One Astor Plaza
|One Astor Plaza|
One Astor Plaza
Location within Manhattan
New York City, U.S.
|Owner||SL Green Realty|
|Roof||227 m (745 ft)|
|Floor area||179,487 m2 (1,931,980 sq ft)|
|Design and construction|
|Architect||Der Scutt of Ely J. Kahn & Jacobs|
One Astor Plaza is a 745 ft (227 m) high skyscraper in Times Square in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. Completed in 1972, the building is 54 stories tall and was designed by Der Scutt of Ely J. Kahn & Jacobs. It is located at 1515 Broadway between West 44th and 45th Streets and is currently the headquarters for Viacom and houses the MTV Studios, Minskoff Theatre, PlayStation Theater, and some retail outlets. The Hotel Astor had occupied the site from 1904 to 1967. Construction of the building began in 1968 and was completed in 1972. The building was the headquarters of the now-defunct W. T. Grant retail chain, which leased almost 400,000 square feet (37,000 m2) of space on the building's top 14 floors.
It is owned and managed by SL Green Realty Corporation. The building engineers are Shmerykowsky Consulting Engineers.
Third Floor: Minskoff Theatre
The Minskoff is a Broadway theatre named after its developers, a prominent local real estate family. Accessible from the middle arcade in the center of the building, it opened in 1973 with 1,621 seats.
Second Floor: MTV Studios
Astor Plaza houses the MTV Studios, owned by Viacom, the building's primary tenant. The studios are located on the mezzanine second story of the building. MTV acquired it in 1997. It was initially split into three major studios all located by the floor-to-ceiling windows and iconic window shades. The three studios were named after the three sections of Manhattan: the Uptown Studio, the Midtown Studio, and the Downtown Studio. They are named so because they are proportional to the real sections of Manhattan. The Uptown Studio was home to MTV's former flagship program, Total Request Live, during the show's run from 1998 to 2008 along with MTV & VH1 and is now an Aéropostale store. The Midtown Studio is used by various MTV programming, MTV News, VH1's Big Morning Buzz Live and on occasion Nickelodeon and Comedy Central. The smallest studio, the Downtown Studio, is occasionally used for other countdown shows, and productions from some of the smaller Viacom networks. It is occasionally used as a temporary green room if the actual green room is occupied. The MTV Studios also include dressing rooms, control rooms, a cafeteria, and some offices.
MTV also uses the seventh floor roof and many upstairs floors in the building.
Street level retail
Lower Level: PlayStation Theater
The Loews Astor Plaza movie theater originally occupied the building's public space below street level, accessible from West 44th St. It opened on June 26, 1974, and was New York's largest capacity cinema at 1,440 seats. The theater's single screen often drew large crowds on opening nights. It closed in 2004, making Clearview's Ziegfeld Theatre New York's largest cinema.
After a nine-month $21 million renovation, the space reopened as a music venue under the ownership of Anschutz Entertainment Group, currently known as PlayStation Theater (formerly Nokia Theatre Times Square and Best Buy Theater).
2010 car bombing attempt
On the evening of May 1, 2010, a failed car bomb was defused by the New York City Police Department on West 45th Street and Broadway near the northeastern corner of the building. The authorities briefly investigated a possible connection between the bomb and the 200th episode of Comedy Central's South Park, which had included depictions of a man in a bear suit (labeled 'Bears') that the South Park kids pointed at, calling him Muhammad. The attempt was traced to Faisal Shahzad, a 30-year-old Pakistan-born resident of Bridgeport, Connecticut, who had become a U.S. citizen in April 2009.
- Staff. "News of the Realty Trade; Astor Plaza Lease Signed", The New York Times, December 13, 1970. Accessed April 15, 2016.
- Sisario, Ben (18 August 2010). "Best Buy Takes Its Brand to a Times Square Theater". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 August 2011.
- "Best Buy Theater Is Now the PlayStation Theater". Billboard. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
- "Suspicious car leads to closure of Times Square". CNN. May 2, 2010. Archived from the original on May 2, 2010. Retrieved May 2, 2010.
- "Police Won't Rule Out 'South Park' Link in Times Square Bomb Attempt". Fox News. 3 May 2010.
- William K. Rashbaum; Mark Mazzetti & Peter Baker (May 4, 2010). "Arrests in Pakistan Widen Bombing Case". New York Times. Archived from the original on May 7, 2010. Retrieved May 14, 2010.
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