Beyond the Centerline: Reinventing New York City’s Park Avenue Medians with Design

Register | Submission before 30/10/2018


Registration Open: 02/12/2016 | Submission: 05/03/2017

Park Avenue, one of the world’s premiere thoroughfares, is traditionally known for its tall buildings that are home to Fortune 500 companies. The medians of Park Avenue, or the “centerlines,” are traditionally characterized by plantings and periodic sculpture installations. Park Avenue medians represent a traditional element of New York City but also provide an opportunity for reinvention. Other areas of New York City, such as the High Line, have successfully transformed into an exciting destination for city dwellers and visitors alike.

Fisher Brothers is pleased to sponsor a $30,000 privately-funded design competition using the Park Avenue medians (between 46th – 57th Streets) as a canvas for collecting visionary design proposals with the potential to enliven Park Avenue’s commercial district. The goal of this competition is to foster creativity and challenge participants to think outside the box; to propose exciting ideas that have never been considered possible for the medians; and to reimagine the existing urban landscape. We want ideas that bring Park Avenue into the 21st century.

Fisher Brothers urges competition participants to think “beyond the centerline,” using the medians as a blank canvas for creative ideas to engage the community and reimagine Park Avenue. Designs should be considered a seed that when planted will completely change the dynamic of the Park Avenue centerline and the Midtown East neighborhood. We encourage you to conceptualize this project in any way that inspires you and the parameters remain broad to allow for maximum creativity.

Up to 10 competitors selected by an esteemed jury will be invited to publicly display their designs at Park Avenue Plaza, a building prominently located on Park Avenue and 52nd Street, in February 2018. The jury will select a $25,000 grand prize winner and a popular vote will determine a $5,000 prize winner.

All competition information and key dates are below. We hope you take the opportunity to express your creativity and participate in this competition. If you are interested in participating, please fill out the entry form by December 15, 2017.

Questions? Please contact


  • The ability to interpret artistically what will invigorate Park Avenue is entirely up to you.
  • Designs may incorporate multiple, single or partial medians.
  • The current medians are approximately 200 ft. long and 19’6” wide (east to west). For the purposes of this competition, please do not feel constrained by these numbers.
  • Currently, objects placed on any one centerline cannot exceed 8000 lbs. Again, for the purposes for this competition, please do not feel constrained by these parameters.
  • Designs must allow for pedestrians to cross over Park Avenue.
  • Selected designs will be provided with a 4’ x 4’ table/floor area for their display at Park Avenue Plaza.
  • Entries may be submitted by an individual or team of individuals.


  • Entry form completion by: December 15, 2017
  • Deadline for design proposal submissions: 5:00 PM on February 2, 2018
  • Selected participants notified by: February 23, 2018
  • Display and public voting at Park Avenue Plaza: February 26, 2018 – March 9, 2018
  • Winner announcement: Week of March 5, 2018

*Dates subject to change.


Up to 10 designs will be chosen by a jury for display at Park Avenue Plaza.

Design proposals will be evaluated by a jury based on the following factors:

  • How well the submission addresses the neighborhood context and the need to reimagine Park Avenue
  • Creativity and quality of the entrant’s initial design proposal and ideas
  • Degree of innovation and interaction with community
  • Creative use of materials
  • Environmental soundness
  • Use of technology
  • Implementation feasibility of the proposal

Fisher Brothers retains the right to reject submissions that are deemed inappropriate.


A grand prize winner selected by a jury will receive $25,000 and a popular vote will determine a $5,000 prize winner.


  • Vishaan Chakrabarti, Founder, PAU and Professor, Columbia University
  • Winston Fisher, Partner, Fisher Brothers
  • Jon Kessler, Artist and Professor, Columbia University’s School of the Arts
  • Signe Nielsen, Principal, Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects
  • David Rockwell, Founder and President, Rockwell Group
  • Samantha Rudin, Senior Vice President, Rudin Management
  • Michael Speaks, PH.D., Dean of The School of Architecture and Professor of Architecture at Syracuse University


  1. Complete the entry form at by December 15, 2017.
  2. Submit your design proposal by 5:00 PM on Friday, February 2, 2018
  • A Cover Letter that includes all participant information as well as a description of the creative idea and the impact on Park Avenue
  • A no more than 2-page maximum memo detailing the following:
    • Inspiration for the project
    • Location(s) of the project (if a specific site along the Park Avenue Commercial District is applicable, please include)
    • Proposed materials
    • Dimensions
    • Cost estimates for materials and construction (If available)
    • Construction timeline (If available)
  • A maximum of 5 renderings/sketches of the idea. Digital versions should be no larger than 11” x 17” and physical display of renderings/sketches must fit on a 4’ x 4’ table


  • Once you complete the entry form, you will have until 5:00 PM on February 2, 2018 to submit your presentation materials.
  • Applicants are responsible for submitting all information required in the design proposal. Incomplete proposals will not be accepted for prize consideration.
  • Electronic design proposals should be emailed to
  • You may submit physical displays by mail in advance or by hand delivery on February 2, 2018 to:

Park Avenue Plaza Owner LLC
Attn: Building Office
55 East 52nd Street
New York, NY 10055-0002

  • All submissions must be received by 5:00 PM EST on Friday, February 2, 2018.
  • No late submissions will be accepted.


This is a privately-funded competition using the Park Avenue medians as a theoretical canvas to reinvent the Park Avenue commercial district of 46th Street to 57th Street.  There is no guarantee projects will be implemented.