40 West 57th Street

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This through block arcade connecting West 56th and 57th Streets between Fifth and Sixth Avenues represents the “Model T” of through block arcades. Open to the air on both sides and bereft of functional amenities, it serves the singular purpose of providing a one-block covered shortcut for pedestrians. While this sort of simplicity is permitted by the Zoning Resolution, not all through block arcades take this tack. For example, although the HarperCollins through block arcade is similarly stripped of functional amenities, it presents a sleek design and becomes more useful by forging a two-block chain with the covered pedestrian space at Olympic Tower. More ambitiously, the through block arcade at Park Avenue Plaza furnishes a climate-controlled environment that provides seating, tables, a food kiosk, and public restrooms. Interestingly, both this and the Park Avenue Plaza through block arcades received the same floor area bonus per square foot. The plaza space is divided into strips along West 57th and 56th Street building frontages.

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

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