Ford Foundation Building — 60.6 decibels

Photo credit: quietcitymap

Photo credit: quietcitymap

The public lobby of the Ford Foundation is not to be missed.  Unlike other public lobbies, there are no public toilets, food stands, tables, or chairs.  Rather, there is an absolutely spectacular indoor garden in a soaring atrium, a fountain in the middle of the space, and a low brick bench on the east wall.  What bliss!  When the decibel meter started it read only 57 decibels.  To date, this was the quietest public spot that we found in Manhattan.  What the Ford Foundation lobby lacks in amenities it makes up for in quiet.

No food and drinks are allowed, so come here if you want to chill with a book or meditate for a little while.   There are plenty of restaurants and coffee shops within a few blocks, so there’s somewhere to go if you feel peckish or thirsty or need to use a restroom.

Caution: The building will undergo an extensive renovation beginning October 2016; it is anticipated that the renovation will be completed in the summer of 2018.   The garden will be renovated as well–it will not be removed–but it won’t be open to the public until the renovation is completed.  Go and visit the space while you can.


Monday through Friday: 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (no holidays)



Ford Foundation building renovation information

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