World’s Skinniest Skyscraper Is Here to Haunt NYC Skyline

The iconic Manhattan skyline has a new addition: the world’s skinniest skyscraper. We can’t even call this a dubious honor because the Steinway Tower looks so odd and unstable it’s hard to believe it’s real. Via CNN (first spotted at DesignTAXI), developers built this toothpick-shaped building with a height-to-width ratio of 24:1. Why opt for a slender skyscraper that looks like the wind will blow it right over? The architects from the firm SHoP Architects wanted to “create a new and bold interpretation of the New York skyline, while also celebrating the location’s historic roots.” Did they achieve that? Up for debate.

Skinny skyscraper stretching above NYC
111 West 57th Street

The Steinway Tower, or 111 West 57th Street, also stands as one of the tallest buildings in the Western hemisphere. It’s 1,428 feet tall. For comparison, the One World Trade Center stands at 1,776 feet tall. And if, like us, you’re wondering how many apartments you can reasonably fit in a building the width of a pencil, it’s not many. The 84 floors have 60 apartments. The top floor houses a triplex penthouse overlooking Central Park.

Real estate doesn’t come cheap in Manhattan, or in many places these days. But the price tags on Steinway Tower’s apartments might make your eyes fall out of your head. Studios may cost around $7.75 million, with a penthouse going for over $60 million. Look, if I had that kind of money, I can’t imagine choosing to live in a skyscraper that looks like it’s ready to fall over.

Is it an architectural feat? Sure. One of the tallest skyscrapers, the world’s skinniest skyscraper. But also, it’s a a real case of, “Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.” Who knows though? Pencil towers are already part of many major cities. Maybe this is how cities continue grow as they run out of land.

Amy Ratcliffe is the Managing Editor for Nerdist and the author of A Kid’s Guide to Fandom, available now. Follow her on  Twitter and Instagram.

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