Midtown Fifth Avenue is New York’s best-known boulevard and home to three of its most famous buildings. In the late 1800s, it was lined with mansions belonging to prominent families, but as retailers moved north in the 1900s, society fled uptown. One of the former mansions that remains is the Cartier building, reputedly acquired from banker Morton F. Plant in 1917 in exchange for a string of pearls. Although commercial enterprises now share the avenue, it has remained a mecca for luxury goods. Fifth Avenue is at its best on Easter Sunday when traffic is barred and the street is filled with New Yorkers in elaborate hats.

  • The heart of Fifth Avenue is from the Empire State Building on

    34th St, to the Grand Army Plaza, 59th St
    , an easily walkable stretch of just over one mile (1.6 km)

Tourist Information

  • 212 484 1200

New York Public Library

  • 212 930 0800

Millionnaires’ Row

From its inception in the early 19th century, Fifth Avenue has been the territory of New York’s well-heeled society, with homes costing the princely sum of $20,000 after the Civil War. As retail and commercial ventures, albeit exclusive ones, encroached on the wealthy’s patch toward the end of the 19th century, they moved their palacial residences further north along Fifth Avenue. This trend was set by Mrs Astor who moved up to 65th Street after her nephew, William Waldorf Astor, built the Waldorf Hotel next to her former home.

  1. Grand Army Plaza

    This ornamented plaza is presided over by the 1907 Plaza Hotel and Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ statue of General William T. Sherman. Hansom cab rides through Central Park can be boarded here.

  2. Bergdorf Goodman

    Founded in 1894 as a small ladies’ tailoring and fur shop, the most élite department store has been here since 1928. A separate shop for men was opened in 1990 across Fifth Avenue.

  3. General Motors Building

    Edward Durrell Stone’s 1968 marble skyscraper is of interest not for its architecture but for the CBS studio in the plaza area and the F.A.O. Schwarz toy store adjacent.

  4. Tiffany and Company

    Truman Capote’s 1958 Breakfast at Tiffany’s made this the most famous jewelry store in New York. The window displays are works of art.

  5. Trump Tower

    A six-story open interior space, the Trump Tower Atrium is graced by hanging gardens and a spectacular 80-ft (24-m) water wall.

  6. Cartier

    Look up to admire what remains of the fine 1905 Beaux Arts mansion housing this famous luxury jeweler. During the Christmas season, the whole building is wrapped in a giant red ribbon.

    Cartier façade, decorated for Christmas
  7. St. Patrick’s Cathedral

    In 1878 James Renwick, Jr. designed New York’s grandest religious building in French Gothic style. The bronze doors, the baldachin over the high altar, the Lady Chapel, and the rose window are among its notable features.

  8. Saks Fifth Avenue

    One of New York’s most attractive stores, Saks is famous for the changing seasonal decor on the main floor of its 1924 building, as well as for its exclusive fashions for men and women.

  9. New York Public Library

    The epitome of Beaux Arts elegance, this 1911 landmark features vaulted marble halls and a paneled reading room that glows with light from great arched windows.

    Public Library’s guardian lion
  10. Lord and Taylor

    Retailing on Fifth Avenue since 1914, Lord and Taylor offers a mix of fashions for budgets low and high. The store is known for its animated Christmas windows.

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