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One Chase Manhattan Plaza in the SkyscraperPage Database

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  #1  
Old Posted Mar 18, 2008, 11:21 PM
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Smile NEW YORK | Chase Manhattan Plaza | 813 FT / 248 M | 60 FLOORS | 1961

http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/20...landmark-lane/

A New York Grand Canyon Rides on Landmark Lane



A garden, filled with water, by the sculptor Isamu Noguchi, as seen from above 1 Chase Manhattan Plaza in a 1964 photograph.


By David W. Dunlap
March 18, 2008


“New York’s newest landmark” was how The New York Times described 1 Chase Manhattan Plaza on the morning after the sleek, aluminum-and-glass-skinned tower opened in May 1961 as headquarters of the recently minted Chase Manhattan Bank.

The description will fit perfectly again this year, as the Landmarks Preservation Commission intends — with the bank’s assent — to designate the “shimmering” building an official landmark. (The surprising news may be that it isn’t one already.)

And 1 Chase Manhattan Plaza’s plaza, a dramatic canyon among the financial district cliffsides, was renamed Tuesday in honor of David Rockefeller, the former chairman of Chase and the man most closely identified with the bank tower.

This is all by way of marking the 50th anniversary of the Downtown-Lower Manhattan Association, of which Mr. Rockefeller was chairman and prime moving force, in what he has called an early effort “to breathe life into a moribund downtown.”

New Yorkers of a certain age will detect a paradox in celebrating the association with a landmark designation, since the group was a forceful opponent of the original landmarks law in 1965. And its first redevelopment proposal, 50 years ago, called for the demolition of hundreds of old buildings in what would later become four officially protected historic districts: South Street Seaport, TriBeCa North, TriBeCa South and TriBeCa West.

The proposal was developed by the architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, which also designed 1 Chase Manhattan Plaza.

How the half centuries fly!

Robert R. Douglass, the current chairman of the Downtown-Lower Manhattan Association (and a longtime associate of the Rockefeller family), certainly believes that landmark status is warranted for 1 Chase Manhattan Plaza, where he has worked since 1971; both for Chase and at the law firm Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy.

“It lives very well,” Mr. Douglass said. “It has a universal, almost timeless, appeal.”

In 1996, JPMorgan Chase & Company moved its headquarters to 270 Park Avenue, the former Union Carbide Building, which was also designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. But it still occupies about 70 percent of the two million square feet at 1 Chase Manhattan Plaza, mainly with its treasury and security services divisions. There is still a large Chase branch there.

Frank J. Bisignano, the chief administrative officer, said in a statement: “JPMorgan Chase is pleased that the Landmarks Preservation Commission is recognizing 1 Chase Manhattan Plaza for consideration as an historic landmark.”

Although Mr. Rockefeller’s 17th-floor office was renovated out of existence, the 60-story tower has never been rebranded. “Since the doors of the 1 Chase Manhattan Plaza building opened,” said Darlene R. Taylor, a spokeswoman, “the building has maintained that address and name.”

The preservation commission said in a statement released Tuesday that the building is “among New York City’s most important mid-20th-century skyscrapers,” crediting Gordon Bunshaft of Skidmore “for the building’s elegant and yet powerful design, which incorporates a latticework of delicate mullions and thicker perimeter columns that rise without interruption for more than 800 hundred feet.” It was the sixth tallest building in the world on its completion.

Although the commission has not voted on the measure, its willingness to discuss the pending designation so publicly, particularly one with the owner’s stated approval, makes it all but a sure bet. After all, 1 Chase Manhattan Plaza was a landmark from the first day.






The aluminum and glass facade rose without setback in sheer walls 813 feet high, making 1 Chase Manhattan Plaza the sixth tallest building in the world at the time. (All five taller buildings were also in Manhattan.)




The blazing monolith stood in stark contrast with the slender pinnacles that composed the downtown skyline. Not every critic was pleased. But the building's drama, especially at twilight, was undeniable.




Even today, the silvery curtain wall of 1 Chase Manhattan Plaza can catch the eye as it emerges from dark masonry canyons.




A delightful counterpoint to the rigid geometries of the building, by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, is the monumental sculpture, "A Group of Four Trees" by Jean Dubuffet, which was installed on the plaza in 1972.




Windows in the main banking hall surround the Noguchi garden. On a summer twilight, the plaza seems to glow from below.




The rocks in Noguchi's garden were imported from Japan. They create a centerpiece behind glass in the main banking floor and fill the area around them with daylight.




The large expanses of glass around the lobby help blur the distinction between outside and inside.




The great expanses glass throughout the building created some astonishing panoramas, like this one from the 60th floor, overlooking the top of 40 Wall Street.




The individual most closely identified with 1 Chase Manhattan Plaza is David Rockefeller, seen here in his days as the bank's chairman, with a secretary, Edna Bruderly.




The plaza at 1 Chase Manhattan Plaza was renamed for Mr. Rockefeller on March 18, 2008.
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Old Posted Mar 18, 2008, 11:33 PM
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Photos taken the past few years...

1.


2.


3.


4.


5.


6.


7.


8.


9.

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Old Posted Mar 26, 2008, 2:49 AM
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This has always been one of my favorites, although it is usually overlooked for some reason. I remember Paul Goldberger called it "the box all the others came in", not that he liked it particularly.
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Old Posted Mar 26, 2008, 12:57 PM
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^ It was probably as important for Downtown as the World Trade Center when it was built.
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Old Posted Mar 26, 2008, 1:06 PM
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http://downtownexpress.com/de_255/rockefellerfeted.html

Rockefeller feted Downtown on 50th anniversary



Robert Douglass, chairperson of the Downtown-Lower Manhattan Association, and David Rockefeller, the group’s founder, on the association’s 50th anniversary.


By Josh Rogers
March 21, 2008


David Rockefeller, who perhaps did more to shape the face of modern Lower Manhattan than anyone else, was honored Tuesday night in one of the buildings he helped build -- One Chase Manhattan Plaza.

The occasion was the 50th anniversary of an organization he founded – the Downtown-Lower Manhattan Association. It was Rockefeller and the association that pushed for the construction of the World Trade Center. In 1993, the association produced a plan for Lower Manhattan, which was largely adopted in 1994 by Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

The plan included tax incentives to either convert outdated office buildings to apartments or modernize them. The plan helped turn Downtown into the fastest growing section of the city – a fact that continues today despite the Sept. 11 attacks. The D.-L.M.A. plan also included creating a business improvement district and the organization sponsored the Downtown Alliance, which has run the BID since 1995.

Over the decades, the group has sponsored a wide variety of projects including the creation of Murry Bergtraum High School and improvements to Battery Park.

Mayor Mike Bloomberg praised the association’s work, noting that Wall St. now includes “shoppers with babies -- nobody would have ever thought that.”

Rockefeller, 92, said afterwards that he was not surprised to see the residential growth. “It started before I retired [in 1980], but it’s been more successful than I expected,” he told Downtown Express.

Rockefeller, the grandson of Standard Oil founder John D. Rockefeller, was executive vice president of planning and development at Chase Manhattan Bank in the mid-1950s when he pushed for the bank to build its office complex at what is now Chase Plaza. In his memoirs, David Rockefeller wrote that city power broker Robert Moses “pointed out that Wall Street businesses had already moved uptown or were about to leave the city altogether. If any more left, Chase’s decision to remain would be a colossal blunder.”

Rockefeller credits Moses with giving him the idea to start the association to advocate for Downtown.
He did so in 1958, and by 1960 he was organizing for a world trade center to be built on the East River between Fulton St. and Old Slip. The idea was to have the organization now known as the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to get the complex built. The Port’s Jersey contingent wanted to move the complex to the West Side and the blocks between Vesey and Liberty Sts. were selected. With the help of Rockefeller’s brother, Governor Nelson Rockefeller, the project was approved.

The proposed W.T.C. blocks were home to Radio Row, a thriving contingent of small electronic shops with butter and egg vendors nearby. Shop owners sued to stop the project and it wasn’t until 1966 that construction on the Twin Towers began.

One of those who fought to save Radio Row was a rising Greenwich Village politician named Ed Koch. In a telephone interview Tuesday, Koch said it was a shame the area was lost, but he came to see the value of the Trade Center.

“It destroyed a hugely successful entrepreneurial area with lots of small businesses,” Koch said. “I used to get my cheese there….I changed my mind after it was built. It did a lot for the city -- I just didn’t want it to be built on that spot.”

Koch went on to become mayor in 1977 and said Rockefeller’s power and influence in the banking world was enormously helpful as the city climbed out of its fiscal crisis. Asked if Rockefeller ever reminded the mayor about opposing the World Trade Center, Koch said he was “too genteel” to ever do that.

The accolades for Rockefeller Tuesday night came from a high-powered group of business and government leaders who attended as well as messages from President Bush and Gov. David Paterson.

JPMorgan Chase renamed the office plaza after David Rockefeller. Robert Douglass, current chairperson of both D.L.M.A. and the Downtown Alliance, warned people to specify Downtown if they tell cab drivers to take them to Rockefeller Plaza.

Rockefeller said he was “overwhelmed by the generosity….I worked here for several decades and had a hand in building this building.”

Of Lower Manhattan he said “I still think it’s one of the great areas in the world.”

He also praised “Mike our mayor….I think he’s turned out to be one of the great mayors of our city.”

Rockefeller had been a secretary at City Hall under Mayor Fiorella LaGuardia. He said Bloomberg has a very different style than LaGuardia but both were very effective.

Bloomberg said Rockefeller was still youthful and then brought up his 99-year-old mother: “She’s single and likes younger men."



The view of the Downtown skyline from Chase Plaza, which was just renamed David Rockefeller Plaza.
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Old Posted Mar 26, 2008, 3:40 PM
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That is one nice looking skyscraper!
Too bad the Twin Towers of WTC didn't survive long enough to be granted landmark status. Goddess knows they deserved it.
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Old Posted Apr 10, 2008, 5:01 AM
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i had the good fortune of staying at the downtown club quarters hotel for the past few days. Its right at the foot of this giant beauty and now i have to see my chiropractor for the intense neck pain i have gotten from looking up so many damn times.
one of my favs
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Old Posted May 13, 2008, 7:55 AM
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One nice boxy building in the financial district was OK.
But half a dozen was not such a good idea.
They ruined the alchemy of the area imo.
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Old Posted May 13, 2008, 10:46 AM
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I love that building!
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Old Posted Aug 21, 2008, 12:12 PM
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Great building. I miss NYguy's threads on buildings from eras we tend to ignore.
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Old Posted Jan 5, 2010, 1:54 AM
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Old Posted Jan 12, 2010, 2:48 PM
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Old Posted Jan 12, 2010, 3:13 PM
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Despite it being a huge box, design wise, it's pretty ahead of it's time.
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Old Posted Jan 13, 2010, 1:53 AM
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More classics from eralsoto




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Old Posted Jan 13, 2010, 1:58 AM
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It marked the end of an era for the Lower Manhattan skyline and introduced an architectural trend which would change the appearance of the city forever.

As far as I’m concerned, OCMC ranks right up there with both Lever and Seagram as a pioneer of international box architecture.

Hands down one of the most admirable and underrated skyscrapers anywhere in the world.
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Old Posted Jan 13, 2010, 2:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dac150 View Post
As far as I’m concerned, OCMC ranks right up there with both Lever and Seagram as a pioneer of international box architecture.

Hands down one of the most admirable and underrated skyscrapers anywhere in the world.
I agree with both statements. Seeing this in one in person brings that out.
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Old Posted Jan 14, 2010, 3:36 AM
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Old Posted Jan 15, 2010, 8:57 AM
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The beginning of change, from avaloncm




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Old Posted Apr 22, 2010, 1:19 PM
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"Hey, the view really is great from up here..."

Alliance for Downtown New York









Quote:
The Alliance for Downtown New York presented its inaugural David Rockefeller Downtown Leadership Awards at 1 Chase Manhattan Plaza on April 20, 2010. Chairman Robert R. Douglass and President Elizabeth H. Berger were joined by David Rockefeller to honor Amanda Burden, Chair of the New York City Planning Commission, and Madelyn Wils, Executive Vice President of the New York City Economic Development Corporation, for their vision, innovation and leadership in the development of the East River Waterfront Esplanade.



Quote:


The individual most closely identified with 1 Chase Manhattan Plaza is David Rockefeller, seen here in his days as the bank's chairman, with a secretary, Edna Bruderly.
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Old Posted Apr 22, 2010, 6:33 PM
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I still like that skyscraper, I can't wait to visit it a little later this year!
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