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PARK AVENUE SOUTH/MADISON SQUARE
Madison Square and Park Avenue South barely registered with most New Yorkers 30 years ago. Once the center of the city, and the place where such important buildings as the MetLife Tower and the New York Life Building could be found, the district came to be dominated by light-industrial loft buildings. If you didn't have business there, why go there?
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In the 1980s, real-estate prices soared in Midtown, leading many firms to move to the old commercial real estate around Madison Square and to refurbish New York commercial loft space on Park Avenue South.
Park Avenue South/Madison Square Featured Properties
The insurance giants were still there, and were joined by publishing companies such as St. Martin's Press, which moved into the iconic Flatiron Building, and Rizzoli Publications, which moved to 300 Park Avenue South; design firms such as the globally prominent Pentagram, at 204 Fifth Avenue at 25th Street; and architecture firms such as Peter Pennoyer Architects at 432 Park Avenue South.
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Creative firms that relished the challenge of reconfiguring loft spaces flocked to the district. Then the district entered a whole new era when financial services colossus Credit Suisse First Boston moved into the former MetLife North Building, an Art Deco classic at 11 Madison Avenue, right across the street from the square.
Credit Suisse First Boston joined with others in providing funds to the public-private partnership that has renovated and rejuvenated the lovely park known as Madison Square. (The original Madison Square Garden was at the northeast corner of Madison Avenue and 26th Street. The present facility bearing that name is actually some distance from Madison Square itself.) It is one of the most vibrant public open spaces in Manhattan, Midtown South's equivalent to Midtown's Bryant Park.
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In the 19th century, this was Manhattan's most elegant neighborhood. Delmonico's restaurant on Fifth Avenue at 26th Street is long gone, but in recent years this has again become a destination neighborhood for restaurants and shopping. In 11 Madison Avenue are two restaurants operated by famed restaurateur Danny Meyer: Eleven Madison Park and Tabla. In Madison Square itself is Meyer's renowned Shake Shack. Park Avenue South is lined its entire length with restaurants, cafés, and bars.
Transportation is superb. Remember, this was once the heart of the city: The Sixth Avenue, Broadway, and East Side subway lines all serve the district. The East Side IRT runs directly beneath Park Avenue South, with local stations all up and down the avenue.
The beautiful Madison Square and the area's fine architecture lend a unique ambience to the district. Nowhere else in Manhattan is there the mix of businesses, from insurance companies and financial services firms, where suits are the order of the day, to graphic design and Internet content creation companies, where no one ever wears a suit.
Corresponding zip codes: 10001 10003 10010 10016