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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Prestige of Fifth Avenue Cows U.S. Postal Service

NEW YORK -- A road by any other name would not sound so sweet. So when the U.S. Postal Service tried to rename a particularly posh strip of Fifth Avenue, residents of Manhattan's Upper East Side complained.


Loudly. And, as it turns out, successfully.


The leader was Marcy Pedas Sigler, who had lived on Fifth Avenue since 1973 -- until she opened her mail last week and discovered her once-prestigious address had been changed to a pedestrian "1080 Museum Mile.''


The city started using the name Museum Mile for the 22-block stretch from 82nd Street to 104th Street in 1981. There are 10 museums on Museum Mile -- including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim and the Cooper-Hewitt -- and all use a Fifth Avenue address.


While the city frequently provides street aliases -- Fashion Avenue for Seventh Avenue, Avenue of the Americas for Sixth Avenue -- people move to Fifth Avenue for a reason.


It's known internationally, easily identifiable to folks from Tennessee to Tokyo. And the location -- opposite Central Park, amid the museums -- makes it one of the city's most desirable addresses.


Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis' Fifth Avenue apartment at East 85th Street is reportedly on the market for $9 million. Would an address of 1040 Museum Mile sound as good -- or sell for as much?


One of Sigler's neighbors, Dr. Brian Coan, was bemused by the notice of a new address. "I always thought the purpose of an address is so you can find stuff,'' he joked.


But others weren't laughing. Sigler received nine calls from other angry tenants in her building. Coan had problems getting his mother's pension check because of the changing addresses. Doctors, businesses and residents began computing the cost of new business cards and stationery.


When they finished the math, it added up to some angry people. The Post Office said Wednesday that it had moved to defuse the controversy by allowing residents to use either address, Museum Mile or Fifth Avenue.


"If there was any confusion caused by our card, we apologize,'' said postal spokeswoman Pat McGovern. "There is another letter going out to clarify things.''


Of course, some people were never confused in the first place.


"Fifth Avenue is Fifth Avenue,'' said Harold Holzer, spokesman for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, opposite Jackie O's old place. "We will remain 1000 Fifth Avenue.''