Media Blog

Change Coming for New York Skyline?

The editors of the New York Times write today:

In the drowsy month of August no less, New York’s City Council is poised to make one of the most important decisions in years about Manhattan’s skyline. Council members will decide today whether to allow developers to build a skyscraper almost as tall as the Empire State Building — 900 feet west on the site of the current Hotel Pennsylvania, on Seventh Avenue. For many people looking from the western part of Manhattan and New Jersey, the iconic tower would no longer be visible.

This is no ordinary development issue. The Empire State is central to this city’s image. Any decision to alter the skyline so radically deserves more time and more public consideration.

If the developers were smart, they’d put a minaret on the roof and the editors of the Times would call them courageous and visionary. I guess the Empire State Building’s iconic status — due in large part to its being the setting for a battle against a large fictional gorilla — is more important than the iconic status of a building hit by debris from the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

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