the great "madison ave" vs. "madison av" debate
May 7, 2013Column: what's new
during preparations for our new madison avenue flagship (opening this friday!), a bit of a debate broke out in the office: is it madison ave, or is it madison av?
as it turns out, everyone's correct: not all the street signs in manhattan are the same.
surprised? here's the skinny:
pre-1964, street signs across the city were a haphazard rainbow of hues and styles--yellow and black, black and white, blue and white--each with varying styles of abbreviations. some of these dated back to the 19th century (!). in 1985, a federal ruling called for all highway signs (including street signs) to be displayed on reflective-white-on-green designs. these are the ones we commonly know today. these read "madison av" in all caps.
here's the fun fact: there's a stretch of midtown manhattan--from 33rd to 49th streets and including madison avenue--that was the exception to this rule. (they were already reflective white, though on a blue background.) these read "madison ave" in upper and lower case letters.
our new shop is on a delightful stretch of madison between 66th and 67th streets, so we chose "madison av" for our fun type treatments designed in celebration of the opening. (see one here!)