Today was Open House New York so I headed straight for the Ford Foundation Building after all the reading I'd done on it for the history and theory paper. It was up there on the list of public spaces to visit, along with Greenacre Park, pictured below.
Built in the late 60s, when incentive zoning was being used extensively to provide 'public spaces' in cities, the Ford Foundation was a classic example of a privatized public space. This usually meant the site was located within a private building, and in this case, within the glass walls and doors, and had restricted access to members of the public. I was informed by the security guard that the place opened to public only at specified times, mostly during lunch hour, or during corporate events.
Public space is really a misnomer here. Regardless, the aesthetic resembled closely that of Greenacre Park. It was tranquil, cool and basically, an oasis in the corporate midtown. I leave you with photographs I took on the tour today.