Central Park Tower’s Glass Curtain Wall Nears Completion in Midtown

Central Park Tower rising above Midtown. Photo by Michael Young

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.

Central Park Tower. Photo by Michael Young

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.

Central Park Tower. Photo by Michael Young

Central Park Tower. Photo by Michael Young

Central Park Tower. Photo by Michael Young

Central Park Tower. Photo by Michael Young

Central Park Tower. Photo by Michael Young

Central Park Tower. Photo by Michael Young

Looking up the southern corner of Central Park Tower. Photo by Michael Young

Looking up the western corner of Central Park Tower. Photo by Michael Young

Central Park Tower’s Nordstrom flagship. Photo by Michael Young

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.

Central Park Tower (bottom center) seen from Times Square. Photo by Michael Young

Central Park Tower rising above Midtown. Photo by Michael Young

Central Park Tower seen from Roosevelt Island. Photo by Michael Young

Central Park Tower at sunset. Photo by Michael Young

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.

Central Park Tower. Photo by Michael Young

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.

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31 Comments on "Central Park Tower’s Glass Curtain Wall Nears Completion in Midtown"

  1. David in Bushwick | December 31, 2019 at 8:29 am | Reply

    It’s a forever missed opportunity that this overstretched glass box has no defining character, much like the entitled residents inside.

    • Your class envy is really getting old. It just makes you sound bitter. And VERY unbecoming. Makes you appear a loser.

    • Don’t be bitter because you could never afford such a stunning place like this. You know nothing about the residents, they probably worked so hard to be there. Please spew your pronounced envy somewhere else instead of bringing down other successful people whom you don’t even know.

  2. Beautiful photographs of a beautiful skyscraper.
    I’ve followed progress of this building for almost a year now, and I don’t think I’ll be stopping until Central Park Tower is completed in what is tomorrow, 2020.

  3. Finally, more than forty-five years after the 108-story Sears/Willis Tower, a US building which exceeds its roof height. The architecture, however, is puzzlingly haphazard. Are the occasional bands around the cantilevered section a psychological ploy to imply strength? Perhaps one sign of a fully matured country is that not all of its tallest buildings have to be works of art.

  4. Other than it’s height, what an underwhelming piece or architecture. Disappointing that the developers feel no responsibility to create a striking tower, given its prominence. The decline of New York…

    • How is the design of one building the, “decline of New York?” There are several stunning supertall skyscrapers wrapping up this year, 9 in total. This is in addition to 3 others completed in the last 6 years, more than tripling the total number of supertalls (with at least 5 more in the planing stage). You’re in complete denial if you don’t see this as a resurgence of NYC and its iconic skyline.

  5. As per One Vanderbilt, I have followed the progress of the
    “Nordstrom” tower, and saw them both under construction on my NY vacation in August 2017, and now both are almost complete!

    Am looking forward to a return trip in 2020, to see them again in person.

    I was wondering two things…
    how it that massive cantilever structure going to be removed under the “Nordstrom” tower? And how are windows replaced, say if one breaks 75 floors above the sidewalk, when everything is “attached” on “clips” on the OUTSIDE? Do they gave to re-install a massive crane again, and what do they attach it to if the building is completed?!

    • The building will be equipped with window-cleaning cradles which will provide access for cladding maintenance as needed. Given the intensive and demanding testing of large mock-ups of the cladding before approval of working design details, replacement of cladding components should be quite a rare occurrence in the design life of the building.

    • Growing on me..

  6. Oil Refinery Row when viewed fro Central Park. These buildings will be remembered for human excesses and greed. We need to stop building middle fingers and plan for more sustainable architecture.

    • I have a feeling this one in particular isn’t going to age well.

    • Honey, the history of NYC architecture is all about excess and greed (aka, making money). I, for one, am really enjoying this addition of a new layer of skyline to the city. Upward!

  7. “The true color of the glass panels easily blends with the sky on a clear day.”

    Well that’s going to do wonders for the bird population.

  8. I hope Central Park Tower’s US height record is broken by 2025. We need a roof of at minumum 1600 feet. 1700 or 1800 would be better. Tower 5th will likely beat it but by a mere 6 feet but I’ll take it.

    • To be honest, a Megatall skyscraper in New York City would look terribly ridiculous to me.
      The Big Bend would be your closest target, but that is what I mean. That building looks so stupid in the skyline of New York City.

  9. If I had a choice of anything on CPS or “Billionaires Row”, I’d take the late Pavoratti’s Hampshire House apartment.

  10. Note the Freedom Tower is not taller then the Central Prk Tower they cheated with that pinnacle

  11. I wonder what the point of living in one of these massively tall buildings is? The view can’t be so good considering you’re looking at a load of other ugly glass constructions reaching into the sky… No character, no personality… no green trees or anything else around that is generating some energy? It would be like living in a massive suite of hotel rooms; no contact with neighbors; ‘Amenities’ that no one uses. Such a waste of space. OK.. So mine’s bigger than yours.. Is that really what it all boils down to?!

  12. Michael Richman | January 1, 2020 at 8:44 am | Reply

    Was this building one on those that were shedding ice recently that lead to street closings in its neighborhood?

  13. This building is actual to its floor height, unlike the JDS Building. That terra-cotta nightmare I think has its last apartment about 1200 feet up…

  14. How is the construction crane going to be dismantled??? Interesting to see how it will be removed.

  15. Barry D Miller | January 3, 2020 at 4:44 pm | Reply

    Just what NYC needs — an eventual half-empty eyesore.

  16. Its all very amazing not sure if i would live so high up but its cool from a distance and the skyline looks better than ever👍

  17. Amazing view of the tower and the new skyline from Harlem. Walking to the subway down Lenox with the view of the new towers lined up, great inspiration.

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