270 Park Avenue

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JPMorgan Chase Tower
270 Park Avenue (WTM by official-ly cool 100).jpg
Main facade of 270 Park Avenue in 2008.
Former namesUnion Carbide Building
General information
Location270 Park Avenue, Manhattan, New York, NY 10017, United States
Construction started1950[1]
Demolished2019 (planned, for construction of new building)
Antenna spire707.01 ft (215.50 m)
Technical details
Floor count52
Floor area2,400,352 sq ft (223,000.0 m2)
Design and construction
ArchitectGordon Bunshaft Skidmore, Owings and Merrill

270 Park Avenue (also known as the JPMorgan Chase Tower and formerly the Union Carbide Building) is a high-rise office building located in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. It was designed by Gordon Bunshaft and Natalie de Blois for Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.


Hotel Marguery[edit]

The address 270 Park Avenue was previously occupied by a 6-building complex which formed the 12-story, stone-clad Renaissance Revival Hotel Marguery built in 1917 by New York developer Charles V. Paterno.[1][2] New York Central Railroad owned the land underneath the project since building the nearby Grand Central Terminal.[3] The buildings were centered around a 250-foot long Italian Garden which occupied the center of the block.[4] When the building was first constructed, Vanderbilt Avenue passed through the center of the buildings where the garden was eventually built. After the street was closed, the hotel built a 60 feet (18 m) tall carriage arch which allowed private access to the courtyard.[4] The buildings contained 29 stores, 180 long-term apartments, and 110 luxury suites which ranged from 6 to 16 rooms apiece.[3]

At one point around the 1930s, Nikola Tesla took out rooms at the Hotel Marguery.[5] In June 1945, a wealthy textile executive named Albert E. Langford was shot to death in the hallway outside of his apartment on the seventh floor of the Hotel Marguery.[6] In September 1947, the NYPD busted an illegal underground gambling ring in the hotel, arresting 11 men.[7]

The tenants of the Marguery Hotel hired New York prosecutor Peter McCoy in 1947 as their attorney to oppose the destruction of the buildings. McCoy had previously prosecuted stockbrokers for the government before entering private practice.[8] The tenants appealed to the New York City Council to oppose the demolition.[9] In 1948, the hotel closed as it had lost its luster and was reportedly "heavily populated by ladies of the night and by gambling outfits.”[10]

Time Inc.[edit]

Plans for a replacement to the Hotel Marguery had first surfaced in 1944, when William Zeckendorf's Webb and Knapp planned a new 34-story building.[3][11] In the late 1940s, Time Inc. had an option to purchase the property and build a new headquarters for the company.[10] The company planned a 39-story, 1,000,000 square feet (93,000 m2) building which was approved in June 1947, despite the protests of the hotel tenants.[3] Time would have occupied 350,000 square feet (33,000 m2) of the space as its new world headquarters. At $23 million, the project was expected to be the largest private construction project in Manhattan since the end of World War II.[3]

Union Carbide Building[edit]

Chemical company Union Carbide purchased the site in 1955 to serve as its world headquarters and tore down the hotel by 1957.[10][4] Gordon Bunshaft and Natalie de Blois designed a skyscraper for Skidmore, Owings & Merrill for the address, which was completed in 1961. For almost 50 years, it maintained the distinction of being the tallest woman-designed building in the world.

The first 700 Union Carbide employees moved into the building in April 1960.[12] By the building's completion, Union Carbide occupied 41 floors home to over 4,000 employees. Other early tenants in the building included management consulting firm McKinsey & Company, who occupied 64,000 square feet (5,900 m2) of space.[13] In 1976, Union Carbide purchased the land beneath the building from the bankrupt Penn Central Transportation Company for $11 million.[14] The building continued to serve as the headquarters for Union Carbide until the company moved to Danbury, Connecticut in 1981.[15]

Manufacturers Hanover Trust[edit]

In June 1978, Manufacturers Hanover Trust purchased the building for $110 million with plans to move its world headquarters to the building in 1980.[14] In the early 1980s, the company spent $75 million to renovate the building into its world headquarters.[16] The changes including removing the mezzanine level (which had served as an industrial products display for Union Carbide) to create a double-height lobby, constructing two fountains in the plaza, and renovations of interior flooring, ceilings, and fixtures. Following the renovations, Manufacturers Hanover Trust occupied the entire building with over 3,000 employees, other than 75,000 square feet (7,000 m2) on the sixth and seventh floors which was leased to a Japanese importer.[16]

JPMorgan Chase[edit]

The building is currently the world headquarters for JPMorgan Chase, as successor to Manufacturers Hanover Trust through Chemical Bank.[17] The building is 707 feet (215 m) tall and contains 52 floors.[1] In 2012, it was announced that 270 Park had achieved Platinum LEED status following what was then the largest such renovation in history.[18]

Future plans[edit]

The building in February 2019 with scaffolding attached.

In February 2018, JPMorgan announced they would demolish the current building on site to make way for a newer building that will be 500 feet (150 m) taller than the existing building. The tower would thus become the tallest voluntarily demolished building in the world, as well as the third-tallest ever to be destroyed, after the World Trade Center's Twin Towers. Demolition is expected to begin in early 2019, and the new building will be completed in 2024. The replacement 70-story headquarters will be able to fit 15,000 employees, whereas the current building fits 6,000 employees in a space that has a capacity of 3,500. The new headquarters is part of the East Midtown rezoning plan. Tishman Construction Corporation will be the Construction Manager of the project.[19]

In October 2018, JPMorgan announced that British architectural firm Foster + Partners would design the new building. The plans for the new building had grown to 1,400 feet (430 m), though the zoning envelope allowed for a structure as high as 1,566 feet (477 m).[20] However, this also raised concerns that the taller building would require deeper foundations that could interfere with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's East Side Access tunnels and the Grand Central Terminal's rail yards, which are directly underneath 270 Park Avenue.[21]

In popular culture[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "JPMorgan Chase Tower". Emporis.com. Retrieved September 13, 2014.
  2. ^ "Completing Big Apartment" (PDF). June 17, 1917.
  3. ^ a b c d e Cooper, Lee (June 4, 1947). "300 to be Ousted for New Building" (PDF). New York Times.
  4. ^ a b c "Final Razing Begins at Marguery Hotel" (PDF). New York Times. July 26, 1957.
  5. ^ Tesla Timeline - 923: Tesla Moves To Hotel Marguery
  6. ^ "Wealthy Textile Executive Killed in Park Avenue Mystery Shooting" (PDF). New York Times. June 5, 1945.
  7. ^ "Crooked 'Sucker' Set-Up Seized In Park Avenue Gambling Raid" (PDF). September 12, 1947.
  8. ^ "Peter J. M'Coy, 70, Former U.S. Aide". The New York Times. New York City, New York. July 19, 1958. p. 15. Retrieved April 12, 2017.
  9. ^ "500 Hotel Tenants Act to Bar Eviction" (PDF). New York Times. June 20, 1947.
  10. ^ a b c Pollak, Michael (July 15, 2007). "Shutting It Off, Already". New York Times.
  11. ^ Gray, Christopher (May 14, 1989). "Is It Time to Redevelop Park Avenue Again?". New York Times.
  12. ^ "Union Carbide Starts Moving to 270 Park" (PDF). New York Times. April 19, 1960.
  13. ^ "Tenant Enlarges Park Ave. Office" (PDF). New York Times. July 4, 1963.
  14. ^ a b Milletti, Mario (June 29, 1978). "Manufacturers Hanover to Buy Union Carbide's Building". New York Times.
  15. ^ Tomasson, Robert (September 27, 1981). "AN INDUSTRIAL GIANT RELOCATES ITS EXTENDED FAMILY". New York Times.
  16. ^ a b Goodman, George (October 30, 1983). "MANUFACTURERS HANOVER REMODELS ITS SKYSCRAPER". New York Times.
  17. ^ Carter B. Horsley. "The Midtown Book". The City Review. Retrieved February 21, 2018.
  18. ^ "JPMorgan Chase Achieves LEED® Platinum Green Building Certification for Newly Renovated Global Headquarters in New York City". BusinessWire. January 18, 2012. Retrieved December 1, 2017.
  19. ^ Bagli, Charles V. (February 21, 2018). "Out With the Old Building, in With the New for JPMorgan Chase". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved February 22, 2018.
  20. ^ Fedak, Nikolai (November 12, 2018). "270 Park Avenue's Replacement Will Rise 1,400 Feet in Midtown East, Manhattan". New York YIMBY. Retrieved December 15, 2018.
  21. ^ "JPMorgan tower could interfere with MTA megaproject". Crain's New York Business. December 13, 2018. Retrieved December 15, 2018.
  22. ^ Pryor, Thomas M. (May 11, 1947). "MANHATTAN DOUBLES AS MOVIE SET; Henry Hathaway Looks For Realism and Finds It Here". The New York Times. Retrieved January 16, 2019.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°45′21″N 73°58′31″W / 40.7558°N 73.9754°W / 40.7558; -73.9754