View Poll Results: Which is New York's Fourth Iconic Skyscraper?

80. You may not vote on this poll
  • 40 Wall Street (Trump Building)

    4 5.00%
  • American International Building

    8 10.00%
  • Citicorp Center

    32 40.00%
  • Seagram Building

    2 2.50%
  • United Nations Building

    10 12.50%
  • Trump World Tower

    0 0%
  • Hearst Tower

    1 1.25%
  • Time-Warner Center

    4 5.00%
  • PanAm Building (MetLife)

    4 5.00%
  • RCA Building (GE)

    15 18.75%
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Thread: New York's Fourth Iconic Skyscraper

  1. #1

    Default New York's Fourth Iconic Skyscraper

    The last survey…


    Some things are not especially debatable. Most folks would agree that New York’s three most iconic surviving skyscrapers are (in descending order) the Empire State (1250 ft), Chrysler (1048 ft) and Woolworth Buildings (792 ft).

    Number Four is not so clear.

    Here are ten candidates (vote for only one):

    40 Wall Street (The Trump Building, Bank of Manhattan Trust)
    corner of Wall and Broad Streets
    Height: 927 ft (283 m), floors: 72
    Architect: H. Craig Severance and Yasuo Matsui, Shreve & Lamb
    Constructed 1929-30
    Once part of a celebrated three-way race to become the world’s tallest, this tower briefly held the title until eclipsed by the Chrysler Building’s spire. The Trump Company acquired the building in 1995.

    American International Building
    70 Pine Street
    Height: 952 ft (290 m), 66 floors,
    Architect: Clinton & Russell
    Constructed 1930-32
    33rd highest building in the world. Slender Deco masterpiece.

    Citicorp Center (Citigroup)
    601 Lexington Avenue, between 53rd and 54th Streets
    Architect: Hugh Stubbins Associates, Emery Roth & Sons
    Height: 915 ft (279 m), 59 floors
    Constructed 1974-77
    Stands out for its diagonal roofline—slanted as if for a solar collector but not bearing one—its shopping mall and its cantilevered structure.

    Seagram Building
    375 Park Avenue, between 52nd and 53rd Streets
    Architect: Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, with Philip Johnson (interiors)
    Height: 515 ft (156.9 m), 38 floors
    Erected 1958
    Much copied but not matched, the Seagram Building is generally recognized as the finest example of skyscrapers in the International Style.

    United Nations Secretariat Building
    405 East 42nd Street, First Avenue to FDR Drive, between East 42nd to 48th Streets
    Architects: Wallace K. Harrison, Le Corbusier
    Height 505 ft (154 m), 39 floors
    Erected 1952
    This skyscraper was the first major International Style building to be constructed in New York.

    Trump World Tower
    845 United Nations Plaza
    Architect: Costas Kondylis
    Height: 881 ft (269 m), 72 floors
    Constructed 1999-2001
    376 Apartments, 48th tallest building in the world (tallest residential tower in the world).

    Hearst Tower
    300 West 57th Street
    Architect: Norman Foster and Partners
    Height: 596 ft (182m), 42 floors
    Constructed 2003-6
    Designed to use 25% less energy than the minimum requirements in the city of New York, Hearst earns a gold designation from the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED certification program.

    Time-Warner Center
    10 Columbus Circle
    Architect: David Childs of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill
    Height: 750 ft (229 m), 55 floors
    Constructed: 2000-4
    Houses AOL Time Warner, offices, the 250-room Mandarin Oriental Hotel, a shopping mall, restaurants and offices, 225 luxury apartments, CNN studios and Jazz at Lincoln Center.

    PanAm Building (MetLife)
    200 Park Avenue
    Architects: Emery Roth & Sons, Pietro Belluschi, Walter Gropius
    Height 808 ft (246 m), 59 floors
    Completed in 1963
    Pan Am sold the building to the insurance company Metlife in 1981 for $400 million. International Style, dominates Park Avenue.

    RCA Building (GE Building)
    30 Rockefeller Plaza, between 49th and 50th Streets, 1250 Avenue of the Americas
    Architect: Associated Architects, Raymond Hood, Wallace K. Harrison
    Height: 850 ft (259 m), 70 floors
    Constructed 1931-33
    Deco masterpiece, 60th tallest building in the world. Diego Rivera's lobby mural with Lenin as "the leader of the worker's movement" was too much for Rockefeller. Rivera was paid and the mural removed.
    Last edited by ablarc; June 30th, 2006 at 10:17 PM.

  2. #2


    At least one of these iconic towers ought to be modern(ist)...New York isn't exactly the city of spires it was in 1940 anymore.

  3. #3
    The Dude Abides
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    NYC - Financial District


    At first I thought this was going to be difficult, but once I got near the bottom of the list, it was a no-brainer. Definitely the United Nations for me. No question. I would even venture to say it should be number 3, ahead of Woolworth.

    One major factor when considering buildings like these is their location. Sure, Metlife and GE might be tall, but they're rarely visible from any perspective outside of Manhattan. 40 Wall and American International share a similar fate, and I suppose that's what gives Woolworth its edge (despite its height being ~150 feet shorter).

    TWT, Hearst, and TWC have potential, but are too new. Hearst is iconic, but not tall enough and not visible enough. TWC isn't iconic, isn't tall enough and is only somewhat visible (from NJ at least). And TWT isn't iconic, but is tall enough and certainly visible.

    I'd say Citigroup Center was a close second place to the UN. It's got a good enough location, is unique (and iconic enough), and has the height. But think about how famous the UN Building is, and how great a perch it holds. Incidentally, I was watching North by Northwest when I opened up this thread. It was before the famous scene at the UN, but needless to say, the movie only strengthened my vote.

    By the way ablarc, great series of threads. It's always good to be able to guage the general opinion of forumers on these types of things.

  4. #4
    Build the Tower Verre antinimby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    in Limbo


    Goodie, another poll.
    I voted for Citi-whatever-it-is-now Center.

  5. #5
    The Dude Abides
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    NYC - Financial District


    Originally Citicorp. Since 1998 I believe, it's been Citigroup.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    New York City


    Call me crazy but the PanAm is my favorite post-depression skyscraper in the world. It is bold and beautiful.

    We should do favorite bridges next.

  7. #7
    Forum Veteran
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    New York City


    I would have voted for the American International Building but I clicked citigroup too quickly:

    Last edited by TonyO; July 1st, 2006 at 07:25 AM.

  8. #8
    Forum Veteran TREPYE's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Brooklyn, NY


    For its conspicuous and graceful presence in the midtown skyline my vote definitely goes for Citicorp Bldg, no brainier there.

    The more vexing question may be: Which is #5?
    Last edited by TREPYE; July 1st, 2006 at 07:55 AM.

  9. #9


    Quote Originally Posted by TREPYE
    The more vexing question may be: Which is #5?
    It's shaping up as a clear victory for Citigroup. I find that surprising, though its total does contain one vote that went awry (Post #7). American International would also do better if it weren't rivalled by 40 Wall Street and boxed in by graceless lumps.

    United Nations, anyone? The most internationally famous of the lot.

    New York has lost three buildings that would have been on the list: 1WTC, 2WTC, and the Singer Building. You can still feel the amputation of each...maybe forever?

    Last edited by ablarc; July 1st, 2006 at 08:49 AM.

  10. #10
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    Quote Originally Posted by lbjefferies
    Call me crazy ...
    You're CRAZY

  11. #11


    ^ That's what we're all here for: OPINIONS.

  12. #12


    Citicorp, although I would have liked to choose AIG.

    However, while even after 1 CMP its position, along with its brothers, was intact; the unpleasant juxtaposition of 60 Wall wall was the nail in the coffin.

    Still looks great, you just don't get the iconic view anymore.

    From Pier 11. Berenice Abbott, 1938

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    New York City


    Quote Originally Posted by lofter1
    You're CRAZY
    I guess I was asking for it.

  14. #14
    The Dude Abides
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    NYC - Financial District


    I knew Citigroup Center would do well; I didn't expect it to be a runaway favorite, though. It is a very unique design, with the load-bearing columns being located not at the corners, but midway between them (this done, of course, to accommodate St. Peter's Church). Their presence at street level is massive, if not a little foreboding. One thing people may not know is that the retail atrium is actually in a separate six-story structure that sits underneath and adjacent to the office tower. It's nothing special, but very emblematic of what was in style during the period when it was built. My main issue with it is the sunken plaza on Lex. It's not very pleasant, and hardly ever lively (not including the morning rush, when hoardes of people ascend from the subway station below). Notwithstanding, it's still one of my favorite buildings. Still doesn't beat out the UN.

    One more thing: I think, if we're willing to consider Hearst and TWC, that Worldwide Plaza has a place on this list. It may not get votes, but it's still worthy of being a contender.

  15. #15


    without a doubt citicorp-citigroup. This was the tower of the 70s and 80s and then in the past decade, everyone has forgotten about it. I grew up loving it, loving the slant. Every city i've ever drawn has a slanting tower in it. It doesn't feel right without it. Worldwide, you see the slanting white roof, you know its NYC. you can't say the same for anything else on that list except for the UN Building which makes a close 5

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