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The Link

A destination designed for waiting, meeting, beginning, and ending one’s journey—the subway station serves as a key component to an individual’s experience of the public realm and the vitality of a community. The station is connected to its passengers, non-traveling users, and the communities in which they are located. The 215th Street station shapes the surrounding community of Inwood by animating the surrounding public spaces. Inwood’s rezoning plan calls for an increase in housing units and the decimation of small, family-owned businesses that serve as a key component to the culture of the neighborhood. Located in the center of Inwood’s primary commercial corridor, this development takes advantage of not only the large influx of current customers but the incoming consumers as a result of Inwood’s rezoning. By splitting the busy roadway that resides beneath the 215th street station and placing transient shops and restaurants within outposts that may be shared between restaurants based on time of operation, this project activates the public realm beneath. The Link takes advantage of the already existing surrounding street culture. Often situated along busy storefronts, blocked off roads, underneath tents, on makeshift tables, and even in the back of large vans or trucks, the versatility of these stores is a prided attribute among locals. This proposal utilizes the 215th street station transit hub to create a space for the celebration of Inwood culture without compromising the comfort of the transient space structures Inwood is most familiar with, enhancing the local character of Inwood.