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Demolition permits filed for modernist Union Carbide Building

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It will become the tallest voluntarily demolished building in the city’s history

Max Touhey

The modernist Union Carbide building at 270 Park Avenue, due to be replaced by a new 70-story skyscraper, is now one step closer to coming down: 6sqft reports that demolition permits for the Midtown skyscraper have officially been filed with the Department of Buildings, signaling the start of the lengthy process to demolish the old building and construct a new one.

The permits were filed by Howard I. Shapiro & Associates, a demolition consulting company. If (and, at this point, when) the building comes down, it’ll be the tallest skyscraper in the world to be voluntarily demolished. (The Real Deal broke down how it could happen.)

Back in February, the city and Chase announced that the bank would tear down 270 Park Avenue, designed by SOM’s Gordon Bunshaft and Natalie de Blois—and replace the tower with a gleaming new 70-story building. The deal is the first major development announced after the approval of the Midtown East rezoning, which gives developers the ability to buy unused air rights from neighboring landmarked buildings in order to go taller. Chase has already made a deal with St. Bartholomew’s Church for around 550,000 square feet of air rights.

But in the wake of the announcement, preservationists rallied to try and save the original structure, which was built in 1961. The building is not landmarked—and thus, among the city’s most endangered buildings—and the Landmarks Preservation Commission hasn’t indicated that will change any time soon.

In recent months, Chase has also filed a zoning text amendment to change the size of a publicly owned private space (POPS) that will be located within the new building. But its proposed size—7,000 square feet—is smaller than what is mandated under the terms of the Midtown East rezoning, much to the displeasure of the local community board and Manhattan borough president Gale Brewer.