The Elevated Acre: Explore Manhattan’s Hidden Oasis Above City Streets

The Elevated Acre, a hidden gem 30 feet above Manhattan’s streets, offers a peaceful retreat from the city’s hustle for both locals and tourists.

People in Elevated Acre
Elevated Acre (01040p)” by Rhododendrites is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

Hidden at 55 Water Street in Manhattan’s Financial District, the Elevated Acre is a secret retreat amidst the hustle of a bustling neighborhood.

Relax at the Elevated Acre and savor the calm atmosphere, a stark contrast to the bustling city below.

Chronicle of The Elevated Acre

The Elevated Acre, a secluded oasis 30 feet above Manhattan’s bustling streets, was initially created in the early 1970s following the completion of 55 Water Street, a building designed by Emery Roth & Sons in line with the 1961 skyscraper zoning regulations.

Reading on a park bench at the Elevated Acre
Last days of summer, reading on a park bench at the Elevated Acre” by wwward0 is marked with CC0 1.0.

This unique green space was a product of developers capitalizing on rules and incentives for public space creation. Initially, the Elevated Acre was underused and obscure, with many unaware of its existence due to limited accessibility.

Recognizing its potential and the value of green spaces for urban residents, the owners of 55 Water Street embarked on a significant renovation in the early 2000s.

This redevelopment included making the entrance more noticeable and inviting, along with enhancing the area with well-manicured gardens and plantings, creating an idyllic retreat from city life.

Today, the Elevated Acre is a testament to thoughtful urban planning and redevelopment, striving to balance the dynamics of a bustling city.

Accessing The Elevated Acre

The accessibility of The Elevated Acre has two available options, by taking into an escalator or the various public transportation.

To reach The Elevated Acre, find the hidden escalator at 55 Water Street, marked by a small golden plaque. It lifts you 30 feet to a peaceful park. Alternatively, elevators in the building’s lobby offer easy access for everyone.

Elevator in 55 Water Street, Elevated Acre
Water St Coenties Slip td (2018-08-09) 15 – 55 Water Street, Elevated Acre” by Tdorante10 is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

Another way is multiple public transportation options. If you’re taking the subway, several nearby stations cater to different lines. Here are some options:

  • Fulton Street Station: This station is just a 7-minute walk away from The Elevated Acre.
  • Wall Street Station: Located an 8-minute walk from the park, this station also connects you to multiple subway lines.
NYC Ferry
island ferry skylined NYC” by shannonkringen is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

Consider taking the NYC Ferry for a scenic route. The Wall Street-Pier 11 stop is near 55 Water Street, offering a picturesque East River journey to your destination.

Design and Landscape Features

The Elevated Acre in New York City, designed by Ken Smith and Rogers Marvel Architects, is a unique one-acre urban park completed in 2005.

It blends contemporary architecture with natural beauty, featuring a winding Brazilian hardwood boardwalk that connects various areas, enriching the visitor experience.

The park offers a serene escape with its lush gardens, a mix of ornamental grasses, flowering perennials, manicured lawns, and vibrant greenery, enhancing the area with beauty and tranquility.

The seven-tiered amphitheater, offering diverse seating like benches and chairs, is a versatile space with stunning views of the East River and Brooklyn Bridge.

The Elevated Acre, with its unique design and beautiful gardens, offers a distinct urban park experience, enhanced by a summer beer garden that adds to its allure.

Activities and Events

Throughout the year, the Elevated Acre in Manhattan serves as a vibrant hub for a range of public events, attracting both locals and visitors.

This unique urban space hosts “Movies Under the Stars,” where people gather to enjoy outdoor film screenings against the stunning backdrop of the Manhattan skyline.

It provides a venue for live music and diverse styles, coupled with stunning views. The park also hosts fitness classes like yoga, Pilates, and Zumba, ideal for staying active in a scenic setting.

The Elevated Acre is not just limited to public events. It also provides a picturesque setting for private occasions such as weddings.

Couples looking for a unique and memorable venue will find the Elevated Acre ideal, with its intimate atmosphere, lush greenery, and breathtaking views. It’s an exceptional choice for those wanting to exchange vows in the heart of Manhattan.

The Elevated Acre is ideal for both personal and corporate events, such as product launches or team-building retreats, due to its mix of open space and natural and urban elements that encourage creativity and collaboration.

Visitor Information

The Elevated Acre is open daily from 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM, ideal for unwinding either in the early morning or evening to enjoy a quiet moment or a stunning sunset.

Within the Elevated Acre, you’ll find various amenities to enhance your experience. There is a lovely garden where you can take in the lush greenery and vibrant flowers.

Along with the green space, you’ll discover a spacious plaza with comfortable seating to admire the stunning views of the East River, Brooklyn Bridge, and the city skyline.

During summer, the Elevated Acre hosts outdoor movie nights with food and drink options from nearby food trucks and local eateries, perfect for enjoying films under the stars with friends and family.

My Thoughts on The Elevated Acre: Explore Manhattan’s Hidden Oasis Above City Streets

The Elevated Acre in Manhattan, established in the 1970s and revitalized in the early 2000s, is a hidden urban oasis above the bustling streets.

Accessible via an escalator at 55 Water Street or public transport, it combines modern design with natural beauty, featuring a boardwalk, gardens, and an amphitheater with views of the East River and Brooklyn Bridge.

It’s a venue for events like outdoor movies, concerts, and yoga, as well as private functions like weddings. Open daily, it offers a tranquil retreat for city residents and visitors.

While not as famous as other NYC parks, it’s a significant, serene space that’s planning future enhancements for flora diversity and environmental sustainability.

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