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Case Studies 
*Nominee 

Greenacre Park

New York

NY

USA

Contributed by 
Project for Public Spaces
 on 
July 24, 2002
January 3, 2018

One of New York City's famed "vest pocket-parks," providing an emerald-green sanctuary for east-side residents and workers.

What makes it Great?

Why it doesn't work?

One of New York City's famed "vest pocket-parks," Greenacre Park provides an emerald-green sanctuary for east-side residents and workers.

With a 25-foot-high waterfall cascading over the rear wall, skillfully landscaped trees and plantings, an outdoor cafe, and shady arbors, the park was designed to make the most of its small size. Built in 1971 by the Greenacre Foundation, (founded two years earlier by Mrs. Jean Mauze, the former Abby Rockefeller) the park was developed to provide New Yorkers with "some moments of serenity in this busy world." The park's award-winning designs were created by Hideo Sasaki, former chairman of Harvard's Landscape Architecture Department, and Harmon Goldstone, who served as consultant. Greenacre park is heavily used, but not enough to make it feel overcrowded.

Like its sister, Paley Park, Greenacre Park has the basic ingredients of a good public space. First, the park is located directly on the street, attracting people to take a look. There are also movable chairs and tables so people can be comfortable, and there is good, reasonably priced food.  A waterfall provides a dramatic focal point and a reason to visit the park, while its noise creates a sense of quiet and privacy. Trees provide shade in the summertime, and their thin structure allows a beautiful dappled light to pass through, while overhead heat lamps on the upper level keep the area warm in cooler weather.

The Greenacre Foundation, who owns and maintains the park, also operates a reference center at 457 Madison Avenue (51st Street) in conjunction with The Municipal Arts Society.

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Uses & Activities

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Greenacre Park
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Greenacre Park

*Please note that these Hall of Shame nominations were written in a moment in time (most over a decade ago) and likely have since changed or even been transformed. If the above entry is now great, or still not so great, go ahead and comment below on how it has evolved or nominate it as a great place.

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