New York City has approved the construction of a skyscraper just blocks away from the Empire State Building that will tower almost to the beloved icon's height. The Empire State Building's owners petitioned the city not to approve the rival tower, claiming it would diminish the status of New York's most famous skyscraper. Despite its planning victory, 15 Penn Plaza is unlikely to be built for several years. Should it be built at all? (See the view from the top of the Empire State Building)
This building will ruin New York's iconic skyline: "What an example of shortsightedness," says Jon Gethner in a letter published in The New York Times. This "ill-considered plan" is the greatest affront to the city since the old Penn Station was torn down. "Anyone who sees the inspiring skyline" when approaching from New Jersey "cannot help but weep" at this proposal.
"A skyscraper to rival the Empire State Building"
Cities evolve, and we shouldn't turn New York into a museum: The New York skyline should not be preserved forever "like a bug cast in amber," says an editorial in the New York Post. "Great cities are organic," changing with the lives of the people who live in them. To protect a tower simply to conserve the view would be "NIMBY-ism gone mad."
"New York's living skyline"
By all means build something there — just not this eyesore: It's not so much the building's location that concerns me, says Dennis Holt at the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, but its "appearance." The fact is, "the proposed building stinks, it is boring, and it shouldn't be located anywhere, even New Jersey." If we are going to build a tower to compete with the Empire State Building, "let's do it right."
"Proposed 15 Penn Plaza: Not worthy of our great city"