And Our First Runner-Up Is...? Second-Tallest Building Remains Unclear
...still very much in doubt. Yesterday, the folks at FX Fowle Architects weighed in on the burning question: "Who is number two?" - what's the second-tallest building in New York (for now)?
They were kind enough to send over an actual CAD elevation (we've linked to a lower-res jpeg), showing the under-construction (but already-topped-out) New York Times Building at 41st Street and 8th Avenue in exquisite detail. According to the blueprint, its non-functional mast reaches 1,046 feet from the sidewalk. However, on very close inspection, a 3.3 foot-tall safety beacon assembly pushes the overall height - in our opinion - to just over 1,049 feet.
Unfortunately, we don't have that level of detail for the venerable Chrysler building, but most online sources agree that she maxes out at 1,046 feet - a dead-heat with the Times building, if you don't count "non-architectural features" such as safety beacons. This is where the debate heats up among skyscraper geeks, and where most folks lose interest and go back to their conversation about last night's episode of Lost.
Interestingly, the topping-out of the Chrysler building back in 1930 had its own drama: it was part of a "height race" with the Bank of Manhattan building to be the world's tallest building. During construction, its entire metallic spire had been concealed from the public and built inside the building's fire shaft. The now-iconic pinnacle was hoisted into place in one piece, suddenly eclipsing both the bank building and the Eiffel Tower in a dramatic reveal that kinda makes you wish it were 1930 again (except for the Great Depression thing)...
And so the question remains, until 1 Bryant Park tops-out at 1,200 feet sometime later this year.
New York Times Building Elevation [courtesy of Fox & Fowle Architects]