In a move that Mayor Bill de Blasio said would keep the city competitive while putting the needs of "hundreds of thousands of straphangers first," the ground breaking ceremony for One Vanderbilt was celebrated just outside of Grand Central Station on October 18, 2016. Set to become New York City's second-tallest skyscraper after One World Trade Center, the event was attended by several local politicians and other dignitaries who stood beside the NYC Mayor to officiate the occasion.  

Groundbreaking ceremony in action, image via CBS New York

Set to occupy an entire city block that is bounded to the north and south by 43rd and 42nd Streets, and to the east and west by Vanderbilt and Madison Avenues, the massive 1,401-foot, 58-storey office tower will connect directly to Grand Central Station via a subterranean connection. The new development has been touted by public officials including the Mayor for its inclusion of a $220 million investment into facility improvements for the iconic terminal. 

One Vanderbilt, diagram showing direct connection to Grand Central, image via SL Green

Designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates for SL Green, One Vanderbilt will feature a tapered ascent from bottom to top which will terminate in a solitary spire, the finished product to be a modern tribute to the iconic New York skyscrapers of the past. Inside, the tower will be home to 1.7 million square feet of LEED Platinum Certified Class A office space, with TD Bank listed as the anchor tenant. Toronto Dominion to take up 200,000 square feet within the tower, including a flagship branch store located in the base with frontage onto 42nd and Madison. 

One Vanderbilt, icon in the making, image via SL Green

Today little more than a hole in the ground, the excavation site has been dug deep, with crews busy at the task of getting down to track level, no easy feat considering the size of this project. While recent images on our Forum reveal the build site from street level, the high-traffic site has been particularly obscured from view, with only a few glimpses available to date. 

One Vanderbilt, excavation site, as viewed through plexiglass, image by Forum contributor towerpower123

Although partially obscured by a mixture of plexiglass, chain link fences, and construction shrouds, views of the excavation site provide some visual clues as to its size and scope. Viewed above through plexiglass, the depth of the pit can just be made out, while the image below, captured from one of the few unobscured vantage points, gives an idea of the overall size of the site. 

One Vanderbilt, build site, image by Forum contributor towerpower123

Slated for completion in 2021, One Vanderbilt will eventually become the second-tallest tower in New York, a trademark member of the Manhattan skyline, and a part of the long history of Grand Central Station. An icon in the making, the new development will be a welcome addition to the city, proof positive that private developers can play nice with public officials, finding common ground no matter the size of the project at hand. 

SkyriseCities will be sure to return to this project as progress continues. For more information, check out the associated Database file and Forum thread, and as always, feel free to join the conversation in the comments section below.