Battle of the Buildings: Empire State Building and 15 Penn Plaza Wage War of Artistic Renderings


The empire state of mind is pretty pissy this week. Empire State Building owner Anthony Malkin of Malkin Holdings says that the enormous new building planned for 15 Penn Plaza, two blocks west of his 80-year-old beauty, would mar the view of New York’s iconic skyscraper and change the skyline for the worse. To support his argument, Malkin Holdings released an artistic rendering of the skyline with the new building, conveniently drawn from the perspective where the proposed building overshadows the Empire State Building the most.

Rendering released by Malkin:

For their part, Vornado Realty Trust, the company behind the planned 67-foot monolith, released a rendering of their own in which their planned modern architectural feat doesn’t appear anywhere near the city’s sweetheart skyscraper. Mayor Bloomberg publicly stated that he sees no problem with Vornado building the structure as planned. The City Planning Commission approved the tower, and the City Council is expected to vote on it today.

The buildings appear farther apart in the Vornado rendering because when the skyline is viewed from north to south or south to north, the distance between the proposed structure and the Empire State Building is more evident. Really, it will only stand in the landmark skyscraper’s spotlight when viewed from the west. So Jersey dwellers might not care for the skyline alteration, but for New Yorkers, it’s not a huge change. Although, it’s not the most beautiful building we’ve seen — does it look vaguely phallic to you?

“The Empire State Building defines New York and its skyline,” Malkin told the council subcommittee on zoning and franchises, according to the Daily News. “It’s the No. 1 favorite building in the U.S.” Does that come with diva rights? The Empire State Building even refuses to light up blue and white to honor Mother Theresa on her 100th birthday tomorrow.

“The fact is that New York’s skyline has never stopped changing, and one hopes it never will,” David Greenbaum, head of the New York office of Vornado Realty Trust told the Daily News.

That’s for sure. Did the folks at the Empire State Building happen to notice the building that popped up over the past year at 22 E. 23rd St. (One Madison Park)? An artistic rendering or even a simple photograph of that monstrosity could easily be presented from an angle that covers part of the Empire State Building. And if this is simply an issue of changing landscapes, 15 Penn Plaza dissenters must freak out every time they walk down Bowery — yikes.

Either way, 15 Penn Plaza will never be called anything remotely as powerful and awesome as the Empire State Building. We hope all of this isn’t because of the Mother Theresa fiasco — karma’s a bitch.

via the Daily News and NY1