Last week, the ground for the new David H Koch plaza at the Metropolitan Museum of Art was officially broken. The plaza is a redesign of a four-block stretch between 80th and 84th streets in Manhattan, running in front of the Fifth Avenue façade. The plaza will be finished in the fall of 2014, complete with new fountains, improved landscaping, lighting installations, and more. x
“Six million pedestrians walk along these sidewalks every year,” said Daniel Brodsky, chairman for the Metropolitan Museum of Art. “More than 2,000 Museum staff and volunteers enter and exit every day. Thousands more ride by in buses and taxis. We believe all these constituencies will enjoy the new plaza for generations to come.”
“It will give the Met a portal outside that is truly worthy of the masterpieces that grace our galleries inside,” he added. The Met is one of the city’s largest cultural attractions, and the new plaza will provide a beautiful view to those visiting it.
The façade had existing fountains, but they were deteriorating with age—after over forty years of use. The new fountains will be closer to the Met, and new tree-shaded allées will also be added as well. There will be several seating areas, both temporary and permanent, and energy-efficient and diffused nighttime lighting will also be set up. New plants will be planted and cultivated seasonally to add to the plaza’s year-round appearance.
Not only will the new plaza be an attractive addition to the current façade, it will also increase safety for the millions of pedestrians who travel on those sidewalks daily. Its last renovation was completed to provide better vehicular access, but these days there are too many pedestrians for the limited walking space. The redesign will address that problem, creating more space for pedestrians while at the same time adding to its aesthetic appeal.
The project will cost about $65 million when complete, the entirety of which was contributed by David H Koch, one of the Museum trustees. For more details on the renovations to take place, visit the Met’s website to see the official press release.