175 East 96th Street

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The surface of this slightly sunken, sunny residential plaza on the north side of East 96th Street west of its host building and Third Avenue is almost completely covered by four large, green-walled planters sporting tightly clipped box hedges and trees. Looking down at the space from the sidewalk, the plaza layout appears mazelike among the hedges. Narrow stairwells along the sidewalk perimeter provide access, although at a recent site visit, most of these stairwells were blocked by metal wire gates. No record of City approval for closing any of its entrances has been located.

Photo: Kayden, et al. (2000)
Photo: Kayden et al. (2000)

Given the large footprints of the planters, open space is scarce. Parklike benches nestled within planter ledges along western and northern borders, and two round benches at the eastern side next to the building lobby supply seating. At the rear and to the east is visual residual space that ultimately leads to a sports club at the back of the building. A stone sculpture is next to the building entrance on East 96th Street. Along Third Avenue is a sliver of usable residual space and some visual residual space going around the corner to East 97th Street.

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