The atrium at 601 Lexington (formerly known as the Citigroup Center) is a covered, climate controlled 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.” POPS can vary in quality, but the covered public spaces tend to offer more amenities, like cafes and public restrooms, and they tend to be better maintained. The atrium at 601 Lexington is no exception, as it offers plenty of amenities for visitors.
There are lots of tables and chairs in the multi-story atrium, which is surrounded by shops, restaurants, and delis. But as with all POPS, you don’t have to buy anything from the commercial spaces within the public space to use the amentities. In fact, you can bring in your own food or beverages and use the tables and chairs that are provided.
The plaza outside of the building is also available for public use 24 hours, but it’s uncomfortably loud during the work week due to street noise and a really noisy water feature. The atrium, in contrast, was serene even though more than half of the tables were taken, no doubt due, at least in part, to its height.
The public space is served by large and clean bathrooms. The only drawback is that the restrooms use the dreaded and LOUD Xcelerator hand dryer and there is no alternative hand drying option.
If you want to rest your feet, have a coffee, or just stop to relax somewhere in midtown, 601 Lexington is an excellent option.
7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. every day
601 Lexington Avenue (betw. 53rd and 54th Streets), New York, NY 11022