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Paley Park, New York City

4.6
#25 of 39 in Parks in New York City
Paley Park is a pocket park located at 3 East 53rd Street in Midtown Manhattan on the former site of the Stork Club. Designed by the landscape architectural firm of Zion & Breen, it opened May 23, 1967. Paley Park is often cited as one of the finest urban spaces in the United States.Measuring 4200sqft, the park offers a quiet urban oasis in the midst of the bustling city by the careful use of falling water, airy trees, lightweight furniture and simple spatial organization.Key to its success is a 20ft high waterfall spanning the entire back of the park. The waterfall creates a backdrop of grey noise to mask the sounds of the city. The park is surrounded by walls on three sides and is open to the street (with an ornamental gate) on the fourth side, facing the street. The walls are covered in ivy, and the overhead canopy formed by honey locust trees adds a degree of serenity to the park.A privately owned public space, Paley Park was financed by the William S. Paley Foundation and was named by Paley for his father, Samuel Paley. A plaque near the entrance reads: This park is set aside in memory of Samuel Paley, 1875–1963, for the enjoyment of the public.Social interaction in the park was analyzed in the film The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces by William H. Whyte.Paley Park served as the inspiration for a similarly sized urban park in Charleston, South Carolina, that opened in June 2015 and is known as Theodora Park.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
55 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • August 8, 2017
    Paley Park was an innovation when it opened in 1968. A vest pocket park, an oasis of calm in the middle of a bustling, hustling city. The waterfall at its northern end masks the relentless sounds of t...  more »
  • July 21, 2017
    This cute little pocket park now exists where there once was a vacant lot. The waterfall is especially nice. We stopped by last week while walking in the area. A nice place to take a break, as we did.  more »
  • July 19, 2017
    It is a finding in the middle of the city. It serves to take a break. You can eat and have a drink. The wall of water gives you a special climate.
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  • June 28, 2017
    Easy to get to and usually can find a seat even during lunch hours. Food is also available to order for a good price. Taquitos are tasty.
  • April 10, 2017
    One of the greatest parks of NYC. It may be small, it may be surrounded by buildings but somehow this place has everything you want from a public space. Have a seat while moving the furniture as you need, have a rest under the shade and isolate yourself from the city noise with the cascade sound. Enjoy a bite from the coffee shop next to it.
  • April 10, 2017
    Move little nook for a rest out lunch. Nice break from a crowded sidewalk. But it was really advertised on Pinterest as a more exciting and must see place when it's just a small hole. I wouldn't go out of my way to see out but would definitely stop if I passed and needed a rest
  • May 2, 2017
    Too many people smoking cigars. At leas five people smoking in that little space. Otherwise, the place is really nice
  • May 14, 2017
    A historic landmark gem of public space. Oasis of tranquility worth seeking out.

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