26 Astor Place

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13 User Submissions

  1. submitted by: David

    Picture of people using 26 Astor Place POPS place at lunch time. A well used and maintained public space. Inviting to the general public passing by and well designed. Plenty of seats and shade from trees.

  2. submitted by: David

    This POPS was well maintained and used. A suggestion to make it better would be to have more plants to break up the heavy stone and steel used throughout the area. The area had a good amount of trees to provide shade but some shrubs or smaller plants would help improve the area. It’s a small public space still well used considering it’s location.

  3. submitted by: David

    Picture of people using 26 Astor Place POPS place at lunch time. A well used and maintained public space. Inviting to the general public passing by and well designed. Plenty of seats and shade from trees.

  4. submitted by: Gloria

    This public space is located south of Astor Place in a nook immediately south of the mixed-use Town residential building, also home to Chase Bank and Coup cocktail bar. The center of the space houses four circular concrete tables with chess boards engrained on the surface and surrounded by four concrete, immovable chairs. A long, curvy concrete bench snakes around the perimeter of the space. The bench’s seat is slightly too high and deep for the typical user- I found myself laying along the bench, leaning against the divider. The shrubs lining the south and west sides combined with the trees on the east side encompass the space, providing not only a visual barrier but a sense of escape. Bike parking on the north side of the space, was overcrowded; a rack designed for just a few bikes had several bikes precariously attached. The plaque annotating the space states that it closes at 10 pm though it does not appear there is a physical gate to support the rule. The nook provides a shady spot to each lunch or pass time, a welcome getaway from the adjacent busy streets.

  5. submitted by: Rich

    Picture of a woman sitting down at 26 Astor Place in the mid-afternoon.

  6. submitted by: Rich

    26 Astor Place appears inviting for the public in the sense that it has ample seating and is open. As shown in the picture, the center of the space houses four circular concrete tables with chess boards engrained on the surface and surrounded by four concrete, immovable chairs. It was curious to see a plethora of chess tables as it seems a waste of space to have that many and be largely unused. Preferable there could be a short stool in its place. Behind a snake-like bench, which is used to separate the public alcove and “private property,” is a residence garden, which is not accessible to the public. The space closes at 10 PM but there is no fence to support this by the property owners yet any complaints could be directed at the Department of City Planning.

  7. submitted by: M. Moreno Castro

    Located around the northeast corner of 26 Astor Place and adjacent to 62 Cooper Square, this is a small residential plaza. The open space has an irregular shape, but it is comfortably proportioned. Surrounded by trees and greenery on most of its sides and mid-backed stone-marble benches that delineate the back of the area. In addition, it also has five fixed stone tables that are accompanied by fixed stone-marble chairs. The open space also has stand-alone green marble benches (without backs) placed throughout. Lastly, it has bike parking available.

  8. submitted by: M. Moreno Castro

    Photo of this 26 Astor Place open space on a sunny afternoon. (As you can see, it is well used).

  9. submitted by: Miles Martin

    The public space at 26 Astor Place is maintained, often occupied, and accessible, but certain design choices severely constrain the atmosphere and the utility of the space for the public.

    The location of the space creates a pleasant sanctuary from the bustle and noise of Astor Place, although the plan of the space itself on the lot does not run all the way through from Cooper Square to Lafayette Street. Most of the void between the Carl Fischer Building at 62 Cooper and the tall, glassy “Sculpture for Living” at 445 Lafayette is taken up by a garden for residents. This garden is totally enclosed by a knee-high concrete embankment and entering it impossible for residents and the public alike. A through-way may have been a good opportunity to make the place feel more open, especially since the block stretching form Astor Place to E 4th Street is so long—though arguments could be made that foot traffic would disrupt the peace and quiet. No physical barrier separates the usable space from the sidewalk.

    In addition to the enclosed shape of the usable space, the austere design of the furnishings reinforces the close smallness of the space. All of the tables and seating are large immobile masses of stone and concrete, with small steel details. Tall concrete wings bookend the six curved benches, and tall metal armrests further break up the seating; so, if the center seat of the bench is occupied, visitors may choose to perch on the backs rather than be engulfed by the structure. The four tables are more inviting, and people can often be seen eating, though the fixed nature of the seating limits the way people use the tables. There is also a functioning water fountain, in ultramodern steel. Both of the trash cans are wedged into the same alcove. The Northeast corner of the usable space is starkly bare, perhaps owing to the ventilation grate and service entrance to 445 Lafayette.

    The shrubs and narrow trees lining and covering this space are pleasant, varied, and well cared for, and welcome in an area that doesn’t have other substantial greenery besides the new planters along the reconstructed Cooper Square. The trees create a canopy in the summer. In the winter, the space is chilly and uninviting, being wedged into a wind tunnel in the shade of its neighboring towers. The height of the planted area, set behind the blockade of hefty benches, really curtails the usable public space to a small, densely landscaped pocket on the edge of the sidewalk. As a concession to the public, this 26 Astor is decent but modest—seemingly by design.

  10. submitted by: Miles Martin

    Photo of 26 Astor Place around midday in September