The Summit: the spectacular new observatory in New York City

The observatory called The Summit is located in the new skyscraper One Vanderbilt, in the heart of Manhattan, on the east side, very close to Grand Central Station and Bryant Park. This building was inaugurated in 2020 and has 73 floors, plus the 20 additional floors that make up the observatory; that is, 93 in total.

The company in charge of the building’s design was SL Green Realty Corp. together with the architectural firm Snøhetta and Kenzo Digital. The latter uses the juxtaposition of certain elements, such as film, art, theater and architecture, to achieve different and innovative works; creating magical, hallucinating, very emotional worlds, mixing geometries, sensations and many reflections. 

The skyscraper has a height of 427 m., including the needle that crowns it, at the end of it. Therefore, it also passes to the list of the tallest buildings of this city; exactly in the 4th place. The viewpoint is made up of the floors ranging from 91 to 93, and from here you get the most stunning views you can imagine; both day and night. 

It is a very different proposal, full of lots of light, thousands of mirrors reflecting all the buildings around and visitors, experiences to interact with the most contemporary art. There are 4 basic experiences, such as the Air Room, then the Levitation Room, the Ascent through the glass elevators on the outside of the building and the outdoor terrace, to enjoy a drink and music from the Aprés.

What do we see when we reach the 91st floor of the One Vanderbilt skyscraper?

Upon reaching the 91st floor begins the hall called Aire, which consists of a room completely covered with mirrors and lots of natural light, which was designed by the company Kenzo Digital; where we will find 2 types of experiences: an oasis of transcendence I, on this floor and then transcendence II on the 92nd floor.

An area that generates many images, by the amount of mirrors that have been placed at different angles of the rooms, which intermingle your own reflections with those of the city skyline. It is a visual game of many of these reflections that give you the sensation of having no limits, that disorient you by the amount of multiplication of the images.

This room of Transcendencia I, if you want to visit it when there are few people, then it is recommended to go in the mornings; besides you have more space to take all the pictures you want. But equally if you go in the afternoon it is also very interesting.

On the 92nd floor of the One Vanderbilt skyscraper, what will we find?

Once we finish our visit on the 91st floor we go up some stairs and you can continue with this experience or Transcendence II. Here you will find a kind of internal terrace, where you can look out and see the 91st floor. Of course, you will be somewhat confused by the fascinating amount of multiplication of reflections; that is, you will not know exactly if what you see is above, below or next to you; a great visual effect.

On this same floor you will find an area called Levitation, which is located towards the west side of the viewpoint; if you suffer from vertigo your courage will be put to the test. We are talking about 2 transparent glass structures, which are 2.5 m long and protrude from the main part of the building; that is, they are suspended, and from where you can observe all that spectacular panorama that is in the surroundings. 

You can walk quietly on this space if there are few people; you will find yourself at a height of about 324 m above the city. Although it is said that you can only stay a few minutes, so do not worry if you can not take pictures because you are paralyzed with fear, because on the roof there are cameras for taking pictures and, if you like, you can buy them later and you will receive them through your cell phone. 

What are the metallic drops that are reflected in another area of the rooms?

Once you leave the almost hypnotic effects, by the reflections of these previous rooms so interesting, in other rooms are located first an area where some drops are reflected on the floor, metallic and gray. A beautiful and very modern art that adorns the entire structure. 

Next, there is a room full of silver balloons, which are inflated with helium and float continuously, thanks to air currents that have been installed very strategically. The idea is to play with all these balloons, no matter how old you are.

The Ascent, the wonderful glass elevator:

This elevator goes up to the 369 m high of this beautiful One Vanderbilt tower; that is, the highest point of the viewpoint. There are 2 glass elevators, so that you also live the ascent on the outside of the skyscraper; from which you can still see the spectacular views of that side of Manhattan. 

What surprise does the 93rd floor or terrace of The Summit Observatory have in store for you?

The Summit could not miss a bar-restaurant, on an outdoor terrace, called Aprés; to relax, drink or taste some exquisite dish. Nothing more and nothing less than 324 meters high and from where you can get 360 degrees of the complete views of Manhattan and its surroundings; a prize earned after so many emotions. Plus, there’s also music and plenty of peace and quiet.

Let’s talk a little about the panoramic views from the One Vanderbilt skyscraper:

Important fact: as the tower is located right in the heart of Manhattan, we get 360 degrees of different views of the whole city, as you get different angles from this observatory. For example, towards the east side of the skyscraper you can see the Methylfe Building, as well as the Chrysler Building.

Likewise, towards the south side we can see the Empire State Building, as well as the One World Trade Center, the tallest building in New York City at the moment. While to the west we can see Bryant Park, the Bank of America Tower, the Public Library and a little farther away the viewpoint The Edge at Hudson Yards.

Some important tips for visiting The Summit:

It is advisable for ladies to dress in pants; for, as we have seen, everything is reflected thanks to the mirrors located everywhere. This will avoid indiscreet photos.

The tower should be visited with comfortable shoes, no high heels like stilettos, because the floor is made of mirrors and glass and can get dirty or scratched. To avoid this, at the entrance you will be provided with fabric protectors to place over your shoes. 

If you visit the viewpoint during the day, it is advisable to wear dark sunglasses, as the light dazzles because it is reflected with great intensity. If you do not have them, you can also borrow them at the entrance.

As for the schedules to visit the viewpoint, tickets are sold with specific schedules; therefore, if you are not in a hurry, it is recommended to arrive early in the morning, since there are fewer visitors.

The duration of the tour of all the levels of the viewpoint can take a maximum of 2 hours. But everything will also depend on the number of people and the time it takes to go through the check-in lines and the time it takes to get on the elevators; in total about 3 hours.

It is said that the most spectacular views can be seen at sunset. For this time you must pay an extra $10. Now, if you are a little short on your budget, many people buy the entrance block before sunset and then stay until sunset. No one will pressure them to come down.

The cost to go up to the Summit is almost $46 for ages 13 and up; ages 6 through 12 must pay almost $40. For children under 5 years old it is completely free. Another detail is that, to enter the elevator, an extra $20 is charged.

Posted in North America, United States of America.