Manhattan’s 13-mile stretch of Broadway — as you’ve heard us say many times — has an extraordinary history. Thanks to its unique path up the length of the island, it crosses through a wide variety of fascinating neighborhoods and historical eras.
And as it turns out — it also makes for a beautiful stroll.
Thirteen Miles of Architecture and History
William J. Hennessey
The Monacelli Press
Walking Broadway, a self-guided walking tour book by art historian William J. Hennessey, discovers all the brilliant architecture along New York’s most famous street and maps them out in a clean and easy-to-follow manner.
Broken up into 14 different walks, the guide presents the most architecturally significant structures with short descriptions, at a higher and more intriguing level of detail than a standard tour book.
Broadway architecture requires a different way of observing it. There are few townhouses or short buildings; most everything in Walking Broadway is grand and stately and sometimes quite heavenly.
To fully appreciate the treasures identified in Hennessey’s book, one may have to cross the street to get a better look.
You can break up your tour of Broadway over several days or weeks — or just be adventurous and walk the entire 13 mile route.
And for a truly hardcore history-geek experience, listen to the Bowery Boys podcast interview with Fran Leadon, the author of Broadway: A History of New York in 13 Miles. as you stroll along. (
You can find it by scrolling down to our show on your favorite podcast player and locating episode #267. Or you can play it from here: