Madison Square


Madison Square Park is bounded by the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Broadway on the west, 23rd Street on the south, Madison Avenue on the east and 26th Street on the north. It was named after the fourth President of the United States, James Madison, in 1814.

The area was designated a public land in 1686. Later, it was used as a potter's field and parade ground. In 1825, the old arsenal became home of the House of Refuge. It formally opened as a public park in 1847. Madison Avenue was constructed in 1836 and it was called Madison Place until about mid-19th century.

In 1856, the Madison Square Post Office opened at the St. Germain Hotel. In 1857, the Worth Monument was dedicated.

Until the 1850s, it was a residential quarter. Later, a number of fashionable hotels opened near Madison Square along Fifth Avenue and Broadway. The Kurtz Art Gallery opened in 1873 at 6 East 23rd Street. At the time, the neighborhood was one of the most vibrant in the City, home to major hotels, theaters, offices and stores. The Madison Square Garden was located here until 1925.

The iconic Flatiron Building was erected on the junction on Broadway and Fifth Avenue, at 23rd Street, between 1901 and 1902. Later, other skyscrapers were built around the square. The 48-story Metropolitan Life Insurance Tower was completed in 1909, on Madison Avenue, at East 24th Street. It was the world's tallest building until 1913, when it was surpassed by the Woolworth Building, on Broadway. 

In the late 19th century and early 20th century, a few temporary ceremonial arches were erected in the junction of Broadway and Fifth Avenue. In 1889, to celebrate the centennial of George Washington's first inauguration. In 1899, the Dewey Arch was built for the parade in honor of Admiral George Dewey, celebrating his victory in the Battle of Manila Bay in the Philippines the year before. In 1918 Mayor John F. Hylan had a Victory Arch built at about the same location to honor the city's war dead.

The park fell into decline about the 1980s, but  the park was restored about the 2000s. Today, Madison Square Park is a playground, an open-air museum, a performance venue and an arboretum surrounded by skyscrapers and landmark architecture

More: Madison Square in the 19th century



Old City of New York





Madison Square New York



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Madison Square Park and fountain in 2013 (credit: Marley White / NYC & Company).


Madison Square Hotel


Flatiron images


Hotels Broadway


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Madison Square West



Madison Avenue


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23rd Street NYC


Madison Avenue


Madison Square Park, 1901 (source: Library of Congress).


Fifth Avenue NY


NYC Madison Square


5th Avenue NY


National Academy of Design



Albemarle Hotel


Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Building



Central Park images


Madison Square



Worth Square


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Madison Square Park


Old Madison Square


Broadway Fifth Avenue


Madison Square Park


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Madison Square - 1911.


Fountain NY


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Parade 1919


Buildings NY


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Parkhurst's Church


New York City


Worth Monument




Hoffman House




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Rockefeller Center


Election NY


21st century


Statue of Liberty Torch



Madison Square Presbyterian Church


Election 1888


Madison Square Garden


Carriages NY


Old City New York


Fifth Avenue Hotel



The Battery images