Proposed: American Bible Society Redevelopment

American Bible SocietyAmerican Bible Society -- image from Google Maps

EDIT: Renderings have been removed at the request of the ABS.

The American Bible Society is seeking redevelopment options for its building on the corner of 61st Street and Broadway. The structure was originally built in 1965, and contains nearly 140,000 square feet of space — which is only 62% of the allowable FAR. Danny Forster Design Studio is designing the project, which is in the preliminary stages; the new tower will measure nearly 290,000 square feet.

The site’s potential is enormous, given its location; The American Bible Society is across the street from 15 Central Park West, though Broadway is not quite as prime. Nevertheless, the project enjoys proximity to a host of world-class amenities, including Lincoln Center and The Shops at Time Warner.

Forster’s page on the project depicts a 37-story building, with a variety of uses. The ABS will likely remain in the same location, occupying a section of the new tower; additional retail and space for cultural facilities will round out the development’s base, while condominiums will be situated on upper floors.

Given the latest trend in Manhattan — which is to stretch buildings as tall as possible to maximize views — the ABS Tower could see a height increase; it has more than enough square footage to allow for a towering stack of residences above the base.

Besides the project’s height, its form looks to be contextual, and will heal the wound left by the ABS’ existing structure. The current building is an exercise in 1960s-banality, and its offensive aesthetics are compounded by the violation of Broadway’s street-wall. The new development will restore the site to its proper urban context, while enlivening the space with additional amenities — further enhancing the already booming Lincoln Square neighborhood.

With plans currently in the design phase, the ABS redevelopment has no tentative completion date — but assuming the project does move forward, a 2020 estimate would be reasonable.

For any questions, comments, or feedback, email [email protected]

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