By Carter B. Horsley
In a city where visual chaos is triumphant
and context is not something universally admired, or adhered to,
one of the most remarkable architectural achievements/oddities
is that the Empire State Building's solitary isolation has not
been impinged upon, ever. A few towers have gone up several blocks
away but nothing very close and nothing very tall.
This project, announced in 2004, however, encroaches
somewhat on that isolation.
A mid-block development half a block away and across Fifth Avenue
on the former site of five-story commercial buildings, it is a
42-story tower with about 250 condominium apartments, although
it was marketed as a 50-story tower, probably reflecting that
some floors have higher ceilings than others.
The 390,000-square-foot development was estimated to cost about
$190 million and was a joint venture between Continental Properties,
owned by the Fisch family and Jeffrey Levine's Douglaston Development.
It was completed in 2006 and is distinguished
by its curved and open roof structure over its watertank, light
blue-green glass facade, and its many balconies. The lobby is
attended around the clock by a doorman and concierge and the building
has a garage, an entrance marquee, fitness center, a business
center, a children's center, indoor pool and spa.
The building has a large plaza at its rear.
Stephen B. Jacobs was the architect.