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New York City's Skyline Evolves With Tall, Skinny Towers

For better or for worse, the tall, skinny towers that have helped to remake New York’s iconic skyline appear to be growing in popularity among developers.
December 29, 2015, 5am PST | jwilliams | @jwillia22
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Matt A.V. Chaban of the New York Times reports on the skinny towers that have begun to sprout up around 56th and 57th streets, south of Central Park in what some have dubbed "Billionaires' Row." The new construction has seen the number of towers exceeding 1,000 feet jump from five to double that number in the past few years, with dozens more towers planned or under construction.

These slender cloud-busters would not have been built without the confluence of new technologies and wealthy buyers seeking a Manhattan address. Superstrong concrete and new wind testing made possible buildings like 432 Park, which, at 93 feet wide, is 15 times as tall as it is wide. In effect, developers now need only a lot the size of a brownstone or three to build a tower, rather than much of a block…

Opponents of the new towers believe developers are exploiting an out of date zoning code that allows for transfer of air rights. Chaban writes that opponents have complained that the new towers have led to overcrowding on subways and shadows falling on public spaces.

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Published on Monday, December 21, 2015 in New York Times
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