"It'll be the tallest skyscraper in the world to be voluntarily demolished."
Formerly the site of the Gilded Age Hotel Marguery, 270 Park Avenue’s location was greatly enhanced with the construction of Grand Central Terminal nearby from 1903 to 1913. Real estate was essentially re-created when the tunnel for the railroad tracks leading to and from Grand Central were covered over, resulting in one of the newest and most fashionable addresses in the city – Park Avenue. The hotel was a combination apartment building (with massive apartments for its Gilded Age residents) and adjoining hotel, both of which shared a sumptuous planted courtyard.
With a storied history, including some (in)famous tenants, by the 1940s the hotel building was targeted for demolition. In 1955, the chemical company Union Carbide purchased the building, tore it down, and began construction of what became a landmark mid-century modern skyscraper, designed by the firm Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill and completed in 1964. Topping out at 52 stories (at a height of more than 700 feet including the antenna spire), the Union Carbide remained a distinctive landmark in midtown, remaining for 50 years the tallest building in the United States designed by a woman – SOM architect Natalie de Blois together with Gordon Bunshaft. (Photo of the building in 2008 by official-ly cool is shared here under CC BY-SA 3.0 )
Union Carbide moved its headquarters to Connecticut in 1981 and the building is currently owned and occupied by JPMorgan Chase. However last year (2018), JPMorgan announced plans to demolish the building and construct a new “modern” headquarters. The company just recently filed for demolition permits, meaning the project is on track for the planned completion of the new headquarters building in 2024.
Demolition permits filed for modernist Union Carbide Building
By Amy Plitt
Curbed New York
January 17, 2019