Ever since the industrial boom at the dawn of the 20th century New York City has been home to some of the largest and most impressive buildings in the entire world. Home to the Chrysler Building, the Rockefeller and the Empire State Building, it’s easy to see why New York is recognized as a leading epicenter for architectural innovation. Today the city is home to a whole plethora of soaring skyscrapers and towers by world-renowned architects, many of which attract tourists from all around the globe. In our brief roundup we take a look at the top tallest buildings old and new, starting with the tallest, each of which soar over the people of New York and offer breath-taking views out across the city from inside.
1. One World Trade Center/Freedom Tower (1,776 feet tall)
As of the time of publication, the tallest building in New York City is the One World Trade Center, also known as the Freedom Tower. Designed by David Childs, and opened to the public in 2014, the entire building from base to tip is 546.2 meters, or 1,776 feet high, with numbers that deliberately make reference to the U.S. Declaration of Independence. While the structure houses 104 floors of office space, it is the spire at the top which adds significant height to this skyscraper. Built to replace the former World Trade Center’s twin towers, the One World Trade Center is the tallest building in the Western hemisphere, and the seventh tallest building in the entire world. Visitors can climb up to the tower to the observation deck and experience panoramic views out across the city.
2. Central Park Tower (1,550 feet tall)
Central Park Tower is an impressive 1,550 feet, making it the tallest residential property in the entire world. Designed by Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill architecture, and unveiled in 2020, the building is home to a series of luxury, high-end apartments which have access to pools, spas and even a private movie theatre. The building’s central location means the apartments inside have breathtaking views of Central Park, but because these are private residences, they are strictly for property owners only.
3. Steinway Tower (1,428 feet tall)
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New York’s Steinway Tower is situated in the 111 West 57th Luxury Condominiums, an area also known as Billionaire’s Row. Steinway Tower was designed by SHoP Architects and completed in 2021, to resemble the old school, 1930s modernist architecture style, with a tapered silhouette and bronze elements, along with interiors styled by Studio Sofield. This residential apartment building is made up of 46 full floor and duplex residences, and soars 1,428 feet high over the city, with a 300-foot decorative crown made from steel. While the interior of the building is private, visitors can marvel at the building’s impressively slim exterior, which is often referred to as the world’s skinniest skyscraper.
4. One Vanderbilt (1,401 feet tall)
Coming in as the fourth tallest building in New York City, One Vanderbilt is 1,401 feet high, with an incredible 93 floors of office and commercial space. Designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, and completed in 2020, the glass skyscraper has a distinct step-like appearance that makes it stand out amongst the city’s sea of skyscrapers. Currently the One Vanderbilt summit is open to visitors, where impressive views of the city can be seen, along with an ongoing program of cutting-edge art exhibitions and events, and lounge and dining areas that are often open long into the evening.
5. 432 Park (1,396 feet tall)
Another looming skyscraper on the New York City skyline is 432 Park, a 1,396 foot tower designed by Rafael Vinoly for SLCE Architects which is set between 56A and 57th streets. The entire building is made up of 92 floors, each of which is a private residence with a stark, modern and minimalist design. When it was completed in 2015, this looming skyscraper was the tallest residential building in the entire world, before being overtaken by Central Park Tower and Steinway Tower. Nonetheless, the tower is still one of the most impressive residential skyscrapers to ever be built, with 15-foot ceilings and ten-by-ten foot windows that open onto views across much of New York City and Central Park below.