broadway street sign NYC

Famous New York Signs: Broadway

Another of New York Cities famously iconic signs, the “Broadway” street sign stands watch over an avenue that is far more than just another busy Manhattan thoroughfare. Indeed, Broadway,  sometimes referred to as “The Great White Way”, has become a primary symbol of American culture and a modern Mecca of the performing arts, and occupies a central place in the history of the perhaps the greatest city of the modern era.

It is the oldest north–south main thoroughfare in New York City, dating to the first New Amsterdam settlement. The name Broadway is the English literal translation of the Dutch name, Breede weg. Broadway is known worldwide as the heart of the American theatre industry

Additionally, Broadway marks the boundary between Greenwich Village to the west and the East Village to the east.

One famous stretch near Times Square, where Broadway crosses Seventh Avenue in midtown Manhattan, is the home of many Broadway theatres, housing an ever-changing array of commercial, large-scale plays, particularly musicals. This area of Manhattan is often called the Theater District or the Great White Way, a nickname originating in the headline “Found on the Great White Way” in the February 3, 1902 edition of the New York Evening Telegram. The journalistic nickname was inspired by the millions of lights on theater marquees and commercial billboard advertisements that illuminate the area.