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The New York Times Building

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The New York Times Building

The New York Times Building
General information
Type Office, retail
Location 620 Eighth Avenue
New York, New York
Construction started 2003
Completed 2007
Cost $850 million[1]
Owner The New York Times Company (58% owner) and Forest City Ratner Companies (42% owner)
Management Forest City Ratner Companies
Architectural 1,046 ft (319 m)[2]
Roof 748 ft (228 m)
Top floor 721 ft (220 m)[2]
Technical details
Floor count 52[2]
Floor area 1,540,000 sq ft (143,000 m2)
Lifts/elevators 32[2] (24 passenger, 8 service)
Design and construction
Architect Renzo Piano Building Workshop, FXFOWLE Architects
Developer Forest City Ratner Companies
Structural engineer Thornton Tomasetti
Main contractor AMEC Construction Management

The New York Times Building is a skyscraper on the west side of midtown Manhattan, New York City that was completed in 2007. Its chief tenant is The New York Times Company, publisher of The New York Times as well as the International New York Times, and other newspapers. Construction was by a joint venture of The New York Times Company, Forest City Ratner (Forest City Enterprises's New York subsidiary), and ING Real Estate.


Previous locations

The original newspaper headquarters in 1851 were at 113 Nassau Street, in a little building that stood until fairly recently, then up the street a few years later at 138 Nassau Street. In 1858, the Times then moved to a five-story edifice at 41 Park Row; thirty years later, partially in response to a new tower erected by the competing Tribune, it commissioned a new 13-story building at the same site, one that remains in use by Pace University. In 1904, again partially in response to the Herald Square headquarters of another competitor, the paper moved to perhaps its most famous location, the Times Tower, altering the name of the surrounding area from Longacre Square to Times Square. The slender tower was so constricted in space that the paper outgrew it within a decade and, in 1913, moved into the Times Annex, 229 West 43rd Street, where it remained for almost a century.[4]

New building

Height comparison of New York City buildings
Height comparison of New York City buildings, with the New York Times Building first from right

The project was announced on December 13, 2001, entailing the erection of a 52-story tower on the east side of Eighth Avenue between 40th and 41st Street across from the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey Bus Terminal. The project, in conjunction with the Hearst Tower, represents the further westward expansion of Midtown along Eighth Avenue, a corridor that had seen no construction following the completion in 1989 of One Worldwide Plaza. In addition, the new building—called by many New Yorkers "The New Times Tower"—keeps the paper in the Times Square area, which was named after the paper following its move to the original Times Tower on 42nd Street in 1904. (The New York Times Company subsequently relocated to nearby 229 West 43rd Street in 1913.)

The site for the building was obtained by the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) through eminent domain. With a mandate to acquire and redevelop blighted properties in Times Square, ten existing buildings were condemned by the ESDC and purchased from owners who in some cases did not want to sell, asserting that the area was no longer blighted (thanks in part to the earlier efforts of the ESDC). The ESDC, however, prevailed in the courts.[5][6] Once the 80,000-square-foot (7,400 m2) site was assembled, it was leased to The New York Times Company and Forest City Ratner for $85.6 million over 99 years (considerably below market value).[7] Additionally, The New York Times Company received $26.1 million in tax breaks.[8]


The tower was designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop and FXFOWLE Architects, with Gensler providing interior design. The lighting design for the building's nighttime identity was designed by the Office for Visual Interaction Inc.[9] The tower rises 748 feet (228 m) from the street to its roof, with the exterior curtain wall extending 92 feet (28 m) higher to 840 feet (260 m), and a mast rising to 1,046 feet (319 m). As of 2008, the building is tied with the Chrysler Building as the fourth tallest building in New York City, due to the unfinished One World Trade Center exceeding their height. The tower is also the seventh tallest building in the United States. As of 2010, the tower remained the fourth tallest building in New York City.

The steel-framed building, cruciform in plan, utilizes a screen of 1 58" (41.3 mm) ceramic rods mounted on the exterior of the glass curtain wall on the east, west and south facades. The rod spacing increases from the base to the top, providing greater transparency as the building rises. The steel framing and bracing is exposed at the four corner "notches" of the building.[10]


The new building is promoted as a green structure, though it is not LEED certified. The design incorporates numerous environmentally sustainable features for increased energy efficiency. The double skin curtain wall, the lighting system and the automated louver shading system, the underfloor air distribution system and the cogeneration are the main sustainable design features.[11][12][13]

  • Double-Skin Curtain Wall

As one of the building’s innovations and key features, the horizontal white ceramic rods on the building facade acts as both an aesthetic veil and a critical shading device. The ceramic tubing – which has never been utilized before – aesthetically functions as a canvas with the environment conditions, changing color according to the sun and weather by gently reflecting light throughout the day. This exterior layer also allows the use of floor-to-ceiling ultra-clear glass that maximizes light and views for people both inside and outside the building. To optimize views, rods are spaced to allow occupants to have unobstructed views while both seated and standing. Additionally, ceramic tubing helps blocking direct sunlight and is capable of limiting the building’s energy consumption by reducing 30% of solar heat gain and approximately 13% of energy costs by cooling loads.[11][12]

Many different types of materials for the tubing system, including traditional terra cotta, clay, aluminum and various ceramics from around the world have been texted by the design team. Aluminum silicate, an extremely dense and high-quality ceramic used for special manufacturing purposes, was chosen for its long-term durability and cost-effectiveness. The silicate rods were glazed with a finish similar to the material used on terra cotta to reflect light, self-clean, and ensure its resistance to weather. The team also conducted testing to determine the distance necessary between the glass curtain wall and the tubing to allow for efficient window washing and façade maintenance.[13]

  • Lighting and Shading System

Complementing the curtain wall system, the lighting and shading system is the first-of-its-kind in the world. Normally in an office building, lighting accounts for approximately 44% of electrical consumption. This design is aim to use daylight harvesting as the primary natural light sources for its office so that electric lighting serves as a supplement. The electric lighting responds to occupancy and also changes with daylight. Each of the more than 18,000 electrical ballasts in the lighting system contains a computer chip that enables its individual control, which means lighting levels are adjustable to meet the needs at different spaces operating varying levels of light with maximum efficiency. “Lutron Ecosystem (the manufacturer of the ballasts which operate the lighting) estimates that the lighting energy efficiency in the Time Company’s 600,000 square-foot office space will generate an annual savings of about $315,000. The environment benefits, too: About 1,250 metric tons of CO2 emissions will be prevented each year.” One the other hand, the shading system is programmed to move in response to the position of the sun and inputs from an extensive sensor network to determine to raise or lower the shades, either blocking extreme light to reduce glare or allowing light to enter at times of less direct sunlight. The daylighting and shading systems work in concert to ensure that the building efficiently uses natural light whenever possible. Overall, the system is both cost- and energy-saving and provides a comfortable and productive work environment.[12][14]

  • Underfloor Air Distribution (UFAD)

The New York Times Company utilizes the whole-building underfloor air distribution system which strives for better indoor air quality, thermal comfort as well as energy conservation and is first installed in New York City. Instead of pumping chilled air down from the ceiling at high velocity, cooler air can be gently pushed out of the floor, naturally filling the lower area of the space and rising up when it hits warmer objects. The warm air carrying potential germs or pollutants eventually exits through the vents in the ceiling, providing a healthier environment and increasing the air quality. Chilled air no longer needs to be pumped at high velocity and the system provides a much more regulated temperature throughout the space, which enables to improve the thermal comfort and ensures a more comfortable work space. Additionally, the UFAD system can air condition 10 degrees warmer than a conventional system – at 68°. Incorporating with free air cooling (bringing in outside air when it is cooler than the interior space) and use of waste heat from the co-generation process to heat the space on colder day, the system efficiently reduce energy consumption.[12]

  • Cogeneration on site

The New York Times Building incorporates a cogeneration plant to supply its 24-7 operation and 40% of the power used in the Times Space, which is unusual especially in New York City where few commercial office building equipped with cogeneration plants. Located in a mechanical room at the far end of the podium’s top floor, the plant consists of two natural gas fired reciprocating engine driven generators which features clean-burning gas with a total generating capacity of 1.5 megawatts of electrical power. It recovers the heat produced by combustion and converts the heat into usable energy in the form of hot water. The recovered hot water serves as the building’s heating loop to provide warmth during the winter and functions as a refrigeration machine to provide cooling during the summer. This system is a more efficient use of electrical generation equipment than is conventionally found in a utility company as the heat by-product is used and the overall energy efficiency can reach as high as 89%. The two on-site generators will power the remainder operation of the building. The power from the grid is sorely used by the building as a backup source, which succeeds in an effort to place less pressure on the region’s power supply.[12][13]

  • Other Features

In excess of 95% of the structural steel was recycled. The building, like many in midtown Manhattan, has no on-site parking, with most employees arriving by public transit. Since December 2007, building management has provided an indoor parking area for 20 bicycles.[15]

Overall Performance

A team of researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab monitored the building’s performance for a year and compared the results with buildings that meet with the standard building efficiency codes. They found that the New York Times Building significantly reduced annual electricity, cut heating energy use by more than 50% and decrease the peak electric demand as well. "It is essential to start with a sound, integrated building design, and then to pay attention to details such as procurement of building equipment, and verifying the proper performance of the equipment after it is installed. The Times Company did its homework in 2004, well before construction began on the building, evaluating and optimizing the shading and daylighting technologies," concluded the Berkeley researchers.[16]

The story of the tower's construction is showcased at the Liberty Science Center's exhibition "Skyscraper! Achievement and Impact".


Alain Robert climbs the New York Times building on June 5, 2008
Alain Robert (circled, in red) climbing the New York Times building on June 5, 2008

In the summer of 2008, three men illegally climbed the external facade of The New York Times Building within a month of each other, with the first two on the same day. The three climbers were not associated with one another.

On June 5, 2008, a professional climber, Alain Robert, dubbed "The French Spiderman," climbed the north side of The New York Times Building. He was able to scale the building from first floor all the way to the roof. During his climb, Robert attached a fluorescent green neon sign to the building that read "Global warming kills more people than a 9/11 every week". Robert also wore a t-shirt promoting the website "The Solution is Simple".[17] Robert was met on the roof by the NYPD emergency service unit team where he was put in a harness to ensure he did not fall and placed under arrest. Later that day, a second climber[18] scaled the western face of the building. He also was arrested for climbing the building facade after reaching the roof. The climber, 32-year-old Brooklyn resident Renaldo Clarke, was wearing a T-shirt with the words "Malaria No More" written on it.[19]

The third climber was David Malone, 29, from Connecticut, who also scaled the west side of the building on July 9, 2008. Unlike the two previous climbers, Malone did not attempt to make it to the roof. He hung a banner around the fifth floor upon the first "T" of The New York Times sign, that had a picture of Osama Bin Laden holding Bush like a puppet—"Bin Laden's Plan" (the title of his book and Web site). He then climbed higher, stopping at the 11th floor, and remained hanging on the building for four hours before being arrested. Malone said he was protesting Al Qaeda's "crusader baiting", and "intentional provocation of the U.S."[20][21] On Saturday March 24, 2012 a homeless man was caught climbing the building. He made it to the 5th floor before getting stuck, and was eventually arrested.[22]

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c d e "New York Times Tower - The Skyscraper Center". Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. 
  3. ^ The New York Times Building at SkyscraperPage
  4. ^ David Dunlap, "150th Anniversary: 1851-2001; Six Buildings That Share One Story," in the New York Times, 11 November 2001.
  5. ^ Dunlap, David W. (2001-10-25). "Blight to Some Is Home to Others; Concern Over Displacement by a New Times Building".  
  6. ^ Moses, Paul (2002-06-17). "The Paper of Wreckage".  
  7. ^
  8. ^ Bagli, Charles V. (2001-02-28). "Deal Reached to Acquire Land for The Times's Headquarters". The New York Times. 
  9. ^ Office for Visual Interaction Inc.
  10. ^ "A statement in steel: The New York Times Building". 2004-06-15. Retrieved 2007-11-29 
  11. ^ a b "The New York Times Building: Designing for Energy Efficiency Through Daylighting Research". Science Beat. 2004-02-17. Retrieved 2007-11-29 
  12. ^ a b c d e "The New York Times Company Enters The 21st Century With A New Technologically Advanced And Environmentally Sensitive Headquarters" (Press release). The New York Times Company. November 19, 2007. 
  13. ^ a b c "Times Square Skyscraper: Sustainability Reaching New Heights". 2004 
  14. ^
  15. ^ "New York Times Employees Say Renzo Forgot the Bike Parking". 2007-12-06. Retrieved 2007-12-06. 
  16. ^ "Why the New York Times Building Is Saving So Much Energy". 2013 
  17. ^ Nicholson, Marcy (2008-06-05). "French 'Spiderman' scales New York Times building".  
  18. ^ "2nd Man Climbs West Side Building in Copycat Stunt".  
  19. ^ Roberts, Georgett (2008-06-08). "Spidey 2: No Fear At All Times".  
  20. ^ Cruz, Wil; Coffey, Jill (2008-07-08). "Times climb - again! Man scales paper's headquarters to protest Al Qaeda".  
  21. ^, Man climbs up The New York Times' headquarters
  22. ^ "Man busted for climbing up New York Times building". NY Daily News. 2012-03-24. Retrieved 2012-03-24. 

External links

  • The New York Times Building official website
  • New York Times Tower on CTBUH Skyscraper Center
  • "The New York Times Company Enters The 21st Century With A New Technologically Advanced And Environmentally Sensitive Headquarters" (Press release). The New York Times Company. November 19, 2007. 
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