The lobby of 550 Madison Avenue is is a privately owned public space (POPS). A POPS is an “amenity provided and maintained by a developer for public use, in exchange for additional floor area.” The amenities typically offered are outdoor plazas or seating areas that may be used by the general public without charge. Here, the space is indoors and climate controlled, and there are plenty of table and chairs available to the public. There are a couple of cafes in the lobby should you wish to purchase food or beverages, but you may bring food or drink from outside of the building and use the tables and chairs.
The space was very busy during our visit. Given all of the people who were present, the sound level was manageable. There were banging noises from the Rieu Cafe every time the barista emptied the espresso maker. This added to the chatter and made the decibel level rise, but overall we found the space to be very tolerable.
Public toilets are available; they are located in the SONY Wonder Technology Lab (closer to the 56th Street exit). The restrooms are hardly fabulous, but they are mostly clean and well-stocked, just suffering from a little neglect.
Arcade is open 24 hours
Covered pedestrian space is open 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. every day
The space may be closed occasionally for private events.