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432 Park Avenue | © Epistola8 / WikiCommons
432 Park Avenue | © Epistola8 / WikiCommons
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The Story Behind New York City's High-Rises for Recluse Billionaires

Picture of Cailey Rizzo
Updated: 25 May 2017
In a city of 8.5 million people, the greatest luxury for New Yorkers is solitude. But because that doesn’t exist on the ground, the ultra-wealthy have started building their own enclosed escapes straight up into the sky, and these skyscrapers have transformed New York City. Everybody can see them, and everybody knows they are there—however, very few know what happens inside.
Residential skyscraper in NYC
Residential skyscraper in NYC | © Harvey Barrison / Flickr

At 56 Leonard Street, the city’s wealthiest residents loom over the Hudson River. The Tribeca tower, designed by Herzog & de Meuron, is already located in one of the most expensive parts of town. Those who decide to take up residence in the dark tower of Jenga pieces will have some of the priciest real estate in all of Manhattan—although they are cordoned off from the rest of the island’s citizens.

#newyork #nyc #architecture #herzogdemeuron

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Only those who live in the building can get in, and once you’re in, it can be a pretty long elevator ride to the top. Apartment owners who want fresh air (without having to deal with the plebeians on the street) can step out on their own elevated exercise yards, circled by glass railings to create the illusion of open space. On the ninth and 10th floors of the building are a library lounge, fitness center, yoga studio, indoor/outdoor theater, steam room, sauna, and even a 75-foot (22.9-meter) infinity-edge lap pool.

Listing this week at 56 Leonard Street in #tribeca @herzogdemeuron @anish.kapoor $5.65M 🎈🆖

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And for billionaires who don’t want to give up a posh address, there’s 432 Park Avenue. Designed by Rafael Viñoly, it kind of looks like hundreds of Rubix cubes of only one color stacked on top of each other. The entire building towers 1,396 feet (425.5 meters).

432 Park Avenue | Epistola8/WikiCommons
432 Park Avenue | © Epistola8 / WikiCommons

The bottom third of the building houses mechanical rooms, offices and staff quarters, so every apartment in the building offers expansive views of the city. Although residents of the building could get fresh air in the apartments if they wanted, it involves a complicated process of getting down on their knees.

However, not all human contact is lost for residents of this high-security building. There’s a dining room on the 12th floor, where people in the building can get to know their neighbors. There’s also a pool, Jacuzzi®, gym, billiards room, library, and private screening room.

432 Park Avenue | Anthony Quintano/Flickr
432 Park Avenue | Anthony Quintano/Flickr

Residents never have to leave their building—and there are probably quite a few who won’t.