Robert A.M. Stern Architects’ New Morningside Heights Skyscraper Revealed at 100 Claremont Avenue

The new 42-story tower planned to rise at the Union Theological Seminary campus in Morningside Heights, Render by Robert A. M. Stern Architects

The Union Theological Seminary is working to sell air rights to Lendlease and L+M Development Partners to create a 42-story tower in Morningside Heights. Robert A. M. Stern Architects is designing the new mixed-use building, which will stand 466 feet to its pinnacle, easily making it the tallest in the neighborhood. The project is part of a $125 million rehabilitation initiative which will also include much needed renovations to the Seminary’s 119-year old campus.

The new tower will have a total area of 350,000 square feet, and appears to rise higher than Riverside Church. Inside, there will be a mix of private condominiums and institutional space that includes new offices, faculty housing, and classrooms. SLCE Architects is the architect of record on the building applications, which were filed a few days ago, and Crain’s was the first to reveal the rendering. Once the tower is completed, The Union Theological Seminary will buy back the floor space designated for them in the building.

From the main rendering, the overall design and massing of the building appears relatively uniform, featuring an even grid of large square-shaped windows and a crown with multiple setbacks on the southern elevation.

By the time the tower is topped out, it will change the appearance of the neighborhood substantially, due to the height and presence of the new skyscraper within mostly low-rise surrounds. The views of Riverside Church above the tree canopy as seen from Edgewater, New Jersey have given it a very distinct profile  atop Morningside Heights for over a century, and 100 Claremont Avenue should be even more prominent.

A completion date for the new building has not been announced yet, but plans have been put in place to start renovations and possibly commence construction next summer.

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13 Comments on "Robert A.M. Stern Architects’ New Morningside Heights Skyscraper Revealed at 100 Claremont Avenue"

  1. Of course this new building will be taller than the great Riverside church tower, the religion of power and money trumps all ( pun intended )

  2. A dispirited and bland ‘Too-Late Gothic’ awkwardly juxtaposed to a Gothic ensemble of real character and vibrant presence. A half-hearted approximation that does not satisfy and appears formally implausible in its setting.

  3. I am sick of Robert Stern’s limestone towers. They all look the same. On their own, they are OK, but enough is enough.

    • David in Bushwick | January 1, 2019 at 6:20 pm | Reply

      I have to respectfully disagree. This is one very talented architecture team that offers something much, much better than just another silver glass box by whomever. Stern is giving historic reference to a city that invented the Art Deco skyscraper. His new buildings sprinkled throughout the neighborhoods are already landmarks that only make up for the continued destruction for the newest developer box of boredom.

  4. Then you must be really really sick of all the glass boxes filling in every nook and cranny of the city.

  5. L&L isn’t the developer

  6. Stern needs to not build on the UWS. They don’t contribute anything anymore. 15 CPW works, if he were to build down there, below 66th Street, that would be something different, but up there, his projects don’t contribute anything, even with the height.

  7. Nothing less than another Tribune Tower will work up here..l played basketball in the Riverside Church gym for my prep school years, I am very fond of this place

  8. Union Theological Seminary’s initial announcement in 2016 of a $100 million deal to build a market-rate 42-story tower in Morningside Heights provoked strong opposition in a diverse community concerned about affordable housing, residential displacement and non-contextual development.
    The Morningside Heights Community Coalition (MHCC), formed by neighbors to develop a community response to luxury development spurred by multiple sales of air rights and property by local institutions, supports upzoning of the area for greater density, because such a plan could potentially mandate contextual construction and require affordable housing.
    It also deserves mention in reporting on the plan for the tower that UTS, along with Lend/Lease and L + M, are voluntarily setting aside $1.1 million from property sales for projects to mitigate residential displacement in Morningside Heights and meet other neighborhood needs.

  9. Way too tall. The idea of a bland tall building with an ugly top trying to upstage the iconic RSC tower is really sad. Once this gets built, others will follow. I hope none of these folks plan to commute on the #1 line. Let them take limos. They had better be building a parking garage for the tenants.

  10. It’s a beautiful block. As great an architect as Stern is, this development would be better somewhere else.

  11. Claremont is a beautiful avenue, with so much beautiful architecture to offer. This construction will destroy the feel and look of this intimate block. Once again the church has sold a diverse and tight knit community’s soul for a buck. Who’s shocked.

  12. These UT administration and the developers can rot in hell 🙂

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