108 Fifth Avenue

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Around the southwest corner of Fifth Avenue and West 16th Street is this tiny residential plaza. Two wooden benches nestled into the planter on West 16th Street employ metal dividers to create 15 seating slots and prevent slouching or sleeping. Adjacent ledges are lined with spiked rails. The Fifth Avenue portion of the space is extra sidewalk.

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6 User Submissions

  1. submitted by: Russ

    A few years ago when this building was doing some facade work they removed the benches “temporarily”. This POPS has been stripped of the required amenities. There is no plaque, no artwork, no seating, no water fountain, no ornamental water feature, no bicycle parking, and no litter receptacle other than the usual overflowing city garbage can on the corner. The owner or board of this building has failed to maintain the amenities and in fact actively removed them. Homeless people used to sit or sleep on the benches and that’s why I suspect they removed the benches but why did they remove everything else?

    • submitted by: roggie

      They are still doing construction and there are still no amenities.

      • submitted by: APOPS

        Thank you for the information. We will look into this and post a comment when we know more about it.

  2. submitted by: Sierra

    A sad excuse for a POP. This barely meets any of the requirements listed on the NYC Planning website. The first thing anyone might notice about the space is that is basically only consists of one large planter. Around the planter their are spikes, keeping anyone from sitting on the edge, this technique also keeps the homeless away. There are no recognizable seats. The apops.mas.org website suggests that there were once benches along the front, short side of the planter, but they were taken away during construction and do not seem to have been put back.

    According to some of the design principals, the POP should be “easily seen and read as open to the public.” This, however, looks like it is very much a part of the building, very closed off from the public. Even though it is on the same level of the sidewalk, which usually would suggest an invitational aspect. The planter, however, fills up the entire space, which basically makes the entire space a planter. There is only a thin border surrounding it. The planter itself could definitely use some sprucing up. The dead trees are not a very inviting sign. I have walked by this space a lot of times in my life and the trees have never been alive, which means that this is not a seasonal problem – it’s mainly just neglect.

    It’s almost hard to talk about this space because of everything it lacks. In one of my pictures you can see that there is trash piling along the side walk. This seems like a problem that can easily be fixed with a couple of trash can scattered around. The trash around the POP negatively impacts the experience for any pedestrian trying to relax there. This space seems like it can very easily be fixed. It would be nice to add a sculpture or plant some flowers in the planter.

  3. submitted by: Tom

    We (the class and I) visited this POPS as part of a Placemaking seminar that I conducted at Pratt Institute on July 30.
    It was generally the same condition as described below from a 2012 posting.
    There is no: artwork, drinking fountain, litter receptacles, plaque/ sign, seating (the wooden benches have been removed and the other seating has been obstructed with continuous spikes), or water feature. It is debatable whether the intent of the other requirements are fulfilled, but their condition is questionable.

  4. submitted by: Russ

    Construction has been over for five years, before my first comment in 2012. Flowers are put into the planter annually but no other amenities have been replaced. There is no plaque to alert the public that this is a POPS with required amenities. Photo is from Google Street View Nov 2016.