One of the first in a slew of proposals to revamp pedestrian areas surrounding the New York Stock Exchange has landed in front of the Landmarks Preservation Commission. This phase of work pertains to the construction of new concrete seating and planters near the Fearless Girl sculpture, Federal Hall, and along the intersection of Broad and Wall Street.
The proposed bench locations depicted in the proposals represent those which the Downtown Alliance could complete based on existing stepped curbs, security apparatuses, and checkpoints. The rounded benches would rise 17 to 19 inches above ground and are comprised of light gray concrete.
From The Alliance for Downtown New York and WXY Architecture, the overall scheme focuses on expanding walkable areas of the Stock Exchange District through a vast elimination of raised curbs, the installation new lighting systems throughout the area, and simplification of existing security infrastructure. Most of all, the goal is to create a downtown destination apt for both tourists and New Yorkers.
The grand scheme has also captured support from the New York Stock Exchange, Community 1, the nearby Trinity church, and New York City officials.
“In any other city this would be ‘the corner,’ ‘the place,’ and it should be an area that New Yorkers are incredibly proud of,” said Jessica Lappin, president of the Alliance for Downtown New York in a promotional video publicizing the plan. “This plan would help bring that to light.”
Often referred to as The Downtown Alliance, the organization manages the Lower Manhattan Business Improvement District and provides supplemental services including sanitation, security, economic development, streetscape and transportation improvements, and targeted marketing.
“The security apparatus is old and tired somewhat dated and needs to be overhauled,” said Tom Farley, president of the New York Stock Exchange in the same promotional video. “Additionally, the streets are still conceived in a way for vehicular traffic, but it’s become a pedestrian walkway and it will be that way in perpetuity, and we should embrace that and really make it even more welcoming for pedestrians.”
In addition to WXY Architecture, the project team also includes Sam Schwartz Engineering, SCAPE, and City Activators. According to comments from various entities involved, the overall redevelopment will take many years and will be completed incrementally.