New MoMA Tower to Rival Chrysler Building’s Height

A new planned skyscraper next-door to MoMA, designed by Jean Nouvel, could bring a bit of architectural variety to the skyline along Sixth Avenue, known for its boxy, giant modernist towers.

The tower, revealed today by New York Times architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff, would rise to a staggering 75 stories on 54th Street just east of Sixth Avenue, tapering from a small base lot to an even smaller peak. Apartments and a hotel will occupy the building, according to the Times.

Back in December, the Museum of Modern Art sold the parcel of land to Gerald Hines for $125 million. At the time, a source who worked on the deal told The Observer that Mr. Hines would build a “glass box” for MoMA. The glass box will be nearly as tall as the Chrysler Building.

Of course, according to the Times story, MoMA will get only about 40,000 square feet of gallery space, but that should go far in assuaging critics who say that when MoMA redesigned it built too small.

“They built beautiful, but too small,” the art critic Jerry Saltz told The Observer back in December. “It’s really the greatest collection of modern art in the world, and it’s somewhat tragic that they really can’t show enough of it.”