NUMBER 17 W 70th St, a small apartment building of blond stone on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, stands between neighbouring buildings numbered 19 and 15 - but you wouldn't know it.
There are no address numbers on 17's glass awning, and like many buildings in New York City, no address anywhere in sight of the street. In fact, only on a rubber mat tucked inside a vestibule does the address appear, underfoot.
Anonymous buildings have long peppered the city, confounding and aggravating tourists, locals, takeout deliverers and movers. But it is an omission that can do more than delay dinner: It can potentially impede fire trucks and ambulances responding to an emergency.
While city regulations...