POPS stars = You

Thank you, WNYC listeners and New York World readers, for reporting back on conditions at the city's privately owned public spaces

This week, we went on WNYC’s Brian Lehrer Show to urge New Yorkers to rate the city’s privately owned public spaces – “POPS” for short. The responses are now flooding in, with more than 70 reports so far, ranging from praise (“green and pretty”) to big thumbs-down (“very uninviting and a little creepy”).

As you continue to make your way around the city keep letting us know what you see, and make sure to fill out the feedback form. We’ll be sampling your responses here from now until our survey ends on November 9, when The New York World will produce a followup report and go back on WNYC to share what we’ve found. Here are some of the comments you’ve sent in:

55 Water Street

55 Water Street

“No one knows about the Elevated Acre (a/k/a, 55 Water St). Its hard to find, hardly anyone there every time I’ve been there, but its beautiful & comfortable enough with an amazing view & the security people are nice enough.”

- Sanie (Oct. 19 2011)



Atlantic Terminal

Map of Atlantic Terminal

“This space is great for mid-day or lunch time strolls for individuals or families. The ability to sit and eat/snack outdoors while enjoying nice weather is an added perk.”

- AM (Oct. 19 2011)

Broadway Atrium 85 Broad Street

85 Broad Street

“I’ve tried several times to walk through this lobby (to avoid having to detour around it) and have been stopped and instructed to provide ID, which I regard as an inappropriate infringement. I’ve also asked if, in future, I would be permitted to walk through with a bicycle, and have been told No…Do I not have the right to walk through (with or without a bicycle), unimpeded?”

- Charles (Oct. 19 2011)


Gilman Hall

Citicorp at Court Square

“This area was closed off from street access until after I complained to the Buildings Department. It is not particularly inviting but there is nothing to stop anyone from entering…This space…allowed hugely out-of-proportion-to-the-neighborhood buildings to be built. It is an example of one of the poorest zoning decisions made in this city since WWII, a very poor tradeoff that only enriched developers.”

- Meryl (Oct. 19 2011)

Claridge House

- Julia (Oct. 19 2011)





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  1. I have walked past Trump Plaza at 61st & Third Avenue many times, with a low-level awareness that this was supposed to be a public space.
    It appears more like a plaza entrance to the residential building. I have never seen people spending time there in the manner of a public space.
    There is signage stipulating that “This Plaza is Open to the Public Between the Hours of 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., or Dark, Whichever is Later.” It also has signage stating that it is accessible to the physically handicapped, as well as all of its mandatory amenities.
    Charming – not so much.

    • Claudia, thanks for telling us about Trump Plaza. It’s one of the spaces we’ll be looking at more closely in the following weeks. In the meantime, stay tuned for our next update on the Brian Lehrer show November 9.

  2. The Municipal Art Soc and the NYC Dept of City Planning did a study on this subject about ten years ago. It will be interesting to see if anything new will turn up in the WNYC effort.

    • Berdachenyc, the study you’re referring to in part helped to inspire this project. Since then, there hasn’t been a comprehensive study of all the privately owned public spaces in NYC. Have you seen any interesting spaces we should know about?