810 Seventh Avenue

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Previously a barren plaza produced under the lenient standards of the 1961 Zoning Resolution, this space was upgraded as a condition for gaining City approval for installation of an open air café, and the result was a marked improvement. The plaza encircles the building along the west side of Seventh Avenue, the south side of West 53rd Street, and the east side of Broadway. Next to the subway entrance near Broadway are five planters surrounded with high-backed, wooden benches that are heavily used. Four distinctive black cylinders adjacent to the planters may look like a modern-day Stonehenge, but presumably serve an underground mechanical system. Although the café activated the southwest corner of West 53rd Street and Seventh Avenue, its walls and windows made it more of a permanent fixture than what was authorized by the zoning. Furthermore, the café certification expired in 1997 and no record of City re-certification has been found that would permit continuation of the café use.

Photo: Kayden et al. (2000)
Photo: Kayden et al. (2000)

A small, enclosed building bumpout occupied by a restaurant protrudes into the southernmost portion of the Seventh Avenue plaza. No record of City approval for this encroachment has been found.


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3 User Submissions

  1. submitted by: nearby worker

    The public seating, say neighbors, was ripped out years ago. Why?

    • submitted by: APOPS

      Thank you for the information. We will look into this and post a comment when we know more about it.

  2. submitted by: Luke

    o longer are there any planters or placards. In fact at the southeast corner of Broadway and 53rd, there remain holes in the wall where a placard one was.

    The cafe that lost its certification in 1997 is now a bank. The public space has regressed and is again a barren plaza.