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53 West 53
53 West 53 condominium tower, looking west on August 9, 2019.
General information
Type Museum, Residential Condominiums
Location53 West 53rd Street
New York City, New York, United States
Coordinates 40°45′42″N 73°58′42″W / 40.761626°N 73.978394°W / 40.761626; -73.978394
Latitude and Longitude:

40°45′42″N 73°58′42″W / 40.761626°N 73.978394°W / 40.761626; -73.978394
Construction started2015
Roof1,050 ft (320 m) [1] [2]
Technical details
Floor count77 [2]
Design and construction
Architect Jean Nouvel [3]
Developer Hines, Pontiac Land Group, Goldman Sachs [3]
Structural engineer WSP Global
Main contractor Lendlease Group

53 West 53 (also known as the MoMA Expansion Tower and 53 West 53rd Street, and formerly known as Tower Verre) is a supertall skyscraper located in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, adjacent to the Museum of Modern Art. It was constructed by the real estate companies Pontiac Land Group and Hines. 53 West 53 is 1,050 feet (320 m) tall.

The building had been in development since 2006, but was delayed for several years due to disputes over the design and difficulties in securing financing. Construction began in late 2014. It was officially topped out in August 2018 and completed the next year. As of November 2019, 53 West 53 is the tenth-tallest completed building in the city.



The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), which owned the building's 17,000-square-foot (1,600 m2) lot, completed a major expansion in 2004 and sold the lot to developer Gerald D. Hines for $125 million in 2007. [4] The developer also bought air rights from the University Club of New York and St. Thomas Church. [5] Hines planned to build a skyscraper called Tower Verre on the site. The building, designed by Jean Nouvel, initially was proposed to stand 1,250 feet (381 m) tall (the same height as the Empire State Building below its mast). [2] Nicolai Ouroussoff of The New York Times called the project "one of the most exciting additions to New York's skyline in a generation". [3]

Tower Verre ran into considerable opposition. Residents and preservationists said that the design would "prevent it from harmoniously fitting into its surroundings", and state senator Liz Krueger said that the building would "overwhelm the area’s infrastructure and services". [6] [7] On September 9, 2009, the New York City Planning Commission said the building could be built if 200 feet (61 m) were clipped off the top. [8] The decision was derided by several prominent architecture critics. [8] [9] The 1,050-foot (320 m) version was approved by the New York City Council on October 28, 2009, in a 44-3 vote. [10]


Financing had been scarce [11] until October 2013, when the Kwee brothers' Pontiac Land agreed to provide $200 million in equity, supported by an $860 million loan from a consortium of Asian banks. [12] In September 2014, the air rights were purchased from MoMA and the building became known as 53 West 53. [13]

Pontiac Land Group served as Hines' development partners on the building, and they secured an $860 million construction loan from a consortium of Asian banks including United Overseas Bank, Maybank, OCBC Bank, and DBS Bank. [14] Construction started in 2015. [13] By July 2016, construction management company Lend Lease had completed excavation and foundation work with superstructure concrete up to the 8th floor. [15] The building officially topped-out in August 2018, with the final apex of the building being installed in late December 2018. [16] It was completed in November 2019. [17]


Officially named 53 West 53, [18] the building is 82-story, 145-unit tower with a total height of 1,050 feet (320 m). [2] [1] [19] 53W53's total floor area is approximately 750,000 square feet (70,000 square meters), and the condominiums in the building were designed by Thierry Despont. [20] [21] The building's skin contains a faceted facade that tapers to a set of crystalline peaks at the apex of the tower. [3] As of November 2019, 53 West 53 is the tenth-tallest completed building in the city. [22]


The building is mixed-use, with condominiums, museum gallery space and a private restaurant at the base. There are 145 residences ranging from one to five bedrooms. [23] The project added some 40,000 square feet (3,700 m2) of gallery space to MoMA. [24]

Residents have special privileges at MoMA, including unlimited free admission to the museum, exhibition previews, discounts in MoMA stores, and access to film screenings. [25] The building also includes a theater, 65-foot lap pool, fitness center, library with a fireplace, children's playroom, wine tasting room, and a double-height lounge with Central Park views available for events. Services available for a fee include a pantry stocking service, a housekeeping service, and pet walking. [25] [26]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Tower Verre". Emporis.com. Retrieved April 10, 2008.
  2. ^ a b c d "Tower Verre". SkyscraperPage.com. Retrieved November 30, 2008.
  3. ^ a b c d Ouroussoff, Nicolai (November 15, 2007). "Next to MoMA, a Tower Will Reach for the Stars". The New York Times. ISSN  0362-4331. Retrieved June 10, 2020.
  4. ^ Pogrebin, Robin (April 10, 2013). "12-Year-Old Building at MoMA Is Doomed". The New York Times. ISSN  0362-4331. Retrieved June 10, 2020.
  5. ^ "MoMA Monster Update: City Planning Downsizes Nouvel's Tower (but it's still too tall)". CultureGrrl. September 9, 2009. Retrieved June 10, 2020.
  6. ^ "New York State Senator Liz Krueger -Before the Department of City Planning Regarding the Environmental Impact Statement Draft Scope of Work for the 53 West 53rd Street Project". lizkrueger.com. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved May 28, 2015.
  7. ^ Moynihan, Colin (April 9, 2008). "Planned Tower Near MoMA Widely Criticized at Hearing". The New York Times. ISSN  0362-4331. Retrieved June 10, 2020.
  8. ^ a b Ouroussoff, Nicolai (September 9, 2009). "Off With Its Top! City Cuts Tower to Size". The New York Times. ISSN  0362-4331. Retrieved June 10, 2020.
  9. ^ "Why the City Should Let Jean Nouvel Build Every Inch of the Tower Verre -- New York Magazine". NYMag.com. Retrieved May 28, 2015.
  10. ^ Carlson, Jen (April 17, 2015). "Will There Be A Monster Stall For MoMA Tower?". Gothamist. Archived from the original on April 17, 2015. Retrieved June 10, 2020.
  11. ^ Ouroussoff, Nicolai (December 19, 2008). "It Was Fun Till the Money Ran Out". The New York Times. ISSN  0362-4331. Retrieved June 10, 2020.
  12. ^ Carmiel, Oshrat; Thakur, Pooja (October 29, 2013). "NYC Museum of Modern Art Condos Get Singapore Investor". www.bloomberg.com. Retrieved June 10, 2020.
  13. ^ a b "53W53/MoMA Tower/Tower Verre Finally Going Up". citty.com. Archived from the original on May 23, 2015. Retrieved May 28, 2015.
  14. ^ Ghigliotty, Damian (August 5, 2015). "United Overseas Bank: A Growing Presence in New York Commercial Real Estate". Commercial Observer.
  15. ^ Construction Photos: 53W53, NYC
  16. ^ "53 West 53rd Street Reaches Full Pinnacle 1,050 Feet Above Street Level, Officially Tops-Out". NY Yimby. August 6, 2018.
  17. ^ "53 West 53rd Street". The Skyscraper Center. CTBUH. Archived from the original on July 9, 2019. Retrieved September 27, 2019.
  18. ^ "53W53rd". Hines Interests Limited Partnership. Archived from the original on January 14, 2016. Retrieved January 27, 2008.
  19. ^ Bindelglass, Evan (June 13, 2016). "53W53 Shows Its Exoskeleton At 53 West 53rd Street, Midtown". New York Yimby. Retrieved July 22, 2016.
  20. ^ "Hines luxury condo project in NYC moves forward with Asian funding". Prime Property. Retrieved May 28, 2015.
  21. ^ Higgins, Michelle (May 29, 2015). "On the Midtown Skyline, a Race to the Clouds". The New York Times. ISSN  0362-4331. Retrieved June 10, 2020.
  22. ^ "12 tallest skyscrapers in New York City". am New York. Retrieved October 17, 2017.
  23. ^ "Availability". 53W53. Retrieved August 20, 2015.
  24. ^ Pogrebin, Robin (April 10, 2013). "12-Year-Old Building at MoMA Is Doomed". The New York Times. ISSN  0362-4331. Retrieved June 10, 2020.
  25. ^ a b Budin, Jeremiah (June 18, 2015). "Multimillion-Dollar MoMA Condos Come With Museum Perks". Curbed. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
  26. ^ 53 W. 53rd Amenities

External links