Largest Demolition In NYC’s History Gaining Steam at JPMorgan Chase’s 270 Park Avenue, in Midtown East

270 Park Avenue. Photo by Michael Young

The demolition of 270 Park Avenue is progressing in Midtown East, as new scaffolding and netting have been installed on the exterior of the Modernist-style skyscraper. These join the construction elevator and sidewalk scaffolding that were assembled several months ago on the 1.5-million-square-foot, 52-story tower. JPMorgan Chase is the developer and Foster + Partners Architects is the design firm for the upcoming 57-story supertall that will rise in its place. Adamson Associates is listed as the architect of record.

New photos from above and at street level show the current state of what will be the tallest intentionally demolished structure in history.

Looking up the eastern corner of 270 Park Avenue. Photo by Michael Young

The top floors of the southern elevation are beginning to be covered in scaffolding, though it is difficult to see it from street level.

Looking north at the building. Photo by Michael Young

Meanwhile a large diagonally cantilevering steel structure is positioned in the centerline of the lower floors of the southern elevation. This could possibly be used as the base for a crane, but the purpose is still unclear at the moment.

The lower floors of the southern elevation of 270 Park Avenue. Photo by Michael Young

The exterior mechanical hoist is placed on the northern corner of the skyscraper and two wrap-around walkways are mounted at different heights off the edge of the curtain wall.

The upper floors of the western elevation with a walkway cantilevering over the edge of the curtain wall. Photo by Michael Young

The top of the western elevation with the exterior elevator hoist. Photo by Michael Young

Most of 270 Park Avenue should be demolished in 2020 and construction on its replacement is expected to begin in early 2021. The future 1,322-foot-tall development will yield a total of 2,439,635 square feet, with 1,871,767 designated for office space. Foster’s design will feature a steel-based structure and will include two sub-cellar levels, a cellar, and seven enclosed parking spaces.

A final rendering and completion date has not been released yet.

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32 Comments on "Largest Demolition In NYC’s History Gaining Steam at JPMorgan Chase’s 270 Park Avenue, in Midtown East"

  1. New building will have all of seven (7) parking spaces..really?

    • Jack Liberman | July 22, 2019 at 11:26 am | Reply

      Means parking levels, seven levels for parking. 57 office floors, 6 mechanicals, so 70 stories. Similar to One Vanderbilt, but without spire.

  2. Union Carbide, one of the great mid-century modern buildings, and for 50 years the tallest building designed by a woman, demolition is a shame. We live in a disposable culture

    • There are far far greater midcentury modern buildings nearby. As a former employee of JPM who had to go into this building many times, it was built in what I can only consider subpar quality. Interiors looked dated and even security gates and such were falling apart. This building was not a masterpiece. Lever House, seagram, 28 Liberty are far far better buildings that will stand as icons of the period.

    • Indeed. A disposable culture, disposable buildings, disposable people….
      We know the price of everythng and the value of nothing.
      We will leave our grandchildren a dying world,
      with tombstone skyscapers to mark its demise.

    • It shows how poorly the Landmarks Preservation Commission does its job. It fixates over the most minute detail of renovations to unremarkable buildings in landmark districts yet refuses to protect notable structures such as the Union Carbide Building and, as noted by YIMBY in October 2015, the Bancroft Building on 29th Street. That it can’t seem to distinguish between notable mid-century modern buildings, with the exceptions of Lever House, the Seagram’s Building, and a few others, and the rest of the hideous boxes that could be in Houston or Atlanta speaks wonders about the commission’s failings.

  3. David in Bushwick | July 22, 2019 at 9:25 am | Reply

    This is disgusting. From a renovated LEED 52 story building to a 57 story vanity project.
    It shows everything that is wrong with our sick culture. This must never happen again.

    • The entire site of Chase presently is not 52 stories; the rear half of the present building is somewhere around 12 stories.
      By increasing the height of the entire site they will increase the present 1.5 million square feet to 2.4.
      That is a much better utilization of the block.

    • I’m sure that the new building will be superior to the old and think it should be welcomed.

  4. This truly makes no sense. As earlier said they are demolishing a 52-story tower to build something of equivalent height.

    • Jack Liberman | July 22, 2019 at 11:29 am | Reply

      Not really they earlier said at least 1250 feet or taller, later plans comes with up to 1550 feet tower, but slashed for leaving One Vanderbilt height dominant here. One Vanderbilt will be as New ESB of 21st Century.

    • I’m sure a lot of things don’t make sense to you.

    • They are replacing a 707-foot building with a 1,322-foot building,a 1.5 million square foot building with a 2.4 million square foot building.
      Hardly equivalent.

  5. The current building is around 700′ tall and the new one is 1,322. That is not exactly “equivalent height.”

  6. Beverley J Rouse | July 22, 2019 at 11:33 am | Reply

    it’s a travesty – beautiful building by a great architect of her time.

    • Nick Bridgewood | June 20, 2020 at 11:16 am | Reply

      The history is great, I agree. But the company needs more space and better quality to provide better facilities for employees and customers. If the economics are there, we shouldn’t argue. The more space can also bring more jobs.

  7. Over 1,000,000sf more office space. The economics are there..
    But a shame to take down such a large building.

  8. It’s true that Union Carbide is a beautiful tower from a golden age of modernism on Park Avenue. But this is NYC and neighborhoods change, even neighborhoods made up of skyscrapers. Imagine if people had this attitude toward change when today’s Park Avenue was being constructed — we might never have gotten Union Carbide to begin with, or the Seagram Building, Lever House, and the other great buildings that make up this part of our city. Change is good and necessary in a living city.

    • Good point. I was just hoping the greatest examples of different ages of architecture here in NYC could somehow be saved, the lesser buildings can certainly come and go.

      • I think the greatest example is the Seagram Building which is landmarked. To be quite frank, the Union Carbide is/was a cheaper Mies derivative. You just have to get close to the Seagram building to see the raw quality and subtle detailing abscent that was absent from the Union Carbide such as the mosaic tiling under entrances. The Lever, also landmarked, is pretty but it already looks a little quaint and underscaled in its context nowadays.

  9. This is like reading the editorials of the 1960’s with penn station, Pan-am building etc

  10. Will the economic expansion last long enough to build the Foster tower?

  11. This is so wasteful. Demolishing a skyscraper and erecting a new, giant skyscraper is an environmental sin. All so some developer can make some more money.

    Anyone who doesn’t actually own this building and is in favor of this project should be ashamed of themselves.

    • Anyone who isn’t in favor of this project should be ashamed.
      This is replacing an obsolete skyscraper with a more efficient one.

      • Obsolete? a 52 story building only 60 years old is “obsolete”??? really??? there’s 900 year old buildings in Europe, they sure would never consider a building like this obsolete!

  12. Why doesn’t your story on the demolition mention the name of the demolition contractor?

  13. A most discouraging development. For 300, 00 sq feet of new office space the environmental impact of tearing down and building is way out of proportion. Let the proponents of new midtown east zoning stand up and cheer.

    • The new building will last longer,and deserve to last longer.And I think the numbers you’re comparing are apples-to-oranges.

  14. The planning, engineering, safety and installation and preparation of the demolition elements is monumental. The Demolition Contractor and its Engineers are worthy of recognition and compliments.

  15. The problem here is there is a 5 or so story backside of equal footprint that could have been built up higher, to gain the required sq foot increase. This demolition is completely unnecessary and bad design

  16. Elizabeth Fusco | November 18, 2019 at 5:06 pm | Reply

    I started working for Union Carbide in 1963. It was a first class building. Union Carbide was a first class corporation. The offices were spacious and very modern. I worked there for 12 years and loved it. Very sad to see it demolished.

  17. Unbelievable how a building like this only 60 years old winds up in the landfill, humans are the most wasteful creatures on the planet, all the fossil fuels and raw materials used to build the building wasted, more wasted in demolition, more winds up in already overburdoned landfills, and even if the steel is recycled it has to be cut up, transported in trucks wasting fossil fuel, and then more fuel wasted melting this all down.
    No where else do they do this garbage, you go to Europe and there’s 900 year old buildings in use every day.

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