If you've been in any of the 5 boroughs in NYC or within a 50 mile radius of Manhattan's iconic skyline you've no doubt seen the needle thin super tall residential building 432 Park. This monolithic monument to unremarkable architecture sticks out not so much like a sore thumb among the more classic skyline structures, but more like a middle finger to the rest of the NYC inhabitants who aren't worth 10 figures or more. New York City has always had it's various enclaves for everyone from the super elite to the destitute, sometimes feet away from each other. That duality and the many levels in-between was an identifying characteristic of our city, but in recent history that gap has widened greatly. With several more super tall residential buildings set to begin construction soon or already under way, it begs the question, 'Should there be a limit on how our skyline is altered?
For years the Empire State Building and Chrysler Building have been what made Manhattan's skyline so beautiful, inspired lines in classic architecture.
photo by Randy Lemoine
Now it has to be mentioned that these two buildings came to rise to such heights as a competition of sorts with dueling factions vying for the title of 'Worlds Tallest Building', but these buildings represent an industry boom, innovation, simply a different era than the one birthing these new supernal structures and with different purpose.
an artist rendering of the potential skyline change, as seen in The NY Times
As that aforementioned gap grows between the elite and the rest of us, these super tall residential skyscrapers are merely the visual representation of it. There was always a millionaires and eventually billionaires row, the only difference is instead of being comfortably nestled in West 57th Street, it will now soar 1,000 feet above it.
432 Park became the tallest residential building in the world when it topped out at a height of 1398 feet in 2014, but that will soon be dwarfed by The Central Park Tower also known as the Nordstrom Tower which is set to top out at 1550 feet upon completion. At one point it was proposed the Nordstrom Tower rise to 1775 feet in height, one foot shorter than One World Trade Center symbolic 1776 height, but apparently those plans have changed. That I can appreciate, no building should approach the height of One World Trade in my opinion.
Now I'm not so closed minded as to deny the potential beauty in any of these new developments, we did take a look at what a $95,000,000 view looks like after all. My issue is with how these megastructures affect the skyline, surrounding areas and what they ultimately represent, which is seemingly more change that benefits the few at the expense of the many.
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