Now that New York Times staffers are finally moving into the new tower at 620 Eighth Avenue, the gossip mill has started churning over who got the choicest digs.
The latest: Could it be that editorial-page editor Andrew Rosenthal’s new office is just as big as publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr.’s 16th-floor spread?
“Let’s kill that rumor now,” said Mr. Rosenthal. “It’s not. His is a slightly different geometry.”
Mr. Rosenthal was speaking about geometric shapes and sizes by phone on May 28, exactly one week after his staff took residence on the tower’s lucky 13th floor.
With the relocation from 229 West 43rd Street, Mr. Rosenthal was forced to give up his two-room suite that included, most importantly, a private bathroom.
Now: “My office is exactly the same size as [deputy editorial-page editor] Carla Robbins,” Mr. Rosenthal said.
The 13th-floor layout was hammered out before there were two deputies in the section; therefore, fellow deputy and e-mail etiquette guru David Shipley had to take a smaller office.
Besides the more futuristic changes—like the floor-to-ceiling windows with a cityscape view—there are other characteristics of the old building that definitely won’t be re-created.
For one, the reference library, which provided the tweedier, academic atmosphere of the editorial department, won’t be upstairs. A reduced portion of it will be moved to the tower’s basement.
(Many discarded books have been available on a cart at West 43rd for Times staffers to take. Mr. Rosenthal said he found one, titled Southern Norway, rather funny.)
In addition to the library, the editorial staff’s longtime floor mates—the Times Company Foundation, which includes the scholarship program—have been relegated to office space at the former New York Herald Tribune building, located nearby.
Fittingly, in these platform-agnostic days, a Web advertising operation will take up the other quarter of the 13th floor.
But a few Times relics may still be shipped over: Several stained-glass panels, currently located in the clerestories in the old editorial space, are expected to move, according to Mr. Rosenthal.
And while The Times’ big goodbye bash—“a kegger,” as Mr. Rosenthal put it—will take place on June 21, there have been some more intimate soirées.
On May 24, Times columnists past and present attended a sit-down dinner in the two-story event space, located on the 15th floor of the old building.
Mr. Sulzberger was there with his wife, Gail Gregg (and, incidentally, it was also the couple’s 32nd wedding anniversary). The Times publisher spoke to the roughly 38 attendees, including spouses and guests, who were seated at a handful of small tables.