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A new, super-tall skyscraper is blocking the Empire State Building and New Yorkers aren’t happy about it

Let's just say that these New Yorkers are not entirely wrong.

Anna Rahmanan
Written by
Anna Rahmanan

It's a tale as old as New York City itself: new buildings are erected, our town's precious skyline morphs in form and function, New Yorkers get upset about the changes and everyone sort of moves on—unless the matter is taken to social media.

@dr.tpanova Replying to @kkd a beloved view is more than just a view. It’s a symbol of the city that brings people joy and pleasure to look at, that inspires them and makes them feel proud of their home for having created something so beautiful and proud to be representatives of such a city, it stands out in their memories and makes them feel connected to that place and the people that live there. It attracts visitors from all over the world who want to look at it and it instills a sense of admiration and respect in them for that place and its history. It is a treasure that millions of people love and value and because of that it should be protected. #urbanism #urbanplanning #nyc #fyp ♬ You Look Lonely x Resonance - Slowed + Reverb - JU$t

Just yesterday, TikTok user dr.tpanova used the platform to comment on the subject, posting a video that clearly illustrates how a new skyscraper has obstructed many folks’ direct view of the nearby Empire State Building

Although the TikTok user has not shared the exact location of the new skyscraper, Time Out New York's internal detectives (yours truly) can unofficially confirm that the building seen in the video is at 262 Fifth Avenue, about five blocks away from the midtown landmark. 

In fact, the New York Times wrote about the new 860-foot luxury tower back in October of 2023, specifically highlighting the fact that the piece of real estate was going to almost entirely block the view of the Empire State Building from the famous pedestrian plaza in the Flatiron neighborhood.

"The Empire State Building is gone, or almost," journalist Michael Kimmelman wrote at the time. 

Dr. Tpanova's post generated a slew of comments, ranging from the downright sorrowful ("The first picture I took of the Empire State Building from the first time I visited NYC was from this angle. The picture is so meaningful, this is so sad" and "This makes me want to cry") to the enquiring, with folks pondering how such a development could even happen in the city.

“I wonder if there had been a contentious battle in the planning meetings—there might be public record?” a TikTok user commented, prompting us to imagine a future in which giant new buildings are erected every few months, drastically changing the look of the town we call our own while city planners and real estate tycoons fight about what it means to be a New Yorker and the importance of urban guidelines. 

Alas, that is the plight of New York, a town constantly reinventing itself while holding on to what made it great in the first place. 

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