Broadway, famous thoroughfare in New York City. It extends from Bowling Green near the foot of Manhattan island N to 262d St. in the Bronx. Throughout its length Broadway is chiefly a commercial street. In lower Manhattan it runs through the financial center of the country; N of Union Square (14th St.) it passes a merchandising section; further N around Herald Square there are large department stores; around Times Square (42d St.), which has undergone significant redevelopment, it enters the theater district, or the “Great White Way,” its most storied portion. Points of interest along Broadway include Trinity Church (Wall St.); St. Paul's Chapel, built 1766 (near City Hall); the Woolworth Building (at Barclay St.); the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts (64th–66th streets); Columbia Univ. (113th–121st and 125th–133d streets); the Columbia Univ. Medical Center (168th St.); and Van Cortlandt Park (at the north end of the city). Beyond the city limits the road continues through Westchester co., becoming the Albany Post Road north of the village of Sleepy Hollow. Originally in part a Native American trail, Broadway was laid out by the Dutch who named it Brede Wegh [broad way], and was the principal street of New Amsterdam. Its northern stretches in Manhattan, much of which does not follow the original trail, were formerly Bloomingdale Road.

See D. W. Dunlap, On Broadway (1990); F. Leadon, Broadway: A History of New York City in Thirteen Miles (2018).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2024, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Miscellaneous U.S. Geography