After two years of construction, the plaza outside the Metropolitan Museum of Art is open and ready for the public.
"I think its great," said Chris Pangborn, who was sitting and reading a book among the newly-planted trees Wednesday on a break from work.
"I never thought I'd see the day," Pangborn said, referring to the lengthy construction project that closed off much of the plaza.
The redesigned space, which runs 1,021 feet along the facade of the museum, now has two fountains, LED lighting, more than 100 new trees, large red parasols providing additional shade and tables and chairs.
The project was funded by David H. Koch, and the plaza now bears his name.
"We we're noticing the fluidity of the fountain and how the water goes," said Honey Massey, a visitor from Cleveland who was admiring the new additions. According to the Met, each fountain can be programmed to flow in different ways, and each holds 21,000 gallons of water.
"It's so beautiful," said Sarah Shapiro, who said she's a cousin of the Met's vice president of construction, Tom A. Javits. "I didn't know it would be opening today and I'm so proud of my cousin," Shapiro said, adding the columns of trees were in the museum's original plans, but never executed. "I'm so happy for this public space , it's so beautiful for the people of the world."
The official opening for the redesigned plaza is Wednesday.