When it comes to skyscrapers, we put a lot of trust in architects. We have to trust that they know what they’re doing, and these seemingly impossible buildings are safe to be in and around. It’s even harder to trust what used to be known as the Citicorp or Citigroup Center, now 601 Lexington Avenue, whose bottom floors are like four stilts, holding 50 stories of building above them. It looks like a strong wind would blow the whole structure over. And when the building was constructed in 1977, before some emergency repairs, that was true.
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Here’s a great little twist on the New York City real estate market, courtesy of the recent trend to convert rooms in some of Manhattan’s most exclusive hotels into condominium apartments: fractional ownership—the timeshare to end all timeshares.
That’s right, now you can savor the pleasure of residing at one of the most glamorous addresses in the world with all the amenities the St. Regis has to offer, including the Remede Spa and Fitness center, salon, twice daily maid service, and 24-hour butler service—all without having to shell out the multimillion dollar sums typically associated with this kind of elegant living.
New York has a long history of great architecture. From the very beginnings in the colonial period to today, there are more great buildings to see in New York than anywhere else on the planet. Thankfully, with this guide, you can see them all in one simple south-north trip across Manhattan. Many great buildings are too tall or difficult to see up close, so we’ve chosen an example of each style of New York architecture that can also be appreciated from the ground level, rather than forcing you to gawk straight up at a skyscraper. Check out our New York architecture day trip.
Frank Lloyd Wright is one of architecture’s most important figures, and you can see his work in five countries and 37 of 50 states. But when it comes to New York City, there is only one major Wright construction to be found: The Guggenheim. There is also a pre-fab house in Staten Island and one in Blauvelt just north of the city, but what other work did he do in the five boroughs? It turns out that Wright designed two other major projects in NYC, but both have been demolished. Here’s a look at these lost works by the great architect.
The Philip Johnson-designed Sony Tower at 550 Madison Avenue, one of the most notable postmodern office towers in New York City, is set to be partially converted to high-end condos, as states planes filed by developer Chetrit Group. It’s not known which of the building’s 37 floors the residential units will occupy, but Chetrit, led by Joseph Chetrit, has said in the past that it will convert the upper floors and either keep the lower floors as offices or turn them into a luxury hotel.
Construction likely won’t begin for at least one to two years since Sony still leases office space. When the developer purchased the building from Sony in 2013 for $1.1 billion at auction, Sony committed to remaining in the offices for around three years until moving to a new space near Madison Square. Chetrit outbid 21 rivals and paid $685 million more for the building than Sony did in 2002.
It looks like the Chrysler Building is about to get a new neighbor. According to the New York Times, SL Green has reportedly proposed the development of a 1,200-foot, 65-story tower that would occupy the block between 42nd and 43rd Streets, and Vanderbilt and Madison Avenues. This proposal will have to undergo a review process as part of a new de Blasio administration plan to rezone an area of Vanderbilt Avenue for larger buildings.
De Blasio’s proposal is a 2.0 version of a failed bid by Michael Bloomberg that would rezone an area around Grand Central Terminal. Bloomberg’s proposal – which would affect a 73-block area around the terminal – concerned officials and preservationists, who were concerned that the plan would add to the congestion in the area. Fulfilling one of his campaign promises, de Blasio has devised a plan to mitigate those issues as well as keep the city competitive for decades to come, by creating more office space in the prime business location.
The City Council’s Committee on Land Use gave approval to Rockefeller University’s plan to construct two new buildings over the Franklin D. Roosevelt Drive on Manhattan’s east side. In exchange, the school, which controls air rights over the 4-block stretch starting at East 64th, has agreed to invest $8 million to develop and maintain a portion of the East River Esplanade.