Steel Versus Nature

The image is spectacular:  A ruptured crane boom set perfectly against the exposed steel of an iconic New York City residential development with the ferocity of Hurricane Sandy on full display.  As the tower curves dramatically toward its final expected height of 1005 feet, the fractured arm swirled dangerously in the wind 724 feet above midtown Manhattan.

Well versed in emergency situations, the NYPD quickly evacuated thousands of people from an area that includes upscale residential apartments, a luxury hotel and the famed Carnegie Hall.

The massive storm reached inland over 900 miles, but Sandy became most recognizable throughout the U.S. after she challeneged the ultra-exclusive One57 high rise.

New York developer Extell challenged Pritzker Architecture Prize winning architect Christian de Portzamparc to design One57 to give its residents the opportunity “to experience the magnitude of New York from a truly breathtaking vantage point.”  Apartment units above the five star Park Hyatt hotel, located at the base of One57, start at approximately $50 million.  The top nine floors of the tall, steel and glass building will be 10,000 square foot penthouses overlooking Central Park, and one duplex already sold for a reported $90 million.

Inside the top floor penthouse of One57

Chicago Metal Rolled Products supplied the structural steel fabricator with various sized beams rolled the “hardway” (against the strong axis) to a 66 foot, 2 inch radius for the curved sections accented by the crippled crane.  Calls to our customer the day after Sandy made landfall were eerily silent.  Given the damage to NY City’s infrastructure following the hurricane, it could be weeks before activity surrounding the building returns to normal.

Hurricane Sandy looming over New York City

Going forward, LendLease will have to work closely with the city of NY to determine the appropriate plan of action to ensure the safety of everyone in the area.  Ultimately, Pinnacle Industries will have to erect another crane to deconstruct the damaged one and to restart construction at the site.

Needless to say, a worldwide audience witnessed the epic battle between the heavyweight Hurricane Sandy and the champion property One57.


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