A skyscraper showdown between the Empire State Building and the proposed 15 Penn Plaza is underway. Team ESB is claiming that the 1,150 foot high tower will be a significant detriment to both the city and the iconic Empire State Building. The location of the 15 Penn Plaza is only two blocks from the ESB, which isn't going to give the skyscraper a lot of room to breathe and majestically loom above the much smaller neighboring buildings. They're also claiming that 15 Penn Plaza would block ESB views from the areas west of the proposed tower. Nonetheless, the building has cleared most hurdles and seems to be on its way to being built (given they find a tenant) with not more than a handful of modifications. However, the folks from the Empire State Building aren't the only detractors for the project.
The City Council appears to have no qualms with the new construction and Borough President Scott Stringer approved of it, although the City Planning Commission had a few scathing things to say, drawing parallels between 15 Penn Plaza and Jean Nouvel's MOMA tower which got cut down 200 feet in height. A letter from the community board says
"the 15 Penn Plaza application wholly lacks the MoMA project's distinguished architectural features, produces no benefits for landmark preservation or cultural access, would have similarly detrimental impacts on neighborhood density and traffic, and would notably diminish, not enhance, the skyline position of its iconic neighbor, the Empire State Building. Indeed, the proposed buildings would directly obstruct the view of the Empire State Building from the west, thereby fundamentally altering and diminishing New York City's skyline in a way few projects have in decades. Should 15 Penn Plaza not be held to the same standards and criteria as Nouvel/MoMA? · Battle of the Skyscrapers! Empire State Building Owner Takes Issue With New Penn Tower [Observer]
· 15 Penn Plaza Coverage [Curbed]