270 Park Avenue’s Demolition Passes Halfway Mark in Midtown East

270 Park Avenue. Photo by Michael Young

Demolition is progressing rapidly at 270 Park Avenue, the site of JP Morgan Chase‘s new 1,425-foot-tall headquarters in Midtown East and number three on our end-of-year countdown. The firm is demolishing its former 707-foot-tall, 52-story tower to make way for the massive supertall, which will yield 2.5 million square feet of office space. The full-block parcel is located between Park and Madison Avenues and East 47th and 48th Streets.

Recent photos show how far demolition has progressed since YIMBY’s last visit in August. The mid-century skyscraper, which was formerly known as the Union Carbide Building, has surpassed the halfway mark and is rapidly approaching street level.

270 Park Avenue. Photo by Michael Young

270 Park Avenue. Photo by Michael Young

270 Park Avenue. Photo by Michael Young

Only the last chunk of the lower floors remains, and stands enclosed in a thick assembly of metal scaffolding and black netting. The construction crane that is set up on the southern elevation is constantly lifting and lowering metal dumpsters filled with debris from each dismantled floor. Additional smaller cranes can be seen among what was once the multi-story annex on the western end of the full-block property.

270 Park Avenue. Photo by Michael Young

270 Park Avenue. Photo by Michael Young

270 Park Avenue. Photo by Michael Young

All the glass from the window frames has been taken out, leaving them hollow and surrounded by tall metal gates or boarded up with plywood.

270 Park Avenue. Photo by Michael Young

The project will eclipse the record for the tallest building to be peacefully demolished that was set when the Singer Building was torn down in 1968. The ornate 674-foot-tall tower was replaced by the 54-story, 804-foot-tall One Liberty Plaza.

YIMBY predicts that 270 Park Avenue should be fully demolished by the first half of 2021. Details regarding its replacement are slim, with no architect, finalized rendering, or construction timetables released so far.

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25 Comments on "270 Park Avenue’s Demolition Passes Halfway Mark in Midtown East"

  1. Well, this milk has already been spilled, so no use crying over it. Let us just hope that what comes next is worthy..

  2. I used to work on the 23rd floor of 270 Park, and really liked that building. Looking forward to seeing its replacement.

  3. Look at that poor little squat of a building. ?
    I find it very interesting how 270 Park Avenue has been dismantled. However, I’m afraid this will give an example to other developers and owners and ultimately several buildings of this scale will be demolished as well. This record will certainly be surpassed very soon. But anyways, I can’t wait to see what will be coming to the 270 Park Avenue site. Hopefully we’ll get some high quality renderings and other details in the Spring or something.

  4. perhaps the site will be left vacant… lots of unused office space in town.

    • This isn’t being done by a developer seeking tenants to lease space to. It’s being torn down by the owners who’s HQ was in this very building, so they could build a larger building to house all of their employees in a single tower.

      • David in Bushwick | December 29, 2020 at 11:12 am | Reply

        But that’s the most galling part. The old building had 2.4m square feet and the new building will 2.5m square feet. Basically the very important people at JP Morgan just wanted taller ceilings.
        Hubris and greed needlessly destroyed this historic building that had just been renovated. Hubris and greed is what will destroy us all.

        • Spending billions on a new, more efficient, and more comfortable building for their employees is corporate hubris and greed?

        • Agreed with this.
          It would make a nice Midtown Park in a place devoid of anything green except money.

        • Ugh. Another “greed” comment by an envious person. I’ve got NO problem whatsoever of people (legally) making money. As much as they can. Those that endlessly whine and complain about “greed” can go move to those hotbeds of dazzling innovation: Venezuela or Cuba.

          • More like the EU where many buildings are built with consideration for their place in the environment and consider things such as neighbors and adjoining buildings. Here things are almost always out of control with developers wanting to tear anything down in order to make money at others expense. The proper word should be consideration and not profit.

        • No, David. The bank wanted a building that works for a 21st century financial firm. That means column-free, huge floor plates with tall ceilings for trading floors, wiring that supports high-speed transactions, smaller elevator cores for more usable floor space and interior offices so the workers can have more light and views, true energy efficiency, higher-speed computerized elevators, more cafeterias, and on and on. You appear to know NOTHING except to whine about things from your archaic view of how the world works and should be. Your contempt for any sort of progress and modernity is duly noted.

        • SteveO makes a great point… Companies like JP Morgan need open floor plates to attract young talent, such as coders. As you may know, they will be competing with Google and Facebook which have booth leased some very prime space in Hudson Yards, Hudson Square and the Meatpacking District.

          And why complain, this project has created hundreds of construction jobs when NYC needs them most as several large construction projects wrap up. And final comment, the Union Carbide building was nothing unique, in fact most wouldn’t be able to identify it among the several boring International Style skyscrapers in midtown without knowing the cross streets.

        • Wrong. The old building was 1.3M sqft. They are nearly doubling the size of the building.

  5. I remember when the Union Carbide Bldg. went up. Although it didn’t match the understated elegance of the Seagram Bldg., it had its own somewaht sturdy elegant look. And from what I remember, it was used as the backdrop building for the movie “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” starring Robert Morse.

  6. Well, I guess one positive thing will be once it is fully demolished, and becomes a vacant lot… plenty of sunshine and views from the neighboring buildings, until the new tower goes up! ?

  7. The complaints on this site never fails.

  8. Great pictures, and look forward to seeing the progress over the next few years

  9. Recreate the Singer Bldg, there. Especially the lobby

  10. Anthony Mitchell | December 29, 2020 at 10:25 pm | Reply

    What is the construction management company for the demolition as well as for the new construction?

  11. I understand that the existing foundational elements below street level will be retained for the new building and that there is already construction (not demolition) work happening on the western end of the block that had the lowrise portion of the building. Does anyone know what exactly is being done there? Do they need to do any upgrades to the existing foundation or are they essentially already working on the new building on that portion of the site?

  12. I can just imagine what the operating engineers make in pay. 50 years ago they made 44 dollars an hour and that was big money. The guys who ran the supply hoist got tips for putting you in a good spot to get their supplies up for work. I used to get invited to the topping off parties when the job was completed. They were great.

  13. I am looking forward to the new supertall and hope it stands there for the rest of this century!

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