111 East 85th Street

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The main portion of this plaza, on the north side of East 85th Street between Lexington and Park Avenues, is hidden from the passing pedestrian by its height. The street perimeter of the lot does nothing to mitigate the mystery. A canopied corridor at the western end is the only opening into the lot, and looks like a typical entryway to a private residential building. In fact, however, not only is this corridor legally part of the plaza, it also provides the only means of navigating the grade change necessary to reach the interior plaza area located to the east, several feet above the sidewalk. The visitor must make like a private resident, enter the corridor, and head north toward the building’s arcade and front door. There, to the east, is the rest of the plaza, covered with small stones. The landscaping and concrete open area that used to exist are absent. At a recent site visit, it was not possible to gain physical access to this space, and seating required by a restrictive declaration was not visible. No record of City approval for these discrepancies has been found. Additional plaza on the East 86th Street side of this through-block lot is a sunken strip in front of retail stores.

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