One Vanderbilt Surpasses The Metlife Building, Climbs Onwards To 1,401 Foot Pinnacle Above Midtown

One Vanderbilt rising above the Midtown skyline. Photo by Michael Young

One Vanderbilt quickly climbed into the Midtown skyline in 2018, in what seemed like the fastest climb of any supertall to rise in Manhattan in recent years. After growing past street level last winter, the superstructure has now passed the height of the Metlife Building across the street from Grand Central Station, and is on pace to top-out by the middle of 2019. The 58-story building is being designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox and developed by SL Green. 1.75 million square feet of commercial office space and a reported three-story observation deck will soon result, upon completion, and One Vanderbilt is the third-tallest skyscraper currently being built in New York City.

One Vanderbilt looking at the western corner along 42nd Street. Photo by Michael Young

As of now, the building looks to be around 900 feet in height, with the first sloped setbacks set to begin around the 1,100-foot mark. The terracotta and glass facade, manufactured by Boston Valley, is making steady progress on all sides since installation began back in August. Construction workers are putting up the steel columns and beams above a set a mechanical floors enclosed in a perimeter of diagonal columns for structural support. They won’t be seen when the facade reaches this section.

The facade being installed on the western corner. Photo by Michael Young

Close up of the installation on the western corner. Photo by Michael Young

The southern terracotta and glass facade looking up from 42nd Street. Photo by Michael Young

The effect of the tower’s height is already noticeable from the street level, and as far away as Bryant Park. It may block the afternoon sunlight from penetrating the western windows of Grand Central Station, but the train hub can still be seen walking east on 42nd Street. The raised and sloped terracotta facade above the street reveals this point of view in the following photo:

Grand Central Station looking east from 42nd Street and 5th Avenue. Photo by Michael Young

One Vanderbilt and the MetLife Building tower over Grand Central Station. Photo by Michael Young

Thanks to the Midtown East Rezoning, plans for another supertall are in the works several blocks to the north of One Vanderbilt, at 270 Park Avenue. That building will be designed by Foster + Partners, with the potential to climb around the same general height as One Vanderbilt, but with a far bulkier profile for the uppermost levels translating into a much heftier overall square footage.

Completion of One Vanderbilt is expected sometime in 2020.

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