Taking the number-one spot in our annual construction countdown is the 1,550-foot-tall Central Park Tower, aka 217 West 57th Street, the tallest building by roof level in New York City and the entire western hemisphere, as well as the tallest residential building in the world. Work on the glass curtain wall is approaching the parapet of the slender reinforced concrete superstructure, which rises 99 stories above 57th Street, aka Billionaires’ Row. The project is designed by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill and developed by Extell, which is expecting a $4 billion sellout on the tower’s 179 residences. A 320,000-square-foot Nordstrom flagship occupies the base of the building.
The final floors sit awaiting installation of the reflective glass curtain wall, while the crown is also in the midst of formation behind the yellow safety cocoon.
Whether viewed from Lower Manhattan, Times Square, or the streets around its base, the skyscraper makes a dominating impression on the skyline. Several sections of the blue protective film still cling to the floor-to-ceiling windows, but should soon begin to be removed. The true color of the glass panels easily blends with the sky on a clear day.
The panels surrounding the cantilever on the eastern elevation are mostly installed, while the temporary structural braces underneath the protruding underbelly are still in place for the time being.
The 2010s have witnessed a record number of skyscrapers 1,000 feet high or taller topped out in the city. By next year, nearly all of the residential supertalls that have sprung up along Billionaires’ Row, including Central Park Tower, should be completed. Other parts of the city that are still in the midst of a boom include the Hudson Yards district and other projects near the Jacob K. Javits Center, NoMad, Long Island City, Downtown Brooklyn, and the Financial District. As the decade moves on, the next area primed for vertical expansion is Midtown East, especially along Park Avenue north of 42nd Street, where a challenger to the Central Park Tower’s roof level title has been proposed. Whether any future building will eventually surpass the 1,776-foot architectural height of One World Trade Center to claim the official title of the city’s tallest building remains to be seen.
Central Park Tower is expected to be finished in 2020.