One Vanderbilt’s Spire Reinstalled Atop Midtown East

One Vanderbilt. Photo by Michael Young

Last week, the top half of One Vanderbilt‘s 100-foot-tall architectural spire was finally replaced at the pinnacle of the 77-story Midtown East supertall. The spire was first put in place when the 1,401-foot-tall skyscraper topped out on September 18, 2019, but was disassembled in mid-December to make it easier for the construction crane to swing about. The reinstallation marks a major construction milestone for the Kohn Pedersen Fox-designed office tower, which is getting close to completion.

Recent photos show the fully topped-out edifice with only a few sections of the curtain wall among the tapering crown remaining to be installed. Close-up shots show the outdoor observatory, known as The Summit, with its tall glass railings in place directly below the first sloped setback.

One Vanderbilt. Photo by Michael Young

One Vanderbilt. Photo by Michael Young

One Vanderbilt. Photo by Michael Young

One Vanderbilt. Photo by Michael Young

One Vanderbilt. Photo by Michael Young

One Vanderbilt. Photo by Michael Young

One Vanderbilt. Photo by Michael Young

One Vanderbilt and the Empire State Building. Photo by Michael Young

It won’t be long before the final panel is installed and the construction crane can be disassembled. Meanwhile, the exterior hoist on the northern elevation has been steadily coming down, revealing the real width of the superstructure. The thin diagonal lines that zigzag on each face of the crown are now starting to become more visually apparent, and add an extra layer of detail to the upper building massing. The massive skyscraper makes a tremendous addition to the Midtown skyline, joining landmarks like the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, and the rising cityscape of Hudson Yards.

Probably the most anticipated aspect of One Vanderbilt is The Summit indoor-outdoor observatory that will stand 1,000 feet above the city. Slated to open in October 2021, the observatory is designed by Snohetta and will be managed by SL Green. Amenities for the building’s commercial tenants include meeting rooms, a lounge, and an outdoor terrace. The building is also slated to feature an 11,000-square-foot restaurant from Daniel Boulud.

YIMBY previously reported that One Vanderbilt is slated to finish and open on August 4, 2020.

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TFC Horizon
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18 Comments on "One Vanderbilt’s Spire Reinstalled Atop Midtown East"

  1. Yes, but for me, the most ‘anticipated space’ will be the ground floor public areas, not another overpriced observatory.

    • And, the transit improvements: improvements to the subway stations at Grand Central, access to the new LIRR station being built for East Side Access, and improved access to the historic terminal.

  2. David in Bushwick | July 27, 2020 at 8:50 am | Reply

    From the renderings, I was never quite sure about the pinnacle design of this building.
    I’m glad to say having seen it several times from below, the tower is a nice skyline addition and a counterbalance to Skyprick Row.

  3. Wow. One Vanderbilt has come so far, hasn’t it? The building has come to the point where it looks exactly like the renderings, only this is in reality.
    Overall, I think One Vanderbilt is an absolute success on the New York City skyline. I now completely agree with those who’ve described the tower as the modern Empire State Building.
    Thank you Michael Young for the beautiful photos!

  4. Built with huge fall in demand . Traffic to midtown with Corona virus down by 92%

    Look for free rent to get signings done.

    Bankruptcy coming for many of these monster projects .

  5. Sheesh. The spire looks ridiculous. Like a me-too afterthought. The architect should have the self confidence in the design to eliminate that dime-store stick-on. It distracts from the the interesting enough upper section of the building.

    • exactly right; it’s a lack of self confidence that sank this one.
      from the flimsy stick-on ‘spire’ to the diagonal cladding that minimizes its scale, this is, sadly, a tepid mess.
      let’s hope that some brilliance on the ground can make up for the blah-ness looming above.

  6. Something about the white and blue patterning of this building makes it look unfinished at a distance. I looks like a permanent construction site.

  7. Wesley Kawala | July 27, 2020 at 10:16 am | Reply

    It is a great addition!

  8. I watched this building from its infancy (empty lot?) to this day. But to my chagrin, I have not had a good closeup look since late 2019 because of the epidemic. At every stage this was destined to be a lovely addition to mid-town high rises. Much better looking than most new buildings as this one has character. And it is big in all dimensions. Cheers.

  9. Carlos Pinero | July 27, 2020 at 12:18 pm | Reply

    Funny to see people betting against New York, as if this is not the wealthiest city in the most powerful country on earth. Naturally Covid will reshape the city, affecting many businesses and individuals, but the city has way too much financial and institutional heft to decay while whimpering. Other businesses will come, new companies and products will be created, and none of those will get away with ignoring NYC. And as every builder knows, the resilient and the new will need space. Everybody else can choose to move to Tulsa and get their relocation bonus

  10. Not so sure about that.

  11. Not a fan of the toothpick spire. If they were going to do a spire it should have been about three times taller and beefier. It looks like a flagpole. Lame.

  12. Am amazed at the progress of this tower! I was in NYC, August 2017, and it was only about
    4 floors high, and wondered what it would look like when completed next to Grand Central Station?
    Looking forward to next visit in 2021? to see in person. Hopefully, NYC will return to some kind of normalcy by then?

    As for the spire…
    not impressed, like an after thought.

  13. Michael D. Skelly | July 28, 2020 at 4:55 pm | Reply

    Another glass boxes on top of each other,Spire is like the other ones with in 20 blocks of this one. LOVE the City, it desires breath taking buildings for the 21 first century No more glass boxes….

  14. so great all around
    can’t wait to see the observatory opened

  15. We seem to be in the age of so-called “spires.” 1WTC is really let down by its comms mast, awful. I really wanted to love this building — but it’s going to be best viewed when illuminated at night. And that’s a problem. The horizontal lines over much of the exterior ruin the vertical elegance. No match for the Chrysler, which it is dwarfing and crowding out on the skyline.

  16. One more travesty added to the old, swank Manhattan skyline

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