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GES172 - 0ne57 Building, NYC

A pleasantly mild day in the Big Apple, and having walked the length of the Freedom Tunnel, it was suggested to us by GE011 that we walk down Broadway. GE074 being new to NYC, we set off. By the time we reached the bottom of Central Park, we'd walked well over a 100 blocks and crashed onto the rocks at the bottom of the park exhausted. This is one of my favourite spots in NYC, a place to chill in the warm evening sunshine., looking at the Essex House and other buildings that line the bottom of Central Park. Only this time the view was different, a huge tower was being constructed behind the Essex House. Immediately we both looked at each other, 'oh yeah!' After we regained our strength we walked over to the building, which happened to be next to the famous Carnegie Hall. The hall was also scaffed up, we'd found an explorer's playground. I looked through the hoardings and examined the site from the sidewalk/pavement. It was looking pretty sketchy. I then crossed the street to look at it from the other side of the road, where the access point presented itself. There were two sections of crane sat on the curtained off section of the sidewalk, one of which was at the perfect height for getting over the 8ft high hoardings.

We felt the Sunday would be the perfect night to tackle this site, as there should be less chance of workers. So that night we chose to tackle it in the early hours. Fast forward to the evening, and we left GE011's apartment, and headed across town. The street was still busy with constant swarms of cars whizzing back and forth, the odd person walking by. I got to the start point near the crane section, and waited for a break in the traffic. When i got the break, I rushed up the crane, and whipped over the hoarding. There I quickly checked to make sure no one had seen, and there wasn't any security inside the perimeter. There wasn't, and I was in clean. I waved and whistled GE074 to come over, as he seemed to be hesitating. Finally he came over, and popped up. We dropped down, and were conveniently next to a set of stairs. We then began the ascent. After a few floors, the stairs stopped, so we headed across the building. Here is one of the floors, with a trolley of plumbing parts. The floors here were near completion.

Higher and higher we went, the floors seemed to tick off so slowly. I was suffering, something I'd not really experienced before. I had to take a break around the 40th floor. The side of the building was just empty, and the gentle wind flowed through easily. These are the stairs around the 50th floors. around floor 59, the floors disappeared and ladders came into play.

Finally we popped out into the crisp New York City air, and climbed another ladder to the highest floor, the 61st in the US, or 60th in the UK. The floor hadn't been finished off, and had gaps and unsafe flooring all over. Harness straps lay all over the place, for where workers would clip themselves in, to avoid being blown or falling off the edge. Luckily there were some flimsy looking barriers in place to slow us on our plummet to splaterdom should we get too close to the edge. The building was approximately 250m high where we were stood.

The main thing I wanted to see was Central Park from above. It had been a long held ambition realised last year to see Hyde Park from above, and to see one of the other great landscaped city parks from on high was pretty damn special. The famous jogging circle around the Reservoir is lit up at the top end of the park. Some light reflects of The Lake to the bottom left of the Reservoir, with sunbathing hotspot Sheep Meadow forming the large dark oblong just below it. From up high one could see a police car patrolling around the park with it's lights flashing merrily away.

Looking East at this tower's neighbours, including the right angle topped Citigroup centre (or Center for locals!), overlapping with the Sony Centre with it's distinctive rounded notch in the roof. The white outlined Solow building appears to have two red lights on the roof, next to it the pinstripe General Motors building, and with the light on an antenna is the Bloomberg Tower.

On the Western side the Hudson River splits New York and New Jersey on the far bank. Columbus Circle buildings sit in the extreme bottom right corner, with the South tower of the Time Warner Centre behind it glowing with four red lights on the roof. The Norman Foster designed diamond façade building in the centre of the picture is the Hearst Tower, rising above the original 6 storey building it was built on top of.

Looking South East, one of my favourite buildings in the world, the wonderful Chrysler building glowing in the centre. The mammoth General Electric building sits across the way on the right of the picture.

Looking directly downtown (south) the 231m Carnegie Hall Tower sits across the street from here, two red lights on it's roof. The domed roof of the darker City Spire Centre sits behind it.

With other fish to fry, we collected up our stuff, and headed down. My legs had stiffened from climbing the 60 flights of stairs up, and on descending my calves were killing me. Again I stopped to try to rebalance my leg muscles half way down. I was much relieved to see the hoarding and jumped up and down to try to get my legs working again. We then climbed over the hoarding, and went off down the street in search of a subway stop.

The building has since completed and is 75 stories high and 306m, 4m shorter than the Shard. It became a news story when a hurricane sandy hit the city and left one of the cranes buckled and distorted. An exploring friend managed to climb this building not long after the hurricane, and grabbed some great pictures, one can be seen here.