499 Park Avenue resembles a giant block of obsidian, perfect but for the even more perfect bluntings made to the corners of the obelisk. Running down one-third of the tower’s facade, the width of a single pane of glass, this is the one design flourish of the building. They were made with sculptor’s precision by the celebrated I.M. Pei some 31 years ago.
Inside, workers have been busy putting the finishing touches on the office duplex. The space atop this modernist ziggurat was being white-boxed, stripped back to its bare steel columns, a fresh coat of paint on the floors, grotty insulation still clinging here and there to a few beams. Light streamed in from all sides, the recently rechristened Ed Koch Bridge directly to the right down 59th Street, Central Park up and to the left. Everything had been cleaned and shined to make way for the brokers who would be streaming through the space, trying to find a new tenant for office space that had not been vacant since the building was finished in 1980.
The showstopper is the upper floor, where drop ceilings had been stripped out to expose a soaring 18-foot cathedral of steel and glass. It felt like Soho-on-Park. Read More