The cost of the site for this building came to $40 million, making it Manhattan’s most expensive real estate, and there was one holdout at that: St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, which refused to sell its building. Citibank agreed to pay the church $9 million and to build them a new building as part of its development. The tower itself rests on columns that give it an openness at ground level, and allows light and air to penetrate its market area on the first three levels as well as allowing breathing space to the church at the 54th Street corner. The tower’s distinctive sloping roof was originally intended to be a solar collector that would power the air-conditioning system, but it was never installed. What was installed up there is a 400-ton concrete block riding on rails, called a tuned mass damper, which slows the building’s tendency to sway in high winds.
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