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55 Water Street - The Elevated Acre

New York City, NY

55 Water Street is an officious-looking financial district towerblock with a delightful secret - the elevated acre, an NYC garden hidden high above the bustling city streets.

- © Allison Meier

55 Water Street New York NYC 10041 - A Secret Garden

Keep your eyes peeled as you walk past the concrete bulk of 55 Water Street and you'll notice a discrete elevator tucked beneath a thick glass skywalk. Head on up, you'll be amazed what you might find!

This is the entrance to the Elevated Acre, one of NYC's most surprising gardens. A pristine lawn, a tiered amphitheater, Brazilian hardwood paths, stunning views of the East River and a beer garden, all this awaits those lucky enough to stumble upon this urban oasis.

On top of this, arrive on the right day and you might be treated to a film or a dance performance too, the acre being one of the hosts of NYC's River to River Festival. Even on the most ordinary days however the garden offers a welcome escape from the madness of the city below. It's the perfect spot to enjoy a picnic or a good book without having to travel uptown or to the often jam-packed Battery Park.

- © The Machine Stops

A Brief History of 55 Water Street

Where did this hidden NYC gem come from? Its story, perhaps surpisingly, is one of zoning regulations. In 1961 a new policy was introduced allowing developers to add extra storeys onto buildings on one condition: some of the space created be devoted for a public plaza. 55 Water Street was extended and a public plaza was made, the Elevated Acre.

Or, at least, its predecessor. The charming finacial district garden as we now know it wasn't actually created until 2005. Before this it was a barren landscape of red brick tiles. In the early 2000s, however, landscape architects Rogers Marvel and Ken Smith won a contract to redesign the area and the Elevator Acre as we know it today was born.

- © Manuel Ortiz

Interested in finding more places like this? Try one of our NYC Scavenger Hunts - untangle cryptic clues as a team, as you are taken on a journey to the most unique, unusual and bizarre corners of NYC.


What you need to know

55 Water Street - The Elevated Acre
55 Water St, Manhattan, NY, USA
Tips before you visit

Elevated Acre Opening Hours:

7am-10pm daily from May 1st - September 30th

8am-8pm daily from October 1st -April 30th



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