On Wednesday, the city council approved the construction of a tower that will be just 34 feet shy of the Empire State Building, just a couple blocks away. The owners of the Empire State Building fought hard to stop the new building, saying it would damage the skyline, and obscure the view of the western side of their building. I really don’t know where they get off thinking they could stop another building from going up, but at the same time it will make for a messy skyline. The new building will be only 2 blocks away from the ESB, and directly in front of it when seen from New Jersey. If you are directly across the Hudson River from the ESB, the new tower will pretty much completely cover it, with just the Antenna of the ESB possibly sticking out the top a little. It will just look like the ESB isn’t there. Moving north or south will obviously reveal the ESB once you have moved far enough, but I think it will still look very awkward. On top of that, the new building seems to have that new architectural style : blobbish and undefined without any distinctive shape or features. The World Trade Center was a good distance from the ESB and in a location without many tall buildings to compete with it. The skyline would be much better served if the new tower was placed in a location that balanced the skyline better. Below is a photo of the view of midtown from Weehawken NJ. From this view, the new building would either be just to the right of or possibly partially obscure the ESB.
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