Top 5 tallest buildings in New York

Most people who think about New York see its tall buildings and skyscrapers in front of their eyes. Any film whose action takes place in New York has at least one accidental shot of these giant buildings, and some of them have been cultural staples for decades. This article, however, lists New York buildings in the order of their height:

  1. One World Trade Center

The tragic events from 9/11 have led to the collapse of the twin towers, as we all know it. After Ground Zero was cleared from debris, there have been many ideas and suggestions on what to do with the new empty area, while also honoring the memories of the victims. The winning project was One World Trade Center, also known as 1 World Trade Center, 1 WTC, or Freedom Tower. Construction started on April 27, 2006, and was completed in July 2013. The new office tower, also serving as an observation spot and communication support, was officially open on November 3, 2014, and cost US$3.9 billion. It is an impressive work of contemporary modern architecture, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere and the sixth-tallest in the world. It has a total height of 1,776 feet, which is a deliberate reference to the year when the United States Declaration of Independence was signed. The architect of the building was David Childs, whose firm also designed the Burj Khalifa and the Willis Tower.


  1. 432 Park Avenue

Most people outside the US have probably never heard of 432 Park Avenue, a structure 1,396 feet tall. Unlike the first item on our list, this one is a residential skyscraper and features 104 condominium apartments. Its construction began in 2012 and was completed on December 23, 2015. 432 Park Avenue is placed on the area where old Drake Hotel built in 1926 used to stand. Developer Harry Macklowe bought the hotel in 2006 for $440 million and razed it the next year. The location was extremely valuable – between East 56th and 57th Streets, on the west side of Park Avenue, and overlooking Central Park. The record held by this building is the tallest residential building in the world, aside from being the third tallest building in the United States. Even if 432 Park Avenue is the second highest building in New York, its roof stands higher than the roof of One World Trade Center – the base of the office tower is nearly 40 feet lower. Not everyone agreed with the artistic value of the building – many people saw it as a stack of cube units or a thin column, while some critics blamed it for representing New York’s increasing cost of living.

432 park avenue

  1. Empire State Building

Empire State Building is representative for the Big Apple, and it stood as the world’s tallest building for nearly 40 years (it has a roof height of 1,250 feet, and with its antenna included it stands 1,454 feet tall). The name of the building is derived from the nickname of New York, the Empire State. After the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2011, Empire State Building was again the tallest building in New York, until One World Trade Center reached a greater height in 2012. Nowadays, The Empire State Building is just the 35th tallest skyscraper in the world, but it remains an American cultural icon due to its distinctive Art Deco style. Excavation at the construction site began on January 22, 1930, and opening took place a year later, in 1931 (May 1). The cost of the building was $645 million in 2016 dollars, and the project involved 3,400 workers, mostly European immigrants. The first days of Empire State Building were not very bright, due to the building’s opening coinciding with the Great Depression and to its poor location – public transportation was placed relatively far in the first years of operation. Unhappy events followed, such as the 1945 plane crash, when a small-size bomber crashed into the north side of the building, killing 14 people. As for positive aspects, aside from glamorously being depicted in media productions, Empire State Building is an attraction for tourists, who come to its outdoor observation deck, one of the most popular in the world and offering 360-degree views of the city.

empire state building

  1. 3 Hudson Boulevard

Another relatively new building in New York, 3 Hudson Boulevard has a roof height of 1,034 feet and is still under construction.  Completion is estimated for 2019 and the new building will have mixed use (office and residential). 3 Hudson Boulevard is already the 4th tallest building in New York and is expected to rise 66 floors and 1060 feet in height. The building’s former name, Girasole, means sunflower in Italian. The building was designed by the FXFOWLE Architects firm, and its developer is Joseph Moinian, who secured a loan for the construction of the building in June 2014. The condominium will be located on 300,000 square feet between floors 49 and 63, and the layout of the building will also include residential lobby and subway connection on floor 1, offices between 3 and 46, mechanical floors at 8 and 64, and sky roof at 65 and 66.

hudson boulevard

  1. One57

The last building on our top 5 is One57, formerly known as Carnegie 57. It was completed in 2014, and it was the tallest residential building in New York for a few months before the completion of 432 Park Avenue. The bottom of the building is occupied by Park Hyatt Hotel with 210 rooms, and on top of it there are 92 condominium units. By January 2015, One57 became home to the most expensive residence ever sold in New York City. The tower’s aesthetical value is due to its designer, Pritzker Prize-winning French architect Christian de Portzamparc. One57 is known for its use of dark and light glass on the exterior which are grouped in vertical stripes whose role is to maximize views and manipulate sunlight.


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