The Trump Tower’s privately owned public space (POPS) is not a comfortable place. A POPS is an “amenity provided and maintained by a developer for public use, in exchange for additional floor area.” Amenities typically are outdoor plazas or seating areas that may be used by the general public without charge, but occasionally, as here, the space is indoors and climate controlled. The Trump Tower POPS space is located on the same lower floor as various Trump-designated food options: Trump Cafe, Trump Grill, Trump Bar, and Trump Ice Cream (surprisingly, the public bathrooms were not identified as Trump Toilets). In any event, it’s a little difficult to see where the space for the various eating options begins and the POPS space ends, but the tables in the open area near the escalators are definitely available to the public.
Our reading was taken on a not very busy Sunday afternoon, and even in a relatively empty space the meter clocked in at almost 75 decibels. We weren’t surprised, as the design insures a noisy space. A loud water feature takes up one wall, and background music (not too loud, but unnecessary) and general chatter bounce off of every hard surface. And almost every surface in this POPS is a hard surface. The only soft elements available to absorb or deflect sound were a few floppy plants and some cushions on the chairs in the public space.
But no matter how loud the space is it will not approach the loudness of the decor. It’s exactly what you would expect in a Trump building: heavily veined stone, mirrored glass, and lots of brass. The excessive use of mirrors was disorienting, especially coupled with the lights bouncing off of every brassy surface.
It’s clear that the space is meant to impress, and it did–we were impressed with how uncomfortable it was. There is little that can be done to make the space truly comfortable save a gut renovation. In short, the Trump Tower POPS should not be your first (or last) choice for a quiet respite. That said, it’s a veritable tourist spot–tourists seemed to make up a large percentage of the visitors–and given Donald Trump’s current political run, a visit to the Trump Tower POPS could be instructive. We think you will leave with a fuller understanding of Trump the man, the candidate, and the brand.
The public restrooms are clean. There’s that.
8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. every day
725 Fifth Avenue (betw. 56th and 57th Streets), New York, NY 10022