|Medison Avenue Market by Raúl Rausa|
Madison Avenue is a north-south avenue in the borough of Manhattan in New York City, United States, that carries northbound one-way traffic. It runs from Madison Square (at 23rd Street) to the Madison Avenue Bridge at 138th Street. In doing so, it passes through Midtown, the Upper East Side (including Carnegie Hill), Spanish Harlem, and Harlem. It is named after and arises from Madison Square, which is itself named after James Madison, the fourth President of the United States. Since the 1920s, the street's name has been synonymous with the American advertising industry.
Madison Avenue was not part of the original New York City street grid established in the Commissioners' Plan of 1811, and was carved between Park Avenue (formerly Fourth) and Fifth Avenue in 1836, due to the effort of lawyer and real estate developer Samuel B. Ruggles, a graduate of Yale University who had previously purchased and developed New York's Gramercy Park in 1831, who was in part responsible for the development of Union Square, and who also named Lexington Avenue.
Madison Avenue carries one-way traffic uptown (northbound) from 23rd Street to 135th Street, with the changeover from two-way traffic taking place on January 14, 1966, at which time Fifth Avenue was changed to one way downtown (southbound)
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The term "Madison Avenue" is often used metonymically for advertising, and Madison Avenue became identified with the American advertising industry after the explosive growth in this area in the 1920s. According to "The Emergence of Advertising in America" by the year 1861 there were twenty advertising agencies in New York City, and in 1911, the New York City Association of Advertising Agencies was founded, predating the establishment of the American Association of Advertising Agencies by several years. Among various depictions in popular culture, the portion of the advertising industry which centers on Madison Avenue serves as a backdrop for the AMC television drama Mad Men, which focuses on industry activities during the 1960s. In recent decades, many agencies have left Madison Avenue, with some moving further downtown and others moving west. Today, only a few agencies are still located in the old business cluster on Madison Avenue, including Young & Rubicam, StrawberryFrog, TBWA Worldwide and Doyle Dane Bernbach. However, the term is still used to describe the agency business as a whole and large, New York–based agencies in particular.
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