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Best Monument to the Global Plutocracy

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Rafael Viñoly’s 432 Park seems to hover in the blue haze above our heads at all times. According to Fortune, this slender silver pencil of a building contains more residential value than all the houses in Hartford, Connecticut. It is the most beautiful and the most visible of the North Midtown Supertall Boom. It is an icon for New York’s new gilded age, and a portent of pernicious developments in American society at large. You may hate what 432 Park represents, but be glad it’s here. It’s a monument for our era, and will enrich future New York in the same way that lintels carved for dead industrialists have helped create the rich texture of the city today. It’s a much more honest display of wealth than the hidden penthouses atop the Puck Building, the double-wide palaces concealed behind West Village townhouse facades, the powerful tech companies quietly ensconced in nineteenth-century buildings. It’s good to have money where you can see it. Henry Grabar

432 Park Avenue, Manhattan

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