The somewhat bizarre fight over 15 Penn Plaza, a new Midtown skyscraper that developer Vornado wants to demolish the Hotel Pennsylvania for, took a seat in front of a City Council subcommittee yesterday, where the tower's last-second chief opponents?Empire State Building owners the Malkin family?got to tee off on the proposed invasion of their airspace. Never mind that 15 Penn would be two avenues over and a bit shorter than the iconic Empire State Building, the Times reports that the Malkins "want a 17-block no-go zone" to protect the building's stature. Sound crazy? Well, fear of a de-emphasized Empire State Building got Jean Nouvel's Tower Verre decapitated, so don't count the demand?part of what a Post editorial calls "NIMBY-ism gone mad"?out quite yet.
The City Planning Commission already approved 15 Penn's oversized bulk ($100 million in pledged mass transit upgrades certainly helped), and the City Council is expected to do the same despite the Malkins' outrage. For that we'll have Mother Teresa to blame or thank, depending on your take on the controversy. This cat fight has already produced a war of the renderings, one that keeps on giving. Check out the latest looks.
The Architect's Newspaper has some new 15 Penn renderings presented at yesterday's hearing. Above, Vornado has added the building to the Midtown West skyline along with the fully realized Hudson Yards and the currently shelved Manhattan West towers, all in an effort to show that 15 Penn won't be the only new tower messing with New Jersey's Empire State Building's views. Wassup now, Malkins?
Vornado also unveiled the below look at the base of the Rafael Pelli-designed 15 Penn Plaza, in all its glassy, subway-accessing glory. Now if only they could do something about Madison Square Garden across the street.