5 East 22nd Street
Although this residential plaza surrounds the three street sides of the building, on East 22nd Street, the east side of Broadway, and East 23rd Street, the primary space is on East 22nd Street east of Broadway. Here, the residential plaza employs the familiar two-zone design that physically separates the “public” from the “residential entrance” area. Planters with sittable ledges along the public sidewalk are breached twice: once for a narrow corridor leading to the lobby, once for a wider corridor leading to the deep, rectangular space notched out of the building’s southeast corner. In the eyes of public space law, however, both corridors are equally public. The round forecourt with sittable ledges under the glass canopy in front of the lobby may read like an outdoor lobby for the building, but it is also to be used by members of the public.
The part of the plaza that reads as more public is a large space enclosed on west and north ends by the building. Landscaping lines the sides, most interestingly to the east where something called a “landscape sculpture,” composed of multiple levels of brick terraces interspersed with trees, resembles a waterfall without water and provides ambitious climbers with an opportunity to elevate themselves to a private spot. The remainder of space along Broadway and East 23rd Street is extra sidewalk in front of retail stores.
3 User Submissions
No POPS sign at entrance, no sitting or any sign of it being a public space besides the rectangular space at the building’s southeast corner
The POPS located at 5 East 22nd street can be held up as a model for other POPS locations in being seen as an inclusive and beneficial space for the public. What I like most about the site is how inviting it is and how functional the space operates.
There is a sign located near the front entrance which features the NYC POPS emblem clearly indicating this is a space open to the public. There are two sections to this POPS. The main open space features a carved out nook off the street and has tables and chairs that people can use to sit and gather. Trees and other foliage line this area making it a nice escape from the busy street. Trash cans are spread across making clean up nice and easy and a water fountain sits inside this areas as well to provide a drink to those who need it. A gate is present but during the open to public times is wide open and you can hardly notice it as it tucks in quite nicely.
The other section of this park sits right on the corner (22nd ST and 5th Ave) and surrounds the entrance of the apartment complex. It mostly acts as a garden bed that features some prominent trees and other urban plants. It is well maintained and very clean. This area is enclosed by a 2 foot wall that has a wide ledge which provides a great sitting perch. While I was there many folks could be seen utilizing this space.
All in all, I found this to be a great use of privately owned public space and serves the people who are in this area well.
This video was taken at 6:50pm (just before the back section of the POPS closes) so you will notice the gate is beginning to close. However during the day it is wide open and makes for open flow in and out of the space.