As part of the ongoing East Side Access project, the MTA has opened a new public space in Midtown called the 50th Street Commons. Dr. Michael Horodniceanu, President of MTA Capital Construction officially inaugurated the new “urban oasis” yesterday as an inviting and relaxing mini respite for weary commuters. The pocket park was a way for the MTA to give back to the local community after years of construction on the delayed transportation project.

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The public space was designed to bring a peaceful, quiet space to the heavily-trafficked area and comes complete with a shade garden made from an overhead trellis planted with 22 species of ornamental greenery. Underneath the lush green canopy is a seating area that can accommodate up to 40 people. The park materials include an attractive mix of stone, glass, stainless steel and North American granite blocks. Of course, the star of the design is the illuminated glass waterfall that changes colors, providing a soothing water feature for park visitors.

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During the inauguration ceremony, Dr. Horodniceanu explained the significance of the park to the community. “This ‘pocket park’ is truly an oasis in the midst of Manhattan’s concrete jungle,” he said. “50th Street Commons is our way of giving back to the Midtown Manhattan community, which has endured the inconveniences of construction for a number of years. While most of the construction for East Side Access is underground, this is an aspect of the project that will be a visible improvement for everyone in Manhattan.”

The park will be open daily from 8 a.m. to sunset.


Photos courtesy of MTA Flickr