Forgotten Westchester: Central Park Avenue
26 Sep, 2013
By Loop Contributor
Ever wonder how this strip mall sprawl came to be named for Central Park?
Extending northward from Yonkers’ Southern border into White Plains is a main artery called Central Park Avenue, which goes by the designation NY-100. Curiously, Central Park Avenue is nowhere near Central Park in Manhattan, and there appears to be no obvious reason for it to hold this name. However, it is no accident that Central Park Avenue carries the name of a seemingly distant New York City park.
When Central Park Avenue crosses into the Bronx, it becomes Jerome Avenue. In the nineteenth century, Jerome Avenue was also known as Central Park Avenue. Central Park Avenue, therefore, once ran from White Plains to the Macombs Dam Bridge at the Harlem River into Manhattan (one can still follow this same route to Manhattan today).
In the nineteenth century, the Macomb’s Dam Bridge was known as the Central Bridge (referring to its central position at the midpoint between the Kings Bridge [near today’s Broadway Bridge] at the far northwest of Manhattan and the Harlem Bridge [today known as the Third Avenue Bridge] at the far northeast of Manhattan). After transversing the Central Bridge, Central Park Avenue turned into Seventh (since 1887, Lenox) Avenue, which ends at the northern side of Central Park.
Hence the name.
–Submitted by Jesse Kling