This is the skyline people talk about.” It was a Wednesday evening in late May, and Warren Estis, a real estate litigator, was showing me the views from his penthouse apartment at Trump World Tower, at 47th Street and First Avenue. We were on the 86th floor, which, according to the building’s management, meant we were 810 feet above the ground. “You can see water planes landing on the East River,” he said. “I love the seaplanes when they come zooming in.”
He led me north into the home theater, from which you could see all the way up and across town to the George Washington Bridge and where the deep leather chairs reclined into divans at the touch of a button. Then he led me south, through a lavish open-plan living room, where his partner, Tatyana Enkin, was preparing tea. The two are collectors of glass art, and the living room was dense with it: crystal swans and obelisks and lilac-and-purple baubles of various abstract shapes. LED strip lighting in the ceiling made the room glow blue, then red. “Look at the World Trade Center,” Estis said, pointing downtown. Finally, he led me west.
Trump World Tower is a sleek black slab of a building that looms over the far eastern edge of Midtown Manhattan, and the view back across the island is truly remarkable. “Here you’re sitting in a chair, and you turn and you see everything,” he said. “All the iconic buildings in the city. And it’s different at night. Everything’s lit.”
But as he looked out the window his eyes flickered, a little irritated, at two new supertall condo buildings that tower above his, slightly blighting his west-facing view. To the right in the middle distance was One57, a blandly luxurious gray-blue monolith that rises to 1,004 feet and casts a significant shadow over the south side of Central Park; just to the right of that stood the even loftier 432 Park Avenue, pencil-thin and still unfinished. The design of 432 Park is more attractive than One57’s — it resembles a neat stack of pale Rubik’s Cubes — and its rapid rise has made it perhaps Manhattan’s most noticeable skyscraper. When Estis moved into Trump World Tower in 2002, his year-old home was the world’s tallest residential building. Now 432 Park dwarfs it.