Central Park Tower Soars to New Heights

Midtown Manhattan—especially 57th Street, just below Central Park—is home to a group of sleek, soaring buildings that physically redefine the term “skyscraper.” And with Central Park Tower topping out this fall, a brand new record has been set: the 1550 foot tall edifice is now the tallest residential building in the world. Designed by the Chicago-based architecture firm Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill, the 131-story tower at 217 West 57th Street is almost like a vertical city block, with 50,000 square feet of amenity space, a suite of luxury residences, flagship stores, a Central Park Lounge with extraordinary views, and no fewer than six restaurants.

Central Park Tower is the latest project from Extell Development, whose other marquee buildings include the nearby One57. In an interview with Architectural Digest, Extell’s founder and chairman Gary Barnett said that he hoped Central Park Tower’s “unparalleled views” would set it apart from the other “supertalls” in the area. Thanks to its height, the building’s 179 residences have panoramic sightlines. Floor-to-ceiling windows frame views of Central Park, along with New York’s existing architectural skyline, the humming activity of Times Square, and the natural rhythms of the East and Hudson Rivers, from dawn till dusk.

Inside, the views are just as impressive, but much more intimately scaled: the glass and stainless-steel tower is home to a seven-story Nordstrom store at street level, and residents will enjoy exclusive access to a ballroom, a cigar bar, a wellness center with an indoor pool, and an outdoor terrace (which also has a pool.) The Tower’s exterior is staggered with what would be termed “setbacks” on a smaller building. It looks as though it’s comprised of several smaller towers set one on top of the other, with each section nudged just slightly in a different direction, with the overall effect of cantilevering to the east. This gives the tower a subtly geometric look that catches the eye, but it also has a practical reason: it enabled Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill to carve out the most expansive views and most abundant light possible for each residence and amenity space.

With heights and views like these, Central Park Tower seems bound for special status in Manhattan, even way up high among the “supertalls.”