Tracking JP Morgan Chase’s Demolition of 270 Park Avenue in Midtown East

270 Park Avenue. Photo by Tectonic

Demolition has begun for JP Morgan Chase‘s 52-story former headquarters at 270 Park Avenue, which was once known as the Union Carbide Building. The financial titan is razing the 707-foot-tall mid-century skyscraper to make way for a massive 1,425-foot-tall, 2.5-million-square-foot supertall that will be among the tallest structures in New York City.

Photos by Tectonic show almost the entire Midtown East skyscraper covered in scaffolding and black netting, including the podium section on the western half of the full-block property. The building will be the tallest structure in history to be demolished purposely by its owner, a distinction long held by the Singer Building, which was torn down in 1968 to clear the way for the construction of One Liberty Plaza.

270 Park Avenue. Photo by Tectonic

270 Park Avenue. Photo by Tectonic

270 Park Avenue. Photo by Tectonic

270 Park Avenue. Photo by Tectonic

270 Park Avenue. Photo by Tectonic

270 Park Avenue. Photo by Tectonic

The construction crane on the southern elevation will help dismantle each floor and remove debris along the way. Three platforms on the 16th, 29th, and 41st floors jut out on all four sides from the steel exterior. These help to support the weight of the external scaffolding and ultimately serve to break up the skyscraper and demolition process into four major sections and stages. By now it’s safe to assume that most of the interiors have been stripped to the bare bones of the concrete and steel superstructure, which should allow the edifice to easily come down floor by floor. The repetitive stack of rectangular-shaped floor plates and columns should also accelerate the process.

No timeline has been announced for the full demolition of 270 Park Avenue, though the first half of 2021 seems like a plausible target. Completion of the new headquarters is still several years off. A final rendering and architect of the proposed supertall have also yet to be revealed.

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20 Comments on "Tracking JP Morgan Chase’s Demolition of 270 Park Avenue in Midtown East"

  1. “Demolition has begun”?..It’s been ‘begun’ for quite a while now. I’m sure it’s on hold while this Coronamess is going on but will restart as soon as possible. Infact I’ve heard that ‘Construction’ will be one of the first industries to restart, since in a way it is safer, ‘worker separation wise’ than many other industries.

  2. Richard Grayson | April 20, 2020 at 9:34 am | Reply

    In the spring of 1964, I went on a class trip to the Union Carbide Building with the boys in my ceramics shop class at Meyer Levin JHS 285 in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, to see an exhibit of then-contemporary ceramics. But the big attraction for me, at least, was the Union Carbide Building itself. It was then new, and it seemed spectacular. It left an impression on me when our shop teacher, Mr. Nowitz, who was also my homeroom teacher and who led the trip, told us boys (who took shop; girls took home economics) that it was the tallest building in the world designed by a woman. (Apparently it held that distinction until the 21st century.) Sad to see it go, but that’s progress.

  3. So chase has started demolition of the building with the rules in place not allowing non essential construction yet they do not have the resources in place to issue the payment protection plan loans? It is great to see that the large Corporations are being taken care of while smaller businesses fail.

    Trickle down economics at its best

    It is comforting to know that companies like these juniors cheese cake and Ruth Chris steakhouse are being taken care of

    • I think the building has been under demolition for sometime. And perhaps they did do ppp. But likely more profitable for larger firms perhaps.

  4. Love New York YIMBY but confused that so many of these posts make no mention of the fact that construction is not only on indefinite pause but that once lockdown is over, there are the obvious questions of the extent to which projects planned months ago will actually be carried out given the overwhelming damage to the economy in general, and to dense urban economies in particular.

    • Hi Jacob! I addressed this a week or two ago in a comment. The definition of “essential” is incredibly broad and the fine is only $10K for non-compliance. While some projects may go on hold thereafter, those with financing etc (e.g. most underway already) are probably going to continue.

      Hope all is well btw! 🙂

      • I see ur pt about the fines. But most if not all their workers are union. Dudes on that construction site can pull 85 dollars and hour with benefits built in. A flag waver probably makes 24 dollars a hour.

        They might work under those tight conditions. But their likely union. Not a scab under the table worker. Nothing against those individuals.

    • Its jpm chase. Their destroying a building worth 400 million dollars to build a 600 million dollar building.

      They can get any permits they need. And they will assume more than 80 percent of building. With balance going to business partners.

      Yes other projects will be suspended. But jpm can print money basically.

  5. Ignoring bans on construction will cause the spread of the Covid-19 Virus to not only to the workers but their friends and family and others. More than 40,000 people have died in the USA and 400,000 plus sickened so far. Greed is very ugly and in this case also deadly. Stop all non essential construct before more people suffer die and mourn!

    • I sense some negativity. I am a union worker but the way I see it, the scabs as Joe calls them, also have to put food on the table. I am sure the scabs would love to earn Union wages but often never get the opportunity.
      I have no problem with taking down the building, it will create many jobs not only for construction but also permanent jobs. I do have a problem with a super tall building that does not respect the character off the neighborhood and that will cast a shadow from Long Island to NJ just like those awful pencil buildings popping up all over the city. The skyline is forever changing and not for the better.

  6. RIP Singer Building, One Liberty Plaza is grotesque.

  7. I doubt they will get 200 union guys to go before work is allowed. And yes they could pay any fines if needed. Hell 100k a day fine times 300 is 30 million.

    That is less than half a days revenue for them. As they made 142 billion last year.

  8. And to think they have like 3 other hige campuses across nyc.

  9. U heard of sanford and son? What did they do with thousands of desks, tables etc…. Millions of dollars of furniture destroyed by a compactor.

    Unless u think they took out 3 floors of storage.

  10. Diane ( Karwoski) Heine | April 23, 2020 at 10:41 am | Reply

    My Mom Rita Carmody worked for Union Carbide for 26 plus years. She was on the 36th floor at 270 Park Ave. for many of those years till after the building was bombed. They moved them to a big complex supposedly bomb proof in Danbury, Conn. from which she eventually retired. I also worked on the 9th floor, Battery Products Division for several years. It was a beautiful building known for its pink sidewalk( surrounding the building) the only one in Manhattan. Fond memories❤️

  11. Is the work definitely proceeding or has it been paused?…the signs on the premises late last year said they would be done circa April 2021 but I don’t know how delayed the project is.

    I look forward to the new supertall and hope nothing stops it.

  12. I worked at 270 park for many years…it’s a wonderful building. Close to metro north…sad to see it go.

  13. Covid has shown corporations that work at home is possible. Will JP Morgan still need so much office space?

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