Big Deal: Looking Down on the Empire State

(The New York Times) Not since builders stuck a dirigible mooring mast to the top of the Empire State Building, eclipsing the Chrysler Building as the world’s tallest tower, have developers been engaged in the type of skyscraper war that New York City is now witnessing.       

But unlike the rivalries of the early 20th century, when buildings pierced the clouds to house corporate headquarters, this one involves no fewer than three alpine condominiums with penthouses on the 90th floor and higher, which are being built to woo big-spending American hedge funders, Chinese magnates and Russian oligarchs. Two of them will rise above the 1,250-foot-high Empire State Building, by 300 feet and 146 feet, respectively (although the Empire State Building officially tops off at 1,454 feet when its lighting rod is included).         

A number of residential skyscrapers will join the Empire State Building on the Manhattan skyline, but only two of them will be taller. Credit: Todd Heisler/The New York Times