This question pops up around the Untapped Cities office pretty often. What’s the latest tallest building in New York City? With so many supertall buildings going up, particularly on the residential end, it can be hard to keep track. This will be our official tally (updated as new buildings come into play, or get chopped down by the powers that be) of the tallest buildings in New York City:
11. 53 W. 53rd Street MoMA Tower (1,050 feet)
Jean Nouvel’s tower for MoMA has been so long coming, New Yorkers have almost forgot it was once the poster child in the city’s real estate development battle. Famously truncated by Amanda Burden, Mayor Bloomberg’s director of New York City Department of City Planning, the building at 53 W 53rd Street will now reach 1,050 feet and has been ready for sales (quietly to appropriate buyers) as of spring 2015 even though the building is not built yet. For renderings of the interior, check out Curbed’s reporting on the residential skyscraper.
10. Deklab, Brooklyn (1066 feet)
Rendering from SHoP Architects
The first appearance of Brooklyn in the super-slender game will be 9 DeKalb, joining the rapid development in Downtown Brooklyn. Designed by SHoP Architects, the tower will be 1066 feet and 73 stories. What sets 9 DeKalb apartment is the makeup of the units inside, as the Skyscraper Museum writes, “Unlike all the Manhattan towers, though, it will be a rental building that contains 500 rental units, of which 20 percent will be “affordable” due to the project’s 421-a tax exemption status.”
9. 3 World Trade Center (1,171 feet)
3 World Trade Center has actually been under construction since 2008, with some hiatus before finding an anchor tenant. It will top out at 1,171 feet despite an original plan for a building at 1,240 feet. The original building at 3 World Trade Center was a Marriott, destroyed in the attacks of 9/11. GroupM will be the anchor tenant.
8. Bank of America Tower (1,200 feet)
Located at Byrant Park is the Bank of America tower, a LEED certified building completed in 2009 by COOKFOX Architects. The construction required the demolition of several buildings including the Henry Miller theater, which was rebuilt elsewhere, and the Hotel Diplomat. In popular culture, you’ll catch it as the headquarters for Atlantic World Media on the HBO show Newsroom.
7. Empire State Building (1,250 feet)
It’s a real testament to the Empire State Building, opened in 1931, that it remains in the top 10 tallest buildings in the city, despite it being built almost a hundred years ago. Despite the resurgence of observation decks in the construction of new buildings, the Empire State Building contains a 103rd floor observation deck that is closed to the public. See photos of the view from the deck here.
6. 30 Hudson Yards (1,287 feet)
30 Hudson Yards, by Kohn Peterson Fox and Related, will be the tallest building in the rail yard decking project with an observation deck at 1,000 feet and a death defying “thrill device” at what will be the highest observation deck in the city. According to The New York Post, it “could have a glass walkway that may slant and tilt for even more chills and thrills.”
5. 2 World Trade Center (1,340 feet)
Rendering by Bjarke Ingels
The new renderings are out by Bjarke Ingels’ firm BIG for 2 World Trade Center, a lucky change for those already feeling that the World Trade Center buildings are humdrum at best. Foster + Partners were the original architects of 2 WTC, but the key tenants of the building – 21st Century Fox and News Corp – thought the firm’s design was “more suited for an investment bank than a modern media company.” The new design, in Ingels’s words “looks like a vertical village of city blocks stacked on top of each other with gradual overhangs that, as each building block gets thinner, the overhang becomes longer. The building will be home to a lot of companies with a lot of different needs, so it has to be a lot of different buildings coming together as one.”At 1,340 feet it will be slightly shorter than the Foster +Partners plan intended at 1,358 feet.
4. 432 Park Avenue (1,395 feet)
Much has also been written about 432 Park Avenue, with its former title as tallest residential building in New York City. It was also the scene of an impressive break in, with a young Instagrammer taking a photo from the top of construction (reported here first on Untapped Cities). More recently, we shared photographs of the views from inside the building at its first public event in the lobby with the Storefront for Art and Architecture. Also not to forget, 432 Park Avenue is on the site of the former Drake Hotel.
3. 111 West 57th Street (1,428 feet)
Perhaps of all the supertall skyscrapers going up on 57th Street, this one above Steinway & Sons may have captured the imagination of New Yorkers because it’s simply so skinny. With a width-to-height ratio of 1:24, it has been claimed that this SHoP Architects designed building will be the world’s thinnest skyscraper at just 60 feet narrow.
Part of the plan was also to make the Steinway & Sons flagship showroom (since vacated by the piano company) an interior landmark which will include a single-layer glass wall to make the interior visually accessible to passers-by.
2. 217 West 57th Street, Central Park Tower (1550 feet)
There’s been a lot of secrecy around the actual plans for the Central Park Tower (previously known as the Nordstrom Tower) at 217 West 57th Street, and its proposed height. The Central Park Tower was generally planned to be 1775 feet, one foot below One World Trade Center which holds the record for tallest building in New York City (also in the United States and the Western Hemisphere) with its symbolic 1776 feet. But in May, New York Yimby reported that the height of Central Park Tower would be 1,795 feet. This claim was denied by Extell, the developers, despite the fact that the firm Smith + Gill, who built the Burj Kalifa and the Kingdom Tower (when completed will be 1 kilometer tall), is involved in the project.
Then in September 2015 it was discovered by New York YIMBY that the building had lost its spire, to top out at 1,550 feet which still puts it taller than 432 Park Avenue, the Chicago Willis Tower, and the Empire State Building. Situated next to the Arts Students League of New York, the Central Park Tower will be anchored by a Nordstrom department store with $4.4 billion worth of condos up top. In addition, a controversial cantilever will go over the historic Arts Students League building.
1. One World Trade Center (1776 feet)
When it was decided that 1 World Trade Center’s needle would not no longer be enclosed by a radome, its potential status as the tallest building in the United States was called into question. The technicality was over whether the needle was considered an antenna or a spire. The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat ruled it to be a spire in November 2013, which is considered structural. This brought the building to its planned 1,776 feet (and 1,368 feet without the spire, which is was the height of the north tower of the original Twin Towers), beating out Chicago’s Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower). Despite this coup, the building still contains quite a bit of “vanity height,”–uninhabitable floors that nonetheless increase the statue of a building.
Next, read about the Top 10 Secrets of the Chrysler Building.