An Architectural Guide to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Route

The 85th Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday, November 24, 2011 beginning at 9 a.m. will follow a path from Central Park West at 77th Street down to Columbus Circle, then take a quick jog east on Central Park South before heading down 7th Avenue to 42nd Street. Here the parade takes another little jog east to 6th Avenue and then continues south to 34th Street. The finale moves one block west on 34th to Herald Square, the location of Macy's.

Balloons from an earlier year try to pump themselves up the night before the big parade.

Whether following the parade in person or on television, take notice of some of the famous New York buildings that line the parade route.

Columbus Circle
Old and new buildings of varying architectural distinction line the avenues and streets. The beginning of the parade in the northern sections includes the beautiful apartment buildings along Central Park West, including the San Remo, Dakota, and Century Apartments. Also at the very beginning, look for the newly restored New York Historical Society at 77th Street.

Columbus Circle on the southwest corner of Central Park should look familiar to viewers with its Time Warner buildings, CNN, and the Museum of Arts & Design. Turning south on 7th Avenue, Carnegie Hall comes into view at the 57th Street cultural corridor, followed by the Carnegie Deli and Stage Deli. Also look for the large Sheraton New York Hotel and Towers at 53rd St., designed in 1962 by architect Morris Lapidus. Below 47th Street, the parade arrives at Times Square, creating a spectacle of visual excess. The parade makes another turn next to Bryant Park before heading down to Macy's. At the park turn, keep an eye out for the brown and gold Bryant Park Hotel, also known in architectural circles as the American Radiator Building.

Click the map to enlarge for detailed placemarks and brief descriptions. Switching over to Street View would provide a simulation of the experience.

Click here for the official Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade website.

Macy's at 34th Street. Herald Square.

The day and night before: Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloon Inflation. Wednesday, November 23, 2011, approximately 3:00 – 10:00 p.m. Central Park West and Columbus Avenue on 77th and 81st Streets. A fun alternative way to see the balloons. Go early, as the event can get crowded.

Image by Walking Off the Big Apple from 2008 from the night before Thanksgiving.

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