Gramercy Park is one of those elusive places in New York City, viewable in plain sight but perpetually difficult to access. Mostly because you need a key–and to get a key you have to own property on one of the original lots around the private park or be a member of the National Arts Club or the Players Club which are located on the park. Or, stay at the Gramercy Park Hotel. But now, you can have a peek inside thanks to Google Maps.
But no, Google didn’t send its street view cars into the park. A Pittsburgh-area resident rented an AirBNB on his honeymoon at Gramercy Park, took three 360-degree panoramic photographs inside the park using Photo Sphere, a Google app and uploaded the images to Google Maps. As Shawn Christopher tells The New York Times, “When I found out where I was, I thought, ‘This has to be captured. The Internet is all about sharing knowledge, especially these secret, hidden things.” Direct link to Google Maps image here.
But he didn’t know that it’s forbidden in the park to take commercial photographs–even celebrities like Robert de Niro and Woody Allen have been turned down. But thankfully, even though Google policies allow images to be removed by request, Arlene Harrison, president of the Gramercy Park Block Association says she’ll allow it. But she adds that she would have turned down Google if they had requested directly.