Avenue (landscape)

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Tree avenue in Normandy, France Tree alley.jpg
Tree avenue in Normandy, France
An avenue at Alexandra Park, London Alexandra park avenue.jpg
An avenue at Alexandra Park, London

In landscaping, an avenue (from the French), alameda (from the Portuguese and Spanish), or allée (from the French), is traditionally a straight path or road with a line of trees or large shrubs running along each side, which is used, as its Latin source venire ("to come") indicates, to emphasize the "coming to," or arrival at a landscape or architectural feature. In most cases, the trees planted in an avenue will be all of the same species or cultivar, so as to give uniform appearance along the full length of the avenue.


The French term allée is used for avenues planted in parks and landscape gardens, as well as boulevards such as the Grande Allée in Quebec City, Canada, and Karl-Marx-Allee in Berlin.


The avenue is one of the oldest ideas in the history of gardens. An Avenue of Sphinxes still leads to the tomb of the pharaoh Hatshepsut. Avenues similarly defined by guardian stone lions lead to the Ming tombs in China. British archaeologists have adopted highly specific criteria for "avenues" within the context of British archaeology.

Hobbema's The Avenue at Middelharnis, 1689 Meindert Hobbema 001.jpg
Hobbema's The Avenue at Middelharnis , 1689
Avenues around and radiating from, Ragley Hall, 1710s, by Johannes Kip Ragleyhall by Kip edited.jpg
Avenues around and radiating from, Ragley Hall, 1710s, by Johannes Kip

In French formal garden Baroque landscape design style, avenues of trees that were centered upon the dwelling radiated across the landscape. See the avenues in the Gardens of Versailles or Het Loo. Other late 17th-century French and Dutch landscapes, [1] in that intensely ordered and flat terrain, fell naturally into avenues; Meindert Hobbema, in The Avenue at Middelharnis (1689) presents such an avenue in farming country, neatly flanked at regular intervals by rows of young trees that have been rigorously limbed up; his central vanishing point mimics the avenue's propensity to draw the spectator forwards along it. [2]

In Austria-Hungary, the fashion for establishing representative avenues appeared as early as the Renaissance and reached its peak in the Baroque period. Avenues lined the access roads to chateaus and manors, as well as pilgrimage routes and Stations of the Cross. The manorial landscape architecture was followed by "folk landscaping" with wayside chapels, crosses and shrines accompanied by trees. Later, Maria Theresa decreed in 1752 to plant trees along the new imperial roads for economic, aesthetic, orientation and safety reasons. Most avenues were created during the reigns of Maria Theresa and Joseph II. At the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries, new landscaping came from England, and formal aesthetics were replaced by the aesthetics of the natural landscape. During Napoleonic wars, pyramidal poplars became a new element, popular due their fast growth and distinctive shape. Also in the middle of the 19th century, when the construction of imperial roads continued, but at the same time a network of non-state side roads was created, the law ordered the planting of avenues along them, especially fruit trees and mulberries. Many baroque alleys have aged and been felled, and fruit tree alleys have become increasingly popular. At the time of the development of motoring, the oldest avenues often hinder the widening and modernization of rural roads and are the subject of dispute between conservationists and traffic safety requirements. [3]


An avenue of hoop pines in Sydney, Australia WilliamLawsonDr.jpg
An avenue of hoop pines in Sydney, Australia

To enhance the approach to mansions or manor houses, avenues were planted along the entrance drive. Sometimes the avenues are in double rows on each side of a road. Trees preferred for avenues were selected for their height and speed of growth, such as poplar, beech, lime, and horse chestnut. [4] In the American antebellum era South, the southern live oak was typically used, because the trees created a beautiful shade canopy.

Sometimes tree avenues were designed to direct the eye toward some distinctive architectural building or feature, such as a chapels, gazebos, or architectural follies. [5]

Street name

Alameda Dom Afonso Henriques in Lisbon, Portugal Alameda (24905213894).jpg
Alameda Dom Afonso Henriques in Lisbon, Portugal


Avenue as a street name in French, Spanish (avenida) and other languages implies a large straight street in a city, often created as part of a large scheme of urban planning such as Baron Haussmann's remodelling of Paris or the L'Enfant Plan for Washington D.C.; "avenues" will typically be the main roads. This pattern is very often followed in the United States, indeed all the Americas, but in the United Kingdom this sense is less strong and the name is used more randomly, mostly for suburban streets developed in the 20th century, though Western and Eastern Avenues in London are main traffic arteries out of the city, if not very straight.


In cities which have a grid-based naming system, such as the borough of Manhattan in New York City, there may be a convention that the streets called avenues run parallel in one direction – roughly north–south in the case of Manhattan – while "streets" run at 90 degrees to them across the avenues; roughly east–west in Manhattan. In Washington, DC the avenues radiate from the centre running diagonally across the grid of streets, which follows typical French usage of the name (in France "boulevards" are often main roads running round the city centre). In Phoenix, Arizona, "the avenues" can colloquially mean "the west side of town", due to the numbered north–south-running roads being called "Avenues" in the western part of the city, separated from the eastern "Streets" by a "Central Avenue". Similarly, "the avenues" in San Francisco, California refers to the Richmond District and the Sunset District, the two neighborhoods on the Pacific coast, north and south of Golden Gate Park, respectively.

In Anglophone urban or suburban settings, "avenue" is one of the usual suite of words used in street names, along with "boulevard", "circle", "court", "drive", "lane", "place", "road", "street", "terrace", "way", "gate" and so on, any of which may carry connotations as to the street's size, importance, or function. Avenues were usually lined with trees when first built, although many avenues have lost their trees to make way for overhead wiring, parking or to allow light into properties.

Notable avenues

See also

Related Research Articles

An alameda is a street or path lined with trees and may refer to:

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Paseo de la Reforma</span> Wide avenue in Mexico City

Paseo de la Reforma is a wide avenue that runs diagonally across the heart of Mexico City. It was designed at the behest of Emperor Maximilian by Ferdinand von Rosenzweig during the era of the Second Mexican Empire and modeled after the great boulevards of Europe, such as the Ringstraße in Vienna and the Champs-Élysées in Paris. The planned grand avenue was to link the National Palace with the imperial residence, Chapultepec Castle, which was then on the southwestern edge of town. The project was originally named Paseo de la Emperatriz in honor of Maximilian's consort Empress Carlota. After the fall of the Empire and Maximilian's subsequent execution, the Restored Republic renamed the Paseo in honor of the La Reforma.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Alley</span> Narrow street that usually runs between, behind, or within buildings

An alley or alleyway is a narrow lane, path, or passageway, often reserved for pedestrians, which usually runs between, behind, or within buildings in the older parts of towns and cities. It is also a rear access or service road, or a path, walk, or avenue in a park or garden.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Boulevard</span> Wide road with buildings on sides

A boulevard is a type of broad avenue planted with rows of trees, or in parts of North America, any urban highway.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Esplanade</span> Long, open, level area near a river or larger water body

An esplanade or promenade is a long, open, level area, usually next to a river or large body of water, where people may walk. The historical definition of esplanade was a large, open, level area outside fortress or city walls to provide clear fields of fire for the fortress's guns. In modern usage, the space allows the area to be paved as a pedestrian walk; esplanades are often on sea fronts and allow walking whatever the state of the tide, without having to walk on the beach.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Carlton Gardens</span> Garden in Melbourne, Australia

The Carlton Gardens is a World Heritage Site located on the northeastern edge of the Central Business District in the suburb of Carlton, in Melbourne, Australia. A popular picnic and barbecue area, the heritage-listed Carlton Gardens are home to an array of wildlife, including brushtail possums.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Street name</span> Identifying name given to a street or road

A street name is an identifying name given to a street or road. In toponymic terminology, names of streets and roads are referred to as odonyms or hodonyms. The street name usually forms part of the address. Buildings are often given numbers along the street to further help identify them. Odonymy is the study of road names.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Washington Park, Denver</span> United States historic place

Washington Park is a neighborhood and public urban park in Denver, Colorado. The Washington Park is a blend of historic and contemporary styles of architecture. The park was first developed by Architect Reinhard Schuetze in 1899. Its design was influenced by city planner Kessler, the Olmsted Brothers and philanthropist Margaret "Molly" Brown. The park is popular with both tourists and area residents, with some comparing it to New York City's Central Park. Apart from activities such as walking, biking or volleyball, the park serves as a center for community gatherings, such as the annual Furry Scurry. Wedding receptions are often held in the historic boathouse pavilion. In 2012 the American Planning Association designated the park one of its “Great Public Spaces in America”.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sanssouci Park</span> UNESCO World Heritage Site in Brandenburg, Germany

Sanssouci Park is a large park surrounding Sanssouci Palace in Potsdam, Germany, built under Frederick the Great in the mid-18th centurys. Following the terracing of the vineyard and the completion of the palace, the surroundings were included in the structure. A Baroque flower garden with lawns, flower beds, hedges and trees was created. In the hedge quarter 3,000 fruit trees were planted. The greenhouses of the numerous nurseries contained oranges, melons, peaches and bananas. The goddesses Flora and Pomona, who decorate the entrance obelisk at the eastern park exit, were placed there to highlight the connection of a flower, fruit and vegetable garden. Along with the Sanssouci Palace and other nearby palaces and parks, Sanssouci Park was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1990 for its unique architectural unity and testimony to 18th and 19th century landscaping in Europe.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Alameda (Santiago)</span> Avenue in Santiago, Chile

Avenida Libertador General Bernardo O'Higgins, popularly known as La Alameda, is the main avenue of Santiago, Chile. It runs east-west in the centre of the greater urban area and is 7.77 km (4.83 mi) long, and it has up to 5 lanes in each direction. It was named after Chile's founding father Bernardo O'Higgins. It was originally a branch of the Mapocho River.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Polanco, Mexico City</span> Neighborhood in Mexico City

Polanco is a neighborhood in the Miguel Hidalgo borough of Mexico City. Polanco is an affluent colonia, noted for its luxury shopping along Presidente Masaryk Avenue, the most expensive street in Mexico, as well as for the numerous prominent cultural institutions located within the neighborhood.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">The Paseo (Kansas City, Missouri)</span> Major roadway in Kansas City, Missouri

The Paseo is a major north–south parkway in Kansas City, Missouri. As the city's first major boulevard, it runs approximately 10 miles (16 km) through the center of the city: from Cliff Drive and Lexington Avenue on the bluffs above the Missouri River in the Pendleton Heights historic neighborhood, to 85th Street and Woodland Avenue. The parkway holds 223 acres (0.90 km2) of boulevard parkland dotted with several Beaux-Arts-style decorative structures and architectural details maintained by the city's Parks and Recreation department.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Avenida Leandro N. Alem</span> Street in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Avenida Leandro N. Alem is one of the principal thoroughfares in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and a commercial nerve center of the city's San Nicolás and Retiro districts. It joins Avenida del Libertador and Avenida Paseo Colón, its northern and southern continuation respectively.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Padre Burgos Avenue</span> Street in Manila, Philippines

Padre Burgos Avenue, also known as Padre Burgos Street, is a 14-lane thoroughfare in Manila, Philippines.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Paseo del Prado, Havana</span> Promenade in Havana, Cuba

Paseo del Prado is a street and promenade in Havana, Cuba, near the location of the old city wall, and the division between Centro Habana and Old Havana. Technically, the Paseo del Prado includes the entire length of Paseo Martí approximately from the Malecon to Calle Máximo Gómez, the Fuente de la India fountain. The promenade has had several names; it was renamed Paseo de Martí in 1898 with the island's independence from Spain. Despite the historic references, the people of Havana simply call it "El Prado".

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Baroque garden</span>

The Baroque garden was a style of garden based upon symmetry and the principle of imposing order on nature. The style originated in the late-16th century in Italy, in the gardens of the Vatican and the Villa Borghese gardens in Rome and in the gardens of the Villa d'Este in Tivoli, and then spread to France, where it became known as the jardin à la française or French formal garden. The grandest example is found in the Gardens of Versailles designed during the 17th century by the landscape architect André Le Nôtre for Louis XIV. In the 18th century, in imitation of Versailles, very ornate Baroque gardens were built in other parts of Europe, including Germany, Austria, Spain, and in Saint-Petersburg, Russia. In the mid-18th century the style was replaced by the less geometric and more natural English landscape garden.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jean-Pierre Barillet-Deschamps</span>

Jean-Pierre Barillet-Deschamps was a French horticulturist and landscape architect. He was the chief gardener of Paris during the reign of Emperor Napoleon III, and was responsible for planting the great gardens of the French Second Empire; the Bois de Boulogne, the Bois de Vincennes, Parc Montsouris, Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, the remaking of the Luxembourg Garden, and many smaller Parisian parks and gardens. He was also responsible for planting trees along the new boulevards of Paris. His landscape gardens, with their lakes, winding paths, sloping lawns, groves of exotic trees and flower beds, had a large influence on public parks throughout Europe and in the United States.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Palm Trees Park</span> Park in Pontevedra (Spain)

The Palm Trees Park, also known simply as Las Palmeras, is a public park in the heart of Pontevedra in Spain. It is the most representative and emblematic green area in the city centre, together with the Alameda de Pontevedra.


  1. E. De Jong, Erik Jong, Ann Langenakens Dutch Garden and Landscape Architecture, 1650-1740. University of Pennsylvania Press pages 228. 2000 ISBN   9780812235432
  2. Painting of the Month. "Special Feature: The Long Road Home". National Gallery, London .
  3. Historie alejí, Arnika
  4. Muir, Richard (2004). Landscape Encyclopedia. London: Windgather Press. p. 7. ISBN   978-0-9545575-1-5.
  5. Muir 2004, p.7.