Wayfinding System | Downtown Alliance

Wayfinding System

Our wayfinding system consists of three main components: new street signs, signs providing directions to major landmarks and subways, and Heritage Site markers and district maps.

Street Name Signs

The old green-and-white street signs have been replaced with elegant black-and-white signs. These signs contain the street name and range of address numbers on each block and feature photo images representing specific Lower Manhattan landmarks. As you walk the streets of Lower Manhattan, the street sign images change to represent the museum or major attraction that is closest to you.  Beginning in 2015, the Downtown Alliance will be installing illuminated street name signs, in the same iconic black-and-white style, along Broadway - these illuminated signs will provide enhances visibility to pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers.

Wayfinding Signs

Wayfinding signs have been mounted on poles at Lower Manhattan intersections. The bold, easy-to-spot, black-and-white signs include the photo image, titles, subway symbols, and a directional arrow for each of these. Large four-sided, freestanding orientations signs will include the same information as the pole-mounted signs.  In collaboration with the Department of Transportation, a new wayfinding system ("WalkNYC") is being installed throughout Lower Manhattan.  This new system provides "heads-up mapping" in which north, east, south, and west are rotated to be consistent with the direction the user is facing.

Heritage Site Markers and District Maps

Lower Manhattan is filled with dozens of famous monuments and landmarks. To call greater attention to the district’s architectural wonders and historic sites, the Downtown Alliance integrated its own tourism efforts with those of the not-for-profit Heritage Trails New York.

Site markers now stand in front of 25 of Lower Manhattan's most culturally significant places, explaining why each site is historically important. Some examples:

  • Federal Hall, where President George Washington was inaugurated
  • The Woolworth Building, one of New York's most elegant skyscrapers
  • Trinity Church, with its historic burial ground