Flatiron/23rd Street District Streetscape Design Plan

Flatiron/23rd Street District Streetscape Design Plan

New York City

The Flatiron/23rd Street district includes many streetscape conditions characteristic of New York: planted center islands on wide avenues; strong streetwalls of eclectic commercial buildings, some utilitarian, some architectural gems such as turn of the century cast-iron buildings; a vibrant street life supported by transit; and the irregular public spaces created from the path of Broadway slicing across the grid of Manhattan. The center of the district is defined by one of the most striking responses to Broadway’s geometry, the iconic Flatiron Building.

Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership retained Starr Whitehouse to develop the first streetscape master plan for the business improvement district (BID). Informed by business owners, district stakeholders, and government agencies, the streetscape master plan inventories and analyzes conditions in the district, identifies opportunities and areas of improvement, and establishes a prioritized program of phased improvements. First phase horticultural projects start in Spring 2009. Later phases include district street lighting, pavement standards, interpretive signage, and newsbox programs; longer term recommendations include street modifications and a commercial signage program. The master plan provides a framework for investments that enhance neighborhood identity, pedestrian safety, and economic vitality in the area.

Starr Whitehouse assisted the Partnership on the new temporary public spaces at Broadway and Fifth Avenue created by the City’s Department of Transportation in Summer 2008. Work included layouts of public space elements, selection of furniture and pavement materials, and project consultation. The new spaces reclaim space for pedestrians and are redefining the public perception of Broadway.