Sidewalks revealed (!) at 26 Federal Plaza

The federal General Services Administration, the agency rebuilding the public plaza around 26 Federal Plaza, said this past spring that the agency planned to reopen the Broadway side of the plaza to pedestrian traffic by Oct. 30. And while that date has clearly come and gone, at least it is starting to look like a plaza, and we can see the sidewalks in place. UPDATE: GSA plans to open the Broadway plaza entrance to the Javits Federal Building on Monday, Dec. 4.

(What is making me increasingly furious these days is sidewalks that are blocked by construction sites that are inactive, or ones that have gone on too long.)

The two-block-long site has been under construction for four years — all to repair the below-ground garage. What is also incredible is for all that work, all they did is restore the site exactly as they found it with no consideration for a better design or use. “The restoration will only be a replacement of what was originally in the location,” a spokesperson for the GSA said.

Beverly Pepper’s “Manhattan Sentinels” were restored to the site this past August.



  1. Are they not planting any trees? Looks like just huge expanses of concrete.

    • They added (back?) a few trees. Looks like less than a dozen right now. Mostly on the sides, but not along the sidewalk, which would have been the smart (and public spirited) thing to do.

    • As streetwalker said, there are a few trees on the sides planted in grass on federal property. City DOT, and not GSA, would be planting on the sidewalk, as far as understand, depending on where the federal grounds actually extend. In any case, more trees would have been nice, and could have been coordinated with the city. But it’s possible trees provide too much canopy for the many cameras surveilling the federal building.

  2. Never thought I’d be so excited for a sidewalk opening.. Now if only something could be done about the one on Park Place between Church and W Broadway (maybe it could’ve prevented a person from climbing the crane that should still be there..)

  3. We lived at tribeca tower for several years and could see from above the work. So glad it’s done. Seemed to be under construction since 2019?

  4. Has anyone counted the number of times the entrance to 26 Federal Plaza has been altered. Every alteration resulted in the sidewalk on Broadway between Worth and Duane Streets to be closed.

  5. I lived across the street for two years. The construction was a disaster. It’s why my wife and I moved out.

  6. Christmas came early, the sidewalk outside Federal Plaza finally re-opened for pedestrians earlier this week. Woohoo!