Tallest Building In NYC – 12 Impressive Skyscrapers

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Tallest Buildings in NYC

The thought that would appear in your mind when you think of the city of the big apple is the tallest building in NYC.

Skyscrapers have been man’s most exceptional contributions to society. From the world’s tallest building Burj Khalifa to modest structures, their outstanding design is one standard quality these structures share in common, the need to build tall structures and the race to the sky has been there from time immemorial.

But in the past century, a significant leap can be noticed in the height of our tall skyscrapers n NYC. Designers constantly strive to redefine modern buildings with more elevated and cutting-edge designs.

Each building is trying to be an embodiment of urban architecture. Eventually, a city’s skyline depicts a story of its innovation and ambition.

The City That Never Sleeps – New York

When we think of the most iconic cities in the U.S., New York City comes to mind. With a highly dense population, it has become one of the most populated cities in the United States.

New York is constantly developing with contributions to the development of the skyscraper.

During the 19th century, modern construction methods came into play, and the desire to build the city’s and even the world’s tallest apartment building was a huge craze.

The race to the sky reached its pinnacle during the 1920s with the construction of iconic structures like the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building.

New York city sunrise.
Source: Depositphotos

Why Is New York City Skyline So Filled

The lack of space was the prime reason for the birth of tall buildings in New York. Some of the reasons why New York City has such an impressive skyline are :

1. Inability to Provide Living Spaces

The nature of the city depends on its ability to provide livable places to people as per demand. This made the construction of tall buildings a necessity.

2. Proximity

Initially, real estate developers built skyscrapers to be near centers of trade and commerce. This way, transportation would be easily accessible, and these structures would be away from slums and manufacturing units.

3. Increased Income

The idea to build skyscrapers in the city’s heart was to benefit through urban agglomeration that would bring increased rental income.

4. The Very First One

The first skyscraper in New York City was the Tower Building in 1889, located at 50 Broadway, with 11 stories. This was too modest compared to the towers that came up later into the New York City skyline.

5. Technology Played a Vital Role

Technology played a key role here, with load-bearing masonry walls replacing steel frames. The taller the building, the thicker the load-bearing masonry must be at the base. 

Another reason to replace steel was that it was more vulnerable to fire than masonry. The other technology we are very familiar with is elevators that came into use with skyscrapers.

Today the only space left in New York is vertical. It has slowly become the world’s ultimate skyscraper city.

12 Tallest Buildings in NYC

When we think of the city of NYC, the first thing that comes to mind is the towering buildings that fill up its impressive skyline. 

It is believed that there are more than 6000 high-rise buildings in New York, most of which are in Midtown and Lower Manhattan.

Most of these tall buildings in New York house residential, business, and commercial centers. Some of these cities’ tallest buildings were completed years ago, and others are still being constructed.

These titans are sprouting up every day and may join the ranks of the city’s tallest buildings and maybe even the world’s tallest structures.

Here are some of the tallest buildings in NYC

1. One World Trade Center

One World Trade Center’s height stands at 1,776ft (541m), and this tallest structure in NYC is a symbol of the year the U.S. Declaration of Independence was signed and hence nicknamed the Freedom Tower.

Tallest Buildings in NYC
One World Trade Centre Photo by Ilona Bellotto on Unsplash

Located in the financial district, One World Trade Center is considered one of the tallest buildings in the entire western hemisphere and the seventh-tallest in the world.

Spread over 40,000 sq. ft, One World Trade Center has a 408-foot spire that adds height and holds some strategic communication equipment.

The One World Trade Center construction started in April 2006 and was established in November 2014. It has 94 floors above the ground floor and 5 feet below.

One World Trade Center was designed by David Childs, the same designer who had done Burj Khalifa in Dubai.

The wonderful thing about this tallest structure in NYC is that you can climb up to its famous observation deck to view the beautiful panoramic view of NYC.

2. Central Park Tower 

In March 2019, this tallest building in NYC snatched the title of the second tallest building in the U.S. away from 432 Park Tower

Even though the work on Central Park Tower still needs to be completed, it has already claimed its position among the tallest structure in NYC.

Central Park Tower is believed to be the giant luxurious skyscraper in New York City; designed and developed by Extell and WSP Global using the latest technology and techniques to make it very strong.

The construction of Central Park Tower started in September 2014 and was finally completed in 2021. The Central Park Tower height is said to be about 1,550ft (472m).

Tallest Buildings in NYC
Central Park Tower Photo by Pelle Martin on Unsplash

When measured by roof height, Central Park Tower is one of the world’s tallest buildings outside Asia.

Also known as Nordstrom Tower, Central Park Tower is the 14th tallest building globally. Located at 225 West 57th Street, Manhattan, Central Park Tower is primarily a residential building with retail stores and amenity space.

Condos are said to be very expensive in this yet-to-be-completed colossal building, ranging from $1.5 million to $95 million.

3. 111 West 57th Street

One of the skinniest, slender buildings in the world with a ratio of 1:24, 111 West 57th Street is also known as Steinway Tower after the original tower that stood on this spot.

Standing at the height of 1,428ft (435m), this yet-to-be-completed building has already found its place in the top 10 list of skyscrapers as the second tallest residential skyscraper in the U.S.

This residential skyscraper has 86 stories with amenity space and is located on Billionaire’s Row in Midtown Manhattan. It was developed by JDS Development and designed by SHoP Architects.

A fun fact about this tallest building in NYC is that 14 of the building’s units were designed by the same designer as Grand Central Terminal. The tower is so narrow that its width allows only one unit per floor.

In Manhattan, New York, 111 West 57th street was completed in 2021. Steinway Tower is eclipsed by One World Trade Center and Central Park Tower.

4. One Vanderbilt

This comparatively new addition to the tallest building in NYC was opened in 2020 and is said to be the fourth on the list of the tallest building in NYC.

At the height of 1,401ft (427m), the summit has an observatory where visitors can see the expansive panoramic beauty of tall buildings surrounded by spectacular natural beauty.

One Vanderbilt has a delicate touch of modernity and functionality. This supertall skyscraper is extensive in length and width, occupying an entire city block.

The designer of this skyscraper is Kohn Pederson Fox, and it sits right by the Grand Central Terminal. It provides a subway to the transportation hub.

One Vanderbilt is believed to be the tallest office tower in New York City, located in Midtown Manhattan. The construction of this gem of Manhattan started in February 2017 and got completed in September 2020.

5. 432 Park Avenue

This tallest building in NYC stands 84 stories high and sways up to nearly 4-5feet high. 432 Park Avenue overshadows Central Park and hence has received much criticism from New Yorkers.

Tallest Buildings in NYC
432 Park Avenue Photo by Yoon J Choi on Unsplash

432 Park Avenue is said to be the 6th tallest building in the U.S. and the 3rd tallest residential building in the world. 432 Park Avenue is 1,396ft (426m) in height and was built in just 3 years.

Designed in contemporary style by Uruguayan architect Rafael Vinoly and SLCE Architects, this residential and recreational building was built using the concept of the square of geometry.

432 Park Avenue includes golf training, a clubhouse, a fitness center, a sauna, and a private restaurant.

It stood on the site of a former 1920s hotel – Drake Hotel and was the first ultra-skinny mega skyscraper to rise higher than the One World Trade Center building.

6. 30 Hudson Yards

30 Hudson Yards is the 6th tallest building in NYC. Sitting amidst the residential portion of Hudson Yards, 30 Hudson Yards is also known as A City Within a City.

This 1.268ft (387m) tower is believed to be a portion of the most significant private real estate development in the history of the United States.

30 Hudson Yards has the highest outdoor observation deck in the Western Hemisphere and is the fifth tallest observation deck globally. 

The observation deck is triangular-shaped on the 100th floor of 30 Hudson Yards. 30 Hudson Yards is primarily devoted to office space, observation, and retail stores and is situated on the western side of Manhattan. 

The other name for 30 Hudson Yards is North Tower, designed by the renowned architectural firm Kohn Pederson Fox.

This tallest building in NYC has 103 floors and was completed in March 2019.

7. Empire State Building

It took just 14 months to complete this tallest building in NYC during the Great Depression, and it was completed in 1931 with a total of 102 floors.

Since 1931, the Empire State Building height of 1,250ft (381m), was the tallest building and lost this position when the North Tower of the World Trade Center was built in 1971.

Tallest Buildings in NYC
Empire State Building Photo by Logan Armstrong on Unsplash

But the dreadful incident of 9th September destroyed World Trade Center, and Empire State Building regained its glory in 2012.

Empire State Building is an office building that has observation decks as well. This building was designed in the Art Deco style, and its principal architects were Shreve, Lamb, and Harmon.

It is believed to be the 25th tallest building in the world. The spire was not a part of the original plan of the building and was added later. 

That is why some architects do not count it when talking about the height of the Empire State Building.

8. The Bank of America Tower

An iconic name in the top tallest building in NYC, Bank of America Tower or BOAT, is said to be a significant example of green architecture in skyscrapers.

The Bank of America Tower’s height is 1,200ft (366m) and has 58 stories, of which Bank of America occupies 75%, and the rest is left to other corporate bodies. 

Bank of America Tower is made mostly from recyclable materials. It has waterless urinals, a built-in system for collecting and reusing rainwater, and houses two honeybee hives on the building. The work on this building was completed in 2009.

Bank of America Tower has earned a Platinum LEED Certification for being the first skyscraper of its kind.

The chief architect of BOAT is Cookfox Adamson Associates, developed by Durst Organisation.

9. 3 World Trade Centre

This 80-stories skyscraper began in 2010 and was started to reconstruct the destroyed World Trade Center. 

Surprisingly, the construction was delayed until 2014 due to no anchor tenant, and finally, it got completed in 2018. 3 World Trade Center is located at 175 Greenwich Street in Lower Manhattan and was designed by Sir Richard Rogers. 

The original blueprint for this tower included 356m high pinnacles, but this idea got dropped, reducing the height to 25m.

Located on the eastern side of the World Trade Centre, this tallest building in NYC is 1,079ft (329m) and includes five indoor floors of retail – one on the ground floor, two on the ground, and two above the ground.

10. The Brooklyn Tower

Standing at 1,066ft (325m), The Brooklyn Tower or 9 Dekalb or 340 Flatbush Avenue Extension is being constructed.

The Brooklyn Tower is being built atop the landmarked Dime Savings Bank and will be Brooklyn’s first supertall skyscraper. The Dime Savings Bank has been preserved on the base floor of the building.

This tallest building in NYC, the first tallest outside Manhattan in downtown Brooklyn, will be a mixed-use building that includes condos, retail space, and rentals.

It is located in Downtown Brooklyn and is expected to have 93 floors. This is the second major project of JDS Developers designed by SHoP Architects following the Neo Art Deco style.

11. MOMA Expansion Tower

This building has the unique name MOMA Expansion Tower because it is the neighbor of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. 

Also known as 53 West 53rd Street, it was earlier known as Tower Verre. It was designed by French architect Jean Nouvel the tallest building in NYC is said to house luxury flats, art galleries, and a hotel and is located on Billionaire’s Row.

Standing at 1,050ft (320m), it narrowly steals the top tallest building in NYC from Chrysler Building by just one meter, which stands at 319m.

12. Chrysler Building

This tallest building in NYC is 1046ft (319m), having 77 floors. The construction of the Chrysler Building commenced in September 1928 and was completed in May 1930.

The architect of this tower is William Van Alen. The original design for this skyscraper had a decorative jewel-like glass crown.

It also included a base having showing room windows tripled in height and 12 stories topped with glass-wrapped corners to create an impression that the tower would be floating in mid-air.

The original height of the Chrysler Building was designed for 807ft, but the design proved to be too advanced and expensive for the contractor who turned down this plan.

Tallest Building in NYC
Chrysler Building Photo by Ilse Orsel on Unsplash

Eventually, the chairman of Chrysler Corporation, who had intended to make the Chrysler Building his headquarters revised it to the present height of 1046ft with many architectural details and modeled the hood to exemplify the machine age of the 1920s.

Chrysler Building was the first tallest building in the world and was the first artificial structure to stand above 1000ft. Less than a year after it was opened to the public, Empire State Building surpassed Chrysler Building to become the tallest building in NYC.

Chrysler Building is still considered the world’s tallest steel-supported brick building, and its distinctive profile has inspired skyscrapers worldwide.

Closing Thoughts

Unlike other cities, New York City is expanding vertically. The New York City skyline is seeing many high-rise buildings replacing mid-size buildings. 

You can also expect more additions to the York City skyline in the coming years. The beautiful, towering, and glittering New York City skyline is captivating. 

After reading through this post hope you have not developed a pain in your neck by looking up these tallest buildings in NYC.

Suggested Read:

Tallest Building In NYC – 12 Impressive Skyscrapers





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