant program ($75,000) enacted 2007; at least six buildings on Wall Street renovated
- Sidewalk bump-outs along street improve pedestrian safety, allow for benches and landscaping
- Refurbishment of Pike Plan porticos including renovations to canopy; installation of standing seam roofs, skylights, improved lighting (2010-2011)
- New curbs, sidewalk bump-out improvements and sidewalk repairs, installation of new benches, bike racks, planters, trees, flowering plants (2010-2011)
- Climate Action Plan (2012); proposed goals affecting Wall Street include reducing energy consumption, new lighting ordinance, sidewalk repairs, bicycle master plan
- Farmers Market plus arts and crafts on Saturdays; attracts up to 2,000 people (May-November)
- Wall Street Jazz Festival (North Front and Wall streets), musicians across U.S. (August)
- O+ Festival, free medical care for artists of all types from participating health care providers; art bartered along Wall Street from North Front to Main Street (October)
- Bi-annual Revolutionary War battle reenactment (October)
- Memorial Day parade route (May)
- Internationally renowned Woodstock Film Festival award ceremonies and events at Backstage Studio Productions, 323 Wall St. (October)
- Holiday Parade with caroling, ice carving, horse-drawn carriage rides, fireworks, and Santa (December)
- Local project, "Movies Under the Stars," provides free outdoor movies throughout the city, includes one showing scheduled for Wall Street
Strolling down Wall Street in Kingston, New York, it's easy to become mesmerized by the thoroughfare's rich political, military, and religious history dating back to the 17th century. When walking among its dense concentration of pre- and post-Revolutionary buildings, it requires little effort to become fully versed in city and state history. As New York's first capital, Kingston —and specifically Wall Street — played an important role in the state's formation.
New York, New York
Fifth Avenue between Lower Manhattan's Washington Square North to 124th Street in Harlem.
Realizing that Fifth Avenue's future depended on legal protections that would enable it to continue thriving through the 20th century, residents, property owners, and proprietors formed the Fifth Avenue Association in 1907 to fight the threat of encroaching factories. Their efforts contributed to the creation of the Zoning Resolution of 1916 — a first in the country — that restricted heights and uses along the avenue.
A half-century later, in 1965, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission was formed to spearhead the creation of four historic districts and countless restorations and property listings along the avenue.
The 11 neighborhoods located along these 117 blocks of Fifth Avenue are unique yet contribute to a uniform feel of the avenue and provide key amenities that, if missing, would present a completely different atmosphere. Greenwich Village's nearly 10-acre Washington Square Park, with its white Tuckahoe Marble monument celebrating the country's first president, is the avenue's southern terminus. At Fifth, Broadway, and East 23rd Street, the Renaissance-style Flatiron Building sits in the heart of the city's arts center, Chelsea.
At the Empire State Building, which has dominated the city's skyline at Fifth Avenue and West 34th Street since 1931, crowds form all day to visit the 86th floor observation deck. The New York Public Library, located at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street, is the flagship branch of the city's libraries and shares the block with Bryant Park, designated an APA Great Public Space in 2010.
Continuing north into Midtown, Rockefeller Center is a favorite stop for tourists and locals, especially during the winter when the plaza features its famous holiday ice skating rink and a nearly 100-foot-tall Christmas tree. From 59th Street to 110th Street, expansive Central Park, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted in 1858 and designated an APA Great Public Space in 2008, occupies more than 800 acres along the west side of Fifth Avenue. For the culturally inclined, 10 museums are located between 82nd and 105th streets, earning this segment of Fifth Avenue the moniker "Museum Mile."
Architecture, Historic Districts
- Upper East Side Historic District created to preserve late 19th and early 20th Century buildings from 59th to 79th Streets; National Register of Historic Places (1984)
- Ladies' Mile Historic District protects 440 buildings, historic department stores from 18th to 24th Streets; New York City Landmark Preservation Commission designates as local landmark (1989)
- Madison Square North Historic District (26th to 29th Streets); includes 96 structures built 1870s-1930s; New York City Landmark Preservation Commission designates as local landmark (2001)
- Greenwich Village Historic District (on Fifth, Washington Square Park to 12th Street); Federal, Greek Revival , Italianate, Second Empire, Neo-Grec, Queen Anne; local landmark (1969)
- Flatiron Building (175 Fifth Avenue, 1902); 22-story Renaissance-style skyscraper by Daniel Burnham; National Historic Landmark (1989)
- The Cathedral of Saint Patrick (between Fifth, 50th, and 51st streets, 1878); Neo-Gothic style by James Renwick; $177 million restoration to finish 2015; National Historic Landmark (1976)
- Rockefeller Center (1939); complex of 19 Art Deco buildings between Fifth and Sixth Avenues and 48th and 51st Streets; designed by Raymond Hood; National Historic Landmark (1987)
- Empire State Building (350 Fifth Avenue, 1931); 1,250-foot Art Deco skyscraper designed by Shreve, Lamb and Harmon; National Historic Landmark (1986)
- New York City Public Library (Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street, 1911); Beaux-Arts style is library's main branch; National Historic Landmark (1965)
- Fifth Avenue Association (1907); formed by concerned merchants and property owners to lobby for zoning regulations and protect the avenue from encroaching factories
- Zoning Resolution (1916), first of its kind in the country; designated uses, heights, amount of open space to reduce shadowing of the public realm
- New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (1965); formed to protect Fifth Avenue's limestone buildings including the New York City Public Library and B. Altman Building
- Special Retail Zoning District (1970); adopted by Office of Midtown Planning and Development to restrict residential use and limit types of retailers allowed on Fifth Avenue
- Special Park Improvement Zoning District (1973); established by Department of City Planning to protect architecture from 59th to 111th Streets; height limits, continuous street wall
- Special Midtown Zoning District; recommended by Department of City Planning and adopted 1982 by New York City Council; shifted development to west and south of Fifth Avenue
- Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District (1993); organized by property owners and retailers from 46th to 61st Streets to maintain the avenue as safe, clean, welcoming
- Guggenheim Museum, 1071 Fifth Ave. (Frank Lloyd Wright, 1959); prominent example of Modern Movement; added to National Register of Historic Places (2005)
- Parades along Fifth: Martin Luther King Jr., Easter, Gay Pride, Veteran's Day, St. Patrick's Day
- Five parks border Fifth: Washington Square, Madison Square, Bryant, Central, Marcus Garvey
- Central Park (Frederick Law Olmsted, 1858); designated National Historic Landmark (1963)
Few, if any, streets in America can claim as many architecturally significant buildings as Manhattan's Fifth Avenue. Or, for that matter, as much U.S. planning history, as many contrasts, or addresses as famous and coveted. Extending along this one avenue are the historic streets of Harlem, the Museum Mile, the businesses and stores of Midtown, and Lower Manhattan's Greenwich Village. Since the 1811 Commissioner's Plan introducing the grid of New York City, Fifth Avenue has transitioned from a predominately residential street to a place of historic and landmark properties, iconic museums, world-renowned parks, penthouse apartments, and high-end retail stores.
Saratoga Springs, New York
Nine blocks of Broadway between Van Dam and East Congress Streets.
Today it provides well-utilized public space for residents and visitors alike and a popular destination for art shows, cooking competitions, and architectural tours that take place along Broadway throughout the year.
The beauty of today wasn't there during the 1960s and early '70s, however, when 22 of Broadway's storefronts stood vacant after years of economic decline. In response, residents organized the Plan of Action Committee in 1973 to begin the long process of restoring Broadway to its former glory.
Committee members and residents participated in design meetings, planted trees, and became champions for the street simply by their presence. One of their first major accomplishments was getting the Broadway Historic District added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. Another was creation of the Aesthetic Zoning Board in 1968, later renamed the Design Review Commission, in order to maintain the street's historic architectural facades.
Among the restorations were the late 19th century Adelphi Hotel and the Collamer Building. New construction involved the 1984 City Center, which was originally designed and recently expanded to complement the historic character of the street.
Successive comprehensive plan updates in 1999 and 2001, and the subsequent adoption of "Transect" zoning in 2003, provide further focus on encouraging necessary and complementary economic activity while promoting a safe and efficient public realm. Although Broadway is a state and federal highway, the city has most recently adopted a Complete Streets policy for Broadway to ensure it safely accommodates not only motorists, but also pedestrians and bicyclists.
Planning and Revitalization
- Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation formed in 1977; awarded a $500,000 grant to restore the facades of buildings on Broadway in exchange for 25-year easements
- Special Assessment District formed (1978) to collect proportional funding from approximately 125 properties to fund Broadway's maintenance and improvements
- Broadway Historic District added to National Register of Historic Places in 1979; boundaries expanded in 1983 and 1994
- Pfeil Building (340 Broadway); first private building built on Broadway in 50 years (1997); Design Review Commission helped ensure building's design compatible with historic facades
- Comprehensive plans (1999, 2001) include architectural guidelines, pedestrian-centered strategies; lead to 2003 zoning updates and 2012 Complete Streets policy for Broadway
- Complete Streets Policy encourages planning, development, construction to accommodate bicyclists, pedestrians, transit users, motorists; Planning Board checklist to help with reviews
- Congress Park Centre, former site of majestic Grand Union Hotel; last large lot developed on Broadway (2000); Victorian-inspired windows, cornices; second floor piazza, generous sidewalks
- 2003 City Zoning Ordinance transitioned city from zoning based on use to a form-based code that calls for a mixture of uses, pedestrian orientation to create more sociable street
- Mixed-use, infill construction improves downtown residential use, destination-type commerce
- Broadway includes sidewalk cafes, trees, flowers, benches, information kiosks, trash receptacles
- City Hall at Church Street; High Victorian Italianate style; Broadway's oldest building (1871); in National Register of Historic Places
- Ainsworth Building, three-story High Victorian building anchors Broadway and Lake (1871)
- Adelphi Hotel, last of street's grand hotels (1877); three-story, Italianate with full- length piazza
- Collamer Building (1884); Renaissance Revival building used for offices and retail
- Four-story Algonquin Building (1892); Richardson Romanesque; commercial and apartment use
- Beaux-Arts–style U.S. Post Office (1910); across City Hall; in National Register of Historic Places
- Beaux-Arts–style Visitor's Center has bas-relief murals; originally a trolley station for the Hudson Valley Railway Company; later converted to drinking hall; National Register of Historic Places
- Canfield Casino; originally built as a gambling casino by John Morrissey of professional boxing and Tammany Hall fame; expanded by Richard Canfield; National Historic Landmark
Culture and Heritage
- Broadway venue for community events: First Night, largest New Year's Eve celebration in upstate New York ; The Dance Flurry, February; Saratoga ArtsFest, June; Art in the Park, August
- Chowderfest: February event on Broadway features variety of local recipes, food dishes
- Victorian Street Walk, November parade along Broadway highlights city's architectural identity
- More than 50,000 annual flowers planted along Broadway and adjacent streets during citywide beautification campaigns each year
- Dog Friendly Downtown Program encourages dog owners to bring their pets when patronizing more than 30 establishments that are part of the program
- Local Farmer's Market voted best medium-size market in New York State
- Community participation in "lip dub" event to celebrate Broadway as the city's Main Street
Laid out in 1805 by Gideon Putnam, an entrepreneur and founder of Saratoga Springs, today you'll find Broadway home to the city's finest examples of Gilded Age opulence, meticulously restored buildings from the 19th century that display High Victorian, Beaux-Arts, and Richardson Romanesque architectural styles. Congress Park, a National Historic Landmark located at the southern end of the Broadway Historic District, was developed in 1826 and redesigned in 1875 by Frederick Law Olmsted. It is home to The Spencer Trask Memorial "Spirit of Life," designed by Daniel Chester French and Henry Bacon, collaborators on the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Cleveland, Shaker Heights, and Beachwood, Ohio
Six and three-quarter miles between Woodhill Road in Cleveland and I-271 in Beachwood.
The new boulevard extended four miles through Shaker Heights, which the Van Sweringens and the F.A. Pease Engineering Company planned and designed according to city beautiful principles. Homes throughout the community followed the 1925 Shaker Village Standards, which specified allowable building materials, construction details, and three architectural styles: English, French, and Colonial.
To attract wealthy Clevelanders, the Van Sweringens acquired the right-of-way from the New York, Chicago and St. Louis Railroad in order to provide efficient rail service to downtown Cleveland. They replaced the existing Cleveland Interurban trolley line in 1920 with their faster Shaker Heights Rapid Transit, which they ran along the unobstructed median.
Now used by the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority's light rail trains, the median was kept intact largely because of resident opposition to high-rise buildings and other proposed development in the right-of-way. With its 14 transit stops, numerous churches and schools, multiple parks, and miles of trails, Shaker Boulevard remains proof of planning's lasting value.
- Brothers Oris Paxton and Mantis James Van Sweringen purchase 1,366 acres in 1905 previously owned by North Union Shakers; turns into Ohio's first and one of nation's earliest garden cities
- Harry Gallimore, chief engineer of F. A. Pease Engineering Company, designed Shaker Boulevard as well as the adjacent roads and neighborhoods
- Religious, educational, and recreational institutions interested in the area were given free land as enticement, resulting in numerous churches and schools along the boulevard
- Major north-south thoroughfares intersecting Shaker Boulevard spaced one-half mile apart in Shaker Heights to minimize traffic congestion
- Light rail extends four miles with 12 stops along Shaker Boulevard between Shaker Square and Green Road; since 1975, Greater Cleveland Rapid Transit Authority has renovated line twice
- Shaker Square, octagonal-shaped shopping and office plaza, first developed 1927, renovated beginning 2000; now regional destination for fine dining, specialty shopping, farmers market
- Former St. Luke's hospital and medical offices, developed 1927 near East 116th Street and closed 1999; now senior citizen apartments and educational campus with new public school, library
Resident Advocacy, Planning Milestones
- Cuyahoga County proposes the Clark-Lee Freeway (1963), cutting through Shaker Boulevard at Lee Road and continuing north parallel to boulevard's entire length
- The Nature Center, an educational association located at Shaker Lake, formed 1966 by local women who successfully opposed and defeated the Clark-Lee freeway proposal; destruction of Shaker Boulevard homes and natural beauty cited as chief concerns of freeway's construction
- High-rise apartment building proposed over the Belvoir Road light rail stop (1973); residents successfully defeat proposal, argue apartments not appropriate or possible to build
- Shaker Heights City Planning Commission proposes a low-density townhouse development within the median from Warrensville Center Road to Belvoir Road (1978)
- After five years, residents defeat townhouse proposal (1983), showing development would negatively impact Shaker Boulevard and lead to subsequent median development
- The Shaker Village Historic District, which includes four miles of Shaker Boulevard, added to the National Register of Historic Places (1984)
- Today all construction along Shaker Boulevard reviewed by the Shaker Heights Architectural Board of Review or Landmarks Commission
- Recreation & Leisure Framework Plan (2005) results in a 1.5-mile, handicap accessible, paved trail with benches, mileage markers between Warrensville Center Road and Sulgrave Road
- Shaker Heights began five-year effort in 2007 to replace 1,804 ash trees vulnerable to deadly Emerald ash borer infestation
- Shaker Lakes Park located between North and South Park Boulevards; contains trails nearly a mile long that weave through land once used by the North Union Shakers as a sawmill
- Ninety-acre Beachwood City Park extends along a mile of the Shaker Boulevard median; park is a favorite of residents who walk, bike, enjoy the wildlife
- The 100-member Shaker Cycling group meets four times a week at Courtland Boulevard for a ride along Shaker Boulevard to the Chagrin River Valley
- The median east of Warrensville Center Road is location of Shaker Heights July 4th fireworks, drawing families year after year to their front lawns for evening celebration
Early 20th century mansions, transit service to downtown Cleveland that dates back more than 100 years, acres of parkland, and a tree-lined median make Shaker Boulevard a street that combines the historic with the modern. Anchoring the boulevard toward the west is Shaker Square, a charming, octagonal-shaped commercial district within the Cleveland city limits. Intersecting Shaker Boulevard at North Moreland Boulevard, it was developed in 1927 by real estate and railroad magnates O.P. and M.J. Van Sweringen as a gateway to their new Shaker Heights suburb.
Eleven blocks between Fort Pitt Boulevard and Liberty Avenue.
Until 1913, this complex sat atop Grant's Hill, named in recognition of British Major James Grant who was defeated by the French in this spot in 1758. A city planning project known as "Hump Cut" shaved 60 feet off the hill and allowed the street to be repaved and widened.
The U.S. Steel Tower, one of the first modern buildings on the street and the city's tallest building, was erected in 1970 to showcase Cor-Ten steel. Mellon Green, located across the street, provides a campus feeling and natural respite where office workers eat lunch and tourists rest their legs. In 1998 design guidelines were adopted to ensure that the street's architecture and integrity remain for years to come.
- Key battles during the 1750s French and Indian War fought on hill were street would be sited
- First attempt to re-grade Grant Street hill occurred 1836; approximately 10 feet removed
- Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Chicago, and St. Louis railroad expand freight yard across Grant from Seventh Avenue to Liberty Avenue (1880s); traffic rerouted until yards dismantled (1929)
- Olmsted report, Pittsburgh Main Thoroughfares and the Down Town District (1911), backed by city planners; calls for street widening, reducing hill grade, landscaped medians
- Last of Olmsted recommendations — widening Grant Street — completed (1929)
- Allegheny County Courthouse and Jail listed as National Historic Landmark (1973)
- Union Trust Building, Pennsylvania Railroad Station, Frick Building, William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh Central Downtown Historic District, and U.S. Post Office and Federal Courts Building added to National Register of Historic Places (1974-1995)
- Port Authority of Allegheny County operates bus and light rail service along Grant Street;
Union or Pennsylvania Station, 1100 Liberty (Liberty Avenue and Grant), served by Amtrak
20th Century Grandeur
- First Lutheran Church at Grant and Strawberry (1888) in High Victorian Gothic style; only surviving cathedral on Grant Street; red mortar complements courthouse
- Frick Building, Grant and Fifth, designed 1902 by Daniel Burnham for industrialist Henry Clay Frick; Neo-classical features include marble lobby, John LaFarge stained glass window
- Union or Pennsylvania Station at Grant and Liberty (1903); designed by Daniel Burnham, uses terra-cotta and brick; stunning rotunda with four pavilions for taxis; served by Amtrak
- City-County Building at Grant and 4th; Classical structure by Hornbostel and Lee (1915) features monumental entry arch, bronze columns, arched windows, catwalks
- William Penn Hotel, Grant and Oliver, financed by Frick (1916); Old World elegance with Mansard roof, crystal chandeliers; guests include Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson
- Union Trust Building at Grant and Fifth (1917); last surviving building funded by Frick. Designed by Frederick Osterling; noted for Flemish Gothic terra-cotta work and four floors of retail
- Koppers Tower at Grant and Seventh commissioned by Andrew Mellon (1929); chateau-inspired copper roof, sumptuous Art Deco interior including colorful marble and bronze detailing
- Gulf Tower at Grant and Seventh built 1932 by Trowbridge and Livingston, financed by Andrew Mellon; colored LED weather beacon spanning top six pyramidal floors can be seen for miles
- U.S. Post Office and Federal Court Building, Grant and Seventh; Stripped Classical building features steel frame with rusticated granite and limestone, bronze and aluminum facade details
- BNY Mellon Center at Grant and Oliver commissioned by U.S. Steel (1983); 54-story, steel plate skyscraper with corners cut off to allow for unobstructed views of adjacent courthouse
- One Oxford Center (1983), Grant and Third; 46 stories, octagon shape maximizes corner offices
- Eight planted medians, brick paving, and historical lighting part of mid-1980s revitalization
- Urban Design Guidelines adopted 1998; govern infill, vistas, public spaces, street walls, parking
- PNC Firstside Park at Grant and First; built in 2006 after completion of PNC's financial building; 1.5-acre parcel with more than 100 trees, sculptures, seating, paths for strolling
Concentrated along these 11 short blocks is Pittsburgh's finest collection of historic buildings and modern skyscrapers, buildings that tell the stories of 20th century aristocrats and architects who shaped the city into an industrial and banking empire. Subtle clues hint at the transformation from churches and a hilltop promenade to today's flat, landscaped boulevard of office towers. The street's most revered building is the Allegheny County Courthouse and Jail, built in 1886 by noted architect Henry Hobson Richardson. This cluster of buildings is perhaps his finest work and exemplifies the Richardson Romanesque style characterized by rough-hewn red granite, strong picturesque massing, and varied rustication.
Charleston, South Carolina
Twelve blocks of Broad Street between Lockwood Boulevard and East Bay Street.
During the 1700s, the eastern portion of Broad Street was occupied solely by merchants and craftsmen until the "Four Corners of Law" (Federal Courthouse and Post Office, the County Courthouse, City Hall, and St. Michael's Episcopal Church) were built on their respective corners of Broad and Meeting Streets. The collection of buildings transformed Charleston into a legal and financial capital. Towards the east, the 1771 Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon terminates Broad at East Bay Street and creates one of the most picturesque and photographed vistas in Charleston.
West of Legare Street, Broad transitions into a residential setting dominated by a Live Oak tree canopy, 19th century frame houses with intimate front yards, and the nine-acre Colonial Lake Park at the corner of Rutledge Avenue, which attracts users throughout the day.
Since 1975, under the leadership of Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr., Charleston has adopted numerous downtown plans that have continued to protect and enhance Broad Street's unique character. Bluestone sidewalks, Palmetto trees, and gas street lights add to the street's irresistible charm. Unlike other colonial cities, which have converted their civic buildings into museums, Broad Street's are still used for their original purposes because of the careful planning and preservation efforts that have helped them transition into the 21st century.
- The Grand Modell of Charleston laid out the streets of the city's peninsula in 1680, including Broad Street as an east-west connector
- Oldest frame structure in Charleston is constructed at 106 Broad St. (1715)
- St. Michael's Episcopal Church authorized by Common House of Assembly in 1751
- The State House cornerstone laid at the corner of Meeting and Broad Streets in 1756
- British siege of Charleston in 1779, destroying many buildings on Broad Street
- Wetlands filled in to develop western portion of Broad Street (1792)
- Federal Courthouse constructed at the "Four Corners of Law" (1886)
- Charleston adopts historic district zoning ordinance (1931); proposed by the Society for the Preservation of Old Dwellings (now called Preservation Society of Charleston)
- Board of Architectural Review formed (1931); oversees construction in city, along Broad Street
- Charleston's Historic Preservation Plan adopted (1974) to preserve the Old and Historic District including Broad Street
- Charleston Downtown Plan (1999) successfully guides Broad Street revitalization
- New preservation plan, "Vision | Community | Heritage" adopted (2008); 600-plus measures address traffic, housing, cultural preservation throughout city, including Broad Street
Architecture and Preservation
- Charleston Historic District added to National Register of Historic Places 1966; boundaries increased five times. Street has three individually listed National Register properties and four National Landmark properties
- Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon, East Bay and Broad Streets; symmetrical Georgian design, elevated basement, Palladian windows, classical detailing; National Historic Landmark (1969)
- Saint Michael's Episcopal Church (Meeting and Broad Streets) built 1761; two-story stucco and brick with 186-foot steeple; oldest church in city; National Historic Landmark (1960)
- Governor John Rutledge House (116 Broad St.) built 1763; former home of Governor John Rutledge; renovated 1989 to include 19 guest rooms; National Historic Landmark (1971)
- Edward Rutledge House (117 Broad St.) built 1787; house of John Rutledge's younger brother, who also became governor; National Historic Landmark (1971)
- South Carolina National Bank of Charleston (16 Broad St.); built 1817 by banker John C. Calhoun, accented with gold leaf eagle; National Register of Historic Places (1973)
- Bank of South Carolina (50 Broad St.) built 1798; sold to Library Society 1836, third oldest of its kind in nation; now Charleston city offices; added National Register of Historic Places (1973)
- U.S. Post Office and Federal Courthouse (83 Broad St.) 1792; Renaissance Revival design by John Henry Devereux using gray granite; National Register of Historic Places (1974)
- Washington Park at Meeting and Broad Streets; developed 1818 when City Hall relocated to this corner; Live Oak tree canopy, gates, benches, monuments make for a quiet, relaxing space
- Colonial Lake Park, nine acres between Rutledge Avenue, Broad Street, and Ashley Avenue; set aside for public use in 1768; most active park on Broad Street
- Moultrie Playground at Broad and Ashley Avenue; tennis courts, baseball diamond, playground
Despite natural disasters and economic downturns, Charleston has preserved Broad Street and its rich colonial history, stunning 18th century architecture, and pedestrian orientation. Decades before anyone else was thinking about historic preservation, in 1920 concerned residents formed the Preservation Society of Charleston — the oldest community-based preservation organization in America and the group that successfully championed for Charleston's first historic zoning ordinance in 1931.
Ten blocks between West Jackson Avenue and the southern end of the Gay Street Bridge.
The most well-known firm headquartered along the street was the Sterchi Brothers Furniture Company, which occupied a number of buildings on the street but eventually settled at 116 South Gay St. in 1925. Company leader James Sterchi transformed the one-store business into one of the world's largest furniture companies at the time. The presence of wholesaling giant Cowan, McClung and Company, the furniture corporation W. W. Woodruff and Company, and Miller's Department Store solidified Gay Street as the city's business center in the early 20th century.
With development of suburban malls during the 1970s, business dwindled to the point that many companies were forced to either relocate or close, leaving a surplus of vacant buildings along Gay Street. In an effort to save the historic Bijou Theatre, a group of concerned citizens formed Knox Heritage in 1974 to educate the city on the merits of preservation.
Their hard work paid off when the Southern Terminal and Warehouse Historic District and the Gay Street Commercial Historic District were added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1985 and 1986, respectively. The City of Knoxville responded by adopting the Downtown Knoxville Plan in 1987 and the Downtown Streetscape Plan in 1988, both of which resulted in improvements to Gay Street including wider sidewalks, bicycle racks, landscaping, and historic lamp posts.
In 2001, under Mayor Victor Ashe, the city began offering redevelopment incentives, including tax abatements, low-interest loans, and reduced permit fees, which spurred the renovation of virtually every historic building along Gay Street into residential, commercial, or retail spaces. Restorations of the Bijou Theatre and Tennessee Theatre, which have hosted performances by Bob Dylan, Diana Ross, and Johnny Cash, are two of the many projects that have helped Gay Street weather the 2008 economic recession. An influx of new shopping, dining, and entertainment options, coupled with the nearly 600 permanent residents, once more make Gay Street Knoxville's busiest street.
Architecture, Historic Districts
- Southern Terminal and Warehouse Historic District encompasses the 100 block of South Gay Street; late 19th century buildings; added to National Register of Historic Places (1985)
- Gay Street Commercial Historic District, four blocks — West Summit Hill to West Church; more than 35 historic buildings on South Gay; added to National Register of Historic Places (1986)
- Gay Street Bridge, cantilevered bridge set on stone piers is last of its kind standing in the U.S. (1898); $16 million restoration in 2003 brought up to 21st century standards
- Phoenix Building, 418 South Gay; Renaissance Revival building from 1899; named Phoenix after rebuilt three times due to fire; $8 million renovation (2005) for offices and apartments
- Fidelity Building, 502 South Gay; four-story Italianate building constructed for the Cowan, McClung & Company (1871); largest department store in Knoxville until 1919
- Farragut Hotel, 526 South Gay; nine-story Beaux-Arts building by William Lee Stoddart (1917); The French Market restaurant and luxury condos occupy space today
- Tennessee Theatre, 604 South Gay; Spanish-Moorish building (1928) features breathtaking lobby, two grand staircases, five crystal chandeliers; $30 million restoration completed 2005
- Knoxville-Knox County Metropolitan Planning Commission (1956); agency that guided and implemented planning, zoning, land regulations to revitalize Gay Street and Knoxville
- Downtown Knoxville Plan (1987); citizen-backed initiative led to wider sidewalks, bicycle lanes, three trolley routes along Gay Street
- Streetscape Plan (1988); led to Gay Street historic lighting, brick sidewalks, Central Business Improvement District landscaping (1993), and grants, services not covered by government
- Nine Counties. One Vision (2001); regional planning effort that led to a Downtown Plan (created by Crandall Arambula) and a design review board that oversees construction along Gay Street
- Knoxville-Knox County General Plan 2033 (2003); comprehensive plan led by the Metropolitan Planning Commission outlines business, social, cultural improvements for downtown
- Knoxville Design Guidelines (2007) used by the Downtown Design Review Board to approve public and private improvements, including those on Gay Street
- Horticulture and Public Service Department; handles Gay Street's landscaping, street lights, bicycle racks, benches, trees, flowering baskets
- Policy and Redevelopment Department ; a Downtown Coordinator has been working since 2004 to oversee public improvements, including transformation of lower Gay Street
Amenities and Events
- Krutch Park, between Clinch and Union Avenues and Gay Street, connects to Market Square
- Cradle of Country Music Park, Summit Hill Drive (2010) and the associated walking tour commemorates Gay Street's musical past
- Central Business Improvement District is major supporter, organizer of Gay Street events
- Rossini Festival (April), Dogwood Art Festival and Parade (April), Veterans Day Parade (November), Christmas in the City (December) attract thousands to Gay Street year-round
- East Tennessee History Center, 601 South Gay St., has museum, archives
Since its development in the 1790s, Gay Street has been the center stage of downtown Knoxville's progression from a commercial wholesaling capital following the Industrial Revolution to today's vibrant entertainment and residential corridor. Through the hard work of countless individuals, organizations, and local governments, and more than $50 million spent on redevelopment projects since 2000, Gay Street has experienced a complete transformation from its ghost town atmosphere of the 1970s.