One Vanderbilt Surpasses The Metlife Building, Climbs Onwards To 1,401 Foot Pinnacle Above Midtown

One Vanderbilt rising above the Midtown skyline. Photo by Michael Young

One Vanderbilt quickly climbed into the Midtown skyline in 2018, in what seemed like the fastest climb of any supertall to rise in Manhattan in recent years. After growing past street level last winter, the superstructure has now passed the height of the Metlife Building across the street from Grand Central Station, and is on pace to top-out by the middle of 2019. The 58-story building is being designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox and developed by SL Green. 1.75 million square feet of commercial office space and a reported three-story observation deck will soon result, upon completion, and One Vanderbilt is the third-tallest skyscraper currently being built in New York City.

One Vanderbilt looking at the western corner along 42nd Street. Photo by Michael Young

As of now, the building looks to be around 900 feet in height, with the first sloped setbacks set to begin around the 1,100-foot mark. The terracotta and glass facade, manufactured by Boston Valley, is making steady progress on all sides since installation began back in August. Construction workers are putting up the steel columns and beams above a set a mechanical floors enclosed in a perimeter of diagonal columns for structural support. They won’t be seen when the facade reaches this section.

The facade being installed on the western corner. Photo by Michael Young

Close up of the installation on the western corner. Photo by Michael Young

The southern terracotta and glass facade looking up from 42nd Street. Photo by Michael Young

The effect of the tower’s height is already noticeable from the street level, and as far away as Bryant Park. It may block the afternoon sunlight from penetrating the western windows of Grand Central Station, but the train hub can still be seen walking east on 42nd Street. The raised and sloped terracotta facade above the street reveals this point of view in the following photo:

Grand Central Station looking east from 42nd Street and 5th Avenue. Photo by Michael Young

One Vanderbilt and the MetLife Building tower over Grand Central Station. Photo by Michael Young

Thanks to the Midtown East Rezoning, plans for another supertall are in the works several blocks to the north of One Vanderbilt, at 270 Park Avenue. That building will be designed by Foster + Partners, with the potential to climb around the same general height as One Vanderbilt, but with a far bulkier profile for the uppermost levels translating into a much heftier overall square footage.

Completion of One Vanderbilt is expected sometime in 2020.

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16 Comments on "One Vanderbilt Surpasses The Metlife Building, Climbs Onwards To 1,401 Foot Pinnacle Above Midtown"

  1. You can block views, but not progress.

    • And blockheads will advocate for even more unsustainable density in an already over-saturated City.
      This exhibit of so-called “progress” has an ugly jangled facade that is all the more
      out-of-place and hideous by being located next to elegant Grand Central Station.
      Who needs sunlight?

  2. This is an excellent building! My only disappointment is that it isn’t taller!

    • Pretty tall, 1401′ and spire is true architectural, not a fake stick like in OneWTC or NYT Building.
      This Tower is mimic of Bank Of America’s One Bryant Park, is the same style, and almost the same height, One Bryant Park is 54 story, 1200′ pinnacle, rooftop at 954′, OneVanderbilt is 1401′ pinnacle height and 1301′ rooftop over 9 mechanical floors, top floor and observation is at 1020′. Building is pretty tall, modern, neo futurist architecture, same as One Bryant Park, and location is superb, just feet from Grand Central Terminal and have a new train hall of his own!!!

  3. My disappointment is that you so blithely assume that taller is better,
    in one of the most congested parts of the City.
    Better for whom?
    Better for the already overcrowded City and it’s residents and struggling commuters?
    Or merely better for the pockets of powerful real estate developers and their political vassals?
    Bigger, better, larger?
    As with human cancer, unrestrained growth all too often kills its host.

    • Do you understand that this office building won’t contribute to subway overcrowding, since it’s Grand Central Terminal ( Metro North commuter trains and busiest subway station) entrance in his own hallway entrance. Better built tall building just next to Grand Central than built it on her roof!!! I think with that building finished it’s too scare to destroy Met Life Building for something taller. And Subway entrance for busiest subway station in the city is inside Grand Central Terminal.

    • You sound like a self-hating rich person.

  4. I just don’t like this building, especially the upper third.

    • You may like it or not, it’s happening!!! Building is not worse or better than One Bryant Park and with same positive impact on our Iconic Skyline!!! Upper “third” is beautiful three tiered observatory and mechanical floors covered with crystalline glass roof anx real architectural spire!!!

  5. New York needs to keep building and add more density. More taller, massive buildings in the midtown and downtown areas to remain competitive. This is New York and what it is all about.

    If you don’t like it, move to Kansas.

    • Exactly, I don’t like when some people don’t realize the fabric and structure our city, our main industry, our Everchanging Skyline!!!
      Move to California if you don’t like, this should be answer!!!

  6. I would like to know how the increasing density of Manhattan will affect infrastructure such as water, sewage and electricity. We know that the subways are at about capacity.

    • Are you idiot, this building have a Zero impact to our overcrowded subways, since it is next step to Grand Central Terminal, and will make its own electricity and water like One Bryant Park nearby!!!

    • That’s why Our City Administrators approved this, because it’s location just 50 feet from Grand Central Terminal Entrance, and built own GCT Entrance, plus have been install own electricity turbines, rainwater collection for use inside the building for own usage, same as Bank Of America’s One Bryant Park built in last decade, finished in 2010.

  7. The new 270 Park should be even taller than this,and also have a direct connection to Metro-North inside.The areas with the best transit connections should have the densest development…that’s the best use of space.

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