All you have to do is look up to see that New York City is in the midst of a building boom; but this surge in development comes with a price. The New York Times reports that construction-related deaths and injuries over the past two years, most of which affect undocumented immigrant laborers, “far exceeds the rate of new construction over the same period,” a testament to the inadequate safety systems at job sites. City records show that there were ten construction-related fatalities in the most recent fiscal year (July 2014 – July 2015), nearly twice the annual average. This time period also saw a 53 percent spike in injuries, up to 324 instances, and a 52 percent rise in accidents, up to 314.
252 East 57th Street
Soaring more than 700 feet into the Midtown East skyline, World Wide Group and Rose Associate’s 252 East 57th Street has officially topped out. Yes, it’s hard being a stand-out skyscraper in Manhattan these days; some 30 years ago, the tower would have been the highest apartment tower in the city, just besting Trump Tower and Olympic Tower on Fifth Avenue. Today, the 57-story building is the shortest and eastern-most of six super-towers underway along the southern periphery of Central Park that have been raising average building heights and asking prices to new levels.
With foundation work complete, the World Wide Group / Rose Associates’ tower at 252 East 57th Street is rapidly making its climb into the Midtown East skyline. The 57-story development composed of 93 condos and 173 rentals is designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM), with SLCE serving as the architects of record.
Despite the tower’s location along the eastern fringe of cloud-busting billionaire’s row, the 715-foot building won’t be competing for any height records–for instance, 111 West 57th Street is double its height at 1,428 feet. Instead, the tower is shaping up to be more of a typical Midtown East affair, falling in line with its Second Avenue context by providing a broad 80-foot-high base along the avenue and a sheer 50-story rectangular slab rising above. Recent residential towers along Second Avenue such as The Milan, The Veneto, and The Three Ten share 252’s massing, which planners prescribed to conform new skyscrapers to the rows of existing walk-up buildings.