The 72nd Street subway station lacked free transfer between uptown and downtown subway lines. To remedy the condition, the project closed a major thoroughfare to create public open space and room for a new headhouse. MNLA's design for the 17,000 sf plaza incorporates activities that complement the site’s intermodal purpose by offering retail amenities for transit passengers including a weekend farmers market and encouraging pedestrians to enjoy the tranquil green oasis of Verdi Square.
The design integrates two formerly unconnected remnant spaces of a paved traffic triangle and fenced-off Verdi Square into an ensemble that reads as a harmonious phrase of music. The space is organized to clarify pedestrian circulation. The center is intentionally open for circulation and is punctuated by a circular granite inlay that makes reference to a Verdi opera while the main routes of travel are lined with comfortable shaded seating areas.
This project did the unprecedented: it closed a major thoroughfare to create public open space.