Trump Tower is a 58-story, 664-foot-tall (202 m) mixed-use skyscraper at 721–725 Fifth Avenue in the Midtown Manhattan neighborhood of New York City, between East 56th and 57th Streets. The building contains the headquarters for the Trump Organization, as well as the penthouse condominium residence of its developer, businessman and former U.S. president Donald Trump. Several members of the Trump family also live, or have resided, in the building. The tower stands on a plot where the flagship store of department-store chain Bonwit Teller was formerly located.
Der Scutt of Swanke Hayden Connell Architects designed Trump Tower, and Trump and the Equitable Life Assurance Company (now the AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company) developed it. Although it is in one of Midtown Manhattan’s special zoning districts, the tower was approved because it was to be built as a mixed-use development. Trump was permitted to add more stories to the tower in return for additional retail space and for providing privately owned public space on the ground floor, the lower level, and two outdoor terraces. There were controversies during construction, including the destruction of historically important sculptures from the Bonwit Teller store; Trump’s alleged underpaying of contractors; and a lawsuit that Trump filed because the tower was not tax-exempt.
Construction on the building began in 1979. The atrium, apartments, offices, and stores opened on a staggered schedule from February to November 1983. At first, there were few tenants willing to move into the commercial and retail spaces; the residential units were sold out within months of opening. After Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and subsequent election, the tower saw large increases in visitation, though security concerns required the area around the tower to be patrolled for several years.
Trump Tower is at 721–725 Fifth Avenue in the northern section of Midtown Manhattan, on the east side of Fifth Avenue between East 56th and 57th Streets. It is adjacent to the Tiffany & Co. flagship store to the north and 590 Madison Avenue to the east. Other nearby buildings include the LVMH Tower and Fuller Building to the northeast; the L. P. Hollander & Company Building to the north; the Bergdorf Goodman Building and Solow Building to the northwest; the Crown Building to the west; 712 Fifth Avenue and the townhouses at 10 and 12 West 56th Street to the southwest; and 550 Madison Avenue to the southeast.
The building’s main entrance is on Fifth Avenue, with a side entrance on 56th Street only for residents. On the sidewalk opposite the main entrance, there is a four-sided brown-and-beige clock, which was created by the Electric Time Company and is nearly 16 feet (4.9 m) tall. Retail outlets include Gucci’s flagship store at ground floor retail.
The 58-story Trump Tower was designed by Der Scutt of Swanke Hayden Connell Architects. Developed by real-estate developer and later U.S. president Donald Trump, it is 664 feet (202 m) high. The top story is marked as “68” because, according to Trump, the five-story-tall public atrium occupied the height of ten ordinary stories. However, several Bloomberg L.P. writers later determined that Trump’s calculations did not account for the fact the ceiling heights in Trump Tower were much taller than in comparable buildings, and the tower did not have any floors numbered 6–13. According to one author, the building may have as few as 48 usable stories. As of 2021, the building’s official owner is GMAC Commercial Mortgage, according to the New York City Department of City Planning.
Form and facade
The 28-sided massing was intended to give the tower more window exposure. The large number of sides arises from Trump Tower’s horizontal setbacks; this contrasts with other buildings, which typically have vertical setbacks. The exception is at the base, where the southwest corner has several stepped setbacks. The Trump Organization constructed terraces on the building’s setbacks in exchange for extra floor area. These were included as part of Trump’s agreement with the city during construction. There is a terrace on the fifth floor on the northern (57th Street) side of the building, with a smaller fourth-floor terrace on the southern (56th Street) side. The fifth-floor north-side terrace had several trees and a fountain, while the fourth-floor south-side terrace has little more than a few granite benches.
Above the main entrance is a logo with 34-inch-high (86 cm) brass capital letters in Stymie Extra Bold font, which reads “Trump Tower”. A concrete hat-truss at the top of the building, similar to one used in the Trump World Tower, ties exterior columns with the concrete core. This hat-truss increases the effective dimensions of the core to that of the building allowing the building to resist the overturning of lateral forces such as those caused by wind, minor earthquakes, and other impacts perpendicular to the building’s height.
The tower is a reinforced concrete shear wall core structure. At the time of its completion, it was the tallest structure of its type in the world. Trump Tower used 45,000 cubic yards (34,000 m3) of concrete and 3,800 tons of steelwork. The use of a concrete superstructure was in contrast to many other skyscrapers, which were built on steel frames. Scutt said a concrete frame was easier to build and was more rigid than a steel frame was. More specifically, it employed a concrete tube structure, which had been pioneered by Bangladeshi-American structural engineer Fazlur Rahman Khan in the 1960s.
Trump Tower has been described as one of the city’s least energy-efficient buildings per square foot. In 2017, Trump Tower’s Energy Star score was 44 out of 100, below the city’s overall median Energy Star score and lower than the 48 out of 100 score recorded in 2015. In May 2019 it was reported that eight of Trump’s buildings in New York City, including Trump Tower, failed to meet the city’s 2030 carbon emission standards, which were implemented as part of the city’s “Green New Deal“. The city threatened to fine Trump Organization for each year the infractions went unfixed.
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