116th Street


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Subway stations on 116th Street are, from west to east:
116th Street – Columbia University serving the 1 train at Broadway
116th Street serving the A B C trains at Central Park West
116th Street serving the 2 3 trains at Lenox Avenue
116th Street serving the 4 6 <6> trains at Lexington Avenue

116th Street runs from Riverside Drive, overlooking the Hudson River, to the East River, through the New York City borough of Manhattan. 116th Street traverses the neighborhoods of Morningside Heights, Harlem, and Spanish Harlem; the street is interrupted between Morningside Heights and Harlem by Morningside Park.

The western entrance to 116th Street at Riverside Drive is flanked by a pair of white apartment buildings with curved facades, The Colosseum and The Paterno.
The New York Times has said that the "opposing curves, (form) a gateway as impressive as any publicly built arch or plaza in New York. The unusual curves of the road are the result of an 1897 plan to make the land between Claremont Avenue and Riverside Drive into a public park in order to give veterans parades a large park adjacent to Grant's Tomb as a terminus. The street was redesigned so that a vehicle or a parade coming up Riverside Drive would swing onto 116th Street in a gracious curve, then immediately swing north onto Claremont Avenue following a second curve. The city never appropriated funds to buy the land, but the curves remain. The top of The Paterno is capped with an architectural fancy masking a water tower in a shape that conjures up a section of Mansard roof, complete with dormer window. 116th Street is visible from the gates of Columbia University at Broadway and 116th Street.
The intersection of 116th Street and Broadway, is the location of the main entrance of Columbia University, the city's Ivy League school. Until the 1950s, the street ran uninterrupted through Morningside Heights from Riverside Drive to Morningside Park. In 1953, during Dwight D. Eisenhower's presidency at Columbia, however, the block between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue was permanently closed to vehicular traffic and was turned into a pedestrian way called "College Walk." The street had been ceded to Columbia in exchange for a payment of $1,000. 116th Street ends at Morningside Drive, at the top of the steep slope of Morningside Park.

East of Fifth Avenue, 116th Street has historically been the primary business hub of Spanish Harlem. From Lexington Avenue to First Avenue, the street is lined with businesses selling food, clothing, and other specialty and ethnically-specific goods to a Spanish-speaking clientele. East 116th Street terminates at FDR Drive, the site of the East River Plaza, a retail mall complex with large commercial tenants Costco, Target, Best Buy and Marshalls.

The 116th Street main, east-west thoroughfare portion of 116th Street begins again at Morningside Park and runs through central Harlem to Fifth Avenue. A large West African immigrant community has developed in central Harlem with stores, bakeries and cafés along 116th Street west of St. Nicholas Avenue. This 116th Street community has been called Little Senegal or Le Petit Senegal.
At Lenox Ave., the 116th Street runs past the Malcolm Shabazz Mosque, formerly the Muhammad Temple of Islam. The building was erected as the Lenox Casino.