311 East 38th Street

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The main part of this residential plaza extends north, from the northwest corner of the Midtown Tunnel Access Road and East 38th Street, between First and Second Avenues. Although hidden behind construction scaffolding and padlocked gate at a recent site visit, when accessible the plaza makes a consequential dent in the neighborhood’s quest for green public open space, providing a small fountain, trees and bushes, seating, and a secluded area at the rear.

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

Entered through a gate, past flanking planters filled with trees, the narrow, deep, rectangular space parallels the eastern side of the building next to its unbonused arcade lined with tall columns. A semicircular fountain and pool are framed by landscaping. Further north, up several steps, is a distinct area surrounded by wood benches attached to planter walls. The sun bounces off the yellow brick wall at back to warm and lighten what might otherwise be a cold and dark atmosphere. The remaining ribbon of residential plaza adorns the front of the building and the front door on East 38th Street.

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