West 215th Step Street
10:00 am
10:30 am
11:00 am
11:30 am
WXY Architecture + Urban Design, 2016

Come visit the reconstructed West 215th Step Street in the Inwood section of upper Manhattan, a DDC Design Excellence project completed in 2016. Part of the unique topography of upper Manhattan and the Bronx, this is one of New York City's 94 step streets. The connection crosses the width of Manhattan island's northernmost neighborhood, from Inwood Hill Park to the Harlem River, between Broadway and Park Terrace East. The street provides an important cut-through to public transportation and is consistently used throughout the day.

The project consisted of full reconstruction of the 110-step street, to provide the public with safe, non-motorized access along its length. The planted areas dividing the stairways were rehabilitated and received cobblestone paving and new trees, and the healthy existing trees falling within the proposed planting areas were preserved. Design elements include new precast concrete bike channels to allow middle and bottom landings to allow for crossing between stairs; revitalized bench seating at Park Terrace East; new LED pedestrian lighting; new stainless steel handrails; and a new detailing strategy that preserves the spirit of the original step street. In keeping with Best Management Practices for sustainability, the reconstruction of the step street incorporates storm water management, and lighting and landscape design that is in accordance with the High Performance Infrastructure Guidelines of New York City.

Sunday Tour Info: OpenDialogue tours with Jacob Dugopolski of WXY architecture and urban design will last approximately 30 min.

This site is part of the special series Celebrating Civic Excellence, highlighting buildings completed or renovated through the NYC Department of Design and Construction’s Design + Construction Excellence program. Click here to read more and see the full list of participating sites.


Reservations for this tour are now sold out. Interested in exploring interesting streetscapes around the city? You may also enjoy the Welling Court Mural Project, where the streets are lined with more than 150 street art murals, which requires no reservations! Click on the site’s name to check out its Open Access listing.


Image credit: Albert Vecerka/ESTO