Trump Tower (New York City)

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For other buildings of the same name, see Trump Tower.
Trump Tower
Trump tower.jpg
Trump Tower viewed from Fifth Avenue
General information
Status Complete
Type retail, office, and residential
Location 725 Fifth Avenue
Manhattan, New York City
Coordinates 40°45′45″N 73°58′27″W / 40.76250°N 73.97417°W / 40.76250; -73.97417Coordinates: 40°45′45″N 73°58′27″W / 40.76250°N 73.97417°W / 40.76250; -73.97417
Construction started 1979
Completed 1983
Opening November 30, 1983
Owner Donald Trump
Roof 202 m (663 ft)
Technical details
Floor count 88
Design and construction
Architect Der Scutt
Developer Donald Trump
Structural engineer Irwin Cantor

Trump Tower is a mixed-use skyscraper located at 725 Fifth Avenue between East 56th Street and East 57th Street in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. Developed by Donald Trump and the Equitable Life Assurance Company (renamed the AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company in 2004), it is owned by Donald Trump, and was designed by Der Scutt of Swanke Hayden Connell. The ground floor stores in the tower were opened for business on November 30, 1983. The grand opening of the atrium and stores was held on February 14, 1983, with the apartments and offices following shortly thereafter. HRH Construction was the contractor on the building and the construction executive was Barbara Res.[1]


Trump Tower was constructed on the former site of the Bonwit Teller flagship store, an architecturally renowned building demolished by Trump in 1980.[2] Trump had claimed that valuable 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, would be donated to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. However, the sculptures ended up being destroyed, with Trump citing safety and general hazard concerns,[3] expense, and a possible 10-day construction delay due to the difficulty of removing them as the reasons.[2][4] The building's decorative grille, supposedly transported to a New Jersey warehouse, was never recovered.[4] Architect Der 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".[4]

The atrium of the building

Trump Tower is the 57th tallest building in New York City. The tower is a reinforced concrete, shear-wall core structure and was the tallest structure of this type in New York City when completed. A concrete hat-truss at the top of the building 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 (wind, minor earthquakes, and impacts perpendicular to the building’s height). A similar structure was used for Trump World Tower.

Ordinarily a building of that height could not have been built on the small site. By mixing uses (retail, office, and residential), constructing a through-block arcade (connecting to the IBM building to the east), and using the air rights from Tiffany’s flagship store next door, and including the atrium, which was designed as a “public space” under the city codes at the time, Trump was able to assemble a bonus package that enabled a taller tower.

The building’s public spaces are clad in Breccia Pernice, a pink white-veined marble. Mirrors and brass are used throughout. This includes the office lobby, off Fifth Avenue, and the five-level atrium which has a waterfall, shops, cafés, and a pedestrian bridge that crosses over the waterfall’s pool. The atrium is crowned with a skylight. In 2006, Forbes Magazine valued the tower at $318 million. 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 is actually a television studio set inside Trump Tower.


Journalist David Cay Johnston questioned the particular use of concrete, and suggested there was a connection with organized crime.[5]

Trump testified in 1990 he was unaware that 200 undocumented Polish immigrants, some of whom lived at the site during a transit strike and worked round-the-clock shifts (for which they were allegedly paid $4 and $5 per hour off-the-book wages, if at all), were involved in the destruction of the former Bonwit Teller building and Trump Tower project.[6] Trump said that he rarely visited the demolition site[6] and never noticed the laborers, who were known as the "Polish Brigade" and who were visually distinct for their lack of hard hats.[7] A labor consultant and FBI informant, separately convicted on tax evasion charges, testified that Trump was aware of the illegal workers' status.[6] In testimony, Trump admitted that he and an executive used the pseudonym "John Baron" in some of his business dealings,[6] although Trump claimed that he did not do so until years after Trump Tower was constructed.[7] A labor lawyer testified that he was threatened over the phone with a $100 million lawsuit by someone using that name from the Trump Organization.[7] ("Lots of people use pen names", Trump quipped to a reporter. "Ernest Hemingway used one."[7]) Filed in 1983, the class-action lawsuit over unpaid labor union pension and medical obligations 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.[8] The lawsuit was ultimately settled in 1999, with its records sealed.[7]

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,[9] a lawyer speaking for Trump's organization stated in January 2016 the kiosks would be removed in two to four weeks' time, prior to an expected court ruling.[10]

Present and past tenants[edit]

Trump Tower seen from the entrance
Christmas tree in the lobby, December 2014

Appearance in Film[edit]

The tower served as the location for Wayne Enterprises in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises.[16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Rubin, Sy, and Jonathan Mandell. Trump Tower. Secaucus, N.J.: L. Stuart, 1984
  2. ^ a b Gray, Christopher (October 3, 2014). "The Store That Slipped Through the Cracks". The New York Times. Retrieved August 22, 2015. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b c Leccese, Michael (July 1, 1980). "New York City Trumped: Developer Smashes Panels". Preservation News. Retrieved August 22, 2015. 
  5. ^ Johnston, David Cay (July 10, 2015). "21 Questions For Donald Trump". The National Memo. Retrieved August 5, 2015. 
  6. ^ a b c d Baquet, Dean (July 13, 1990). "Trump Says He Didn't Know He Employed Illegal Aliens". The New York Times. Retrieved August 23, 2015. 
  7. ^ a b c d e Daly, Michael (July 8, 2015). "Trump Tower Was Built On Undocumented Workers' Backs". The Daily Beast. Retrieved August 24, 2015. 
  8. ^ Raab, Selwyn (June 14, 1998). "After 15 Years in Court, Workers' Lawsuit Against Trump Faces Yet Another Delay". The New York Times. Retrieved August 24, 2015. 
  9. ^ Barbanel, Josh. "Trump and New York City Spar Over Access to Tower Lobby". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2015-12-11. 
  10. ^ Chaban, Matt A. V. (January 28, 2016). "Trump Tower to Remove Disputed Kiosks From Public Atrium". The New York Times. Retrieved January 30, 2016. 
  11. ^ Woodruff, Betsy; Mak, Tim (September 30, 2015). "Trump Tower: Dictators’ Home Away From Home". The Daily Beast. Retrieved September 30, 2015. 
  12. ^ a b Amanda Julius (22 July 2010). "In Deed! Art Dealer Expands in Trump Tower; Vanity Fair Articles Editor Buys in Chelsea". The New York Observer. Retrieved 18 June 2015. 
  13. ^ a b Cindy Boren (27 May 2015). "Ex-FIFA official had $6,000-a-month Trump Tower apartment for unruly cats". The Washington Post. Retrieved 18 June 2015. 
  14. ^ "Cristiano se compra un loft en la Torre Trump" [Cristiano buys a loft in Trump Tower]. El Mundo (in Spanish). 2015-08-18. Retrieved 2016-02-01. 
  15. ^ Alessandra Corrêa (4 November 2015). "Conheça o luxuoso endereço em NY onde Marin cumpre prisão domiciliar". Folha de S. Paulo. Retrieved 4 November 2015. 
  16. ^
  • Rubni, Sy (October 1984). Trump Tower (1st ed.). Lyle Stuart. 
  • Gardener, Ralf Jr (May 8, 2003). "For Tower Residents, a New Math". The New York Times. 
  • Horsley, Carter B. "The City Book: Trump Tower". 
Further reading
  • Dirk Stichweh: New York Skyscrapers. Prestel Publishing, Munich 2009, ISBN 3-7913-4054-9
  • Barbara A. Res PE Esq. "All Alone on the 68th Floor: How one Woman Changed the Face of Construction" Createspace Publishing, New Jersey, July 2013

External links[edit]

Media related to Trump Tower (Manhattan) at Wikimedia Commons