53 West 53rd Street Reaches Full Pinnacle 1,050 Feet Above Street Level, Officially Tops-Out

53 West 53rd Street, image by Andrew Campbell Nelson53 West 53rd Street, image by Andrew Campbell Nelson

One of the most highly anticipated skyscrapers in Manhattan’s history has finally reached its peak architectural height. Two American flags have been fastened to the top of the tower in Midtown, announcing that the full topping-out has now occurred.

53 West 53rd Street from Rockefeller Center observation deck, image by Aaron Kho

53 West 53rd Street from Rockefeller Center observation deck, image by Aaron Kho

This differs from the mid-June topping out event that architect Jean Nouvel attended, since that was to celebrate construction reaching the peak habitable height. Hines is responsible for the development.

53 West 53rd Street

53 West 53rd Street, rendering via VUW Studio

Jean Nouvel is responsible for the design. The tower’s slick dark façade is decorated with a randomized diagrid pattern. The most noticeable visible element is the gold and silver-foil tipped setbacks on the eastern and western sides, which further highlight the background of excess from which the tower was borne. The golden tip has been completed, but the top of the silver tip remains to be finished. The façade is just one floor away from covering all habitable floors.

53 West 53rd Street, image by Andrew Campbell Nelson

53 West 53rd Street, image by Andrew Campbell Nelson

For many who love the design’s effect on the skyline, this celebration is bittersweet. Development has been underway since 2006, but in between conception and completion, the New York City Planning Commission removed 200 feet of height from the original proposal.

Jean Nouvel talking to the press in 53 West 53rd Street, image by Andrew Campbell Nelson

Jean Nouvel talking to the press in 53 West 53rd Street, image by Andrew Campbell Nelson

When YIMBY asked about the reduction in mid-June, Nouvel told us “It was very disappointing. The skyline has a rhythm and the intersection of 53rd and 6th will not be quite as prominent as it deserved, especially when you compare it with the new buildings on 57th Street. However, we are still very happy with the finished product.”

The Chrysler Building from 53W53, image by Andrew Campbell Nelson

The Chrysler Building from 53W53, image by Andrew Campbell Nelson

As it stands now at 1,050 feet above ground, 53 West 53rd Street is tied with the Chrysler Building and the New York Times Building as the sixth tallest in the city and 13th tallest in the United States.

Hudson Yards from 53 West 53rd Street, image by Andrew Campbell Nelson

New York Times Building to the Left of Hudson Yards, from 53 West 53rd Street June 2018, image by Andrew Campbell Nelson

Completion is still anticipated by the end of the year.

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13 Comments on "53 West 53rd Street Reaches Full Pinnacle 1,050 Feet Above Street Level, Officially Tops-Out"

  1. Please pardon me for using your space: Uncle Sam have to happy because hours on progress can impress you this time.

  2. Get over that 200 foot height reduction, the developer’s and architect’s arrogance towards the Planning Commission and A.B. got them that well deserved reduction

    • Nikolai Fedak | August 6, 2018 at 8:28 am | Reply

      Amanda Burden was the arrogant one who deemed 1,250′ to be “rarified” air space, when ten years later, that is not the case and 53W53 was unfairly penalized for being ahead of its time.

    • David in Bushwick | August 6, 2018 at 6:10 pm | Reply

      All of these new billionaire skypricks are vulgar displays of money laundering, but 53W53 is probably the best designed of all, along with the almost scary Steinway Tower. All other arguments are silly given what’s being built in Midtown right now. That 200 feet was truly arbitrarily removed out of personal spite, which is shameful because it would have actually given visual substance to a city awash in reflective silver towers.

  3. Lora Lee Calhoun | August 6, 2018 at 9:26 am | Reply

    Contrived in every detail, its sole distinction is height. For true magnificence look to the Chrysler Building.

  4. RitaSue Siegel | August 6, 2018 at 9:32 am | Reply

    The building is still too large for its location. The tallest buildings on West 57 are just that, on broad West 57. West 53 and West 54 narrow, city streets not intended for invasion by a dark, out-of-scale structure that sucks the life/light out of the street and is too intimidating for its modest-sized location. Amanda was not being arrogant, she was responding to the outrage of the residents of the area who vehemently protested the erection of this building. The residents would be much happier if the building was closer to the height of the ones surrounding it. The loss of 200 feet is not noticeable, sadly.

  5. This building is simply elegant.

  6. The entire area surrounding 53w 53rd —call it the west 50’s — went out of control with its race to the top. It goes back a generation b/c that is when developers prepped for the race.

  7. Its regrettable this building isn’t at least 1200 ft. The NIMBY’s are whining right now? Just wait, within 10 years time this building will be overshadowed by even taller buildings. This is New York not Kansas, complaining about shadows in midtown is beyond ridiculous.

    BTW the NYTimes and Chrysler buildings are 1046 ft, slightly shorter than this.

    • “This is New York not Kansas.” John you are so right – New York City is a city, not a cornfield. If you don’t like it, you can take yourself and the own shadow you’re casting and head to the boon-docks.

  8. Mixed feelings about the oligarchy that gave rise to it, but architecturally this is a fine tower that enriches the skyline.

  9. Does anyone know When will apartments be avail for rent?

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