Streams

"Too Rich, Too Thin, Too Tall?" Residential Towers in Manhattan

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Vanity Fair’s contributing editor Paul Goldberger discusses the new residential towers going up in Midtown Manhattan. Ultra-tall, ultra-thin, and ultra-expensive, these “superscrapers” are designed for the top 1 percent of the 1 percent, breaking records for everything, including price. Sold for $95 million, the 96th floor of 432 Park Avenue will be the highest residence in the Western world (at least until the building at 225 West 57th Street goes up). His article “Too Rich, Too Thin, Too Tall?” is in the May2014  issue of Vanity Fair.

Guests:

Paul Goldberger

Comments [22]

BK - Just because Manhattan is already very dense doesn't mean that the current infrastructure - transit, schools, hospitals, water, gas, electric lines, etc. will fit.

Across the city, school land has been sold to private developmen, hospitals close making trauma care more critical, but hospitals farther away, etc. Room for all those critical neighborhood needs are not met at this time.

Even in Manhattan, things could be easier. I've seen ambulances stuck in traffic 1 & 2 blocks away from NYP Cornell for as long as 7-10 minutes. That's critical time lost in the ER, especially for strokes, (TpA).

Apr. 24 2014 04:03 PM
Ray Mains

I once saw a building in Williamsburg that was about to be demolish with a sing out from that said "Don't fall in love with a building. It will only break your heart."

Same for a city. You are born or move here and help create a neighborhood. Next thing someone with more money, who had nothing to do with it comes in and wants not a piece of the action, but all of it.

We are pawns. And that is all. If you don't have big money, once your work as a pawn is over, no one cares.

Apr. 24 2014 02:26 PM
GeorgiK from Astoria

Are these new tall slender towers really casting large shadows over the park? As far as I understand the zoning regulations, they specify building area and not height. So technically a bulkier building with the same area on the full lot would cast a much more intrusive shadow than one of those slender ones built on a small percentage of the same lot. I also saw the Skyscraper Museum's exhibit and I thought it explained this much better. Go check it out!

Apr. 24 2014 02:12 PM
Adam from Greenpoint

This was a really interesting segment, but the show failed to mention that there's an exhibit on these buildings right now downtown at The Skyscraper Museum. The exhibit, "The Logic of Luxury: Sky High" focuses on these new towers, and how they became a reality. It's almost as if Goldberger walked through the gallery during the show; quite surprising that they didn't mention it.

Apr. 24 2014 12:58 PM
Josh from BROOKLYN

This reminds me of the current exhibit at the Skyscraper Museum, which looks at these super tall and slender towers including the ones along the park, 432 Park, One57 and 111 W. 57th St. Everyone interested in this should check it out!

http://www.skyscraper.org/EXHIBITIONS/SKY_HIGH/sky_high.htm

Apr. 24 2014 12:58 PM
BK from Hoboken

@Danie-
I am not naive. These specific apartments certainly are not the best or most environmentally sensitive living spaces. Of course. But my point was directed to other commenters here today, my neighbors in hoboken, etc. I have found that the NIMBYism is almost worse in the city than the burbs. You can't move to a neighborhood because it offers great connections, transit, etc and then tell others not to move there (and instead they end up in the burbs driving their car to the city every day?)

Apr. 24 2014 12:42 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

The future is going UP not sideways. The old 2 dimensional suburban idea is coming to a close. The future is 3D and going up higher. Eventually, maybe in a century or os, nobody and nothing other than plants and animals will live at ground level again and all humans will be living in super-scrapers looking down at them.

Apr. 24 2014 12:36 PM

The environmental impact issue is clarified when considering the idea that urban space seems to use less resources. That's because there are no resources in the city, and all a city's real impact is outsourcing the services of remote resources from which the city get's the product.

I's pretty obvious, but the kind of empty myth to the opposit is SO much more appealing. NYC actually consumes 2% of the entire world's resources to deliver its 2% share of the world's GDP

Apr. 24 2014 12:36 PM
LC from Queens

A building thats 150 feet taller than the Empire State is incomprehensible. How do these people deal with their ears popping and terrorism thoughts? Do they care?

Apr. 24 2014 12:35 PM
Danie

Someone who buys an apartment for $90 Million isn't using public transportation.

Apr. 24 2014 12:33 PM
BK from Hoboken

OMG!!! A tall building in midtown manhattan?!?!
These tall buildings are going to destroy the look of....all the other tall buildings in Midtown?
Lastly, as a good liberal who listens to NPR I am surprised by fellow listeners. Regardless of how much these places sell for (no one like oligarchs), building densely in manhattan is the most environmentally conscientious types of development since manhattan has the best public transportation in the country. We should be building densely in areas like this (I should know as a resident of a mile square city with over 50,000 people with great public transit options).

Apr. 24 2014 12:29 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

To Morfin who asked

>jgarbuz you pose a possible situation but the infrastructure and services of such buildings are years away. So will the poor live in the dark underbelly of the city? <

The poor should live where they can afford to live and the rich should live wherever they can afford to live. I live in Far Rockaway, and hour by train from Manhattan, and that is close enough for a poor man like me. Actually, I would not live in Manhattan if you paid me to do so. Great place to come into and visit, which I did for many years in my youth, but never had any desire to live there. Nor in the suburbs. Something in between. Far Rockaway is perfect for me personally.

Apr. 24 2014 12:29 PM
John A

"How moral hazard revitalized a comedy genius."
-
I have no problem with the tone of todays show.

Apr. 24 2014 12:25 PM

I don't think Mr. Goldberger speaks appropriately or even accurately when he uses the word "we". Not all New Yorkers love skyscrapers and believe they are part of the DNA of New York. Not all want more of them. Personally, I think they have been the ruin of a great city.

Apr. 24 2014 12:25 PM
Lynn Ellsworth from New York

I don't think Mr. Goldberger speaks appropriately or even accurately when he uses the word "we". Not all New Yorkers love skyscrapers and believe they are part of the DNA of New York. Not all want more of them. Personally, I think they have been the ruin of a great city.

Apr. 24 2014 12:20 PM
Tony from Canarsie

Just a language note, but the esteemed host said, "We were sort of watching it on NY1."

So, was he watching NY1 or not, and where's Patricia T. O'Conner when you need her?

Apr. 24 2014 12:19 PM

jgarbuz you pose a possible situation but the infrastructure and services of such buildings are years away. So will the poor live in the dark underbelly of the city?

Apr. 24 2014 12:17 PM
Alex from Greenpoint, Brooklyn

I recently sat in on a City Council meeting regarding the new mega-residential developments in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. One of the developments on Commercial Street is slated to contain two towers, one at 30 stories and the other at 40 stories. This in a neighborhood where four stories is the average building height. One of the developers actually told us that after about 15 stories, there becomes no discernable difference between 15 stories and 40 stories. It was infuriating. The irony is that there is a beautiful view of the Manhattan skyline from Greenpoint and these new towers will now block so much of that view for the rest of us ground-dwelling Greenpointers.

Apr. 24 2014 12:16 PM
Sandra from upper west side

No building should be built without passing a review board for environmental as well as aesthetic impact. Why are we selling out
the city's future like this? Plus, I think the city
should impose a luxury tax on the purchase and sale of all apartments
over 4 million dollars. Say 5%. Since so many of the owners
won't be paying taxes in nyc it seems only fair.

Apr. 24 2014 12:14 PM
mr nyc

These buildings are going up, meanwhile Rizzoli and Pearl Paint are closing. Neighborhood restaurants and diners are closing too. The soul of our city is really being destroyed.

Apr. 24 2014 12:14 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

This is good news! Excellent! The taller, the thinner, the better. Entire cities will eventually be located inside super-skyscrapers. These villages inside these tall buildings will have everything within. They will have police, fire departments, hospitals and clinics, parks, businesses - everything a town has but inside these huge towers. And this is good. And more wealthy people we can bring to New York the better! The more and richer the better. There is nothing bad that can come of it, but only good.

Apr. 24 2014 12:10 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

This is good news! Excellent! The taller, the thinner, the better. Entire cities will eventually be located inside super-skyscrapers. These villages inside these tall buildings will have everything within. They will have police, fire departments, hospitals and clinics, parks, businesses - everything a town has but inside these huge towers. And this is good. And more wealthy people we can bring to New York the better! The more and richer the better. There is nothing bad that can come of it, but only good.

Apr. 24 2014 12:10 PM

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