Trump Tower (New York City)
Trump Tower viewed from Fifth Avenue
|Type||Retail, office, and residential|
|Location||725 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10022
|Opening||November 30, 1983|
|Roof||202 m (664 ft)|
|Floor count||58 actual stories; top story is numbered 68|
|Design and construction|
|Architect||Der Scutt; Poor, Swanke, Hayden & Connell|
|Structural engineer||Irwin Cantor|
Trump Tower is a 58-story mixed-use skyscraper located on Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. Designed by Der Scutt of Poor, Swanke, Hayden & Connell and developed by Donald Trump and the Equitable Life Assurance Company (renamed the AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company in 2004), Trump Tower serves as the headquarters for The Trump Organization and houses the primary penthouse condominium residence of Donald Trump. The building broke ground in 1979, with the atrium, apartments, offices, and stores opening at a staggered schedule from February to November 1983.
Designed by Der Scutt, the Trump Tower was constructed on the former site of the Bonwit Teller flagship store, an architecturally renowned building that was built in 1929. The building was bought by Trump in 1979, with the intention of building the city's "first super-luxury high rise." The Trump Organization demolished the store at Fifth Avenue and 56th Street and began erecting the Trump Tower there. HRH Construction was the contractor on the building. Barbara Res, who had worked on some of Trump's other projects and then worked as a consultant for Trump until 1996, was the construction executive; at the time, Res was one of the only women who had been assigned to oversee a major New York City construction site.
The building is located in a special zoning district that spans Fifth Avenue between 38th and 58th Streets. Ordinarily, a building of that height could not have been built on the small site. However, the building was approved partially because it was mixed-use, with retail, office, and residential uses. The Trump Organization also constructed a through-block arcade, connecting to IBM's 590 Madison Avenue tower to the east, and purchased the air rights from the Tiffany’s flagship store next door for $5 million. The tower's five-story atrium, which was designed as a “public space” under the city codes at the time, enabled the Trump Organization to build a taller tower, though the plans also stipulated that a landscaped terrace be built. At the time, the building was the only skyscraper on Fifth Avenue with its own retail space.
As originally planned, the tower would have sixty stories consisting of 13 office floors, 40 condominium floors, and two floors for mechanical uses, but this was later amended. However, in the final plan, there was 26 office floors on the building's base, then another 39 condominium floors containing 270 condominiums from levels 30–69. Originally, it was estimated that it would take at $100 million to construct the tower. When the tower eventually opened, it had 58 stories, with the top story marked as "68."
In 1979, before construction had even begun, there was opposition to the construction of Trump Tower and other buildings in the area. The New York Committee For A Balanced Building Boom was concerned about the planned rezoning of the area that would arise due to the construction of high-rise towers along Fifth Avenue between 40th and 57th Streets.
Trump had originally intended for the Bonwit Teller building's Art Deco exterior limestone bas-relief sculptures of semi-nude goddesses, as well as the massive ornate 15' by 25' grille above the store's entrance, to be removed and be donated to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The museum appraised the sculptures at over $200,000. However, the sculptures ended up being destroyed because, according to Trump, there were general hazard concerns, expense, and a possible 10-day construction delay due to the difficulty of removing them. The building's decorative grille, supposedly transported to a New Jersey warehouse, was never recovered. Instead the sculptures and grilles became scrap metal, and several days later, Trump stated that he had ordered the destruction himself. Later in 1980, he boasted that the decor of his Grand Hyatt New York included "real art, not like the junk I destroyed at Bonwit Teller." One New York Times reporter condemned Trump's actions as "esthetic vandalism," and a spokesman for Mayor Ed Koch said Trump had failed his "moral responsibility to consider the interests of the people of the city”. Scutt was outraged by the destruction, having initially hoped to incorporate the goddess sculptures into the new building's lobby design; Trump had rejected the plan, preferring something "more contemporary." Robert Miller, the gallery owner who had appraised the pieces, lamented that such things would "never be made again," and Peter M. Warner, a researcher who worked across the street, called the destruction "regrettable."
During the tower's construction, there were several other controversies related to the construction process. In one case, Trump sued a contractor for "total incompetence." He was also involved in a disagreement with Mayor Koch about whether the tower should get a tax exemption. In 1985, Trump was one of the plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the New York State Court of Appeals concerning the payment of a 10% state tax in the event that a real estate property is transacted for $1 million or more. The tax on the Trump Tower was upheld in a 4 to 1 decision.
In 1983, a class-action lawsuit was filed against the Trump Organization, concerning unpaid labor union pension and medical obligations. Trump testified in 1990 he was unaware that 200 undocumented Polish immigrants, some of whom lived at the site during a 1980 transit strike and worked round-the-clock shifts, were involved in the destruction of the Bonwit Teller building and the Trump Tower project. Trump said that he rarely visited the demolition site and never noticed the laborers, who were known as the "Polish Brigade" and who were visually distinct for their lack of hard hats. A labor consultant and FBI informant testified that Trump was aware of the illegal workers' status. In testimony, Trump stated that he and an executive used the pseudonym "John Baron" in some of his business dealings, although Trump said that he did not do so until years after Trump Tower was constructed. A labor lawyer testified that he was threatened over the phone with a $100 million lawsuit by a John Baron who supposedly worked for the Trump Organization. ("Lots of people use pen names," Trump quipped to a reporter. "Ernest Hemingway used one.") The case went through several appeals and non-jury trials, and was at one point compared by a presiding judge to Jarndyce and Jarndyce, the seemingly unending case which forms the backbone of Charles Dickens' Bleak House. The lawsuit was ultimately settled in 1999, with its records sealed.
Trump was granted permission by the City of New York to build the top 20 stories of the building in exchange for operating the atrium as a public space, owned by the city. In the lobby of the building are two Trump merchandise kiosks (one of which replaced a long public bench) operating out of compliance with city regulations. The city issued a notice of violation in July 2015 demanding the bench be put back in place. Although the Trump Organization initially said that the violation was without merit, a lawyer speaking for Trump's organization stated in January 2016 that the kiosks would be removed in two to four weeks, prior to an expected court ruling.
In 2015, journalist David Cay Johnston questioned the particular use of concrete, and suggested there was a connection with organized crime. In 2016, Barbara Res, the tower's construction executive, recalled that the construction workers at the site, who were predominantly male, would not let her enter the site because she was a female. When Res was eventually allowed to enter the construction site, she found that someone was constantly painting obscene graffiti of herself and Ivana Trump at the site, even after these graffiti were initially painted over.
Opening and occupation
The grand opening of the atrium and stores was held on February 14, 1983, with the apartments and offices following shortly thereafter. The forty ground floor stores in the tower were opened for business on November 30, 1983. Despite the destruction of the Bonwit Teller store's building, the flagship store itself was able to keep operating at the site, having signed a lease for 80,000 square feet (7,400 m2) within the lower-levels shopping area. It remained as one of the Trump Tower's stores until 1990, when Bonwit Teller's parent company declared bankruptcy and closed the Trump Tower store. The Bonwit Teller was not the only store that departed from the Trump Tower location during this time; by 1986, between 15% and 20% of the tower's original stores had closed down or moved to another location. The rents were the highest of any building along Fifth Avenue at the time, with retail space in the atrium costing $450 per square foot ($4,800/m2) per year.
The residential units were more successful, and 95% of the condominiums were sold in the first four months after it opened, despite their high prices—the cost of condominiums at the tower started at $600,000 and ranged up to $12 million, attracting many rich and famous residents.
In 2006, Forbes magazine valued the 300,000 square feet (28,000 m2) of office spaces at up to $318 million; the tower itself was valued at $288 million, since the Trump Organization had a $30 million mortgage on the property. As of 2013[update], that mortgage had risen to $100 million.
August 2016 climbing incident
On August 9, 2016, a man posted a YouTube video in which he said that he was an independent researcher wishing to speak to Donald Trump. Identifying himself as a supporter of Trump's 2016 bid for the U.S. presidency, he stated that it was in Trump's "best interest" to talk to him, and said that he was ascending in order to draw the candidate's attention. During the video, the man, initially identified as "Steve from Virginia," did not face the camera and spoke in a flat, almost monotonic voice.
On August 10, 2016, a man, suspected to be the same man who had posted the YouTube video, climbed the outside of Trump Tower for about 15 floors, from the 5th to the 21st floors. The climber moved horizontally several times to evade police. The man was aid climbing using four industrial suction cups, any of which could have supported him and all of which were connected to the man's safety harness; he also had webbing to put his feet into and support his legs. He also carried a fifth suction cap hanging from behind. At least one witness called 9-1-1 at 3:30 p.m. to report that the man was climbing the tower. During the incident, the police attempted to "safely isolate" the climber, breaking a window on the 16th floor and removing two corner panels on the 21st floor to try to capture him. After climbing for 2 hours and 45 minutes, he was apprehended by the NYPD Emergency Service Units (ESU) at the 21st floor of the tower. Video of the climb was live streamed on Facebook more than 5.8 million times, with most of these views occurring while the climb was occurring.
According to the NYPD, while scaling the building, the man self-identified as 20-year-old Virginia resident Stephen Rogata, but subsequently informed authorities that he once used a different name. It was later found that he had changed his name in 2015, and was formally legally known as Michael Joseph Ryan. While taking Rogata into custody, the NYPD found that the man had several IDs on him. The NYPD were looking into his actual identity and attempting to ascertain if the YouTube video was actually of that same man. Rogata was arrested for endangerment and trespass and taken to Bellevue Psychiatric Hospital for evaluation. It was reported that he had taken the family car to drive to New York on Tuesday, then stayed at a hotel in the Bowery section of Lower Manhattan. Rogata's mother, who was abroad at the time of Rogata's climb, had said that in the past, he had been evaluated for some sort of mental disorder. He faced charges of criminal trespassing and reckless endangerment.
Trump was not at the site during the incident due to presidential campaign trail commitments, but Trump Organization's EVP, Michael Cohen, issued a statement condemning the "ridiculous and dangerous stunt." An NYPD spokesperson said that the police had concluded that Rogata might have had "some type of mental disorder." Later, Trump posted on Twitter, "Great job today by the NYPD in protecting the people and saving the climber." On the day after the climb, the NYPD increased security presence outside the tower, manning some counterterrorism officers outside the building.
The 58-story Trump Tower is the 64th tallest building in New York City, at 664 feet (202 m) high. The tower, designed by Der Scutt of Poor, Swanke, Hayden & Connell, is a reinforced concrete, shear wall core structure and, at the time of its completion, was the tallest structure of its type in the city. The 28-sided structure, with a jagged facade, was intended to give the tower more windows. A concrete hat-truss at the top of the building, similar to one used in the Trump World Tower, ties exterior columns with the concrete core. This increases the effective dimensions of the core to that of the building in order to resist the overturning of lateral forces such as wind, minor earthquakes, and impacts perpendicular to the building’s height.
The building's main entrance is at Fifth Avenue, with a side entrance at 56th Street for "private use." Its public spaces are clad in Breccia Pernice, a pink white-veined marble. Four gold-painted elevators transport visitors from the lobby to higher floors; one elevator leads directly to the penthouse where the Trump family lives. Mirrors and brass are used throughout, with the apartments well furnished and the kitchens outfitted with "standard suburban" cabinets. This includes the office lobby, located off Fifth Avenue, and the five-level atrium which features a 60-foot-high (18 m) internal waterfall alongside the eastern wall spanned by a suspended walkway atop, shops, cafés, and a pedestrian bridge that crosses over the waterfall’s pool. The atrium is bedecked in marble, which has been described as "rosy and yellow," and is crowned with a skylight. Many of the apartments are well furnished, but some of the upper-floor commercial spaces come unfurnished, such as Donald J. Trump for President Inc.'s headquarters on the fifth floor.
There are stores selling Trump merchandise that are located in the atrium, some of which sell memorabilia for his 2016 presidential campaign; the proceeds from buying campaign merchandise, such as hats, go toward funding his campaign. Since the launch of Trump's presidential campaign in 2015, the number of visits to the tower have risen drastically, with many of the visitors being supporters of Trump's candidacy.
The building has been described as "no match for A.T.&T.'s stateliness," with a New York Times reporter contrasting the "reflective" Trump Tower with the nearby, postmodern 550 Madison Avenue building then occupied by AT&T. Although another writer described the tower as “preposterously lavish” and “showy, even pretentious,” the atrium's design was well received, with one commenter saying that it was New York City's "most pleasant interior public space" to be built in recent history.
Trump Tower was the setting of the NBC television show The Apprentice, including the famous boardroom where at least one person was fired at the end of each episode. The boardroom, which was prominently featured in the television show, incorporates a fully functional television studio set inside Trump Tower.
- Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. (headquarters of the 2016 Donald Trump presidential campaign), on the fifth floor
- Residence of Donald Trump and family, on the penthouse
- Offices of Donald Trump, on the 26th floor
- Gucci's flagship store, in ground retail
- CONCACAF (the administrators of soccer in North America, and Central America), on the 17th floor
- Bruce Willis
- Cristiano Ronaldo (Portuguese soccer player)
- José Maria Marin (former President of the Brazilian Football Confederation, currently under house arrest in his apartment).
- Chuck Blazer (former President of CONCACAF) lived in two apartments on the 49th floor, the second of which was occupied mainly by his cats.
- Prince Mutaib bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (Saudi royal)
- "Baby Doc" Duvalier (ex-dictator of Haiti)
- Andrew Lloyd-Webber
- Michael Jackson (performer), rented on the 63rd floor during summer 1984.
In popular culture
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Trump Tower (Manhattan).|
- Official website
- in-Arch.net: The Trump Tower
- Trump Tower at Structurae
- Trump Tower at Der Scutt Architect website