Lincoln Square BID

Lincoln Square’s Honorary Streets

Lincoln Square’s Honorary Streets

Can you tell me how to get to Sesame Street? How about Leonard Bernstein Place? If you've walked around Lincoln Square, chances are you’ve been to them, even if you didn’t realize it. These are just two of Lincoln Square’s honorary street names. Streets in all five NYC boroughs are routinely given honorary or secondary names based on local icons, institutions, or heroes who have frequented or impacted the area.

Since Local Law 28 was passed in 1992, honorary street names won’t change the city map, saving a costly and timely bureaucratic process, but they are all official names. Secondary street names must be proposed and approved by a City Council bill and then signed into law by the mayor before they are adopted. 

Lincoln Square has many honorary street names (plus Alvin Ailey Place, which moved in 2007), including the iconic Sesame Street on the southeast corner of 63rd Street and Broadway, and Peter Jennings Way on West 66th street, named after the longtime ABC News anchor. Here are all of Lincoln Square’s honorary street names, including who they are named after and where you can find them: 

Sesame Street – Named in 2019 for the 50th anniversary of the beloved children’s TV show, which is headquartered at 1 Lincoln Plaza, Sesame Street is found at the southeast corner of 63rd Street and Broadway. Mayor De Blasio and City Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal joined Big Bird, Cookie Monster, Elmo, and more friends from the show for the grand reveal, as well as parents and children. Representatives from the Lincoln Square BID were also present at this joyous ceremony.

bernstein Leonard Bernstein Place – Named after Leonard Bernstein, the famed conductor and longtime music director of the New York Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein Place is on West 65th Street Between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue. Bernstein also notably composed music for Broadway musicals, including the hit West Side Story set in San Juan Hill, the nickname of the Lincoln Square neighborhood.

John Lawe Street – Named after former president of the Transport Union John Lawe, John Lawe Street is on the northwest corner of West 64th Street and Amsterdam Avenue.

balanchine George Balanchine Way – Named after George Balanchine, the famed ballet composer who co-founded the New York City Ballet, George Balanchine Way is on West 63rd Street between Columbus Avenue and Broadway.

Alvin Ailey Place – Named after choreographer Alvin Ailey, who founded the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Alvin Ailey Place was originally on West 61st Street, where the company had its studios until it moved to West 55th Street. The honorary street was then renamed in 2007 when the company moved. Alvin Ailey Place is now on the Northwest corner of West 55th Street and 9th Avenue. However, there is still a street sign for Alvin Ailey Place on West 61st street.

jeromerobbinsJerome Robbins Place – Named after American ballet master Jerome Robbins, Jerome Robbins Place is located at the intersection of West 62nd Street and Columbus Avenue. Robbins also famously conceived the Broadway musical West Side Story, set in this Upper West Side neighborhood, as well as directed and choreographed the original 1957 production.

Power Memorial Way – Named after Power Memorial Academy, the high school where Kareem Abdul-Jabbar played basketball, Power Memorial Way is located at the intersection of West 61st Street and Amsterdam Avenue. The school closed in 1983 and it is now the location of the Alfred Condominium.

jacquesdamboise Jacques d’Amboise Place – Named after Jacques d’Amboise, the renowned ballet dancer who founded the National Dance Institute and was a principal dancer and choreographer at the New York City Ballet,  Jacques d’Amboise Place is at the northwest corner of West 64th Street and Columbus Avenue.  

P.O. Calabrese and P.O. Keegan Plaza – Named after NYPD Officers Seraphin Calabrese and Joseph Keegan, who were both killed while on duty at the Columbus Circle subway station, P.O. Calabrese and P.O. Keegan Plaza is found on the southeast corner of 60th Street and Broadway.  

peterjenningsway Peter Jennings Way – Named after Peter Jennings, one of America's most distinguished journalists who served as anchor and senior editor of ABC's World News Tonight for over two decades, Peter Jennings Way is on West 66th Street between Columbus Avenue and Central Park West, the block that is home to the ABC News headquarters. Family and friends of Jennings, ABC News President David Westin, and Mayor Bloomberg attended the dedication. Representatives from the Lincoln Square BID were also present at the ceremony, which paid tribute to the legacy Jennings left on New York, journalism, and his viewers.

PCS Way – Named after the Professional Children’s School at West 60th street, PCS Way is found along West 60th Street between the southwest corner of Columbus Avenue and the southeast corner of Amsterdam Avenue. 

For more information about NYC’s honorary street names and a comprehensive list of all the secondary street names in all five boroughs named after 1992, visit the NYCStreets website. To see all of the honorary street names within Manhattan Community Board 7, which includes Lincoln Square and the Upper West Side, visit the CB7 website

Main Photo Credit: Sesame Street

Lincoln Square BID intern Matthias Lai, a student at Fordham University at Lincoln Center, wrote this story.