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Much has been made of New York’s 57th Street. It’s the most luxurious street in the world; more houses were bought for north of $25 million in the last five years on Billionaire’s Row than on any other road globally. It’s also rife with super-tall skyscrapers: Central Park Tower, 432 Park Avenue, and 111 West 57th Street are each taller than 1,300 feet, or about a quarter of a mile high.
Critics have bemoaned the mega-sized shadows these towers cast on Central Park, and others have noted that many owners in the buildings’ multi-million dollar residences may pay little-to-no property tax. Still others have highlighted the fact that the buildings continue to top out even as sales have slumped.
Few, though, have mentioned the exhilaration (and occasional terror) of actually being in an apartment at helicopter-height—these buildings are so tall that residents have reported occasionally being above the clouds.
So as the SHoP Architects-designed 111 West 57th Street nears completion, we strapped on a hard hat, steeled our nerves, and took a 91-story ride on an exterior hoist to film some see-it-to-believe it footage from 1,420 feet in the air with state-of-the-art virtual reality cameras loaned from Google. Watch the embedded video to learn more about the building’s history and gravity-defying engineering—its base is only 60 feet wide—and what life’s like at the very literal top of Manhattan real estate.