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"Hearst Tower" Top 5 Page for this destination Hearst Tower Tip by toonsarah

Hearst Tower, New York City: 4 reviews and 7 photos

  Hearst Tower: detail
by toonsarah
  • Hearst Tower: detail - New York City
      Hearst Tower: detail
    by toonsarah
  • Hearst Tower: atrium waterfall - New York City
      Hearst Tower: atrium waterfall
    by toonsarah
  • Hearst Tower - New York City
      Hearst Tower
    by toonsarah

When we were in New York in September 2008, the Norman Foster-designed Hearst Tower was the newest addition to the city’s roll call of skyscrapers – the first skyscraper to break ground in the city after 9/11 (in fact Norman Foster was presenting his plans to the Hearst Corporation Board on that very day). This 46 storey addition to the 1920’s six storey Art Deco Hearst newspaper empire HQ opened just two years ago in 2006, arguably almost eighty years after it should have done. Apparently William Randolph Hearst had envisioned a soaring tower atop the six-story base, but thanks to the Depression the extra floors were never built – until now.

I have a particular fondness for any buildings that successfully combine traditional and very modern elements (think open-space living in lofts, or barn conversions) so this clash of ornamental stone and gleaming glass and steel greatly appealed to me. Foster has used the original 1928 building as a pedestal on which to mount his tower, and I loved the fact that he allowed the two to conflict with each other rather than try to make them blend seamlessly.

The tower is also quite revolutionary in design, being the first in North America to have no vertical steel beams. The huge triangular windows not only give most workers almost uninterrupted views and daylight wherever they sit, they also allowed the builders to reduce the use of steel compared to a more conventional building of this size by about 20%. This is the first building in the city to receive a gold award for its environmentally friendly design. 90% of the steel contains recycled materials; 26% less energy was used in its construction than a standard building of similar size; the roof collects rainwater to use for the cooling system, to irrigate plants and in the lobby’s fountain; and light sensors react to natural light and switch off unnecessary artificial lighting.

Wandering into the lobby I was impressed by the fact that an attractively illustrated brochure about the building was freely available. I also loved the dramatic “fountain” (actually more like a waterfall) which cleverly updates the 1920s atrium area while remaining in keeping with its more traditional style. From here escalators ascend to the new upper floors (out of bounds of course to casual sightseers) but as the lobby is enclosed under a glass roof you can see the tower soaring above you like a giant greenhouse – stunning!

Address: Corner of West 57th and 8th Avenue
Directions: Near Columbus Circle – nearest subway station is 59th St / Columbus Circle (lines A, B, C, D and 1)
Phone: (212) 903-5000

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Nov 12, 2008
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