240 East 47th Street

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Located at back of the Dag Hammarskjold Tower at the northwest corner of Second Avenue and East 46th Street, the primary space of this residential plaza skillfully deploys basic amenities of seating, water, landscaping, and southern orientation to attract a sizable following. Three entryways, from the west side of Second Avenue, the northwest corner of Second Avenue and East 46th Street, and the north side of East 46th Street west of Second Avenue, cut through the sidewalk perimeter of planters filled with trees and shrubs. A fourth entryway, from East 47th Street west of Second Avenue, snakes around and under the western edge of the tower as a required “public access passageway” through non-bonused public open space mandated by special permit. At a recent site visit, this passageway was closed during a time period when it was obligated to be open. No record of City approval for such closure has been found.

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

All four entryways converge south of the building on an octagon-shaped space with mirror-image octagon-shaped fountain and pool anchoring the center. Seating is plentiful. Wooden benches and sittable ledges face the fountain and line the entryways. With food available at nearby food market salad bars, lunchtimes here, especially during the summer, are jammed. The space draws a diverse group of users, including office workers, caregivers with children, and less fortunate New Yorkers. Significantly, the plentiful seating and variety of seating areas permit the different user groups to stake out their areas without impinging on the needs and desires of others.

Additional residential plaza surrounds the building on the south side of East 47th Street and the west side of Second Avenue. In front of the lobby entrance at the southeast corner of the two streets is a fountain and, nearby, a bust, by Carina Ari, of the diplomat and Nobel Prize winner after whom the tower is named.


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4 User Submissions

  1. submitted by: Ann

    This space is closed when it should be open, almost daily. Posted summer opening hours are 7am to 9pm, but it’s actually opened between 9:30 and 10am, and closed between 7 and 7:30pm.

  2. submitted by: LP

    The 47th Street entrance continues to be closed daily.

  3. submitted by: TP

    The 47th Street Passageway is closed daily

    • submitted by: Jerold Kayden

      We are looking into this. Thanks. APOPS|MAS