Foster to Replace 270 Park Avenue
7. November 2018
The base of JPMorgan Chase at 270 Park Avenue (Photo: John Hill/World-Architects)
JPMorgan Chase has selected Foster + Partners to design a 2.5 million-square-foot skyscraper to replace its for its current 1.5 million-square-foot corporate headquarters at 270 Park Avenue in Midtown Manhattan.
In February 2018 JPMorgan Chase announced its intention to demolish its 52-story tower designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill in the early 1960s, making it the largest purposely demolished building in history. Given that 270 Park Avenue is not a NYC landmark (unlike the bank's earlier SOM-designed tower in Lower Manhattan) and that it sits in an area recently rezoned for more height and floor area, there is nothing to stop the bank from tearing down and building taller — up to 1,200 feet, or 500 feet taller than the current building.
Per the story last week at Bloomberg, which commissioned Foster + Partners for its London HQ, Norman Foster's firm has been hired to design the replacement tower for 270 Park Avenue. Foster is no stranger to Park Avenue, the wide thoroughfare north of Grand Central Terminal that is the main axis of the Midtown East rezoning: he is designing 425 Park Avenue, under construction just a few blocks north of Chase. Bloomberg did not have any details on Foster's design.
Many architects, critics, and preservationists have spoken out about the need to protect 270 Park Avenue, which was designed by SOM's Natalie Griffin de Blois and is therefore a rare and notable work of modern architecture attributed to a woman. But the Landmarks Preservation Commission does not appear interested in considering landmark status for the building, and the bank is moving forward with obtaining air rights for its future building. So all signs point to the imminent demolition of 270 Park Avenue — and seeing what Foster + Partners has in mind to replace it.