Hidden rooftop garden on Upper West Side opens April 10th


This Secret Rooftop Garden Will Open Next Month!

 Jori Rose Schwartz  March 26, 2022 

Twenty feet above an unassuming UWS street sits a mystical garden that few Upper West Siders know about. Want in on this magical secret filled with botanical beauties? Then check out The Lotus Garden!

Located on the roof of 250 West 97th Street, between Broadway and West End Avenue, this private community garden serves Upper West Siders who want a break from the hustle and bustle of the city. There’s a beautiful peach tree, hundreds of flowers, and even two Koi ponds filled with colorful fish! What could be better than relaxing in one of the garden’s reclining chairs while a cool breeze blows through the sweet smelling blossoms?

The Lotus Garden
The Lotus Garden NYC

It may be surprising to some, but The Lotus Garden has been in the neighborhood since 1983! The 7,000 square foot green space is located directly above a parking garage. It was in fact one of the very first rooftop gardens to make its debut in the city after an impassioned group of volunteers organized for the green space!


The general public is welcome to visit on opening day and every Sunday from 1-4pm throughout the season, which runs into mid-November. Garden key-holders (visit thelotusgarden.org/membership to become one) are welcome anytime during daylight hours. Membership is $20 per year (and $10 for seniors), and key money directly supports the garden, which is a registered 501(c)3, and helps finance the work of the volunteers who maintain the serene space.

The Lotus Garden UWS

This year, The Lotus Garden will be hosting two parties open to all: the Kids’ Arts & Crafts Day (Saturday, June 4, 12-2pm) and the Halloween Party (Saturday, October 29, 12-2pm). Both are oriented to younger children. The garden will also be participating in Open House New York, which takes place in late October.

After visiting other community gardens on the Upper West Side, The Lotus Garden’s Jeff and Louise Kindley have designed a “scavenger hunt” for kids who want to explore them — The Secret Garden Adventure Trail: A Magical Map for Upper West Side Kids Who Want to Find Amazing Things in Their Own Neighborhood.

“It’s a wonderful way for families to explore the beautiful gardens in our Upper West Side neighborhood. Included are St. John’s Cathedral and Biblical Gardens, W. 111 St. People’s Garden (Julia’s Garden), Mobilization for Change Garden, La Perla Garden, W. 104th St. Gardens, West Side Community Garden, W. 87th St. Community Garden, and the Lotus Garden.”

A PDF of the scavenger hunt can be downloaded here.

“The gardeners (and the fish) look forward to welcoming everyone to our secret garden in the sky,” says Karen Gershenhorn of The Lotus Garden.

To learn more, visit thelotusgarden.org and follow The Lotus Garden on Facebook and Instagram!

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