160 East 65th Street
Functionally extra sidewalk, this U-shaped plaza clamps around the building on its three street frontages, on East 64th Street, the west side of Third Avenue, and East 65th Street. On Third Avenue, concrete planters with bushes separate the public sidewalk from the interior plaza strip and the building’s retail frontage. A block-long elevation change is managed by a series of steps. In response to a Department of City Planning mailing in 1988, the owner’s representative asserted by letter that “it would be ridiculous to encourage the use of this space.” Spiked railings applied to planter ledges here and on the side street planter ledges testify to this sensibility. When railings are missing, as they have been from time to time, passersby find the gap and enjoy the moment. An abstract metal sculpture creates interest near the lobby entrance on East 65th Street.