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Central Park Tower, 225 West 57th Street

Between Broadway & Seventh Avenue

Last updated Jan 5, 2018
Q2 2018
Target Sales Date
Q1 2020
Planned Delivery Date
Developer: Extell Development
Architect: Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill

Key Details

  • Year Built Planned for 2020
    Building Type Condominium
    Neighborhood Midtown West
  • Total Apartments 179
    Total Floors 95
    Doorman FT Doorman


New York City’s tallest building without a spire, this mixed-use tower at 220 West 57th Street has been built by Extell Development, which started the city’s explosion of SuperTall buildings with One57 at 157 West 57th Street, one block to the east. That building was a mere 1,004 feet high. This building is 1,550 feet high.

It originally was called the Nordstrom Tower because that department store agreed to become its major retail tenant.  It is known now as the Central Park Tower.

It has been designed by Adrian Smith & Gordon Gill, who were formerly with Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.  Mr. Smith designed the 2,717-foot-high Burj Kalifa in Dubai, presently the world’s current tallest building, and is now designing the 3,280-foot-high Kingdom Tower in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

This 95-story tower achieved its great height by using air rights from some adjoining buildings and getting the Art Students League at 215 West 57th Street to agree to have it extend its cantilever 28 feet to the east over it but at a height of about 200 feet over the roof of the league, or about 300 feet off the ground.  Extell paid $23.1 million in 2005 to the league for 136,000 square feet of air rights and several years later paid an additional $31.8 million for 6,000 more square feet of air rights from the league.

Its progress was held up by a dispute with the developer of 220 Central Park South across 58th Street from it.  Extell had bought the lease for the garage of the apartment building that once occupied part of the site and was therefore able to stymie the development plans of Vornado, which had bought and demolished the 20-story apartment building at 220 Central Park South.  The two major developers finally reached a compromise in which Vornado bought Extell’s garage lease but agreed to move its planned tower to the east to free up views for the Extell project.  Vornado’s tower is considerably shorter than the Extell tower but had it not moved it would have obstructed a good many views to the north and of Central Park for the Extell tower.

Vornado’s Central Park South tower, in construction at the same time as 225 West 57th Street, has been designed by Robert A. M. Stern and it is perhaps his finest high-rise design to date with a fluted, but flat top, a low-rise building on Central Park South, and a handsome courtyard.

Initially, Extell planned to have a spire atop this tower that would have brought its height to 1,775 feet, one foot lower, respectfully, to the height of the spire atop One World Trade Center downtown.  In June, 2015, however, Extell announced it would not have a spire but the rest of its design remain unchanged, oddly since the spire, simple as it was, was a substantial element of the design.

Unlike most skyscraper spires that rise from the center of the tower, Extell’s spire was decided off-center and was placed at the eastern edge of the tower. This design decision presumably reflected the tower’s asymmetry despite its apparent slimness.  A center tower might have been visually more appealing, but the off-center placement is more intriguing and beguiling, though probably not bewitched and bothered.

By removing the spire, the tower is left with a flat top, which echoes those of its tall neighbors to the west: 220 Central Park South, Central Park Place, the Hearst Building, the Time-Warner Center and Trump Place as well as 432 Park Avenue, One Beacon Place and the General Motors building to the east. 

A flat top, however, is at odds, a bit, with 111 East 57th Street, the Sherry Netherlands, the Hotel Pierre, 650 Madison Avenue, and 53 East 53rd Street, to the east.

The spire’s removal disappointed some commentators on the web on aesthetic grounds rather than mere height concerns.

Given the recent proliferation of spires in midtown, many of which have colorful illumination programs, it seems a shame that the city’s tallest doesn’t join the “festivities” especially since its truncated top brings back painful memories of the City Planning Commission’s outrageous guillotinization of Jean Nouvel’s 53rd Street tower whose top 200 feet were ordered reduce because it conflicted with the top of the Empire State Building, a mile or so away.

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Alternate Addresses

  • 219 West 57th Street
  • 217 West 57th Street
  • 221 West 57th Street
  • 225 West 57th Street
  • 227 West 57th Street
  • Nordstrom Tower
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