Harry Macklowe’s “Tower Fifth” To Become New York City’s Tallest Building By Roof Height, Rising 1,556′ To Pinnacle at 5 East 51st Street, in Midtown East

Tower FifthTower Fifth,. Rendering by TMRW via Gensler / the NY Times

Skyline-defining towers have proliferated across the Midtown and Lower Manhattan skylines since the start of the 2010s, with the new World Trade Center joined by clusters in Hudson Yards, and 57th Street. Now, as One Vanderbilt approaches the 1,000-foot mark, a new race is appearing on the horizon in Midtown East. First, JPMorgan announced plans for a 1,400-foot-plus behemoth at 270 Park Avenue. Today, renderings have been released for Harry Macklowe’s planned office tower at 5 East 51st Street, which the developer has dubbed “Tower Fifth”. The supertall would become the tallest building in New York City by roof height upon completion, soaring 1,556 feet and six inches above the streets down below.

While plans for the new tower have been circulating for several months as Macklowe has assembled the site, Charles Bagli of the New York Times scooped the rendering reveal yesterday evening.

As Mr. Macklowe told the Times, “Tall buildings are a reality. The days of restrictions on buildings are really over. This is a building that’s never been built before, a 21st-century building.”

Tower Fifth, rendering by TMRW via Gensler / the NY Times

Tower Fifth, rendering by TMRW via Gensler / the NY Times

The renderings for the tower, featuring design by Gensler and Adamson Associates, with input from Dan Shannon of Moed de Armas & Shannon Architects, confirm Macklowe’s towering ambitions. The overall envelope and appearance appear to mix several contemporary styles. Up top, a cantilevering observation deck utilizes the same form as 56 Leonard, but in a public-facing format that will yield the city’s highest observation deck, consisting of multiple floors. The very top also appears to be characterized by a diagrid of crossbeams, reminiscent of Jean Nouvel’s 53 West 53rd Street.

Below, the overall bulk of the tower is a clear echo of Macklowe’s skyline-defining triumph located six blocks to the northeast, at 432 Park Avenue. Spanning 5-9 East 51st Street and 12-20 East 52nd Street, the specific address for “Tower Fifth” has not yet been decided upon, but the supertall borrows several of 432 Park’s design motifs, like soaring floor heights, interspersed cut-outs for mechanicals and wind resistance, and a skinny profile, to achieve the kind of towering ambition that is becoming increasingly prevalent all across Manhattan.

Notably, the rendering is also angled in a way that Tower Fifth completely blocks Central Park Tower, which it will surpass in height by a single foot.

With 96 floors, the building will become the third-tallest office tower by floor count, beat only by the Empire State Building’s 102 levels and One World Trade Center’s 104 floors. While Tower Fifth may be challenged by 270 Park Avenue pending that project’s finalization, the floor total of 96 is substantially greater than One Vanderbilt’s mere 67 stories, which result in a 1,401-foot parapet thanks to its uppermost architectural ornamentation. In the case of “Tower Fifth,” the bulk of the tower will continue all the way to the rooftop. However, the rendering does not depict how the cantilever will look, as according to Bagli, the building sits atop two 400-foot-tall stilts before yielding to the majority of its occupied space.

Renderings also include a first look at the lobby, which will sit directly across the street from St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

Tower Fifth Lobby

Tower Fifth lobby, rendering by TMRW via Gensler / the NY Times

No completion date has been confirmed yet, and plans must first traverse several layers of City Planning, as the proposed design is beyond the current allowed scope of the site even with the Midtown East rezoning.

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56 Comments on "Harry Macklowe’s “Tower Fifth” To Become New York City’s Tallest Building By Roof Height, Rising 1,556′ To Pinnacle at 5 East 51st Street, in Midtown East"

  1. Oy, They should put Harry in a padded room 🙂

  2. Please pardon me for using your space: I get to its front and all the tower, new exciting progress that not yet happened. She lives in a nice location with friends in big city. (Thanks to Nikolai Fedak)

  3. Great piece and cool project. But you should have said it’s 96-floor count will make it the third-highest # of floors for a city office building, after 1WTC’s 104 floors and ESBs 102.

    • Really, a great architect “of trash inspired or toilet bowl inspired” peace of shit, and I already said that we have dozens millions new office space in upcoming Class “A” supertall across the city. This shit is just less than 200,000 square feet, while for 96 floors it should be at least 2 million square feet of office leasable space!!! And completely out of contest. Mere one feet taller than not too bad Central Park Tower!!!

      • OK, it’s “piece” NOT “peace.” Furthermore, your text should read “out of context” NOT “out of contest.” And where did you come up with the figure of 200,000 square feet?

        • Are you correct all Google autocorrection. It’s a Google, not me. I know what is a “peace” mean, and what is a “piece” mean. 0k? Now same is contest and context. When you type fast you commonly made it, esspecially on small open screen in comment section, where you didn’t see whole typed text until you scrolled it up, or posted!!! Second, floor plan for 432 Park showing 8400 footage per each floor. Total residential floor there 84, I’m not count open cutoff floors, six 2 story high floors what’s make it total to 90 and 6 story atrium on 57th avenue, for tower amenities and retail, total 96. So whole residential area of 432 Park is less than 700,000 sq feet. Now new scheme of H Maclove, 96 floors, not all are office, perhaps 70 at most, many mechanicals, tower on the rendering are smaller, than 432 Park, what in a distance but looks not so thinner then this. So, probably simular skinny plans. 8400 sq feet at maximum. Multiply by 70 is like 600,000 office space, right, but look now on the Google map, see this small 4 story facade on East 51st street, next to Venezuelan flagged building. Even they are taken their both this barely enough space for floorplans of 432 Park, and there this plan will became a pipedream, nobody will approve this, since Venezuelan Consulate building is a lamdmarked!!! Now plan called for 400 pillars, then office floors, are this man is crazy, nobody in city council or LPC will even approve such monstrosity with questionable safety!!!
          So, and for what for not 200,000 but 300,000 sq feet what’s perfectly feet in Madison Avenue Tower, 30 story on corner of 53rd street, who is 350,000 sq feet. And with pipeline of 25,000,000 sq feet of office footage in next 5 years, who need boutique crap where you wait elevators forever to get upstairs!!! Same like Meganom from Moscow crap, what hopefully never rise on 5th Avenue. I’m not against Supertall, I’m against monstrosity who void our skyline with “trash can inspired” architecture. Only Maclove tower what is good is new 490 feet tall 35 story condo building on 3rd Avenue and 59th street. We can accommodate trash can inspired design of 432 Park but only one time!!!

  4. Age of Ramses!

    • Indeed, our latter day pharaohs like Harry the Great will no doubt leave their mummified remains in some secret inner sanctum within their gaudy raised-middle-finger memorial tombstones – tombstone markers which are symbols and architectural expressions of a dying culture of gross inequality, misplaced priorities and lost opportunities.
      And in some distant future ravaged by out-of-control climate change, a forlorn Charles Heston look-alike will come upon their broken ruins, submerged deep under the Sea of New York, and he will cry out in regret and anguish and tears: What fools!

  5. More buildings for Terrorist attacks. Most people are mean cowards looking to make money. No one even knows the Island of Manhattan it could sink today.

  6. David in Bushwick | January 19, 2019 at 12:47 pm | Reply

    Let’s hope the Trump Recession will end this pile of vulgarity.

  7. Ooo-fa already with Macklowe and his defective deleterious designed debacled eyesores! It would destroy the ambiance in that St.Patrick’s – Rockefeller Center neighborhood that generations have enjoyed for decades.I came up with better concepts with my Lego set when I was in kindergarten.Harry needs to be put on ice!

    • By destroying the ambiance of the neighborhood, do you mean the trashy nouveau riche crappy glass boxes to the north, from Onassis and Trump?

      • Yes but they are not supertall and ugliest skinny, this tower like a finger over our skyline. Now look to modernist Trump Tower, this is black cristaline stepped down facade, and majestic luxury retail space inside!!! Same I may said about a corner of 51st 50 story Onassis Tower built in 1970s, a black glassed monolith, contrasted with low rises lamdmarked 4-6 stories of East 51st street, just across St Patrick Cathedral, what’s one of major landmark in the whole NYC!!! Now Maclove wanted to void this with his completely out of context piece of shit. A angry finger on the sky. With gangrenas observation close to the top. Just looked on this shit. To accommodate office space of 2-3 High Line Park office towers of 10 stories each. And tell me how employees will be gathered to share 3-4 elevators at the same time, up and down, for at least 70 floors of offices, 96 stories are with all mechanicals and 400 feet tall stilt, what is hell of this shit!!!
        I will personally call to LPC and tell them that to stop destroying our city, this Maclove piece of trash architecture belongs to Dubai, but not for NYC Fifth Avenue!!!

  8. P.S. perhaps Harry has dropped too many hits of acid!

  9. Competition with Dubai?

  10. Oh boy! Some of these comments, cuckoo!!

  11. This is an ugly building. Gensler is over-rated.

    • This is ugly building, what shouldn’t be build, everything else is political crap, stick to real estate issues please. No hate, no racism, no dems or rep political agendas, no “wall” issues, these is a Real Estate and Architectural Website, and stick your own comments for this only.
      Yes In My BackYard, or Nor In My BackYard!!!
      But this piece of “architecture” belongs straight to Dumpster!!!

  12. Love the size of it, but something that large needs to be more aesthetically pleasing on the eyes.
    It’s about time that we’re build office buildings with some serious square footage. We need to be competitive with cities on the other side of this planet. If we’re not progressing forward we are falling behind.

    • Just look for planned lot, how big in floor plates it could support??? Maximum 1,500 sq feet floor plates, means 150,000 sq feet buiding, is this you call as “major office building” in NYC???? Come on we will be adding pretty soon almost 2,5 million sq feet 30 HY, 2,9 million sq feet 50 HY, 2,4 million Sq feet Hudson Spiral, 2,2 million Sq Feet 3 HYBlvd, this just in HY Office Megahub, don’t forget 2,4 million sq feet 2 WTC, 1,7 million sq feet OneVanderbuilt, 2,5 million Sq Feet New 277 Park Ave, this is not enough new office space, covering just new office buildings from 940 feet and taller!!! And only one of them won’t be supertall, 3 HYBlvd.
      Not counting 1,2 million sq feet two 27 story towered complex in LIC Gotham Center, many smaller Office buildings in SOHO, Chelsea, Meatpacking District, Williamsburg, Navy Yard, 35 story office tower next to Citypoint in Brooklyn, and Amazon HQ2 4-8 million sq feet addition!!!

  13. Better if it will be unbuilt. Just another stick, built a nice retail space, like a chic supermarket “5th Avenue Grocery”, 6500 sq feet, a lot of tourists there, and if you want something on the top of it then built 300 feet tall skinny and slender office tower, or hotel, like 25 floors. We don’t need supertall slick behemoth sitting on 400 feet stilts(?), what will be inside them, or it will be 2 400′ column there, unusable space, just look on Google maps, glass highrise on 5th Avenue, and Venezuelan Consulate on other side, tiny small just 6 story residential for 15 apartments, with 5 and 6 floor on seatback. Redevelop it, like I said ideal for “5th Avenue Hilton” on top of middle sized grocery boutique. But supertall, this will be skinniest office building, and for who, no major tenant, who need 1500 sq feet office floors, except medical offices, each one per 3 floors, very funny space for 32-33 dentist offices, at least high competition, and 400′ tall stilts, after City slashed down 150′ empty base for 775′ planned tallest building on Upper West Side, this Maclove project will probably “dead in the water”, hopefully Maclove did left unsightly unbuilt empty lot for decades, then replaced by Hilton 17-24-39 story cheap crap of NY&NJPABT “hotel neighborhood” architectural style. I’m for another supertall building will be built in NY, finish WTC 2 first, then built another supertall next to Hudson Yards or anywhere where nice slender architecture support such construction, but leave lamdmarked 5th Avenue alone, and oh my goodness, The Metronom Tower of “from Russia with supertall design” is probably never happened, thanks God for this. Btw, we shouldn’t be compete with Abu Dhabi for Skycraper race, we have unique skyline for last 129 years with new supertall additions, like major cities, but NYC must less care how many of them we built, the less is better. After HY and New Chase Behemoth, after OneVanderbuilt, CPT, do we need another slick skinny slender supertall like copycat of 432 Park in the worse ever design??????…….

  14. Please no more “trash can inspired” design here, and please no more supertall near 5th Avenue, Our City Main Street District!!! If Such crap will be ever built it will be stay like a stick, let Maclove built this shit next to his mansion, outside of NYC, office obuilding for 150,000 sq feet for 96 floors, for what kind of tenants, and how many elevators planned, one or two for this “swan gift from Maclove to our City”????… Like I said it’s belong to be built in suburban Maclove village, next to his mansion!!! And office building for his own offices, since nobody else is interested to be there!!!

  15. No one ever know if Moscow will be converted to sea of Moscow, after nuclear war!!!

  16. Is the existing building on that site on Fifth Avenue, across from St. Patrick’s a landmark?

  17. Are David and Jack Liberman the same commenters, because they both sound like robots with a loose grasp on the English language…

  18. Shity architecture… what a shame

  19. The ’12 inches taller’ thing gives this whole project a chintzy P.T. Barnum quality. But I guess real estate has always had a lot of that.

  20. Two obsevations on this proposal: First this is one of the most severely crowded (with pedestrians) areas in Manhattan. I mean SEVERELY crowded,– to the point of having to navigate a sea of elbowing tourists that bring pedestrian circulation to gridlock. Is it wise or even advisable to pump ‘demand’ up to greater heights by plopping down an ‘attraction’ (‘observation deck) in that specific location? Is anybody looking at the big picture here? Who on earth is driving this bus? Second, the top on this proposal is pure ‘Falling Water’-meets-Ripley’s-Believe-it-or-Not!
    That is to say– in this application– freakish, loud and vulgar to the max. This, right smack across from St.Patrick’s?!!– and across from the superbly elegant Rockefeller Ctr.?!! This must all be re-thought– and not by ‘trained monkeys’ –but by those exercising intelligence and informed sensibility.

    • Inspired by trash can architectural style of Henry Maclove, when he was out of his meds!!!
      Hopefully a common sense leave this piece of “broomstick inspired observation gangrenas inspired trash” in only pipedream, like many other trash planned originally to our city, like Calatrava Gardens on the Sky trash on 80 South, or Moscow Dubai shit inspired column trash by Meganom on 5th Avenue and 29th Street. 43 condos on 51 floors, a 1000 feet tall. Stalled already indefinitely.

  21. The short term solution to that problem is to extend the width of the sidewalk. The long term solution is to dedicate 5th Ave to buses only and greatly expand the sidewalks.

  22. Totally disrupts the skyline in a most jarring and horrific manner. I love the height, but the design is something out of my worst nightmares.

  23. Giorgio Righi Riva | January 22, 2019 at 11:18 am | Reply

    Horrible architecture stop it

  24. That is the ugliest building I have ever seen. I hope the redesign this.

  25. The race to the skies is welcome.
    Now get that eyesore memorial out of the way of new bigger-than-ever WTC towers that will ACTUALLY honor those who died there rather than honoring the wish of their killers that that site be empty holes!

  26. The “observation deck” sticking out jengalike is jarring.

  27. I’ve been having trouble sleeping lately. This should cure it. One very vertical yawn.

  28. Alan Reissmann | May 13, 2019 at 10:26 pm | Reply

    This is Manhattan..go ahead & build tall, but something to inspire, not another box

  29. This is mega over-development by any event, and a greater obscenity given its located in the unique streetsape of Fifh Avenue opposite Rockefeller Center, and adjacent to St Patrick’s Cathedral. Did St Patrick’s not sell their air rights decades ago to build Olympic Tower?

  30. Is it structural steel structure or reinforced concrete floors?

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