Officials Fight to Keep Empire State Building in View

Posted Aug 24th 2010 10:11 AMUpdated Aug 24th 2010 11:13 AM


Owners of the Empire State Building are arguing against a proposed rival that they say will change Manhattan's iconic skyline and block the view from the 102-story skyscraper for millions of tourists.

The proposed competition, a 67-story glass office tower, 15 Penn Plaza, would rise only 34 feet lower than the 1,250-foot Empire State Building, one of the most famous buildings in the world.

The Empire State Building "defines New York," owner Anthony Malkin told the City Council this week.

"We view this (proposal) as an assault on New York City and its iconography," said Malkin, whose grandfather founded the Malkin Holdings company. It's "the end of the image of New York City that billions of people hold dear."

The developer of 15 Penn Plaza testified the new building will provide much needed state-of-the-art office space in midtown and create more than 7,000 jobs. The tower would be located two blocks west of the Empire State Building on Seventh Avenue, on property currently occupied by the Hotel Pennsylvania.

Tourists visiting the Empire State Building's 102nd-floor observatory this week tended to side with the building's owners.

"Wow! Wouldn't that be sad!" said Christa Huggins, a 35-year-old visiting from Utah, of the potential for a partially blocked view.

As for 15 Penn Plaza, the design has been described as looking like "a giant chisel atop a block."

The City Council is expected to vote this week on whether to allow the new tower.

Photo, punxutawneyphil, flickr
Filed Under: News

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The Empire State Building was the winner of a competition with the Chrysler Building and 40 Wall Street to be the tallest building in the world. None of the three tall buildings blocked the view of or the view from another.

Those who built the Empire State Building in 1931 had the perspicacity to give it an electrical system that could accommodate the needs of future generations. It is unfortunate that they did not forsee the building of a competitor that would damage its visibility and destroy some of the view from this icon of New York and buy the surrounding air rights.

Why are people so selfish that they choose to build where it will create controversy when they could choose another location and avoid the problems?

August 26 2010 at 7:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The design of this tower almost mirrors the one that they are proposing in San Francisco (a super tall building), it actually is quite attractive, better yet, it's really beautiful! To make everyone happy, build it were that mosque is being proposed & build the mosque where the new tower is being built (oops! I mean proposed). There you have it, no obstruction of iconic view & the victims of those murdering terrorist will find some form of confort & peace. I STILL LOVE NEW YORK!

August 25 2010 at 5:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

OK Bull*** - Lets look at this from a different perspective. What if you had a home with a beautiful view of the ocean, or of the NYC skyline, or some other view that you prized highly, then someone came along and wanted to build a big monstrosity that would block your highly coveted view? Or, what if you had a very expensive penthouse that you paid through the nose for because of its view and the same thing happened? Would you want this building a mere two blocks from your expensive penthouse windows blocking the view that you paid so dearly for? I think you'd look at it quite differently if this were happening to you! I'm going with the others; let this VERY CALLOUS builder put his building where the VERY CALLOUS Muslims want to build their mosque! Remember, you have to take other people’s feelings into consideration when you’re trying to do something that effects them so deeply!

August 25 2010 at 3:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Question #1: Does this building have tenents ready to occupy the whole place?
Question 2:
Will this take business away from the 55,000 square foot mall being built INSIDE the hallowed ground at the Twin Tower site? Yes. A huge shopping mall under the site where 3,000 plus died.
Stores that will sell everything. Probably even items made in Pakistan, where Bin Laedin is hiding.
There's nothing like flaming the fires of hate over a mosque, while hiding the truth about a mega mall inside the grounds of the towers, with restrooms
dug thru any remains that have not been found.

August 25 2010 at 1:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

And I'll just bet that Mayor Michael Bloomberg gave his 100% blessing on this wetdream too. He doesn't care about New York, or its people, just what's in it for Michael Bloomberg.

August 25 2010 at 1:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Oh they are for a Mosque but against a building that will rival the Empire State Building? Who cares if its built, ITS CALLED A CITY!!! No oone can claim air height. If the builder has the rights and permitts, he should build it. Who is the city to decide if it should go up because of a landmark view. What if they told you you couldnt build a home because it was next to a landmark yet you owned the kland, and had the rights, what then????

August 25 2010 at 1:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
George William Gockel

Please do not block the Empire State Building.

August 24 2010 at 11:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Is this one being built by Islam-muslims too?????????????????

August 24 2010 at 10:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

OK I understand that the Empire State Building is iconic and helps to define New York City, but come on.... really...

"The City Council is expected to vote this week on whether to allow the new tower."

So the city council will make a decision on whether a building view should be blocked but THEY WON'T MAKE A DECISION TO NOT PUT A MOSQUE 2 BLOCKS FROM THE SITE OF THE WTC MURDERS?????? They need a backbone!!!!

August 24 2010 at 10:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Russell's comment
steve adams

build the building- nyc is and should continue to be a city of skyscrapers- if the owner wants the esb to be higher build on top of the esb - no one should ask to halt progress- tall buildings epitomize new york city, so malkins request is stagnant and mute at best- build it and build more!

August 24 2010 at 10:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Have the owners of the new building build it between the mosque and Ground Zero, then everyone would be happy....

August 24 2010 at 10:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to alice's comment

It's a well know fact that muslims build mosgues on land that they have conquered which is why they want to build a mosque near ground zero. To show them we won't tolerate their actions build the new tower there instead! I believe in religious freedom, I don't believe in rewarding terrorists!

August 25 2010 at 12:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply