50 East 89th Street

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On the north side of East 88th Street between Park and Madison Avenues, this commodious plaza (park-like open space) at the back of the through-block lot offers such amenities as landscaping, lighting, and a sitting area. The location and basic configuration recall the plaza at the back of 300 East 75th Street, except that here, buildings to the east, west, and south conspire to minimize the amount of sunlight reaching the ground. A concrete-framed metal fence stretches across the opening, with an entrance gate at the western side for access to the slightly elevated plaza floor. At a recent site visit, the space was not accessible, and no record of City approval for such denial of access has been found. The square displays a mixture of open space and low brick wall planters filled with trees and bushes. There is plenty of ledge seating and wooden benches attached to planter walls. Where an old sign previously prohibited ball playing, bicycling, littering, frisbees, and dogs, the new sign delivers its message of cultural updating by prohibiting chalk writing, radios, running, and skating (in-line, it is assumed). A landscaped open area is located at the front of the building, on East 89th Street between Park and Madison Avenues. It has landscaping, but little open area. The unusual names for these spaces come from a restrictive declaration filed by the owner and a City Planning Commission approval of such declaration.


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