You Can Now Tour Gramercy Park Without a Key, Thanks to Airbnb and Google Maps

December 2, 2014

For the vast majority of New Yorkers, the closest look they’ve gotten into Gramercy Park is peering through the perimeter wrought iron gates. As one of the most elite and inaccessible outdoor spaces in the city, only those who live in dwellings circling the park have keyed access via an annual fee. That is, until now. Thanks to a rule-breaking Airbnb-er, the world can now revel in the verdant splendor that is Gramercy Park.

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Everyday guy Shawn Christopher rented a pad back in May for his honeymoon, and to his surprise, it came with a key to the coveted park. Christopher didn’t waste any time, immediately documenting 360-degree views the park on his iPhone, then uploading them to Google maps for the world to see. “I just really wanted to share this with other people,” he told the New York Times.

To maintain its allure and enjoyment, photography has been strictly forbidden in the park for anything other than personal use. According to the Times, even Woody Allen and Robert De Niro have been denied access after asking to film inside.

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The Gramercy Park Block Association has not yet asked that the images be blocked, but board president Arlene Harrison is unsurprisingly ruffled by the news. Her biggest issue is not so much with the mapping, but the fact residents are putting their homes on Airbnb. “People here, that’s just not who they are,” she told the paper. “They would never let strangers into the park.”

Normally, guests need to be escorted by the primary key-holder when entering the park. Key-holders are allowed to bring a maximum of five guests into the park at a time. Right now there are 380-plus keys floating around the neighborhood.

[Via New York Times]

[Related: From Swamps to Swank: A Brief History of Gramercy Park Hotel and the Garden’s Highly Coveted Keys]

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