60 East 8th Street
Several steps above the street, this U-shaped concrete plaza grips street and nonstreet sides of the building. From East 8th Street, a canopied corridor cuts through the space to the building’s front door. In an area that reads as more public, along the east side of Mercer Street, a small, round fountain encircled by an unsittable slanted ledge sprays water out of and around dark sculptural elements. Planters line the perimeter and, with small concrete planters, display trees, flowers, and shrubs. At a recent site visit, the southernmost nonstreet portion of the space was closed to the public for construction. The large arcade is not part of the public space.
5 User Submissions
A depressing space, ugly and uninviting. 11,000 square feet and no seats? A textbook example on how not to build a public space, or rather, on how to build a public space to keep the public away.
Unfortunately this is unwelcoming space!
Before I visit this space, my expectations were not as what I saw. I went to the area and passed the space twice without even noticing there is an actual public space for people to enjoy. There was no clear sign that states “This is a public space”. This space was depressing although there was a beautiful fountain that people could actually enjoy and taking selfie or set on its ledge.
The entrance was closed due constructions, so there was no chance of getting there. By looking through the net, I notice there were no benches which was surprising since the area is 10,975.00 sf
If you are looking for one of the most uninviting and bare public spaces in NYC please take a look at 60 East 8th Street. The site is under construction at the momement but the see through netting allows for one to see just how poorly designed this space is.
In my observation I saw the following glaring flaws and direct violations of the new 2007 design standards. 1) there are no seats. In plaza of over 10,000 square feet there is not one place where the developers saw as a good place to sit. 2) The elevation is much greater than 2 FT at the entry points. 3) There are no trash bins however in the entire plaza.
The plaza is enclosed (aside from the entry points) with a 4ft wall and an extensive garden that acts as a bit of a fortress from those outside of the space. If you do make it into the plaza (to do what I don’t know – stand and look at the garden I supposed) the multiple signs make it very clear you are being watched from the video surveillance of the park. There are no signs that indicate this space is open to the public.
Some of these design flaws are not so surprising as the new standards came about in 2007. However, from photographic evidence (picture on the profile from 2000) there clearly has been recent renovations to the space. It begs the question did they intentionally re-design with no thought of what the new standards of a POPS is? If the answer is yes, then another question arises: When and who from the the City will enforce on this clear violation of privately owned public space?
Photo of 60 East 8th Street.
Picture of 60 East 8th St.