101 Barclay Street

Entered from the north side of Barclay Street or the west side of Greenwich Street, this L-shaped public lobby features a visually dramatic, glass-topped, office-lined atrium carved out of the building’s center. Its vast internal volume, cylindrical elevator core, and antiseptically clean white color scheme are evocative of a hangar for a space vehicle as much as a commercial office building lobby. In previous years, a large American flag hung from the cylindrical elevator core, introducing additional primary colors to the space. No seating or other functional amenities are present. A pedestrian easement along Murray Street is effectively additional sidewalk. Several benches are provided in and near the easement.

The building currently does not permit public passage into its private lobby, let alone through the lobby and out to Murray Street. At one time, a second-floor elevated walkway running south-to-north through the building from Barclay to Murray Streets was required by the Washington Street Urban Renewal Plan and a City Planning Commission special permit. Initially prepared in 1961, the Plan viewed development on this lot as one part of a larger project and wanted to ensure an intelligent pedestrian circulation system. To that end, the Plan called for pedestrian bridges spanning Murray Street and Barclay Street, and an elevated pedestrian walkway, envisioned as a second-floor loggia in the building, between the two. Over time, however, the Plan was amended and requirements for the two over-street bridges were dropped. Although the owner of 101 Barclay Street previously applied for permission to substitute a street-level pedestrian easement through its lobby from Barclay to Murray Streets for the second-floor loggia, that application was withdrawn by the owner. Thus, the legal status of the interior elevated pedestrian walkway has never been fully resolved, and future discussions between the City and owner are anticipated.

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

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