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A blog from CityRealty (Links below will take you to the 6sqft site)

Features

685-First-Avenue-03 Renderings courtesy of Richard Meier & Partners / Solow / BloomImages
It is said that New York is where the world’s best architects come to do their worst work. While Richard Meier & Partners' 685 First Avenue is not a bad building, it is not the provocative or elegant work you’d come to expect from a Pritzker Prize-winner. Granted, this assessment comes slightly premature since the details that separate this black glass box from hundreds of others have not fully come together. But so far, based on a recent visit, the building is cold and monolithic and makes little attempt to enliven this lifeless corner of Manhattan.
685 First Avenue 685 First Avenue has reached its final height (CityRealty)
685 First Avenue is being brought to market by legendary developer Sheldon Solow under his East River Realty Development. The building is part of a much larger master plan that is rising from the ashes of a demolished Con Edison steam and electricity plant. Solow is best known for his trophy office tower 9 West 57th Street, but over the decades, the octogenarian billionaire has developed a handful of east side residential buildings with sleek black curtain walls such as One East River Place, One and Two Sutton Place and the curving 265 East 66th Street.
The 42-floor, 460-foot high tower rises from a full blockfront between East 39th and 40th Street. The former slaughterhouse area, which Tudor City turns its back on, is anchored by the United Nations and its consulates to the north and many healthcare facilities to the south. In between, 685 First Ave. will join a small collection of showpiece residential towers such as the Horizon, Manhattan Place, the Corinthian and newcomer, The American Copper Building at 626 First Avenue.
685-First-Avenue-05 685 First Avenue with Tudor City next door (CityRealty)
685-First-03 CityRealty
685-1st-04 Street level (CityRealty)
The building’s uneventfulness and bloated proportions may be partially due to zoning limitations incited by locals and politicians who advised that the new complex be sympathetic to the 505-foot height of the 1952 United Nations Secretariat Building. Also not adapting to the times is Solow / Meier’s pure modernist aesthetic, which often generates beautiful objects that are indifferent to their surrounding fabric.
Richard Meier’s website says, “The singular form of 685 First Avenue is born of a desire to create an iconic building unique to Midtown Manhattan and the city of New York. The project reflects an innovative and timeless design that contributes to the history and influence of the city’s landmark buildings.” So perhaps we are missing something here. It is said that the tower’s distinguishing feature will be an architectural cut-out at the 27th and 28th floors, visible from across the East River. The facade has just reached these floors and it is still unclear what this cut-out will look like.
685-First-Avenue-05 Bloomimages
Inside will be 408 rentals and 148 condo units. The layouts are said to bring the open layout feel of converted downtown industrial spaces uptown. Not only is the building Meier’s tallest in the city, it will be his first clad entirely in black. The dark glazing will offer residents privacy and give the building a uniform appearance from the outside. Amenities will include a 70-foot indoor swimming pool, fitness center, children’s playroom, workroom, game room, private dining room, and lounge. Construction should wrap up sometime in 2018.
Luxury Homes in Midtown | Newly Renovated Studio-2BR Homes View Property
Twenty Broad seamlessly blends rich history with modern style, while paying homage to a historic space once set aside for the New York Stock Exchange. View Property
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