Mystery Surrounds Chase Manhattan Plaza

Written By Yuan Feng | July 06, 2012
2019%2f09%2f13%2f12%2f13%2f24%2fa07b6962 ce08 4ca7 839d b897942b9ec8%2ffile

A mystery occupies the empty space in Lower Manhattan’s Chase Manhattan Plaza, a vacant 2-acre lot fenced off from the public. The area, owned by JPMorgan Chase, is patrolled by private security forces and has been closed since mid-September. While the move to fence off Chase Manhattan Plaza from the public was originally an action in response to the Occupy Wall Street protests, the security measures have lasted despite the protests fading out. Recent developments at the location include the construction of sturdier fences for the purpose of renovation. But of course, residents in Lower Manhattan aren’t completely pleased with the concept of any public space being kept locked away without reason. Spurred on by a demand to know the plans for the space, one individual has even filed a lawsuit against the New York City Department of Buildings to uncover the plans for Chase Manhattan Plaza.

The saga of the secret Chase Plaza has its roots in 2009, when the area was officially designated a landmark by the Landmarks Preservation Committee, noted for its architectural style and particular location. The very creation of the site in 1955 was a unique construction event, in which a good deal of Cedar Street was taken to create an open plaza in a choice location only a block away from the New York Stock Exchange. Despite efforts from the lawsuit, JP Morgan still refuses to reveal specific details on the plans for Chase Plaza. Although the fences on the landmark were placed with full legal authorization, the Buildings Department still defends their decision to withhold plans on the plaza for fear of “endangering the public”. The Department maintains that the secrecy is justified by the location’s reputation as a possible vulnerable site to terrorist attack.

If anything, this controversy reveals the spirit that Manhattan residents feel towards their prized landmarks and open areas. Adding to the unease with the fenced off area is the fact that no visible construction seems to occurring behind the fencing. Besides the mystery of this prime Manhattan property, many residents feel that they are being denied a free area that is rightfully theirs. In Lower Manhattan, Chase Plaza stands as a historically significant area, a free public space designated for the people. Manhattan residents want to know that any new construction which arises will be worthwhile and worthy of the prime location that is closed off. Chase Manhattan Plaza is thus a current symbol of the pride which the Manhattan citizen holds for his or her city.

Blog Archive


This information is not verified for authenticity or accuracy and is not guaranteed and may not reflect all real estate activity in the market. © 2021 REBNY Listing Service, Inc. All rights reserved. RLS IDX Data display by Elegran LLC. IDX information is provided exclusively for consumers’ personal, non- commercial use and that it may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing.

Elegran LLC may or may not be the exclusive listing agent of the properties being displayed on All data displayed on is presented for informational purposes only and should be independently confirmed by all customers. All Information is compiled from both public and private sources including, but not limited to the RLS, MLS and ACRIS; each of which is assumed to be reliable. All information displayed is subject to errors and omissions regarding apartment specifications and final sale prices, and further, any unit listed may have had its listing withdrawn without notice subsequent to such information being compiled. No representation is made as to the accuracy of any description (ie: listing, close sale data, and/or building description) of any building or individual unit. All measurements and square footage are approximate and all information herein should be confirmed by customer and/or their attorney. Elegran LLC, its members, affiliates, and contributors adhere to New Your City, New York State, and United States Fair Housing Laws.