Any tried and true New Yorker will tell you that New York is a city within a city. The Big Apple’s stately skyscrapers contain a surprising number of hidden nooks and crannies. The Elevated Acre—a small, well-manicured park which is located atop a building at 55 Water Street—is one of the bustling Financial District’s best kept secrets. Even lifelong New Yorkers who have worked in Manhattan for decades are unaware that they could spend their lunch break relaxing in a peaceful park which offers a stunning view of the Brooklyn Bridge.
In the 1960s, a change to existing zoning laws stated that skyscrapers could add extra floors if they included a public plaza. The developers of the property at 55 Water Street decided to construct a cozy park called the Elevated Acre that would serve as a peaceful urban savanna. The Elevated Acre features benches, an amphitheater, and an evergreen field of synthetic grass.
In 2005, the Elevated Acre was revamped by a team of architects from Rogers Marvel Architects. The Elevated Acre currently features several different types of blooming flowers and trees. Visitors can view a sea of bright blooming flowers in the springtime and a canopy of golden leaves in the fall.
The Elevated Acre is accessible via a secluded escalator located at 55 Water Street. A small golden plaque at the base of the escalator alerts visitors that they are in the right place. A short escalator ride transports park goers above the din of Lower Manhattan to one of the most serene spots in all of New York City.
If you fall in love with the Elevated Acre, you can rent out the space for a wedding or other special event. The Elevated Acre occasionally hosts film screenings, concerts, and dance performances. There is even a small restaurant on the park grounds called Sky55 that caters to the Financial District lunch crowd. Most visitors are content to munch on a piping hot slice of New York pizza from a nearby restaurant as they view Brooklyn’s legendary skyline.
If the nonstop pace of New York’s Financial District is too much for you, consider spending a peaceful afternoon at the Elevated Acre. There are few places in New York that offer a better view of the East River or the Manhattan Bridge. Enjoy one of the few places in The City That Never Sleeps where you can truly catch your breath.
55 Water Street
New York, New York