Tallest Residential Building in NYC: Is it Lonely at the Top (or, Amazingly Awesome)?

Published on May 11, 2012

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Would you live at the top of the tallest residential building in NYC? Or do high floors (and their incredible views) give you a case of vertigo? Do you prefer to live closer to the clouds, or to remain grounded, so to speak, on a lower floor?

Full disclosure: the highest NYC rental apartment I've ever lived in was on the exceptionally unexciting fourth floor. Yes, obviously, over the years I've had the pleasure of spending time in some spectacular aeries, both private homes (party!), rooftop bars and such (party!), as well as the old Windows on the World, the Empire State Building and, the best public viewing spot going right now, The Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center.

But these were fleeting moments in an otherwise low-floor existence... which is maybe why I found these two recent articles--with plenty of photos-- about living the high life, in Manhattan's tallest residential buildings so much fun.

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New York Magazine, in fact, had a whole section on the city's most towering residential, um, towers, which included listings in the 18 highest NYC apartment buildings, all on at least the 40th floor, and one as high as the 75th floor, a four-bedroom stunner perched atop the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle, featuring 70 feet of windows facing Central Park (above).

Other spectacular vista-porn include a 72nd-floor two-bedroom on West 57th Street with views of "all of Central Park, and east and north to Yankee Stadium;" a three-bedroom over at the Bloomberg Tower which, though "only" on the 48th floor, makes up for its relative lack of height with its loft-like open interior and floor-to-ceiling windows (below); and this downtown jaw-dropper, a three-bedroom, 52nd-floor rental at Glenwood's Barclay Tower with some seriously envy-inducing river views, pictured at top.

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And after you're done coveting all of those views, check out the Wall Street Journal's sneak-preview look at the soon-to-be-available penthouse rental apartments (picture above) atop the 76-story New York by Gehry building on Spruce Street, the tallest residential building (for now!) in the Western Hemisphere (the second tallest NYC rental apartment building, by the way? The dual 60-story Silver Towers in Hell's Kitchen.). Of course, views (and, perhaps more important to a certain segment of New Yorkers, bragging rights) like this don't come cheap.

The three Manhattan luxury rental apartment penthouses that will come onto the market any day now will be listed at somewhere between $40,000 and $60,000 a month. Which means your one-year lease will set you back nearly three-quarters of a million dollars which, as the Journal points out, is enough for a down payment on virtually any luxury condo in town. Is it worth it? Who can say! The views are pretty amazing, though.

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