Upper West Side
|City||New York City|
|Community District||Manhattan 7|
|• Total||5 km2 (1.9 sq mi)|
|• Density||44,000/km2 (110,000/sq mi)|
|• Median income||$121,032|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
10023, 10024, 10025, 10069
|Area code||212, 332, 646, and 917|
The Upper West Side (UWS) is a neighborhood in the borough of Manhattan in New York City. It is bounded by Central Park on the east, the Hudson River on the west, West 59th Street to the south, and West 110th Street to the north. The Upper West Side is adjacent to the neighborhoods of Hell's Kitchen to the south, Columbus Circle to the southeast, and Morningside Heights to the north.
Like the Upper East Side opposite Central Park, the Upper West Side is an affluent, primarily residential area with many of its residents working in commercial areas of Midtown and Lower Manhattan. Similarly to the Museum Mile district on the Upper East Side, the Upper West Side is considered one of Manhattan's cultural and intellectual hubs, with Columbia University and Barnard College located just to the north of the neighborhood, the American Museum of Natural History located near its center, and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School located at the south end.
The Upper West Side is part of Manhattan Community District 7, and its primary ZIP Codes are 10023, 10024, 10025, and 10069. It is patrolled by the 20th and 24th Precincts of the New York City Police Department.
The Upper West Side is bounded on the south by 59th Street, Central Park to the east, the Hudson River to the west, and 110th Street to the north. The area north of West 96th Street and east of Broadway is also identified as Manhattan Valley. The overlapping area west of Amsterdam Avenue to Riverside Park was once known as the Bloomingdale District.
From west to east, the avenues of the Upper West Side are Riverside Drive, West End Avenue (11th Avenue), Broadway, Amsterdam Avenue (10th Avenue), Columbus Avenue (9th Avenue), and Central Park West (8th Avenue). The 66-block stretch of Broadway forms the spine of the neighborhood and runs diagonally north–south across the other avenues at the south end of the neighborhood; above 78th Street Broadway runs north parallel to the other avenues. Broadway enters the neighborhood at its juncture with Central Park West at Columbus Circle (59th Street), crosses Columbus Avenue at Lincoln Square (65th Street), Amsterdam Avenue at Verdi Square (71st Street), and then merges with West End Avenue at Straus Park (aka Bloomingdale Square, at 107th Street).
Traditionally the neighborhood ranged from the former village of Harsenville, centered on the old Bloomingdale Road (now Broadway) and 65th Street, west to the railroad yards along the Hudson, then north to 110th Street, where the ground rises to Morningside Heights. With the construction of Lincoln Center, its name, though perhaps not the reality, was stretched south to 58th Street. With the arrival of the corporate headquarters and expensive condos of the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle, and the Riverside South apartment complex built by Donald Trump, the area from 58th Street to 65th Street is increasingly referred to as Lincoln Square by realtors who acknowledge a different tone and ambiance than that typically associated with the Upper West Side. This is a reversion to the neighborhood's historical name.
The long high bluff above useful sandy coves along the North River was little used or traversed by the Lenape people. A combination of the stream valleys, such as that in which 96th Street runs, and wetlands to the northeast and east, may have protected a portion of the Upper West Side from the Lenape's controlled burns; lack of periodic ground fires results in a denser understory and more fire-intolerant trees, such as American Beech.
In the eighteenth and early nineteenth century, the Upper West Side-to-be contained some of colonial New York's most ambitious houses, spaced along Bloomingdale Road. It became increasingly infilled with smaller, more suburban villas in the first half of the nineteenth century, and in the middle of the century, parts had become decidedly lower class.
The name "Bloomingdale District" was used to refer to a part of the Upper West Side – the present-day Manhattan Valley neighborhood – located between 96th and 110th Streets and bounded on the east by Amsterdam Avenue and on the west by Riverside Drive, Riverside Park, and the Hudson River.
Its name was a derivation of the description given to the area by Dutch settlers to New Netherland, likely from Bloemendaal, a town in the tulip region. The name was Anglicized to "Bloomingdale" or "the Bloomingdale District", covering the west side of Manhattan from about 23rd Street up to the Hollow Way (modern 125th Street). It consisted of farms and villages along a road (regularized in 1703) known as the Bloomingdale Road. Bloomingdale Road was renamed The Boulevard in 1868, as the farms and villages were divided into building lots and absorbed into the city. By the 18th century it contained numerous farms and country residences of many of the city's well-off, a major parcel of which was the Apthorp Farm. The main artery of this area was the Bloomingdale Road, which began north of where Broadway and the Bowery Lane (now Fourth Avenue) join (at modern Union Square) and wended its way northward up to about modern 116th Street in Morningside Heights, where the road further north was known as the Kingsbridge Road. Within the confines of the modern-day Upper West Side, the road passed through areas known as Harsenville, Strycker's Bay, and Bloomingdale Village.
With the building of the Croton Aqueduct passing down the area between present day Amsterdam Avenue and Columbus Avenue in 1838–42, the northern reaches of the district became divided into Manhattan Valley to the east of the aqueduct and Bloomingdale to the west. Bloomingdale, in the latter half of the 19th century, was the name of a village that occupied the area just south of 110th street.
Much of the riverfront of the Upper West Side was a shipping, transportation, and manufacturing corridor. The Hudson River Railroad line right-of-way was granted in the late 1830s to connect New York City to Albany, and soon ran along the riverbank. One major non-industrial development, the creation of Central Park in the 1850s and '60s, caused many squatters to move their shacks into the Upper West Side. Parts of the neighborhood became a ragtag collection of squatters' housing, boarding houses, and rowdy taverns.
As this development occurred, the old name of Bloomingdale Road was being chopped away and the name Broadway was progressively applied further northward to include what had been lower Bloomingdale Road. In 1868, the city began straightening and grading the section of the Bloomingdale Road from Harsenville north, and it became known as "Western Boulevard" or "The Boulevard". It retained that name until the end of the century, when the name Broadway finally supplanted it.
Development of the neighborhood lagged even while Central Park was being laid out in the 1860s and '70s, then was stymied by the Panic of 1873. Things turned around with the introduction of the Ninth Avenue elevated in the 1870s along Ninth Avenue (renamed Columbus Avenue in 1890), and with Columbia University's relocation to Morningside Heights in the 1890s, using lands once held by the Bloomingdale Insane Asylum.
Riverside Park was conceived in 1866 and formally approved by the state legislature through the efforts of city parks commissioner Andrew Haswell Green. The first segment of park was acquired through condemnation in 1872, and construction soon began following a design created by the firm of Frederick Law Olmsted, who also designed the adjacent, gracefully curving Riverside Drive. In 1937, under the administration of commissioner Robert Moses, 132 acres (0.53 km2) of land were added to the park, primarily by creating a promenade that covered the tracks of the Hudson River Railroad. Moses, working with landscape architect Gilmore D. Clarke also added playgrounds, and distinctive stonework and the 79th Street Boat Basin, but also cut pedestrians off from direct access to most of the riverfront by building the Henry Hudson Parkway by the river's edge. According to Robert Caro's book on Moses, The Power Broker, Riverside Park was designed with most of the amenities located in predominantly white neighborhoods, with the neighborhoods closer to Harlem getting shorter shrift. Riverside Park, like Central Park, underwent a revival late in the 20th century, largely through the efforts of the Riverside Park Fund, a citizen's group. Largely through their efforts and the support of the city, much of the park has been improved. The Hudson River Greenway along the river-edge of the park is a common route for pedestrians and bicyclists; an extension to the park's greenway runs between 83rd and 91st Streets on a promenade in the river itself.
1868 saw the opening of the now demolished IRT Ninth Avenue Line – the city's first elevated railway – which opened in the decade following the American Civil War. The Upper West Side experienced a building boom from 1885 to 1910, thanks in large part to the 1904 opening of the city's first subway line, which comprised, in part, what is now a portion of the IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line, with subway stations at 59th, 66th, 72nd, 79th, 86th, 91st, 96th, 103rd, 110th, 116th, and 125th Streets.
This further stimulated residential development of the area. The stately tall apartment blocks on West End Avenue and the townhouses on the streets between Amsterdam Avenue and Riverside Drive, which contribute to the character of the area, were all constructed during the pre-depression years of the twentieth century. A revolution in building techniques, the low cost of land relative to lower Manhattan, the arrival of the subway, and the popularization of the formerly expensive elevator made it possible to construct large apartment buildings for the middle classes. The large scale and style of these buildings is one reason why the neighborhood has remained largely unchanged into the twenty-first century.
The neighborhood changed from the 1930s to the 1950s. In 1932, the IND Eighth Avenue Line opened under Central Park West. In 1940, the elevated IRT Ninth Avenue Line over Columbus Avenue closed. Immigrants from Eastern Europe and the Caribbean moved in during the '50s and the '60s. The Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts opened in the 1960s.
In the 1900s, the area south of 67th Street was heavily populated by African-Americans and supposedly gained its nickname of "San Juan Hill" in commemoration of African-American soldiers who were a major part of Theodore Roosevelt's assault on Cuba's San Juan Hill in the Spanish–American War. By 1960, it was a rough neighborhood of tenement housing, the demolition of which was delayed to allow for exterior shots in the film musical West Side Story. Thereafter, urban renewal brought the construction of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and Lincoln Towers apartments during 1962–1968.
The Upper West Side is a significant Jewish neighborhood, populated with both German Jews who moved in at the turn of last century, and Jewish refugees escaping Hitler's Europe in the 1930s. Today the area between 85th Street and 100th Street is home to the largest community of young Modern Orthodox singles outside of Israel. However, the Upper West Side also features a substantial number of non-Orthodox Jews. A number of major synagogues are located in the neighborhood, including the oldest Jewish congregation in the United States, Shearith Israel; New York's second-oldest and the third-oldest Ashkenazi synagogue, B'nai Jeshurun; Rodeph Sholom; the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue; and numerous others such as the Jewish Center, and West Side Institutional.
From the post-WWII years until the AIDS epidemic, the neighborhood, especially below 86th Street, had a substantial gay population. As the neighborhood had deteriorated, it was affordable to working class gay men, and those just arriving in the city and looking for their first white collar jobs. Its ethnically mixed gay population, mostly Hispanic and white, with a mixture of income levels and occupations patronized the same gay bars in the neighborhood, making it markedly different from most gay enclaves elsewhere in the city. The influx of white gay men in the Fifties and Sixties is often credited with accelerating the gentrification of the Upper West Side.
In a subsequent phase of urban renewal, the rail yards which had formed the Upper West Side's southwest corner were replaced by the Riverside South residential project, which included a southward extension of Riverside Park. The evolution of Riverside South had a 40-year history, often extremely bitter, beginning in 1962 when the New York Central Railroad, in partnership with the Amalgamated Lithographers Union, proposed a mixed-use development with 12,000 apartments, Litho City, to be built on platforms over the tracks. The subsequent bankruptcy of the enlarged, but short-lived Penn Central Railroad brought other proposals and prospective developers. The one generating the most opposition was Donald Trump's "Television City" concept of 1985, which would have included a 152-story office tower and six 75-story residential buildings. In 1991, a coalition of prominent civic organizations proposed a purely residential development of about half that size, and then reached a deal with Trump.
The community's links to the events of September 11, 2001 were evinced in Upper West Side resident and Pulitzer Prize winner David Halberstam's paean to the men of Ladder Co 40/Engine Co 35, just a few blocks from his home, in his book Firehouse.
Today, this area is the site for several long-established charitable institutions; their unbroken parcels of land have provided suitably scaled sites for Columbia University and the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, as well as for some vanished landmarks, such as the Schwab Mansion on Riverside Drive.
The name Bloomingdale is still used in reference to a part of the Upper West Side, essentially the location of old Bloomingdale Village, the area from about 96th Street up to 110th Street and from Riverside Park east to Amsterdam Avenue. The triangular block bound by Broadway, West End Avenue, 106th Street and 107th Street, although generally known as Straus Park (named for Isidor Straus and his wife Ida), was officially designated Bloomingdale Square in 1907. The neighborhood also includes the Bloomingdale School of Music and Bloomingdale neighborhood branch of the New York Public Library. Adjacent to the Bloomingdale neighborhood is a more diverse and less affluent subsection of the Upper West Side called Manhattan Valley, focused on the downslope of Columbus Avenue and Manhattan Avenue from about 96th Street up to 110th Street.
For census purposes, the New York City government classifies the Upper West Side as part of two neighborhood tabulation areas: Upper West Side (up to 105th Street) and Lincoln Square (down to 58th Street), divided by 74th Street. Based on data from the 2010 United States Census, the combined population of the Upper West Side was 193,867, a change of 1,674 (0.9%) from the 192,193 counted in 2000. Covering an area of 1,162.29 acres (470.36 ha), the neighborhood had a population density of 166.8 inhabitants per acre (106,800/sq mi; 41,200/km2). The racial makeup of the neighborhood was 69.5% (134,735) White, 7.1% (13,856) African American, 0.1% (194) Native American, 7.6% (14,804) Asian, 0% (48) Pacific Islander, 0.3% (620) from other races, and 2% (3,828) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 13.3% (25,782) of the population.
The racial composition of the Upper West Side changed moderately from 2000 to 2010, with the greatest changes being the increase in the Asian population by 38% (4,100), the decrease in the Black population by 15% (2,435), and the increase in the Hispanic / Latino population by 8% (2,147). The White population remained the majority, experiencing a slight increase of 2% (2,098), while the small population of all other races experienced a negligible increase of 1% (58). Taking into account the two census tabulation areas, the overall decreases in the Black and Hispanic / Latino populations were concentrated in the Upper West Side area, with the Hispanic / Latino population actually increasing by a smaller margin in Lincoln Square. On the other hand, the increases in the White and Asian populations were mostly in Lincoln Center, especially the White population.
The entirety of Community District 7, which comprises the Upper West Side from 59th Street to 110th Street, had 214,744 inhabitants as of NYC Health's 2018 Community Health Profile, with an average life expectancy of 84.7 years.: 2, 20 This is higher than the median life expectancy of 81.2 for all New York City neighborhoods.: 53 (PDF p. 84) Most residents are adults: a plurality (34%) are between the ages of 25–44, while 27% are between 45 and 64, and 18% are 65 or older. The ratio of youth and college-aged residents was lower, at 15% and 5% respectively.: 2
As of 2017, the median household income in Community District 7 was $123,894. In 2018, an estimated 9% of Upper West Side residents lived in poverty, compared to 14% in all of Manhattan and 20% in all of New York City. One in twenty residents (5%) were unemployed, compared to 7% in Manhattan and 9% in New York City. Rent burden, or the percentage of residents who have difficulty paying their rent, is 40% in the Upper West Side, compared to the boroughwide and citywide rates of 45% and 51% respectively. Based on this calculation, as of 2018[update], Community District 7 is not considered to be gentrifying: according to the Community Health Profile, the district was not low-income in 1990.: 7
The Upper West Side is part of Manhattan Community District 7. Politically, the Upper West Side is in New York's 10th congressional district. It is in the New York State Senate's 27th, 29th, 30th, and 31st districts, the New York State Assembly's 67th, 69th, and 75th districts, and the New York City Council's 6th, 8th, and 9th districts.
The apartment buildings along Central Park West, facing the park, are some of the city's most opulent. The Dakota at 72nd Street has been home to numerous celebrities including John Lennon, Leonard Bernstein, and Lauren Bacall. Other buildings on CPW include four twin-towered structures: the Century and Majestic by Irwin Chanin and the San Remo and El Dorado by Emery Roth. Roth also designed the Beresford, the Alden, and the Ardsley on Central Park West. His first major commission, the Belle Époque-style Belleclaire Hotel, is on Broadway, while the moderne-style Normandy stands on Riverside at 86th Street. Along Broadway are several large apartment houses, including the Belnord (1908), the Apthorp (1908), the Ansonia (1902), the Dorilton (1902), and the Manhasset. All are individually designated New York City landmarks.
The serpentine Riverside Drive also has many pre-war houses and larger buildings, while West End Avenue is lined with pre-war Beaux-Arts apartment buildings and townhouses dating from the late-19th and early 20th centuries. Columbus Avenue north of 87th Street was the spine for major post-World War II urban renewal. Broadway is lined with such architecturally notable apartment buildings as The Ansonia, The Apthorp, The Belnord, the Astor Court Building, and The Cornwall, which features an Art Nouveau cornice. Newly constructed 15 Central Park West and 535 West End Avenue are among some of the prestigious residential addresses in Manhattan.
Both Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue from 67th Street up to 110th Street are lined with restaurants and bars, as is Columbus Avenue to a slightly lesser extent. The following lists a few prominent ones:
The Upper West Side is patrolled by two precincts of the NYPD. The 20th Precinct is located at 120 West 82nd Street and serves the part of the neighborhood south of 86th Street, while the 24th Precinct is located at 151 West 100th Street and serves the part of the neighborhood north of 86th Street.
The 20th Precinct has a lower crime rate than in the 1990s, with crimes across all categories having decreased by 95.5% between 1990 and 2022. The precinct reported 0 murders, 14 rapes, 116 robberies, 102 felony assaults, 136 burglaries, 877 grand larcenies, and 75 grand larcenies auto in 2022. Of the five major violent felonies (murder, rape, felony assault, robbery, and burglary), the 20th Precinct had a rate of 250 crimes per 100,000 residents in 2019, compared to the boroughwide average of 632 crimes per 100,000 and the citywide average of 572 crimes per 100,000.
The 24th Precinct also has a lower crime rate than in the 1990s, with crimes across all categories having decreased by 94.1% between 1990 and 2022. The precinct reported 1 murder, 9 rapes, 150 robberies, 188 felony assaults, 180 burglaries, 526 grand larcenies, and 89 grand larcenies auto in 2022. Of the five major violent felonies (murder, rape, felony assault, robbery, and burglary), the 24th Precinct had a rate of 414 crimes per 100,000 residents in 2019, compared to the boroughwide average of 632 crimes per 100,000 and the citywide average of 572 crimes per 100,000.
As of 2018[update], Manhattan Community District 7 has a non-fatal assault hospitalization rate of 25 per 100,000 people, compared to the boroughwide rate of 49 per 100,000 and the citywide rate of 59 per 100,000. Its incarceration rate is 211 per 100,000 people, compared to the boroughwide rate of 407 per 100,000 and the citywide rate of 425 per 100,000.: 8
In 2019, the highest concentration of felony assaults and robberies in the Upper West Side was on Columbus Avenue between 100th Street and 104th Street (going through the Frederick Douglass Houses), where there were 24 felony assaults and 15 robberies. The area around the intersection of 72nd Street and Broadway also had 14 robberies in 2019.
The Upper West Side is served by multiple New York City Fire Department (FDNY) fire stations:
As of 2018[update], preterm births and births to teenage mothers in the Upper West Side are lower than the city average. In the Upper West Side, there were 78 preterm births per 1,000 live births (compared to 87 per 1,000 citywide), and 7.1 births to teenage mothers per 1,000 live births (compared to 19.3 per 1,000 citywide).: 11 The Upper West Side has a low population of residents who are uninsured. In 2018, this population of uninsured residents was estimated to be 5%, less than the citywide rate of 12%, though this was based on a small sample size.: 14
The concentration of fine particulate matter, the deadliest type of air pollutant, in the Upper West Side is 0.0083 milligrams per cubic metre (8.3×10−9 oz/cu ft), more than the city average.: 9 Ten percent of Upper West Side residents are smokers, which is less than the city average of 14% of residents being smokers.: 13 In the Upper West Side, 10% of residents are obese, 5% are diabetic, and 21% have high blood pressure—compared to the citywide averages of 24%, 11%, and 28% respectively.: 16 In addition, 10% of children are obese, compared to the citywide average of 20%.: 12
Ninety-two percent of residents eat some fruits and vegetables every day, which is higher than the city's average of 87%. In 2018, 93% of residents described their health as "good," "very good," or "excellent," the highest rate in the city and more than the city's average of 78%.: 13 For every supermarket in the Upper West Side, there are 3 bodegas.: 10
Mount Sinai Urgent Care Upper West Side is located in the Upper West Side.
Upper West Side is located in three primary ZIP Codes. From south to north, they are 10023 south of 76th Street, 10024 between 76th and 91st Streets, and 10025 north of 91st Street. In addition, Riverside South is part of 10069. The United States Postal Service operates five post offices in the Upper West Side:
The Upper West Side generally has a higher rate of college-educated residents than the rest of the city as of 2018[update]. A majority of residents age 25 and older (78%) have a college education or higher, while 6% have less than a high school education and 16% are high school graduates or have some college education. By contrast, 64% of Manhattan residents and 43% of city residents have a college education or higher.: 6 The percentage of the Upper West Side students excelling in math rose from 35% in 2000 to 66% in 2011, and reading achievement increased from 43% to 56% during the same time period.
The Upper West Side's rate of elementary school student absenteeism is lower than the rest of New York City. In the Upper West Side, 14% of elementary school students missed twenty or more days per school year, less than the citywide average of 20%.: 24 (PDF p. 55) : 6 Additionally, 83% of high school students in the Upper West Side graduate on time, more than the citywide average of 75%.: 6
The New York City Department of Education operates the following public elementary schools in the Upper West Side:
The following public middle schools serves grades 6-8 unless otherwise indicated:
The following public high schools serve grades 9-12 unless otherwise indicated:
The following charter and private schools are located in the Upper West Side:
The New York Public Library (NYPL) operates four branches in the Upper West Side, of which three are circulating branches and one is a reference branch.
Roman Catholic Church of the Holy Trinity 213 West 82nd Street
St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Orthodox Church, formerly home to Temple Shaarey Tefila, 180 West 82d Street
Young Israel of the Upper West Side
Cong Ohav Sholom
Two New York City Subway corridors serve the Upper West Side. The IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line (1, 2, and 3 trains) runs below Broadway, and the IND Eighth Avenue Line (A, B, C, and D trains) runs below Central Park West.
There are five bus routes – M5, M7, M10, M11, M104 buses – that go up and down the Upper West Side, and the M57 goes up West End Avenue for 15 blocks in the neighborhood. Additionally, crosstown routes include the M66, M72, M79 SBS, M86 SBS, M96 and M106. The north–south M20 terminates at Lincoln Center.
The Upper West Side has been a setting for many films and television shows.
In alphabetical order:
In alphabetical order:
In alphabetical order: