The Accidental Skyline: 2013

October 23, 2013

This report by The Municipal Art Society of New York addresses the issues surrounding tall buildings and their influence on the scarce open spaces in New York—particularly West 57th Street and Central Park.

Download Report
2013 Accidental Skyline Report
The Accidental Skyline: 2013

Change and development are essential to retaining New York City’s dynamism. Over the years many of the city’s most iconic buidlings have been constructed as-of-rgith, some to great acclaim, others to significant criticism. But because of advances in building technology and changes in the real estate market extraordinarily tall buildings are now being built around some of our most important open spaces, raising a great deal of public concern.

The size and scale of the as-of-right buildings going up on and around 57th Street deserve particular attention because of their proximity to Central Park. Individually, the towers may not have a significant effect; however their collective impact has not been considered.

MAS has undertaken a series of shadow studies to show the serious impact these new luxury towers will have along the southern end of Central Park, blocking views of the sky from a number of locations within the park and shrouding the carousel, ball fields, zoo, and other popular features in shadow throughout the day.

Central Park and New York City’s other open spaces are critical to the economic health of the city and to the well-being of its residents. The mixed skyline along the edges of Central Park is one of the park’s defining and most memorable features. The solution is not to landmark this skyline, but to find a way to ensure that the public has a voice when our skyline and open spaces are affected by new development and to require careful analysis to help inform the decision-making process.

Planning House Ad

Help us continue our planning advocacy work on behalf of New York City and all of its residents for another 125 years.

Become a member Donate