Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Elevated Acre ~ A "Secret Garden" in Lower Manhattan

In the Financial District of Manhattan, amongst all of these tall office buildings on Water Street, is probably the last place you would expect to find a garden, but at 55 Water Street, between Old Slip and Broad Street, there is a "secret garden" waiting to be discovered .....

..... go to this space between the buildings and look for these........

....escalators and stairs that will take you up two levels to see this:

It is called the Elevated Acre, described as "Lower Manhattan's backyard for special events where outdoor elegance meets downtown chic."

Located 40 feet in the air, and surrounded by skyscrapers on three sides, the Elevated Acre is a beautiful and unique venue for a garden.

Visitors are greeted by a gently inclined surface........

.......dotted with honey locust and black locust trees, ornamental grasses and flowers.......


....and multiple little paths and alcoves with benches to sit on to rest and enjoy the peacefulness.

At the top of the incline is a boardwalk, paralleling the East River, made of broad planks of Brazilian hardwood. From the boardwalk there are beautiful panoramic views of New York Harbor from the Brooklyn Bridge to Governors Island.

Here you can see a good panoramic view of the East River and Brooklyn Heights. In this photo a Circle Line tour boat and a Water Taxi can be seen.
Besides watching the active East River water traffic you can also watch the helicopters landing at the Downtown Manhattan Heliport located on Pier 6.

The boardwalk leads up to a modern 50 foot LED lantern, called the Beacon of Progress, at the far corner of the plaza.

At the other end of the acre is a seven-tiered concrete amphitheater forming an L around a large lawn blanketed in an artificial grass made by Field Turf which makes it a permanent green space. This space has table and chairs available for public picnicking use, and it can be rented for private parties and receptions, and has been used for free outdoor movie nights and concerts.

But besides the views, the very best part of the Elevated Acre is that it is a quiet oasis full of beautifully maintained fauna and flora.

It is truly an unexpected garden to find in Lower Manhattan, and because it is so secluded from the street, it is still relatively unknown, to even native New Yorkers.

In my next blog post I'll show you another unexpected surprise on a building on Water Street in Manhattan. Mother nature abounds in unexpected places in New York City, and I hope you will come back to see some more examples.

I am linking this post to Susan's blog A Southern Daydreamer "Outdoor Wednesday" theme event. Please visit Susan's blog today to see links to other blogs beautiful outdoor posts. Thank you, Susan, for hosting this enjoyable event every week!

37 comments:

Maya said...

So great, what a lovely spot! I have to go visit Manhattan, it's been too long (years!) -my husband is in NYC right now, for business though.

happyone said...

What a beautiful garden made even more beautiful because it is so unexpected!

Country Wings in Phoenix said...

Oh MY gosh Pat! How breath taking. You never know what you may find around a corner or up a few elevations. I would never have thought something so beautiful in the midst of all the commotion. I would so look forward to breaks where you can walk and look, take pictures, and just take time to smell the roses. Truly do that. Thanks for sharing. Country Hug, Sherry

Ciao Chow Linda said...

What a surprise Pat. I used to work on Water Street right by the South St. Seaport and didn't even realize that garden was a few steps from my office. I have to go seek it out now.

Penny @ The Comforts of Home/Lavender Hill Studio said...

What a beautiful garden! And there is no charge? I am so suprised that it is not packed with people looking for a little green space in the city.

Rhonda @ Shellbelle's Tiki Hut said...

What a wonderful use of space in the big city! I love that you took us along for the walk to the entrance. Unexpected surprises are often the best! Can't wait to see what you have to show us next week.

aliceinparis said...

I love the people who create green spaces in the city!We need them.What a gem !

Diane@A Picture is Worth.... said...

Hi Pat,
Those are beautiful pics!

I'm beginning to want to visit NYC again...maybe one day!
:) Diane

Cass @ That Old House said...

I never knew this was here! It's so beautiful -- next time I'm in the city, I'm going to try and check it out. Lovely.
Cass

Marilyn said...

What a beautiful garden is just about the last place expected!!
Have a great evening!!
Love,
Marilyn

Pauline said...

Thanks for sharing, what a great place!

M.Kate said...

Wow...who would've thought that there is such beauty on buildings. Happy week...or weekend ahead Pat, hugs/M

steviewren said...

It is a beautiful spot. I can imagine outdoor receptions held an hour before dusk there. Who maintains the garden?

Melissa Miller said...

Pat that is just about the neatest garden ever! I just love it!
~So pretty. :)

jeanne said...

Hello Pat, thank you for your many visits and comments while we have been gone so much this summer. I am so happy to be home for good. We have had a wonderful vacation but home sure feels good.

Your secret Garden is a beautiful surprise. I have been in Manhattan and never would have guessed such a garden existed. Wow, is all I can say. A treasure of beauty and peaceful surroundings. I can't wait to see what come next.

How is baby Leo doing? Growing fast I am sure because that's what children do.

I saw the cookies below. Yum! The recipe doesn't sound too difficult. I bet it is tricky with that chocolate though.

I am truly enjoying time on my computer to visit my blogging friends. There is no place like home.

Hugs...Jeanne

Lynn said...

Oh, I love those roof top gardens in NYC!
Thank you for sharing this one. I must fwd it to my sister!

Regina said...

Beautiful Manhattan.
Great shots!

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Wow. That's like magic. A secret garden indeed!

Jenny said...

Amazing place. Be wonderful to attend an event in that garden, in fact it would be fantastic to live there too.

black eyed susans kitchen said...

Pat, The architecture in Manhattan never ceases to amaze me. It is almost miraculous to find this delightful garden right in the middle of the stone and steel. A lovely place to explore. Thank you once again for this special secret city tour.
♥, Susan

Tracy said...

There are so many surprises in NYC... not least all the little pockets of green and gardens. This was a lovely post, Pat. I just love going on trips with you! :o) Happy Day, my friend ((HUGS))

CatHerder said...

very nice..i ALWAYS seem to seek out the greenery no matter how urban the place is that i am in...great pics

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

A garden surprise in the city...most beautiful! I've seen a few rooftop gardens in Vancouver as well...and amazed what can be done far away from the garden soil.

Vee said...

What a place to have a wedding! That was my first thought and I do see that it can be rented...the fee must be astronomical. How did you find this magical garden?

Tracy @ comfortandluxury said...

How fantastic! I think if I lived or worked in a big city, I would have all the "secret gardens" mapped out... for taking purposeful detours and quick getaway breaks. Kudos to the folks who make it their mission to create and maintain such spaces.

Rue said...

Hi Pat :)

What a wonderful place! It's always amazing to see what secrets NY holds :)

Yes, Annie wants to ride, but after my mom told me how expensive the habit was even back then... well, needless to say she hasn't started yet ;)

hugs,
rue

Sara said...

What a wonderful place for New Yorkers to enjoy!

Now, is this the same as the "High Line" I've seen on a couple other NYer's posts recently?

I must come to New York one of these days; I've never been. There is so much there to enjoy.

Claudia said...

How lovely. An oasis in the midst of cement. I love the surprises NYC holds. The next time I am in NYC, I shall need a print-up of all your blogs. You are a tour guide in the best sense of the word - you show new worlds.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Thank you everyone for your interest!

The Elevated Garden is a privately owned public space. You can look at announcements on the 55 Water st link in the post to see if there are any current free events taking place in the amphitheatre.

The garden is actually located on the top of 55 Water Street's garage area, not the building itself. The garden is maintained by the management of the building.

The High Line is something entirely different and I hope to do a blog post about that soon!

Melanie said...

That is such a beautiful and unexpected place. So much work went in to making it. It looks so pretty. I am glad there are places like it where you would think to only see concrete. Just imagine what a difference there would be in New York if more buildings converted their roofs into green spaces.

Just a little something from Judy said...

I feel like I have let in on a big secret, by visiting your blog today. I love when I learn about unexpected, and out of the way places. Thank you for sharing this beauty with us.

Willow said...

How very cool!

Anonymous said...

Wow! Looks like a nice place to relax for a little while with that special someone ;-) Does anyone know if they have public bathrooms too?

Carol @ TheWritersPorch said...

Love the garden Pat! Hope you keep finding these secrets to show us!!

Laura @ the shorehouse. said...

I love secret city gardens! Something about gardens amidst the "concrete jungle" makes me swoon. I love the unexpected!

Oliag said...

Now this is one place that even my native New Yorker husband never told me about...I will have to ask him if he even knew about it!...I hope to go to NYC soon to visit the High Line....this place may just be added to the trip:)

Proud Italian Cook said...

Hi Pat, Catching up on all yor fabulous posts! You always showcase the best things! This garden is so unexpected, so cool. The city should be paying you for featuring such great things. I've learned so much bout N.Y. from you. You must have a blast going to all these places. I think I would choose that coffee flavored beer too!