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In the 19th century, skyscrapers were defined by having an elevator, a metal frame and being more than 10 stories high. Now the race to the sky has been overtaken by W57th Street supertalls — matchstick-like buildings that tower over Central Park and bring derision from locals. Now, Summit One Vanderbilt is redefining that race to the sky in New York City — with fun, art, glass floors, mirrors, and a restroom with a view.

One Vanderbilt hosts the Summit experience. All Photos and Videos: Phil O’Brien

On October 21, the public will get the chance to take a bird’s eye — probably more helicopter-eye — view of the city from 1,201 feet, through a reflective experience that lets you hover above the Manhattan in glass-bottomed “levitation boxes”.

We took an above-the-scenes preview tour of the experience — this is what we saw after our journey of 1,000 feet in just over 40 seconds!

The first glimpse of New York after leaving the elevator is a reflective experience.
One Vanderbilt sits alongside the iconic Chrysler Building on E42nd Street.
Bryant Park and W42nd Street nestle below the Summit.
The tour is more than an observation platform. Looking over Hell’s Kitchen with “Clouds” by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama.
Part of the experience is playing with reflective balloons in a mirrored room high above the city.
Back to basics — the restrooms (if you don’t have company) offer a stunning view of the supertails and Central Park.
If there’s a view that makes you feel like you live in the greatest city in the world — this is it!
It’s not all square — there’s a reflective circular light well too.
Up at the top, you can view the supertails from Danny Meyer’s Union Square Events bar — with outdoor rooftop space.

“We have created a destination that offers an interactive experience that will be remembered for a lifetime with the best, amplified views in all of New York City,” said Marc Holliday, chairman and CEO of SL Green, who developed the building and concept. “Summit One Vanderbilt is awe-inspiring, magical and needs to be experienced to be understood.”

One Vanderbilt (with its spire) is, at 1,401ft, the city’s fourth-tallest building, coming only behind One World Trade Center and the two Billionaire Row supertails, Central Park Tower and 111 W57th Street.

YouTube video
Riding the all-glass elevator called Ascent that travels up the side of One Vanderbilt rising up to 1,210 feet.

The experience will open officially to the public on October 21. Tickets start at $39 — with the glass elevator ride costing an extra $20.

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1 Comment

  1. Ho- Hum…just another glass tower built quickly and cheap with no arches, gargoyles, turrets, stone.. reflecting natural light, only glare. What’s really disappointing is that it blocks the Chrysler Building while walking east on 42cd. It used to be that when you were walking east on 42cd street, at the end of a long row of glass you saw the Chrysler and you knew you were in New York City. All the angles in the world(you can’t make an arch with glass), won’t stop it from being another glass box. You can put lipstick on a pig but…..KB

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