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Celebrating 50 years of the NYC marathon

The 50th running of the New York City Marathon was delayed a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so this year the city found ways to celebrate the special occasion.
The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission launched a new initiative titled “50 for the 50th” to coincide with the historic race. Using an interactive online map, the project highlights 50 distinct New York landmarks that are either along or visible from the race route, with information on each site’s historic significance.
“The New York City Marathon is an awe-inspiring event that unites tens of thousands of athletes running for personal causes and personal bests and over a million spectators cheering them on all the way,” said commission chair Sarah Carroll. “With this story map, we want to highlight many of the significant landmarks and historic districts along the way that represent the city’s diverse history and architectural highlights.”
The story map follows the marathon route from start to finish, highlighting varied and stunning historic locations throughout the five boroughs, including many in Brooklyn and Queens.
After crossing over the Verrazano Bridge from Staten Island to Brooklyn to start the race, runners are encouraged to take in the views of Brooklyn’s historic Fort Hamilton and the Coney Island Parachute Jump in the distance.
As the race progresses down Fourth Avenue, the story map highlights the historic Doctor’s Row District in Bay Ridge, the Sunset Park South Historic District, the Dr. Maurice Lewis House, the Sunset Park Court House, and the gate to Green-Wood Cemetery.
Heading north through Park Slope and beyond, the map highlights the Williamsburgh Savings Bank Building, Fort Greene Historic District, Clinton Hill Historic District, Brooklyn Navy Yard, McCarren Park Play Center, and other fascinating locations.
Although the marathon route only passes through Queens for a short while as runners progress from the Pulaski Bridge to the Queensboro Bridge, the Landmarks Preservation Commission calls attention to a number of notable sites in Long Island City.
These include Fire Engine Company 258 on 47th Avenue, Hunter’s Point Historic District, and New York State Supreme Court House in Court Square.
“The 50 for the 50th interactive story map is a wonderful new and unique way to engage with our city’s landmarks, historic districts, and parkland while following the marathon route,” said Parks Commissioner Gabrielle Fialkoff. “The NYC Marathon offers the perfect opportunity to take in the city’s sights and sounds, and with this new map visitors can enjoy the marathon and learn about some of our city’s most historic landmarks along the way.”

The story map is still available to view online by visiting

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