The Times Would Like to See a Number on Every New York City Building Already

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Being a dive bar is not an acceptable excuse. Photo: Tim Sohn

The New York Times has been upset for quite some time about the lack of clearly visible street addresses on buildings in the city, and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer is finally taking up the cause.

This is hardly a new phenomenon. “The vogue of numerology has certainly not extended to theatres nor to many of the stores, shops and office buildings in the theatrical district,” The New York Times fulminated 81 years ago under the large headline “Elusive New York House Numbers.”

While buildings without addresses are mainly just annoying, Stringer is concerned by the danger they pose in emergency situations. Stinger's office conducted a random survey of heavily trafficked areas in Manhattan and found that about 40 percent of them were not clearly marked with street addresses. Eighth Avenue from 42nd Street to 59th Street was the worst offender. He is turning to the Department of Sanitation to clean up the rash of infractions, which are punishable by a $25 fine. Consider yourself warned.

A Perpetual Urban Problem: Buildings Without Numbers [NYT]