Final Segment of 53 West 53rd Street’s Apex Installed Atop Midtown Manhattan

The window washing rig that cleans the upper portion of the tower will sit atop the apex and be housed within the hollow triangular segment. Photo by Giles Ashford

Last week, the final piece of the third and highest apex of Jean Nouvel’s first residential skyscraper was anchored and installed over Midtown. 53 West 53rd Street now stands 1,050 feet tall, and is currently the 7th-tallest skyscraper under construction in New York City. With its distinct pointed crown and dark diagrid facade, it is certainly a very unique building, and has been in the making for over a decade. The tower is being developed by Hines, while SLCE Architects and Adamson Associates are the architects of record. The condominiums are being marketed by Corcoran.

Recent photos on 53W53’s Instagram show the last triangular segment being lifted above the street and brought to the top of the steel structure that was constructed over the past several months to house the tuned mass damper, mechanical equipment, and rigging machine, for window washing.

The final segment at street level before being hoisted to the top of the tallest apex. Photo by Giles Ashford

Construction workers at the top ready to swing the last piece in place and cap the top of 53 West 53rd Street. Photo by Giles Ashford

Installed in place 1,050 feet above Midtown. Photo by Giles Ashford

Thanks to the tapering shape of the tower on the north and south elevations, the 145 residential units all come with different floor plans and layouts. This makes each residence a one-of-a-kind, complemented with large diagonal columns that become part of the interior design. Thus, the views through the floor-to-ceiling windows and slanted white columns are unrepeated and uniquely framed for each space.

The duplex on the upper floors has a double height space with a sloped northern wall on the end of the floor plate, with views of Central Park and the rising supertalls of 57th Street.

53 West 53rd Street, rendering via 53W53 website

53W53rd’s distance from buildings of equal or taller heights also gives the project better privacy, and more space to enjoy the views over Midtown. Lower Manhattan can also be seen from the upper floors.

The view of Central Park from the upper floors, taken in May 2018. Photo by Michael Young

The view of Sixth Avenue and Midtown with Lower Manhattan in the distance looking south. Photo taken in May 2018 by Michael Young

432 Park Avenue looking to the east of 53 West 53rd Street. Photo by Michael Young

The impact on the skyline can be easily seen looking from either Queens, the ramps to the Lincoln Tunnel toll booths, or as far as the New Jersey Turnpike, just north of Newark International Airport. 53W53 stands far enough from the cluster of supertalls along 57th Street and the rise of 42nd Street for its  distinct profile to truly distinguish the silhouette from the majority of flat roof parapets that have capped the northern Midtown skyline for decades. It may not be as tall as the supertalls of Billionaire’s Row, but Nouvel’s creation nevertheless stands as a new architectural and sculptural icon atop the skyline.

53 West 53rd Street and 111 West 57th Street rising four streets to the north. Photo by Michael Young

53 West 53rd Street seen next to 432 Park Avenue, taken from the New Jersey Turnpike. Photo by Michael Young

The expansion of MoMA on the lower floors is also the next big milestone for the project, which will make the site and the museum a bigger and greater experience for tourists, locals, and future residents alike. Residents of 53 West 53rd Street will have Benefactor MoMA memberships, curated benefits, and the chance to hold private events in the sculptural garden.

Completion of the new wing and residential tower is expected sometime in 2019.

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7 Comments on "Final Segment of 53 West 53rd Street’s Apex Installed Atop Midtown Manhattan"

  1. Please pardon me for using your space: You do not want to see progress I don’t believe you. Show out on atop of the tower makes me into form of success. (Thanks to everybody on details)

  2. This piece of architecture is unique for NYC, yes it took long in making, I remember just big gated lot, a piece of bare concrete for several years, without construction yet started, then it was finally start, in 2015, after making just few floors was some concrete mistake in floor construction, so they removed partial that floor, however after that some from 2016 tower start finally raised up, the complexion of different floor plates, its pretty simular like with construction of 8 Spruce in Downtown Manhattan, each floor was required different forms, in 8 Spruce it’s 71 residential floor plate after 5 story school/hospital space, and tower topped out at 878 feet. Here after simular 5 story base, similarity ends here, here is all concrete, all different plates from the ground, while 8 Spruce is based on trapezoid brick clad 5 story base. Floor count is 77, marketing as 82 story, for 53West53, and stupidity of slashing 200 feet, because in 2007, Dr Amanda Burnes from City hall thinking that tower is “too tall to built it, and slashed top 11 floors and 200 feet, from original , 250 feet”, same Amanda Burnes approved much taller 432 Park, even allow adding 100 feet over original 1296 feet. Full stupidity of that woman. Of course upstick of 432 Park Ave, what looks like standing column is more aesthetic than sculpted skeleton diagrid of ultra futurist ultra modern 53West53 MomaTower. What was a crime not built it higher today and finished it at 1250 feet. Anyway glad it was built and even with “chopped head” it’s definitely best Skyscraper ever built by today in Our Great and still Everchanged City!!! My Thumb Up for architect and those who built it!!! This tower hopefully making simular impact like 8 Spruce Tower made for area surround City Hall!!! Now full dozen of new buildings, various height and designs.

  3. Some spiritual teacher said that it was wise to live close to the ground.
    I’m not sure what he meant by that, other than the fact that I wouldn’t want to live that high up.
    I think dazzling heights are great for a restaurant, nightclub, or special events.

  4. With the softening super-lux market, the developer probably is not so upset now that 200′ feet of super expensive space got slashed from 53w/53rd

  5. I don’t know that I could deal with the height. No need for me to be up there. I would stay away from the windows. Just thinking about it gives me weak knees.

  6. “very unique”? Ouch! You embarrass yourself. You can’t modify “unique”. By definition, it’s either unique or it isn’t.

  7. Amazing tower. One of the special one. Its still sad they decreased the height of the tower years ago in the planning process. Especially because higher tower got planned and built later at the Bilionairs row. The effect of the height decrease got lost by the construction of the higher towers.

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