Initially, the Death Spire was to reach a colossal 1,250 feet. This elevation would have rivaled the Empire State Building and redefined the Midtown skyline. Met with criticism from Amanda Burden of the City Planning Commission, amongst others, the project’s plans were hacked down to 1,050 feet. The new building, now 7 stories less, will also include fewer hotel rooms than the first plan. The Museum of Modern Art, who sold the property to Hines, will be allotted three floors for gallery space.
Residential apartment space has been expanded in the new plan, and moved down a few floors, occupying floor 14 through 74. The apartments will vary in size, and include duplex and triplexes. A restaurant will occupy the ground floor of the 53rd street building. The profile of the tower will remain somewhat the same, just shorter, but still highlighting its unique angles. Instead of rising above the Midtown clutter, the tower will be more subtle, being noticeable but not dominating.
The previously controversial “crown” of the tower has also been scaled down in the new design. Some see the changes as a travesty against modern architecture, reducing its brilliance with its height reduction. Either way, the once shelved plans have become closer to being a reality, and the Torre Verre will add new allure to Midtown.