Dan Rattiner's Stories

Onward and Upward in NYC: Tallest Building Battle Fears

Skyscrapers near Central Park compete for height by adding floors up top.

In recent years, extremely tall and thin skyscrapers have sprouted up like blades of grass just south of Central Park in New York. When I’m in the city, I walk my dog in this park. So I have watched them getting built.

The tallest of these, and I believe it is one of those in this picture I took, is over 1,300 feet and is the tallest residential building in the western hemisphere. I’ve read somewhere that many apartment owners there are rarely in residence. Billionaires around the world can park their fortunes in banks. Or they can park their fortunes in New York real estate. I think there is just one gigantic apartment per floor. Of course, I haven’t been in any of them so I don’t know for sure. Yay, New York.

But this picture I took yesterday appears to show the two skyscrapers battling to make themselves even higher by adding more floors up top. The second tallest, already occupied, I think, began the new construction last month. And now the tallest has restarted construction up top, too. It is not going to give up the Tallest Building title without a fight.

Last week a judge ruled that 20 floors have to come off the top of a 52-story building on Amsterdam Avenue because of zoning issues. I remember years ago when these 12 stories had to be removed from the top of a 31-story building on East 96th Street for the same reason.

Does the city initially approve of this “tallest building” battle? Either way, my advice is not to stand on the street too close to either of them. Now, I know all this is just in my head, but if I am right, do you want to be around if construction atop these buildings gets out of hand and one of them falls over?

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