Shadows are now creeping across Central Park to preserve the views of the ultra-rich

Billionaire-Building Shadows Creep Across Central Park; ‘Olmsted and Vaux Would Not Be Happy’

The New York skyline has resumed its ascent in recent years, with several ultra-luxe residential buildings climbing into the sky. Activists have tried to get the city to slow this rise, in part because of the shadows that the new buildings cast.

Photographer Andrew Brucker captured the effect of one of those buildings in a photograph on Thursday. Central Park Tower at 100 West 57th Street is expected to eventually rise 1550 feet, becoming the world’s tallest residential building. It’s still under construction, but Brucker took a picture of the shadow it cast on Sheep Meadow.

“I stood in the Sheep Meadow on November 8, 2018 and was dismayed by the shocking shadow that this building cast over this cherished piece of pastoral bliss. And it’s not even finished. I took this photo at 2:09 P.M. and though the shadow moved quickly across the meadow it nevertheless made me feel very angry at the disregard for those of us who love our park. The Park’s designers — Olmsted and Vaux — would not be happy. Change is not always progress.”

The Municipal Arts Society has documented the expected impact of several such towers throughout the city.

A slide from the Municipal Arts Society. Click to enlarge.

Activists have tried to get the mayor to slow the trend, to little avail.

Meanwhile, sales have already begun at Central Park Tower.

2 thoughts on “Shadows are now creeping across Central Park to preserve the views of the ultra-rich

  1. In Japan, where I live, neighbors are consulted and must agree on allowing new structures to be built. Shadows are taken into consideration. In San Diego, empty land often has large poles placed in the shape of proposed new structures which needs to get approval by neighbors.


    1. Unfortunately, the south side of Central Park didn’t have tall buildings until suddenly they did, in bulk. And the shade factor simply wasn’t considered when many of the projects were approved. Now it may be too late for the governmental policy or neighborhood people to object.


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