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Photo: Andreana Bitsis

The Ford Foundation Atrium Is One of NYC’s Hidden Gems

On a hidden block on E. 42nd Street between 1st and 2nd Avenue, the Ford Foundation is nestled amid the typically vertiginous architecture of New York City. Established in 1967 the building itself was designated a national landmark in 1997, but its interior masks a well established garden that is one of New York City’s hidden gems.

Inside the building, the Ford Foundation Atrium is a 10-story glass foyer that houses a tropical garden filled with towering trees, hanging ferns, gardenias, and prodigious herbaceous borders. As Untapped Cities points out, the garden isn’t watered via city utilities and thus posed no extraordinary maintenance; “the building’s roof captures rainwater, and during dry periods, the garden is kept healthy with a stored water supply”.

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Andreana Bitsis

Hanging vines hang from the girders in the enclosure, which encircles a contemplative pond and an adjoining water feature surrounded by lush greenery. The Ford Foundation Garden is open to the public and makes for a truly unique experience for those interested in architecture and its capacity to dovetail with nature in New York City– a literal concrete jungle.

The Ford Foundation garden is open to the public on weekdays from 10 AM to 4 PM.

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