Situated across the street from the ABC News television studios on the Upper West Side is the site of 50 West 66th Street. Just off of Columbus Avenue, the future 775-foot high residential tower will be the tallest on the Upper West Side when complete. It is being designed by Snohetta and developed by Extell, and is currently the 23rd tallest skyscraper under construction in the Five Boroughs.
Recent photos show major excavation progress, with construction and formation of the foundation walls underway. The eastern wall appears to be complete, while work on the southern foundation wall is continuing. Four excavators are continuing to dig deeper into the ground. For this brief moment in time, the towers along 57th Street can be seen through the construction fence.
The building’s architecture consists of two major sections separated by an open landscaped terrace on the 16th floor. The bottom 15 floors feature chamfered triangular inward and outward pointing slopes among a facade of tall and narrow windows. The terrace faces south with views of Central Park and Billionaire’s Row climbing higher into the sky.
Large walls of glass cover the middle section of the building and sit under the residential portion of 50 West 66th Street. Uniform in appearance, the north and south corners are chamfered and open to feature terraces within the floorplates overlooking Central Park to the south and the Upper West Side to the north. The top of the tower is capped with a diagonally oriented double-sloped roof, similar to those seen atop 10 and 30 Hudson Yards.
The bottom portion of the tower windows are spaced out further to reveal a light-colored, textured limestone facade in between each pane of glass, whereas the upper residential portion is designed with a more typical grid of glass panels.
Looking west from the other side of Central Park, 50 West 66th Street will make a big appearance in the skyline north of 15 Central Park West due to its noticeable height. It will eventually take the title as the tallest in the neighborhood from 200 Amsterdam Avenue which is less than ten minutes by foot to the north across Broadway.
200 Amsterdam will be eclipsed by 95 feet. Residential skyscrapers of such heights in this neighborhood are generally uncommon due to the number of zoning laws and height limitations imposed and implicated on most blocks. But developers have still managed to extend and elevate the skyline past 59th Street with equally impressive buildings rising on both sides of the park. One example which we will cover shortly is 520 Park Avenue, which surpasses 50 West 66th Street by a mere six feet.
Completion of 50 West 66th Street is expected sometime around 2020.