120 Park Avenue — 69.2 decibels

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

This is the first time that we recommend avoiding a space that registered under 70 decibels.  Why?  120 Park Avenue’s privately owned public space (POPS) is a covered,  climate controlled indoor space that is stark, cold, and uncomfortable.  The space is so live that every cough, cell phone conversation, or unexpected sound is amplified, bouncing sharply off of all the hard surfaces and rebounding around the room.   Usually indoor POPS are nicer because the space is meant to be enjoyed by building tenants, but not this one.

The tables and chairs provided for the public looked a bit old, but they exist.  There also is plenty of stone bench seating.  Some people were eating during our visit, but there were a number of cell phone users.  And every time someone dragged a chair across the floor, the reading jumped–the sound was so jarring and loud that its effect was not unlike the sound of fingernails on a chalkboard.  Apparently no one knows how to pick up a chair to move it to the preferred spot, because it happen a number of times during our short visit.

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

It was clear that the reason for the low reading was that the space has very high ceilings.  Other than that, there were no other elements that mitigated or softened the noise.

If there are public bathrooms available, we couldn’t find them.

This is a space that people use but do not enjoy.  Many appeared to use the space to make phone calls as they wandered through.  We found the 120 Park Avenue POPS to be absolutely uncomfortable and our least favorite POPS to date.


Monday through Saturday: 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Sunday: 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.


120 Park Avenue (at the corner of 41st Street), New York, NY 10017


NYC overview of the 120 Park Avenue POPS

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