For an “as-of-right” plaza produced in the late 1960s, this space has enjoyed a surprising amount of activity. The plaza occupies Broadway and Seventh Avenue sides of this full-block office building between West 39th and 40th Streets. In June, 1998, after a fashion industry building tenant received permission from the City to install temporary seating, tree planters, and mobile exhibits celebrating 100 years of fashion on the Broadway side, the space burst alive for the summer. Transitory structures and activities can quickly and inexpensively animate a space for an owner not yet ready to make major upgrades of an existing “as-of-right” plaza. An information kiosk for the fashion industry now occupies the northeast corner of Seventh Avenue and West 39th Street.
The plaza also features two sculptures, one industry-related and one not. In the Broadway plaza area on a small platform is a bronze bust of Golda Meir, by Beatrice Goldfine. The Seventh Avenue plaza space displays a life-sized bronze sculpture, entitled The Garment Worker (1984), by Judith Weiler, depicting a man at a sewing machine representing the first immigrants who came to New York and provided cheap labor for the manufacture of clothing. The sculpture was a gift from the sculptor, members of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union, and private designers and manufacturers. A recent site visit revealed that a small café on Seventh Avenue near West 39th Street had placed its tables and chairs on the plaza. No record of City approval for this use has been found. The arcade is located on the Broadway side of the building.