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Mapping Every Single New York City Pedestrian Plaza

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New Yorkers do a lot of walking, most of it very quickly. After all, there are places to go, people to see, and things to do. But there are rare occasions when there is the time and desire for a leisurely stroll. Enter the pedestrian plaza—those stretches, often subsuming actual vehicular roadways, where one can walk, sit, and (occasionally) do a whole host of other things. When a pedestrian plaza subsumed Broadway in Times Square, it radically changed the area. But thanks to complaints about aggressive costumed characters and topless desnudas, Mayor Bill de Blasio thinks it might be time to return cars to that stretch of Broadway—a plan that, unsurprisingly, pretty much no one likes. With one of the city's most visible car-free spaces in possible peril, what better time to map out the city's two dozen pedestrian plazas? If we missed anything, let us know in the comments or via the tipline.


—Evan Bindelglass is a local freelance journalist, photographer, cinephile, and foodie. You can e-mail him, follow him on Twitter @evabin, or check out his personal blog.
· All Pedestrian Plazas Coverage [Curbed]
· Curbed Maps Archive [Curbed]

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1. 185th Street Plaza

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Amsterdam Avenue & West 185th Street
New York, NY 10033

Running between Audubon and Amsterdam Avenues in Washington Heights, this block-long pedestrian plaza is managed by Yeshiva University. [Image via Google Maps]

2. Bogardus Plaza

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1 Hudson St
New York, NY 10013

Named for 19th century NYC architect James Bogardus, this space functions as both a plaza and a garden. Bounded by Reade, Hudson, and Chambers Streets, and West Broadway, it started as a temporary plaza when the Chambers Street reconstruction project began. Local officials decided make it permanent, and in 2013 it was accepted into the DOT's Plaza Program. It's maintained by Friends of Bogardus Garden. A revamp of the site is in the works with groundbreaking slated for 2016. [Image via Google Maps]

3. Garment District Plaza

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This stretch of car-free space along the east side of Broadway runs from 35th Street to 41st Street, and is dotted with tables and chairs, as well as a nearly constant string of public art installations. It is managed by the Garment District Alliance. [Image via Google Maps]

4. Chelsea Plaza

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Ninth Avenue & West 14th Street
New York, NY 10014

This plaza runs along Ninth Avenue from just south of 14th Street up to almost 15th Street. There are tables, chairs, and umbrellas, along with free Wi-Fi and a Le Pain Quotidien kiosk. It is managed by the Chelsea Improvement Company.

5. Flatiron Plaza

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Broadway
New York, NY 10010

Initiated in 2008, this oft-crowded bunch of spaces runs along Broadway and Fifth Avenue from just south of the Flatiron Building (22nd Street) to 24th Street. The space hosts plenty of fun events and attractions, the best of which may be the seasonal Madison Square Eats. It is managed by the Flatiron 23rd Street Partnership. [Image via Flatiron 23rd Street Partnership]

6. Gansevoort Plaza

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Gansevoort Street
New York, NY 10010

This series of pedestrian areas runs from Gansevoort Street up Ninth Avenue to 14th Street, where it meets Chelsea Plaza. It was created in 2008 to calm traffic in the area. But a reconstruction project that will close the plaza is expected to take two years. It is managed by the Meatpacking District Improvement Association. [Image via Meatpacking District Improvement Association]

7. Herald Square

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W 34th St & Broadway
New York, NY 10001
(212) 719-3434
Visit Website

Herald Square is bounded by 33rd Street, Sixth Avenue, 35th Street, and Broadway. The pedestrian plaza there is perennially mobbed with people, and often plays hosts to events and even classes. It is maintained by the 34th Street Partnership. [Image via 34th Street Partnership]

8. Municipal Plaza

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1 Centre St
New York, NY 10007

This plaza is a bit different from others in that it (mostly) isn't repurposing an existing roadway. It wraps around the back of the Manhattan Municipal Building and features a bunch of food vendors and seating. According to the DOT, it is maintained by the Plaza Food Connection Corporation. [Image via Google Maps]

9. Louise Nevelson Plaza

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10 Liberty St
New York, NY 10005

This public space opened in 1978 as a tribute to sculptor Louise Nevelson, whose piece Shadows and Flags is a featured element. The plaza was groundbreaking in that it was the first space dedicated not just to an artist, but to a woman. It is bounded by Maiden Lane, William Street, and Liberty Street, and is maintained by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. [Image via paula soler-moya/Flickr]

10. Plaza33

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7th Avenue & West 33rd Street
New York, NY 10120

This brand new public plaza near Penn Station is actually something of an experiment. Developed by Vornado and designed by W Architecture and Landscape Architecture, it's designed to make the experience of being near the beleaguered train station less awful, with plenty of greenery and sculptures by Keith Haring and Roy Lichtenstein. It's located on 33rd Street between Seventh Avenue and the Madison Square Garden loading dock. [Image via Untapped]

11. Times Square

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Broadway & 7th Ave
New York, NY 10036
(212) 768-1560
Visit Website

This is the Mack Daddy of all the city's pedestrian plazas: It interrupts Broadway all the way from 42nd Street to 47th Street, replacing the clogged artery with tables, chairs, and open space. Its history dates back to 2009, when Mayor Michael Bloomberg first implemented a pilot program to remove cars from the space; it was made permanent not long after, with a design by Snøhetta. It's now the epicenter of controversy over the presence of painted topless women, known as "desnudas," which a select few see as a sign that Times Square is headed back to its bad old days. The Times Square pedestrian plazas are maintained by the Times Square Alliance. [Image via Times Square Alliance]

12. Whitehall Water Street Plaza

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39 Whitehall Street
New York, NY 10004

If you're looking to sit at the edge of Manhattan, you can't do much better than this car-free space, located just blocks from the southernmost tip of the island. As the name suggests, it's bounded by Water and Whitehall (and Moore) Streets. There are some chairs, tables, and benches, along with free Wi-Fi. It's managed by the Downtown Alliance. [Image via Downtown Alliance]

13. Albee Square

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Albee Sq, Fulton St, Bond St, DeKalb Ave, Fleet St
Brooklyn, NY 11201

This 27,000-square-foot plaza, located near the massive City Point development, features the standard goings-on—Wi-Fi, food vendors, plenty of seating, even a farmer's market. It might also end up getting a miniature golf course. (Fun!) It's managed by the Fulton Mall Improvement Association. [Image via Downtown Brooklyn Partnership]

14. Brooklyn Plaza

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186 Jay Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201

This pedestrian plaza located at the entrance to the Manhattan Bridge is a bit sparse when compared to the others on this list, with little more than benches available for passers-by. It is maintained by the DOT. [Image via Google Maps]

15. Fowler Square

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Lafayette Ave & Fulton St
Brooklyn, NY 11217

This pedestrian-friendly space is an expansion of an existing triangle, created by interrupting South Elliott Place. It opened in 2012 and is maintained by the Fulton Area Business Alliance. [Image via Google Maps]

16. Fox Square

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Flatbush Avenue & Fulton Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Just opened in June, this is a repurposing of the triangle formed by the intersection of Flatbush Avenue and Fulton Street, with a few benches and plants. It is maintained by the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership. [Image by Amy Plitt]

17. Manhattan Bridge Archway Plaza

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Anchorage Place
Brooklyn, NY 11201

More of a walkway than a traditional plaza, this space beneath the Manhattan Bridge allows pedestrians to cross through Dumbo under one of the structure's anchorages. It opened in 2008 and has played host to all manner of events, including live music performances and art installations. It is maintained by the Dumbo Improvement District. [Image via stevenj/Flickr]

18. New Lots Plaza

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635 Ashford Street
Brooklyn, NY 11207

This is yet another expansion of an existing triangle. This East New York plaza opened in 2011 and interrupted Ashford Street to create a safer space below the elevated subway tracks. It is managed by the New Lots Avenue Triangle Merchants Association. [Image via Google Maps]

19. Pearl Street Triangle

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Pearl St & Anchorage Pl
Brooklyn, NY 11201

This small plaza may not be as popular as the Manhattan Bridge Archway nearby, but it's a lovely little spot, with plenty of chairs and tables (and umbrellas), plus food trucks. The former parking lot is maintained by the DUMBO Improvement District. [Image via Google Maps]

20. Putnam Plaza

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22 Putnam Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11238

This plaza opened in 2011 and expanded the existing Putnam Triangle by interrupting Putnam Avenue. But don't get used to it the way it is now: A reconstruction project is in the works, with an anticipated completion date of 2017. The space is managed by the Fulton Area Business Alliance. [Image via DOT]

21. Willoughby Pedestrian Plaza

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345 Adams St / Brooklyn Bridge Boulevard
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Located in Downtown Brooklyn, Willoughby Plaza is perhaps most notable for being right next to Shake Shack and Hill Country Chicken—so don't be surprised if you see people chowing down on burgers at the small tables throughout the space. It started as a pilot project in 2006 and work to make it permanent began in 2011. It is maintained by the MetroTech Business Improvement District.

22. 37th Road Pedestrian Plaza

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This plaza in Jackson Heights opened in 2011 and is also known as "Diversity Plaza." It interrupts some of 37th Road and a connecting section of 73rd Street. While some business owners were less than happy about the plaza, for others, it began to grow on them. It is maintained by the DOT.

23. Belmont Plaza

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Belmont Avenue & East 186th Street
Bronx, NY 10458

Located in Bronx's Little Italy, this plaza made better use of a space at the intersection of Belmont Avenue, East 186th Street, and Crescent Avenue. It is maintained by the Belmont Business Improvement District. [Image via Google Maps]

24. Fordham Plaza

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East Fordham Road (US 1)
Bronx, NY 10458

Located near Fordham University, this is a slightly unusual plaza: It's a large sidewalk space in front of the very busy Fordham Metro-North station (which buses also pass through). The NYC Economic Development Corporation has been working on a plan that would better serve the nearly 80,000 people who pass through the space every day. It is maintained by ABC Concessions. [Image via Google Maps]

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1. 185th Street Plaza

Amsterdam Avenue & West 185th Street, New York, NY 10033

Running between Audubon and Amsterdam Avenues in Washington Heights, this block-long pedestrian plaza is managed by Yeshiva University. [Image via Google Maps]

Amsterdam Avenue & West 185th Street
New York, NY 10033

2. Bogardus Plaza

1 Hudson St, New York, NY 10013

Named for 19th century NYC architect James Bogardus, this space functions as both a plaza and a garden. Bounded by Reade, Hudson, and Chambers Streets, and West Broadway, it started as a temporary plaza when the Chambers Street reconstruction project began. Local officials decided make it permanent, and in 2013 it was accepted into the DOT's Plaza Program. It's maintained by Friends of Bogardus Garden. A revamp of the site is in the works with groundbreaking slated for 2016. [Image via Google Maps]

1 Hudson St
New York, NY 10013

3. Garment District Plaza

New York, NY

This stretch of car-free space along the east side of Broadway runs from 35th Street to 41st Street, and is dotted with tables and chairs, as well as a nearly constant string of public art installations. It is managed by the Garment District Alliance. [Image via Google Maps]

4. Chelsea Plaza

Ninth Avenue & West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

This plaza runs along Ninth Avenue from just south of 14th Street up to almost 15th Street. There are tables, chairs, and umbrellas, along with free Wi-Fi and a Le Pain Quotidien kiosk. It is managed by the Chelsea Improvement Company.

Ninth Avenue & West 14th Street
New York, NY 10014

5. Flatiron Plaza

Broadway, New York, NY 10010

Initiated in 2008, this oft-crowded bunch of spaces runs along Broadway and Fifth Avenue from just south of the Flatiron Building (22nd Street) to 24th Street. The space hosts plenty of fun events and attractions, the best of which may be the seasonal Madison Square Eats. It is managed by the Flatiron 23rd Street Partnership. [Image via Flatiron 23rd Street Partnership]

Broadway
New York, NY 10010

6. Gansevoort Plaza

Gansevoort Street, New York, NY 10010

This series of pedestrian areas runs from Gansevoort Street up Ninth Avenue to 14th Street, where it meets Chelsea Plaza. It was created in 2008 to calm traffic in the area. But a reconstruction project that will close the plaza is expected to take two years. It is managed by the Meatpacking District Improvement Association. [Image via Meatpacking District Improvement Association]

Gansevoort Street
New York, NY 10010

7. Herald Square

W 34th St & Broadway, New York, NY 10001

Herald Square is bounded by 33rd Street, Sixth Avenue, 35th Street, and Broadway. The pedestrian plaza there is perennially mobbed with people, and often plays hosts to events and even classes. It is maintained by the 34th Street Partnership. [Image via 34th Street Partnership]

W 34th St & Broadway
New York, NY 10001

8. Municipal Plaza

1 Centre St, New York, NY 10007

This plaza is a bit different from others in that it (mostly) isn't repurposing an existing roadway. It wraps around the back of the Manhattan Municipal Building and features a bunch of food vendors and seating. According to the DOT, it is maintained by the Plaza Food Connection Corporation. [Image via Google Maps]

1 Centre St
New York, NY 10007

9. Louise Nevelson Plaza

10 Liberty St, New York, NY 10005

This public space opened in 1978 as a tribute to sculptor Louise Nevelson, whose piece Shadows and Flags is a featured element. The plaza was groundbreaking in that it was the first space dedicated not just to an artist, but to a woman. It is bounded by Maiden Lane, William Street, and Liberty Street, and is maintained by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. [Image via paula soler-moya/Flickr]

10 Liberty St
New York, NY 10005

10. Plaza33

7th Avenue & West 33rd Street, New York, NY 10120

This brand new public plaza near Penn Station is actually something of an experiment. Developed by Vornado and designed by W Architecture and Landscape Architecture, it's designed to make the experience of being near the beleaguered train station less awful, with plenty of greenery and sculptures by Keith Haring and Roy Lichtenstein. It's located on 33rd Street between Seventh Avenue and the Madison Square Garden loading dock. [Image via Untapped]

7th Avenue & West 33rd Street
New York, NY 10120

11. Times Square

Broadway & 7th Ave, New York, NY 10036

This is the Mack Daddy of all the city's pedestrian plazas: It interrupts Broadway all the way from 42nd Street to 47th Street, replacing the clogged artery with tables, chairs, and open space. Its history dates back to 2009, when Mayor Michael Bloomberg first implemented a pilot program to remove cars from the space; it was made permanent not long after, with a design by Snøhetta. It's now the epicenter of controversy over the presence of painted topless women, known as "desnudas," which a select few see as a sign that Times Square is headed back to its bad old days. The Times Square pedestrian plazas are maintained by the Times Square Alliance. [Image via Times Square Alliance]

Broadway & 7th Ave
New York, NY 10036

12. Whitehall Water Street Plaza

39 Whitehall Street, New York, NY 10004

If you're looking to sit at the edge of Manhattan, you can't do much better than this car-free space, located just blocks from the southernmost tip of the island. As the name suggests, it's bounded by Water and Whitehall (and Moore) Streets. There are some chairs, tables, and benches, along with free Wi-Fi. It's managed by the Downtown Alliance. [Image via Downtown Alliance]

39 Whitehall Street
New York, NY 10004

13. Albee Square

Albee Sq, Fulton St, Bond St, DeKalb Ave, Fleet St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

This 27,000-square-foot plaza, located near the massive City Point development, features the standard goings-on—Wi-Fi, food vendors, plenty of seating, even a farmer's market. It might also end up getting a miniature golf course. (Fun!) It's managed by the Fulton Mall Improvement Association. [Image via Downtown Brooklyn Partnership]

Albee Sq, Fulton St, Bond St, DeKalb Ave, Fleet St
Brooklyn, NY 11201

14. Brooklyn Plaza

186 Jay Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201

This pedestrian plaza located at the entrance to the Manhattan Bridge is a bit sparse when compared to the others on this list, with little more than benches available for passers-by. It is maintained by the DOT. [Image via Google Maps]

186 Jay Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201

15. Fowler Square

Lafayette Ave & Fulton St, Brooklyn, NY 11217

This pedestrian-friendly space is an expansion of an existing triangle, created by interrupting South Elliott Place. It opened in 2012 and is maintained by the Fulton Area Business Alliance. [Image via Google Maps]

Lafayette Ave & Fulton St
Brooklyn, NY 11217

16. Fox Square

Flatbush Avenue & Fulton Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Just opened in June, this is a repurposing of the triangle formed by the intersection of Flatbush Avenue and Fulton Street, with a few benches and plants. It is maintained by the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership. [Image by Amy Plitt]

Flatbush Avenue & Fulton Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201

17. Manhattan Bridge Archway Plaza

Anchorage Place, Brooklyn, NY 11201

More of a walkway than a traditional plaza, this space beneath the Manhattan Bridge allows pedestrians to cross through Dumbo under one of the structure's anchorages. It opened in 2008 and has played host to all manner of events, including live music performances and art installations. It is maintained by the Dumbo Improvement District. [Image via stevenj/Flickr]

Anchorage Place
Brooklyn, NY 11201

18. New Lots Plaza

635 Ashford Street, Brooklyn, NY 11207

This is yet another expansion of an existing triangle. This East New York plaza opened in 2011 and interrupted Ashford Street to create a safer space below the elevated subway tracks. It is managed by the New Lots Avenue Triangle Merchants Association. [Image via Google Maps]

635 Ashford Street
Brooklyn, NY 11207

19. Pearl Street Triangle

Pearl St & Anchorage Pl, Brooklyn, NY 11201

This small plaza may not be as popular as the Manhattan Bridge Archway nearby, but it's a lovely little spot, with plenty of chairs and tables (and umbrellas), plus food trucks. The former parking lot is maintained by the DUMBO Improvement District. [Image via Google Maps]

Pearl St & Anchorage Pl
Brooklyn, NY 11201

20. Putnam Plaza

22 Putnam Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11238

This plaza opened in 2011 and expanded the existing Putnam Triangle by interrupting Putnam Avenue. But don't get used to it the way it is now: A reconstruction project is in the works, with an anticipated completion date of 2017. The space is managed by the Fulton Area Business Alliance. [Image via DOT]

22 Putnam Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11238

21. Willoughby Pedestrian Plaza

345 Adams St / Brooklyn Bridge Boulevard, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Located in Downtown Brooklyn, Willoughby Plaza is perhaps most notable for being right next to Shake Shack and Hill Country Chicken—so don't be surprised if you see people chowing down on burgers at the small tables throughout the space. It started as a pilot project in 2006 and work to make it permanent began in 2011. It is maintained by the MetroTech Business Improvement District.

345 Adams St / Brooklyn Bridge Boulevard
Brooklyn, NY 11201

22. 37th Road Pedestrian Plaza

Jackson Heights, NY 11372

This plaza in Jackson Heights opened in 2011 and is also known as "Diversity Plaza." It interrupts some of 37th Road and a connecting section of 73rd Street. While some business owners were less than happy about the plaza, for others, it began to grow on them. It is maintained by the DOT.

23. Belmont Plaza

Belmont Avenue & East 186th Street, Bronx, NY 10458

Located in Bronx's Little Italy, this plaza made better use of a space at the intersection of Belmont Avenue, East 186th Street, and Crescent Avenue. It is maintained by the Belmont Business Improvement District. [Image via Google Maps]

Belmont Avenue & East 186th Street
Bronx, NY 10458

24. Fordham Plaza

East Fordham Road (US 1), Bronx, NY 10458

Located near Fordham University, this is a slightly unusual plaza: It's a large sidewalk space in front of the very busy Fordham Metro-North station (which buses also pass through). The NYC Economic Development Corporation has been working on a plan that would better serve the nearly 80,000 people who pass through the space every day. It is maintained by ABC Concessions. [Image via Google Maps]

East Fordham Road (US 1)
Bronx, NY 10458