Carter Uncut brings New York City’s latest development news under the critical eye of resident architecture critic Carter B. Horsley. This week Carter brings us his fourth installment of “Skyline Wars,” a series that examines the explosive and unprecedented supertall phenomenon that is transforming the city’s silhouette. In this post Carter looks at the evolution of the Lower Manhattan skyline.
Lower Manhattan at the start of the Great Depression was the world’s most famous and influential skyline when 70 Pine, 20 Exchange Place, 1 and 40 Wall Street, and the Woolworth and Singer buildings inspired the world with their romantic silhouettes in a relatively balanced reach for the sky centered around the tip of Lower Manhattan.
Midtown was not asleep at the switch and countered with the great Empire State, the spectacular Chrysler and 30 Rockefeller Plaza but they were scattered and could not topple the aggregate visual power and lure of Lower Manhattan and its proverbial “view from the 40th floor” as the hallowed precinct of corporate America until the end of World War II.
The convenience and elegance of Midtown, however, became increasingly irresistible to many.
More on the the history of Lower Manhattan and what’s in store
56 LEONARD CONSTRUCTION PROGRESS from Rob Cleary on Vimeo.
- In anticipation for its topping out this summer, 56 Leonard, the 60-story tower designed by Herzog & de Meuron, released a time lapse video tracking the building’s rise from March 2014 to May 2015. [6sqft inbox; video link]
- The “Late Show'”s presence has been a boon to landlords renting out retail. Rents in the midtown area right around the Ed Sullivan Theater have increased about tenfold since David Letterman showed up over 20 years ago. [NYT]
- Comptroller Scott Stringer doesn’t think the dirty, rat-infested subway deserves the $1.3 billion it’s asking for to close its budget gap. [NYO]
- Extell finally reveals its highly contested LES tower at 250 South Street. [Curbed]
- The rare and beautiful “Brooklyn Embassy” townhouse has hit the market for $11.8 million. Although the building is currently split up into eight units, it could easily be turned back into a mansion. [NYDN]
Esteemed architect and historian Robert A.M. Stern once said that “New York is a constellation of magic moments. No city as complex as New York rebuilds itself so often, and often so well.” Two stars are being born in that nebula of irregular streets we call Downtown. The taller of the two, 30 Park Place, is designed by the famed starchitect himself, and has recently surpassed its neighbor, the Woolworth Building, to soon take its place as the tallest residential perch in the district. The other star, 56 Leonard, may still shine brighter, however. While absent any height superlatives, 56 Leonard may very well end up being the most interesting skyscraper Downtown has produced in decades.
Nicknamed the “Jenga-building” and the “tower of penthouses,” 56 Leonard’s design comes from the Swiss architectural firm of Herzog & de Meuron while working with the residential know-it-alls at Goldstein Hill & West. Currently, the concrete frame is approximately 700 feet tall with little more than 100 feet to rise before topping off. The floors progressively stagger at varying configurations creating cantilevered interior spaces as well as outdoor balconies for each of the residences.
More details ahead
There is no shortage of towers on the rise in Manhattan, but amongst these glass and stone beauties are a handful that stand head and shoulders (and several hundred feet) above the rest. A red hot real estate market and cutting edge building technology have paved the way for towers of both unprecedented heights and prices. But worthy of equal credit are the visionary developers and architects who dare to change the NYC skyline.
Here we’ve handpicked 12 of the most newsworthy buildings of 2014; these towers boast groundbreaking designs and record-breaking (or soon to be record-breaking) prices. But we ask you: Out of the dozen, which deserves the title “Building of the Year?” Cast a vote above to help us decide which is 2014’s most important tower!
Extended by popular demand… Voting ends
TODAY, December 12th at 11:59 PM WEDNESDAY, December 17th at 11:59 PM and we’ll reveal the winner on Friday, December 19th. And if you’re still torn between two (or all), jump ahead for the low-down on each, from height to 2014 news highlights.
More on each of the buildings here
The penthouse craze began in the early 20th century thanks to media tycoon William Randolph Hearst. He took up residence in a three-floor apartment at the Clarendon at 137 Riverside Drive and, when his landlord refused to let him expand further, Hearst bought the entire building, adding two new floors to the top of his mansion, crowned by a new copper mansard roof.
Now, 100 years later, the rich and famous are still making headlines with their pricey penthouse purchases. Fellow media mogul Rupert Murdoch recently purchased a $57.25 million triplex penthouse, along with an additional full-floor unit (because why stop at just three?) at One Madison. His bachelor pad totals more than 10,000 square feet of interior space, wrapped in floor-to-ceiling glass. Is this the new standard for penthouse living? We’re taking a look at some of the top sky-high listings in Manhattan to find out.
Don’t miss these incredible penthouse stunners