151 West 54th Street

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This one-story, covered outdoor through block connection linking West 54th and 55th Streets between Sixth and Seventh Avenues is the fourth link in the six-block chain from West 51st to 57th Streets. Situated to the east of its host building, it is singularly designed for movement. The southern half is covered with an opaque, vaulted ceiling and largely enclosed by brick wall. The northern half feels more open, covered with a transparent vaulted ceiling that would benefit from a regular schedule of cleaning to take full advantage of the natural light. To the west is an unusual glimpse of back yards attached to nearby apartments.

Although the host building is a hotel, this space has no physical or functional connection to it whatsoever, in apparent conflict with standards articulated in the Zoning Resolution, and no record of approval for such a contradiction has been found. It is instructive to compare this through block connection with the one at Millennium Broadway. What is gained in clarity here – this is unambiguously a public space – may be offset by what is lost in high finish and excitement provided by a shared lobby. The other spaces in the six-block chain include the through block gallerias at PaineWebber, the Flatotel, and 1325 Avenue of the Americas to the south, and the through block connections at CitySpire and Metropolitan Tower to the north.

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

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