900 Park Avenue

Unlike virtually all the neighboring residential buildings along this section of Park Avenue that have built out at ground level to their respective front lot lines and then set back, ziggurat-style, at upper floors, this tower is set back at ground level and thus able to introduce a plaza whose typology is more commonly found in front of residential towers elsewhere. At the northwest corner of Park Avenue and East 79th Street, the plaza follows the semicircular drop-off driveway model, but with a slight twist. In the half-circle area normally reserved for the ornamental fountain are artworks that render the space imageable to the public. The current sculpture, entitled Cat (1984), by Fernando Botero, is a bronze of a well-fed, polar-bear-sized cat with great whiskers. A previous sculpture, by Francisco Zunica, was a bronze of three grand women majestically strutting in different directions. Well-manicured shrubs and trees still surround the sculpture.

The space remaining around the driveway is currently filled with small trees and shrubs, but has displayed colorful flowers in the past. On Park Avenue, the plaza space is a small sunken corridor, separated from the sidewalk by a wall adorned with a small fence, heading north into the southern wall of the next building on Park Avenue. On East 80th Street west of Park Avenue is another tiny area of plaza.


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6 User Submissions

  1. submitted by: Miriam

    I visited this space recently and found it unclear which space I could occupy – there was a sign stating “private property crossing and use subject to consent of owner” at the very border between the sidewalk and the driveway…and the only way to access the strip to the side of the building (unless you scale down the wall) is to pass through the driveway…you can see an image of the sign embedded in the driveway here http://www.flickr.com/photos/mirosim/8571152744/in/set-72157633033281688

  2. submitted by: Sam

    Located on the northwest corner of 79th and Park, the POPS outside of 900 Park Avenue is perhaps the least inviting and most restrictive in the city. The aforementioned profile does a thorough job explaining the physical appearance of the space, but to recap, the POPS is primarily used by a semicircular driveway. There is a sculpture of a Cat in the center of the driveway, and the remaining space is a sunken corridor located between Park Avenue and the eastern facade of the tower.

    There are no benches, or any indication that the space is a suppose to be available to the public. Moreover, the doormen take pleasure in asking “trespassers” to leave. In fact, when confronted with evidence that their plaza was to be enjoyed by the public, the doorman threatened to call the police department. Either the City has given up trying to enforce the public aspect of this POPS, or they never tried at all. The City should enforce the POPS rules, or stop providing developers with such an incentive.

  3. submitted by: Sam

    View of semicircular driveway. Facing west-northwest

  4. submitted by: Sam

    View of semicircular driveway facing east towards Park Avenue.

  5. submitted by: Sam

    Sunken “plaza” between building and Park Ave