First Glimpses of Summit One Vanderbilt, Highest Observatory in Manhattan’s Midtown East

Exterior of Summit One Vanderbilt. All iExterior of Summit One Vanderbilt. All images courtesy of SL Green.

Yesterday SL Green Realty Corp. unveiled its plans for Summit One Vanderbilt, the new observatory in the crown of One Vanderbilt, a 1,401-foot-tall commercial supertall in Midtown East. Opening on October 21, the 65,000-square-foot experience center will top the 77-story skyscraper designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox and deliver views of all five boroughs. One Vanderbilt encompasses an entire block immediately to the west of Grand Central Terminal with Summit One Vanderbilt directly connected directly to the massive transit hub. Interiors of Summit One Vanderbilt are designed by Snøhetta with art installations by Kenzo Digital.

Levitation ledges at Summit One Vanderbilt.

Levitation ledges at Summit One Vanderbilt.

Outdoor bar at Summit One Vanderbilt.

Outdoor bar at Summit One Vanderbilt.

“We have created a destination that offers an interactive experience that will be remembered for a lifetime with the best amplified views in all of New York City,” said Marc Holliday, chairman and CEO of SL Green. “Summit One Vanderbilt is awe inspiring, magical, and needs to be experienced to be understood. It is a special, thrilling place that New Yorkers and travelers from across the country and the world will want to visit time and time again.”

Features include Ascent, the all-glass enclosed elevator that travels up the outside of the building and Levitation, suspended glass sky boxes that jut out of the building at 1,063 feet above Madison Avenue. Immersive art installations by Kenzo Digital will use the observation deck as a background for its storytelling.

Interiors at Summit One Vanderbilt

Interiors at Summit One Vanderbilt

There is also an outdoor bar with seating areas and the highest urban outdoor alpine meadow in the world. Danny Meyer’s Union Square Events is handling all culinary offerings, which include multiple bars, an all-day cafe, and grab-and-go snack stations.

“New York City will be full of energy this fall, and Summit One Vanderbilt is an incredible addition to its attractions for locals and visitors,” said Fred Dixon, president and CEO of NYC & Company. “With the city’s tourism well positioned to continue to rebound, Summit One Vanderbilt comes at an ideal time to offer a reimagined observation deck experience paired with a truly unique artistic expression.”

You can now register at to be one of the first to preview Summit One Vanderbilt before it opens to the public on October 21. Summit tickets will go on sale this summer, following presale tickets for registered website users.

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11 Comments on "First Glimpses of Summit One Vanderbilt, Highest Observatory in Manhattan’s Midtown East"

    • Pay a fee bring binoculars to watch the homeless or film a robbery . Must be bored . NYC is crashing in quality under Deblasio.

      • David in Bushwick | May 12, 2021 at 10:06 am | Reply

        You clearly aren’t a New Yorker or Christian.

        • David: clearly RP is bored……and the comment did not reflect on the architectural features of the building, but, the city is ready for a new mayor that puts an effort into emptying the garbage and getting storefronts occupied. That said, do you mean like, a Sarah Palin Christian?

      • Cheesemaster200 | May 12, 2021 at 1:14 pm | Reply

        Thanks for the update.

  1. David : Sent From Heaven. | May 12, 2021 at 9:36 am | Reply

    I’m afraid of heights, but I like the excitement as well; so awesome: Thank you.

  2. Man, I cannot wait to visit this. One Vanderbilt’s location sure holds great possibilities in its views. Then again, a lot of supertalls are going to be built around it throughout the decade, so I don’t know. 😐

  3. I am confused. In two of the images it appears that the observation cubes are positioned directly above the bar! Do these hang over the edge a la Willis Tower here in Chicago? They don’t appear to be.

  4. Architecturally, I feel that the boxy exterior elevators are crass bells and whisltes that detract from the building’s look, unimpresive yet massive as it may be. Plus the views are better a litlle further uptown at 30 Rock despite a lower elevation there.
    Socially, anything that brings back tourism and the sorely ailing hospitaluty industry will also bring down both homelessness and crime, which in my opinion are the inevitable result of a (hopefully) once-in-a-lifetime pandemic and lockdown rather than the fault of the Mayor. De Blasio has handled himself and the City well under unrecidented stressess, an uncoopererative governor, as well as unprecidents mass protest activity that was highjacked at times by a cruminal element at times and strained police resources as never before.
    Finally, kudos to One Vanderbilt for making this an INTERACTIVE midtown building that invites people to be part of the bulding experience and connects ot with its surroundings –rather than walling itself off, as a dead space except during busines hours. Street traffic reduces crime more than it contributes to it, not to mention local business activiity..
    Much as I dislike the buildings’ mish-mosh jumble of jarring archtectural elements at its base, and its incongruity with it’s majestic neighbor of Grand Central Station, this is a good move that will help NYC come back to life as the Phoenix that it has always has been – through times of trial and turmoil.

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