5. Elizabeth Street Garden in Nolita
Down in Nolita, Elizabeth Street Garden is a privately owned, publicly enjoyed community sculpture garden. With garden plots, marble statues, and flowering plants interspersed with benches, visitors are seemingly transported from the city streets to a picturesque storybook-setting.
First developed in 1981, it opened to the public in 2005, and has become an important space for the community, as the gardens often plays host to neighborhood art exhibitions, small festivals, and yoga and exercise classes.
The garden is in serious danger of being destroyed, as the city has plans to demolish most of the park to build a new housing development, and the garden as it exists now would be gone. Community members and activists of the Elizabeth Street Garden have united to form an organization that continues to work to keep the garden open. The organization released an alternative plan and renderings for the garden in January.
In the meantime, you can support the garden simply by visiting it, or by donating to the cause to keep it open. Elizabeth Street Garden is open from 12-5 PM Monday-Friday, and 10-5 PM on weekends.