A More Welcoming Wall + Broad; Downtown Alliance Launches Study to Improve the Area Surrounding the NYSE

A More Welcoming Wall + Broad;  Downtown Alliance Launches Study to Improve the Area Surrounding the NYSE

The Alliance for Downtown New York is conducting a new design study "A More Welcoming Wall + Broad: Improving the Area Surrounding the New York Stock Exchange" to make the area more vibrant and inviting for New Yorkers and visitors alike.

The project's genesis dates back to the winter of 2015 when the Alliance began having conversations with the New York Police Department (NYPD), the NYSE and members of the community about the area surrounding the intersection of Wall Street and Broad Street. The takeaway from these initial conversations was that, even working within the parameters security restrictions imposed, there was room for an array of improvements. Responses from the community overwhelmingly reflected a sentiment that the area had become unsightly and that it was being isolated from the rejuvenation happening to the neighborhood around it.

As recent months have brought a number of new investments in the area making the case for change all the more pressing, the Alliance began outlining a plan for a formal analysis of the area.  The Alliance developed the physical parameters of the study to specifically look at the area within the current security perimeter, established by the NYPD and staffed by the NYSE, that is bounded by the southern curb of Pine Street to the north, Broadway to the west, William Street to the east and Beaver Street to the south.  It also outlined the objectives of the study to suggest ways to improve mobility and circulation, create a more attractive pedestrian environment around the Stock Exchange and enhance building access for pedestrians, deliveries and sanitation.

Once the geography and the objectives were established The Alliance began assembling a broad team to work together in addressing concerns about the area.  In addition to issuing an RFP in early 2017 to seek out a design partner with experience in the neighborhood and a strong track record for success, the Alliance also created an ad hoc committee to represent the community stakeholders, including local businesses, property owners, residents, cultural institutions, the community board, and elected officials.  After an RFP review process that engaged a wide number of leading planning and design firms, the Alliance hired WXY Architecture + Urban Design, an established Lower Manhattan practice, to assist with "A More Welcoming Broad + Wall".

Together the Alliance, WXY and the ad hoc committee will cull feedback from local stakeholders as well as the public, before presenting a proposal in early 2018.

"We're delighted to be organizing this effort to spruce up and beautify the area around Wall and Broad Streets," said Downtown Alliance President Jessica Lappin. "While security is the top priority, this is a great opportunity to bring the community together to develop a shared vision that can make this a more welcoming public space that allows people to enjoy the deep history of one of NYC's premier destinations."

First Deputy Mayor Anthony Shorris: "I have worked downtown for decades and understand that there is a unique and complex streetscape surrounding Wall and Broad Streets. The City of New York deeply values the input of the Alliance and area residents and is eager to engage in this important conversation. We look forward to the study’s recommendations for how to improve this vital and historic area."

Tom Farley, President, New York Stock Exchange: "There's a rich history at the exchange and the current environs simply don't do it justice.  ​It's great that the Alliance is spearheading this project to help us take the next steps in improving the area."

Marie Salerno, Federal Hall: "Our space captures a pivotal moment in U.S. history and that deserves a setting that commands respect and enhances the visitor experience.  We're delighted to be participating in this long overdue project."

Maria Castelluccio, Head of School, Léman Manhattan: "People raise their children in New York City because it offers unparalleled access to history and culture.  With 75 percent of our student body coming from within the neighborhood, we look forward to enhancements to the area that inspire them to take advantage of the tremendous resources at our school's doorstep.

Anthony Notaro, Chair, Community Board 1: "Improvement of the area surrounding the stock exchange has been a longstanding priority for CB1.  The site has unique security demands that need to be balanced with accessibility for the community and tourists alike and we're confident that this team can propose a solution that addresses both needs."

Cynthia Rojas Sejas, Vice President, S&P Global Market Intelligence / Alliance for Downtown New York Board Member / Resident: "Every time I leave my FiDi apartment, I walk through Wall and Broad and see its potential to help residents and visitors enjoy Downtown's history and beauty in a new way.  With all of the incredible projects that are currently shaping the new face of Lower Manhattan, it would be great to see this area transformed."

Timeline for Study

May – Hired WXY as design lead to work in partnership with SCAPE Landscape Architecture (landscape architecture), Sam Schwartz Engineering (traffic/mobility), CityActivators (programming) and GLEEDS (cost estimation)

June – Conducted one-on-one meeting with various stakeholders

July – Ad hoc committee holds first of three meetings

September – Alliance launches website to gather public feedback

Late 2017 – Study concludes

Early 2018 – Alliance shares findings and redesign proposal

Ad Hoc Committee* for Design Study

Tom Farley, President, New York Stock Exchange
Cynthia Rojas Sejas, Vice President, S&P Global Market Intelligence / Resident / Alliance for Downtown New York Board Member

Property Owners
Robert Gladstone, Madison Equities
Jack Terzi, JTRE Holdings
Bill Rudin, Rudin Management
Brian Steinwurtzel, Newmark Holdings
Nathan Bermann, MetroLoft

Cultural Institutions
Marie Salerno, Federal Hall
Andrew Hamingson, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council
Maria Castelluccio, Head of School, Léman Manhattan

Community Representatives
Anthony Notaro, Chair, Community Board 1
Roger Byrom, Co-Chair, CB 1 Landmarks Committee
Bruce Ehrman, Co-Chair, CB1 Landmarks Committee
Patrick Kennell, Co-Chair, CB1 Land Use Committee and FiDi Neighborhood Association
Reggie Thomas, Co-Chair, CB 1 Land Use Committee

Commercial Tenants
John Barker, Barker Advertising
Frank Sciame, Sciame Construction

Kelly Harbison, Bobby Vans
Clara del Villar, Neopolitan Express

John Wheeler, JLL
Stephen Lefkowitz, Fried Frank

City Agencies
First Deputy Mayor Anthony Shorris’s office
Dept. of Transportation
New York Police Department
New York City Economic Development Corporation

Elected Officials
State Senator Squadron
Assembly Member Niou
Borough President Brewer
Council Member Chin

*Committee membership still in formation

About WXY
WXY is an award-winning multi-disciplinary practice specializing in the realization of urban design, planning and architectural solutions in challenging contexts. Led by Lower Manhattan Resident Claire Weisz, the firm has extensive experience in the neighborhood and has recently lead the design for the Robert R. Douglass Pedestrian Bridge (formerly the West Thames) and  the SeaGlass Carousel at The Battery.  Focused on innovative approaches to public space, structures and urban issues, the firm’s work engages both site-specific design and planning at multiple scales. The firm’s commissions are in collaboration with community-based, public authority, and private clients.