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Outside 550 Vanderbilt, adjusted wall for B12/B13 construction truncates privately operated open space

The interim open space behind the 550 Vanderbilt condo building just got tighter.

It turns out that the construction start at the B12 and B13 sites--615 Dean and 595 Dean--necessitates the adjustment of the concrete-plus-wood barrier between the eastern site, B13, and the adjacent 550 Vanderbilt, aka B14.

That means the barrier has been moved about 8-10 feet closer to the B14 site, thus approaching the benches that point west. See photo below, from July 1, looking north. That's sub-optimal, even for times after-hours when construction has stopped. (As I explain below, the fence has not been moved to encroach on the B11 site, 535 Carlton.)

Ultimately, construction of B12/B13, scheduled to be complete in Spring 2023, will result in a shared open space with the adjacent 550 Vanderbilt and 535 Carlton. But only construction over the Vanderbilt Yard, as yet unscheduled and likely to take until 2035, will deliver the lion's share of project open space.

Looking north from 550 Vanderbilt open space. Photo July 1

By contrast, the February 2018 photo below shows a lot more space. That said, there are benches and other open space features to the east of the westernmost benches, thus closer to the building.
Photo from February 2018
Below is another photo from July 1, looking south toward Dean Street.

Photo: July 1

Below is a photo looking northwest. Note the small gap in the fence.

Photo: July 1

Here's a look at that gap, looking west. From what I can tell, the extant piece of concrete was once part of the open space.

Photo: July 1
Painted over

By the way, the wall seems to have new paint, and no longer can we see chalked messages like "Racism is not welcome here" and "Please don't kill him," the latter from a single mother of a Black son.

I'm not sure how long the chalked messages were there; I took the photos June 2 and don't know if they were erased earlier.

(Note that this is privately operated, publicly accessible open space. The posted rules don't explicitly ban graffiti or political messages; the closest is a ban on "Performances, rallying except by permit.")

Photo: June 2

Photo: June 2

At 535 Carlton, no encroachment

I went down the block to 5353 Carlton, B11, to see if the western end of the B12/B13 site had also encroached on its neighbor to the west. So far, no. The photo below is looking north.

Photo: July 1

As shown in the photo below, looking south twoard Dean Street, there is a section of the wall that's relatively close to the open space, but the seating is positioned farther away.

Photo: July 1