First Look: The Four Seasons Plaza

Last week’s report by New York City comptroller Scott Stringer about the city’s abysmal ability to enforce the regulations regarding privately owned public plazas (POPS) left some of us wondering why POPS are still considered an acceptable trade-off for taller buildings. The plaza to the east of the new tower at 30 Park Place makes a strong counterargument: It’s lovely, and it’ll only get lovelier as the plants bud and grow. The seating is abundant, with chairs you can actually move around, and according to the signage, there are two water features, which must be the Chihuly-esque glass sculptures. The only off note comes from the quartet of oversize desk lamps. Perhaps best of all, the plaza is open to the public 24 hours a day—compared to not at all at the 101 Barclay lobby or when the mood hits at the AT&T Long Lines Building.

P.S. I assume Robert A. M. Stern Architects, which designed the building, also handled the plaza, but I’ll try to find out. Perhaps we can persuade the firm to take on a pro bono do-over of Liberty Park…. UPDATE 4/27: “Robert A.M. Stern Architects was responsible for the original concept for the plaza, but the final design is by Lee Weintraub Landscape Architecture,” says a RAMSA rep.



  1. The POP issue comes up in, “Citizen Jane: Battle for the City,” a documentary that’s worth watching for downtown residents. It shows how perilously close we came to a disaster in urban planning — Robert Moses’ Lower Manhattan Expressway. Thankfully, Jane Jacobs and other residents effectively opposed it.

  2. The Four Seasons Plaza is what was supposed to happen at 101 Barclay, right?

  3. Have you seen the plaza lately? Dog owners with no consideration are using the flower beds as their pets personal litter box. No matter how many plants or flowers are planted, they all look like garbage shortly after. I hope the building starts putting pesticides and signs in the flower bed to deter annoying pet owners. I’d like to see blooming flowers when I walk out of my building, not piss stains on the corners of the building and dog poop in the flower beds.

    • Good idea. You obviously know a lot about pesticides. We should also spray pesticides on the playground swings and sand boxes to deter annoying children.