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Thread: 55 Water Street: New Plaza Designs

  1. #1

    Default 55 Water Street: New Plaza Designs

    The elevated public plaza at 55 Water street now.

    Renderings of new design:

    View of proposed plaza entry from Old Slip, to the north.

    View of the redesigned entry from Water Street.

    Proposed ice rink.

    View of proposed landscaping, looking east.

    View of escarpment.

  2. #2

    Default 55 Water Street; New Plaza Designs

    If only the building could be reclad, too.

  3. #3
    Moderator NYatKNIGHT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Manhattan - South Village

    Default 55 Water Street; New Plaza Designs

    Anything will be an improvement, especially with regard to access to the plaza. Now, even when walking by it no one knows it's there.

  4. #4

    Default 55 Water Street; New Plaza Designs

    I really like it. Actually, I'd like anything new down there, save for Gehry's Guggenheim. Nevertheless, the project looks pretty interesting, and it would probably be a great addition to the Water Street area.

  5. #5

    Default 55 Water Street; New Plaza Designs

    Heh, I like it too. But the building itself is still horrible.

  6. #6
    Forum Veteran
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    New York City

    Default 55 Water Street; New Plaza Designs

    Yeah, it'd be nice if they could reclad the building itself, like Fabb said before.

  7. #7


    Rogers Marvel Architects (2002)

    I was walking by here today and noticed that the steps are no longer blocked-off. I took the opportunity to take some photos:

    Construction workers look friendly enough; I think I'll go on up for a better view.

    Last edited by asg; August 5th, 2005 at 03:36 PM.

  8. #8


    More pics:

  9. #9


    And even more pics:

  10. #10


    Bored yet? No? Good, then here are some more.

    Not sure how much longer construction will last on this. Does anyone know if the connection down to Old Slip is still part of the project? I didn't see any provisions for it.

  11. #11


    May 20-26, 2003

    Work readies to spruce up Water St. plaza

    By Jane Flanagan

    Most people walking by don’t know that the long, outdoor escalator at 55 Water St. just south of Wall St., leads to a park with a gorgeous view of the East River. Even if they do know, few are tempted to use it. The park is all but devoid of greenery; it is, instead, a mass of dingy concrete. In addition, all that protects parkgoers – notably small children – from a 50-foot drop to the F.D.R, is a single, thin chord.

    All that is about to change.

    Work will soon begin to transform the elevated plaza into a lushly landscaped park with a 7,000 square foot, hopefully, grass plaza. It will also include a tower, surrounded by ramps to afford even better views of the river. The tower, known as “the beacon,” will shine light on the park for evening concerts and other events.

    “It won’t be the great lawn at Central Park, but for the Financial District it will be pretty nice,” said Ken Smith, the project’s landscape architect.

    Benches as well as moveable tables and chairs will also be installed.

    Smith said that he hopes people will use it the way they do Bryant Park for eating lunch and enjoying local events like those sponsored by the Tribeca Film Festival.

    The architects indicated that it’s not absolutely certain that grass is feasible for the upper-story plaza but said they are making every effort to use it. Ray O’Keefe, chairperson of C.B. 1’s Financial District Committee, where the architects presented the plans last week, said the issue was a key one.

    “The material is going to be very important,” said O’Keefe. “If you have a hard surface, not only is it ugly, but skateboarders will use it,” he said.

    This park is unusual in that it is two stories above ground level, something of a barrier to attracting passersby. The architects are hoping to attract them by transforming the existing staircase into a series of steps broken up by attractive landscaped plateaus. The escalators will continue to operate and the park will be will be handicap accessible via elevators inside the building.

    The park will also cantilever out over the F.D.R. affording both more square footage and some degree of soundproofing. The flimsy railings will also be replaced.

    O’Keefe inquired about the success of other raised parks.

    “When this one is finished, it will be the first raised park,” laughed Smith.

    O’Keefe applauded the design.

    “It’s a difficult space,” he said. “From what I’ve seen you have worked very creatively to make it the best it can be. And you are not doing it cheaply. I think that’s laudable,” he said.

    Work will begin in a few weeks and will take approximately 15 months to complete. It is scheduled to open in July 2004 and will be closed throughout the construction.

  12. #12


    Does the glass thing have a function?


    The beacon thing - got it.

    Last edited by Jasonik; August 5th, 2005 at 04:21 PM.

  13. #13


    The terraced part of the building is cool and the plaza will be another nice open space downtown to just gaze and awe at whats around you.......but the main building sucks. Most would agree. But for the things I mentioned it's better than its neighbor NY Plaza.

    When's construction going to be done?

  14. #14
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    Stern: Excellent Covert Action on your part!!

    If anyone has a soccer ball I say we meet this weekend for a match.

    This is such a great improvement over what used to be up there.

  15. #15


    Quote Originally Posted by lofter1
    Stern: Excellent Covert Action on your part!!

    If anyone has a soccer ball I say we meet this weekend for a match.

    This is such a great improvement over what used to be up there.
    Thanks. I’d be interested in a baseball game, I’m not into soccer.

    On a side note this revamped plaza effectively kills a 500,000 sq.ft. addition to 55 Water Street. I wonder if the air rights could be transferred to another nearby site and allow for a slender residential tower, either to the waterfront or the firehouse to the north.

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