1. Zuccotti Park Has Received Multiple Architectural Awards

In 2008, Zuccotti Park received the American Institute of Architects Honor Award for Regional and Urban Design, and has been recognized by many magazines for the strength and elegance of its design.

Following 9/11, the park’s architecture was reimagined by Cooper Robertson. Today, it boasts granite benches, tables, and 54 honey locust trees. Food trucks and shade are in ample supply, and the park often hosts concerts and memorial events. It was designed to facilitate diagonal movement in between the subway stations to the west to the Financial District to the east.

Today, businessmen and locals often stop to eat lunch in the company of the trees and flowers that bloom in the spring. At night, Zuccotti Park glows with thousands of lights installed to celebrate the season. Many of these lights are installed directly in the ground, creating a futuristic-looking “light floor” broken by horizontal beams that break up the concrete in a magical and surreal display. The park is especially festive in during the holidays, when the park’s honey locust trees are strung with glittering Christmas lights that provide an effortless passage to a winter wonderland. For this reason, the park is a common tourist destination in the winter.

Zuccotti Park has witnessed a multitude of political turmoil, but today it is an oasis of peace, the perfect place for remembering and reflecting —  or for simply forgetting the world and taking a breath — in the midst of one of the busiest sections of Manhattan.

To learn more, check out this article on privately owned public spaces and the Occupy Wall Street protests, or this article on the top 10 secrets of NYC’s McCarran Park