Following the split, Eleventh Avenue is two-way traffic for access to 23rd Street, as well as for 24th Street to access Chelsea Piers. North of 24th Street, Eleventh Avenue is one-way southbound from 24th to 34th Streets, where two-way traffic resumes for access to the Lincoln Tunnel. The segment between approximately 39th and 59th Streets is home to the largest concentration of auto dealerships in Manhattan. Eleventh Avenue again becomes one-way southbound between 40th and 57th Streets; two-way traffic resumes north of 57th Street.
The portion north of 59th Street is called West End Avenue, which has mixed commercial and residential use. The northern 2 miles (3.2 km) are a sedate Upper West Side residential street ending at Straus Park, 107th Street, and Broadway. Traffic is bidirectional, except for the northernmost block, north of 106th Street.
Meanwhile, the avenue's West End Avenue section was originally created in the 1880s as the northern extension of Eleventh Avenue, and was intended to be a commercial street serving the residents of the mansions to be constructed along Riverside Drive. When West End Avenue was named in the 1880s, the Upper West Side was fairly sparsely populated, and that upper portion of the avenue, subsequently, was called the "West End" because of its separation from the core of the city. Seeking to distinguish the area from the factories and tenements below 59th Street, a group of real estate developers renamed the northern portions of the West Side's avenues.
Portions of both West End Avenue and Eleventh Avenue were run down in the mid-20th century, with single room occupancy hotels, prostitutes and drug addicts a common sight. The city's economic comeback in the 1980s brought recovery and gentrification.
The upper portion of the avenue retains stretches of late nineteenth-century town houses and several handsome churches and synagogues, but is almost entirely made up of handsome residential buildings about twelve stories tall built in the first decades of the twentieth century. The near total absence of retail on that part of the street marks its quiet, residential character, as opposed to the high-traffic, noisy character of Eleventh Avenue.
10 West End Avenue underconstruction
The architecture of buildings on Eleventh and West End Avenues differs significantly. West End Avenue is noteworthy for its almost unbroken street wall of handsome apartment buildings punctuated by brief stretches of nineteenth-century townhouses and several handsome churches and synagogues. Notable architecturally historicist houses of worship include:
381 to 389 West End Avenue, north end of Riverside-West End Historic District
This area has served the transport trade for more than a hundred years; most of the stables for New York's remaining horse cabs are located on its side streets, though many now store taxis and pedicabs. It is not uncommon to hear the clip clop of horses in the vicinity, as a result. The carriage horses live in historic stables originally built in the 19th century, but today boast the latest in barn design, such as fans, misting systems, box stalls, and state-of-the-art sprinkler systems. As horses always have in densely populated urban areas, the carriage horses live upstairs in their stables while the carriages are parked below on the ground floor.
Two segments of West End Avenue lie within designated New York City historic districts: both sides of the avenue from West 87th to West 94th Streets can be found in the Riverside-West End Historic District. The west side of the avenue from West 75th Street through mid-block between West 78th and West 79th streets and the east side between West 76th and West 77th streets are contained within the West End-Collegiate Historic District. Concern over building demolition filings for the demolition of three row houses and a six-story elevator apartment building at the southwest corner of West End Avenue and West 86th Streets spurred a grassroots effort to seek historic district designation for the entire stretch north of Lincoln Towers from West 70th to West 107th streets. On March 18, 2009, the West End Avenue Preservation Society formally submitted a request for evaluation to the chair of the city's Landmarks Preservation Commission along with a 260-page survey prepared by Andrew Dolkart.
The High Line (roughly parallel to Eleventh Avenue from Gansevoort Street to 34th Street)
The Hudson River Park (parallel to the West Side Highway segment of Eleventh Avenue from 11th Street to 22nd Street; also manages the Chelsea Waterside Park on the west side of Eleventh Avenue between 22nd and 24th Streets)
^"601 West End Avenue" on the City Realty website. Quote: "According to Peter Salwen, the author, Jesse L. Lasky, the theatrical and burlesque producer, lived here. In his fine book, "Upper West Side Story, A History and Guide" (Abbeville Press, 1989)"...]