History Of New York’s Winter Garden Atrium And Brookfield Place

Winter Garden Atrium NYC

Photo: Sterilgutassistentin, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

The history of New York’s Grand Winter Garden Atrium looks back at a very modern day building destroyed in 9/11 because of its proximity to the World Trade Centers. In fact, New York’s Winter Garden was connected to the World Trade Center via a bridge that crossed over West Street. All of that was destroyed in the 9/11 attacks. The mesmerizing beautiful glass planes and astonishing majestic marble steps were completely shattered and crushed in the 9/11 attacks. However, New York’s Winter Garden was rebuilt very quickly in defiance are those despicable acts of terrorism. New York’s Grand Winter Garden Atrium reopened on September 12, 2002 in a grand ceremony attended by President George Bush at the time. It was a major step in the rebuilding of the World Trade Center area and a proud moment in American history. It was incredible how quickly the Atrium was rebuilt and the significance of its reopening almost exactly one year later after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The Winter Garden Atrium in the aftermath of 9/11

Winter Garden Atrium 9/11

Photo: Bri Rodriguez, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

New York’s Winter Garden at Brookfield Place is a very special place in New York City for New Yorkers. Of course it’s not as famous as the World Trade Center or any of the other historic New York City landmarks like the Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty or even Central Park. Yet, stepping into the rebuilt New York Winter Garden is a breathtaking experience that even astonishes New Yorkers when they walk into that beautiful atrium. New York’s Winter Garden is located at 230 Vesey Street at Three World Financial Center in lower Manhattan. It is located directly across the street from the World Trade Center. It is not far from Battery Park.

The Winter Garden is part of a complex called Brookfield Place which was known as the World Financial Center. The complex is managed by Brookfield Properties which is a subsidiary of Brookfield Asset Management Inc. A company that dates back to 1899. Brookfield Palace consists of a major office complex and shopping center. Due to the 9/11 attacks many of the buildings were rebuilt and renamed. One World Financial Center is now called 200 Liberty Street. Two World Financial Center is now called 225 Liberty Street. Three World Financial Center is now named 200 Vesey Street. Four World Financial Center is now named 250 Vesey Street.

The Winter Garden was first built starting in1985. The Atrium opened in 1988. It was designed by Cesar Pelli and Diana Balmori. There is nothing like a beautiful atrium in the heart of a major urban city like New York. There is a sense of fresh air that one feels when walking into a grand 120 foot high hall filled with 40 foot tall palm trees and sunshine. It’s as almost as if one can feel the oxygen from the trees filling your body with a sense of new found energy and life. As dramatic as that might sound, it’s actually quite true. The entire ceiling is glass letting the sunshine in during the days and offering powerful views of the night sky in the evening.

Winter Garden Atrium NYC

Photo: Billie Grace Ward from New York, USA, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

On the West end of the Winter Garden Atrium are the glass planes shining onto the Hudson River. On the East side of the Winter Garden Atrium stands the breathtaking majestic marble staircase that was rebuilt in the aftermath of 9/11. There are concerts and various performances conducted on the steps throughout the year. To the east of the steps is the entranceway to the Atrium via an escalator that leads to the spectacular Oculus transportation hub that serves twelve different subway lines. The Oculus is filled with retailers, places to eat and entrance ways to the various World Trade Center buildings including exterior entrance and exits to the streets surrounding the World Trade Center. The stunning architecture of the Oculus was built in tribute to the memory of the original World Trade Center.

Oculus NY

Photo by Dorian Mongel

Getting back to the Winter Garden Atrium, one of the most inviting aspects of the Winter Garden Atrium are the glass planes constructed on the eastern side of the Atrium. The huge glass planes of the Winter Garden Atrium offer patrons a breathtaking view of the Hudson River. There are plenty of restaurants in the Atrium and Brookfield Palace complex that also offer this sensational view. There is an incredible mix of medium to high end food choices that offer something for everyone. As far as shopping goes, the complex offer retailers from Untuckit it to Michael Kors, Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Bottega Veneta to a good old fashioned Rite Aid drug store. There are plenty more stores in the complex

Right outside the entrance to the Winter Garden Atrium is an ice skating ring open to the public in the middle of what is called the Waterfront Terrace. Obviously, the ice skating rink is only open during the winter months. It is situated in the middle of a courtyard surrounded by stores, restaurants and plenty of places to sit and take in the views of the greatest city in the world. This is a truly remarkable experience to just walk around in. There is also the North Cove Marina located at Brookfield Place which offers many different sailing experiences for all.

Brookfield Place and the Winter Garden Atrium are one of the most enjoyable places one can visit in New York City. Of course the complex is home to thousands of New Yorkers who work in the World Trade Center buildings that make up the complex so its not just a tourist spot. The transportation hub connected to the complex also serves millions of New Yorkers a year. The history of the complex is a modern one based in technological innovation in architecture, tragedy, and of course the will to stand tall in the face of terrorism. Everyone should find the time to visit this spectacular complex of victory that defines the concepts of capitalism, democracy and freedom in all its glory.

We highly recommend our readers to watch the the two videos below that do a great job at displaying the amenities and views of the Winter Garden Atrium and Brookfield Place complex. The first one was filmed at night, the second one was filmed during the day.

Brookfield Place Winter Garden

Photo: JW19335762743, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Winter Garden Atrium NYC

Photo: Sterilgutassistentin, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

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