30 West 61st Street
This residential plaza serves in a dual capacity: as an end in itself and as a link in a public space network connecting the two discrete portions of residential plaza belonging to the neighboring Regent. Direct entry is gained up three steps from the south side of West 61st Street east of Columbus Avenue. The Regent spaces themselves also provide access, from Columbus Avenue or West 60th Street. The portion of space closest to West 61st Street has an appealing openness about it. Flanked by the building and a rock garden to the east and a row of trees and low landscaping to the west, the rectangle provides two large, round, wooden benches and rows of trees growing directly out of its purplish-brick paving.
Curling east around the back of the tower and descending several steps is the most curious part of the public space here. A small stepped waterfall funnels water into a pool in front of a lower-level, glass-enclosed room. Above this room is additional residential plaza, an elevated terrace garden, complete with wooden trellis, accessible up a stairwell located in the adjacent arcade. At a recent site visit, the water was not operating and the stairwell was obstructed by a locked gate at hours that it should be open. No record of City approval for these discrepancies has been found. For the pedestrian seeking a covered approach from West 61st Street to this garden in back, the arcade extends fully along the building’s West 61st Street frontage, the west side of the building, and the south side.
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This image was taken on October 18, 2012:
Mario Burger, Burger International Photography
It’s a beautiful day to eat lunch in a POPS, but this one is closed and inaccessible