New Proposal Calls for Streetscape Remake Around NY Stock Exchange

Rendering looking down Broad Street from Federal Hall with proposed new lighting, a replacement for the New York Stock Exchange security tent, and curbless streets with new paving material. The Alliance says the plan has the support of stakeholders in the area, including the mayor's office. Image courtesy of the Downtown Alliance 

May. 14, 2018

Decrying the “mishmash” of ugly street furniture, fences and concrete security barriers around the New York Stock Exchange, Downtown Alliance President Jessica Lappin on Monday unveiled the business improvement district’s new vision for the area.

Standing near the tourist-teeming intersection of Broad and Wall Streets, Lappin layed out a proposal for enhancing and unifying the pedestrian experience along the historic crossroads, now marred by a clutter of post-9/11 security structures.

The plan, drawn up by a design team led by WXY Architecture + Urban Design, envisions a beautified streetscape with welcoming entrances to the district that also maintains security.

“This should be a crown jewel of the city and that’s why we set off to reimagine the area,” said Lappin, who stood with some of the more than 30 stakeholders—property owners, residents, government officials and others—who worked together for nine months to come up with the 83-page study of the area.

While the proposal has wide support, Lappin said, the estimated $30 million in funding from public and private sources still needs to be raised. That’s not a daunting challenge, she claimed, “when you consider what the city has spent on areas like Times Square or Astor Place or Brooklyn Borough Hall.” She noted that it took seven years to create the Times Square pedestrian plaza from when then Mayor Michael Bloomberg proposed it in 2009.

“It will happen over time,” she added.

With vehicles banned from the area, the plan calls for creating a freer flow of pedestrians by eliminating curbs and sidewalks. A uniform paving surface of “historically appropriate materials would replace the roadbed throughout the eight-block district, which is bordered by Broadway, Pine, Beaver and William Streets. There would be improved lighting and seating, added planting beds and a better, more standardized security bollard design. A centralized delivery center for packages would be created.

“If there is one idea that emerged from among committee members it was that this area now must be transformed,” said Tom Farley, president of the New York Stock Exchange who served as co-chair of the planning group. “We must have a very secure area, certainly, but we can also do it in a way that’s welcoming and beautiful.”