Top 10 Tallest Buildings in New York As of 2020

Why is New York So Popular?

Because it’s the capital of dreams! History, music, art, culture, cuisine, theatre, technology, commerce, fashion – all merge to create an experience abuzz with the energy you will never find anywhere else.

History of Tallest Buildings in New York

One of the factors that contribute to the captivating aura of New York is its glorious heritage of city skyscrapers. They are sights to behold. 

New York hosts some of the world’s tallest buildings. Its drive to establish itself as the peak of high-rise buildings began in the late 19th century with the construction of the World Building (349 feet tall).

At that time, it was the tallest building in the world until it was demolished to make way for the Brooklyn Bridge. Nevertheless, New York wasn’t one to give up and since then has played an indispensable role in the development of skyscraper construction.

Top 10 Tallest Buildings in New York

You don’t need to look elsewhere to learn more about the tallest buildings in New York. This curated list has them all.

1. One World Trade Center

One World Trade Center
(Source: AECOM)

This iconic silver skyscraper was constructed on the same site as the original World Trade Center, demolished in the 9/11 attacks. Here, you can enjoy a fantastic dining & cultural experience, and even an exhilarating view of NYC from the One World Observatory. If you want to discover more about the 9/11 tragedy, there’s the “9/11 Memorial & Museum” to visit.

Completed in: November 3rd, 2014

Designed by: David Childs

No of floors: 104

Height: 1776 ft.

Location: Lower Manhattan, NYC

Fun Fact(s): Sixth Tallest building in the world

2. Central Park Tower

Central Park Tower
(Source: Wikipedia)

Aka the Nordstorm Tower, this modern high-rise construction – intended to be a residential tower – has already begun to captivate people. A Nordstorm store occupies the bottom 7 floors, while the housing condos occupy the 32nd – 129th floors. In any condominium, you get to enjoy a full 360 degrees view of the Manhattan horizon and Central Park.2

Completed in: 2020 (expected)

Designed by:  Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture firm

No of floors: 131

Height: 1550 ft. (when completed)

Location: Midtown Manhattan, NYC

Fun Fact(s): Tallest Residential Building in the world; 15th Tallest Building in the world

3. Steinway Tower

Steinway Tower
(Source: Wikipedia)

This deluxe suburban tower has a (record) width-to-height ratio of around 1:24. It has only one apartment in each of its upper 72 floors, with the bottom 5 floors comprising of joint relaxation space and retail stores. Offering a unique full view of Central Park, this tower is a dream home for the ultra-wealthy.

Completed in: 2020 (expected)

Designed by: SHoP Architects

No of floors: 82 (+3 basement floors)

Height: 1428 ft.

Location: 111 West 57th Street

Fun Fact(s): Thinnest skyscraper in the world

4. One Vanderbilt

One Vanderbilt
(Source: New York YIMBY)

Even though its construction is incomplete, this bold building had already been 65% leased by some famous rich corporate tenants including TD Bank, McDermott Will & Emery, and The Carlyle Group. The building model champions sustainability in design and building. So, it’s not a surprise to see its innovative environmental-friendly construction plans.

You might wonder whether it will dominate over the famed Grand Central building but don’t worry about it. A transit hall across the street will connect the two buildings.4  

Completed in: 2021 (estimated)

Designed by: Kohn Pedersen Fox

No of floors: 67

Height: 1301 ft.

Location: Midtown Manhattan

Fun Fact(s): The internationally renowned New York chef Daniel Boulud plans to bring a large restaurant to One Vanderbilt.

5. 432 Park Avenue

432 Park Avenue
(Source: skyscrapercenter.com)

You may be shocked to hear that building this supertall skyscraper called for the demolition of the 495-room Drake Hotel which was established in 1926. Today, this magnificent tower hosts 125 condos and features the dining services of the Michelin-Starred chef Shaun Hergatt.

Since it’s placed right in the middle of Manhattan, it enables one to have a full panoramic view of the entire New York City from top to bottom. 

Completed in: December 23, 2015

Designed by:  Rafael Viñoly and SLCE Architects, LLP

No of floors: 85 (+3 underground)

Height: 1396 ft.

Location: 57th Street and Park Avenue, Manhattan

Fun Fact(s): 

  • Design is inspired by a trash can
  • Was the Tallest Residential building in the world at the time of its completion; now it’s the 3rd Tallest

6. 30 Hudson Yards

30 Hudson Yards
(Source: e-architect.co.uk)

As part of the “Hudson Yards Redevelopment Project”, this stupendous building is another futuristic model that features pioneering and environmental-friendly designs. It is primarily dedicated to office space for its corporate tenants. A highlight of this building is “The Edge”, a triangular observation deck that protrudes out from the 101st floor.

Standing atop The Edge gives you the unique feeling of being on top of the world as you witness the entire New York City in its glory down the shimmering glass walls.6

Completed in: 2019

Designed by: Kohn Pedersen Fox

No of floors: 101

Height: 1296 ft.

Location: 500 West 33rd Street & 10th Avenue 

Fun Fact(s): 

  • Famous corporate tenants include WarnerMedia and Facebook. 
  • The building offers multiple studios for use by CNN’s New York branch.

7. Empire State Building

Empire State Building
(Source: TripSavvy)

This building attained instant iconic status after construction with its distinctive architectural style of Art Deco and because it was the first skyscraper to cross 100 floors, that too in 1931. The fact that the Empire State is still one of the top 10 tallest buildings in New York despite being the oldest building in this list underlies its iconic status.

Moreover, it has been frequently been featured in pop culture, eg in classic movies like “King Kong” and “Independence Day”. 

Completed in: April 11, 1931

Designed by: Shreve, Lamb & Harmon

No of floors: 102

Height: 1250 ft.

Location: 350 Fifth Avenue Manhattan

Fun Fact(s):

  • Its renown as the tallest building in the world was beaten by both the original World Trade Center in 1970 and the new One World Trade Center in 2012. 
  • Today, it’s the 48th Tallest Building in the World
  • An annual foot race from the ground-floor to the 86th floor, aka the Empire State Building Run-Up, has been held every year since 1978.

8. Bank of America Tower

Bank of America Tower
(Source: buildipedia.com)

This beautiful modern high-rise building is a model for an innovative green design for which it has won several awards. One of its main achievements is becoming the first skyscraper to earn a Platinum LEED certification. Also, it’s considered to be one of the most expensive office buildings in NYC after being valued at over $3 billion in 2019.

Completed in: 2009

Designed by: COOKFOX Architects

No of floors: 58

Height: 1200 ft.

Location: 1 Bryant Park

Fun Fact(s): 

  • As part of its environmental-friendly design, urinals are waterless saving 3 million gallons of water every year 
  • Despite what the name suggests, Bank of America is not the sole tenant. It is, however, the main tenant and occupies 6 floors and three-quarters of office-space. Other tenants include Marathon Asset Management, and the restaurants Flip ‘n Patties and Mona Fresh Italian Food.

9. 3 World Trade Center

3 World Trade Center
(Source: ArchDaily)

This supertall skyscraper faced difficulty in building as there were no primary tenants initially to finance the construction. Luckily, GroupM was signed in 2013 as the anchor tenant and the rest is history. Current famous tenants include Uber, Cozen O’Connor, and Blue Wolf. These famous companies highlight the importance of this skyscraper and its gorgeous sleek design. 

Completed in: 2018

Designed by: Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

No of floors: 80

Height: 1079 ft

Location: 175 Greenwich Street, Manhattan

Fun Fact(s): 

  • Its brother occupies the topmost position in this list
  • It replaced the original Marriott World Trade Center which was wrecked in the 9/11 attacks.

10. 53W53

53W53
(Source: Designboom)

One of its distinctive features is the dual crystalline peaks that seem to touch the stars. Perhaps they do, for lucky are the residents of this modern multipurpose. They get to stay in 145 residences, with up to 5-bedroom options. They get to live right next to the Museum of Modern Art (also a tenant of 53W53) and enjoy exclusive privileges at the museum.

Not only that, they can avail services like housekeeping and pet walking for a fee. Being able to afford residence in this stylish skyscraper would mean leading a wonderful life.

Completed in: November 2019

Designed by:  Jean Nouvel

No of floors: 80

Height: 1050 ft.

Location: 53 West 53rd Street 

Fun Fact(s):

It’s also known as the MoMA Tower due to its close relationship with the Museum of Modern Arts which occupies the skyscraper’s second, fourth, and fifth floors for gallery space.

Final Words

Hope this list motivates you to book your next flight for New York to see these breathtaking skyscrapers with your own eyes!

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