The Trump International Hotel and Tower is a high-rise building, located at 1 Central Park West on Columbus Circle between Broadway and Central Park West, in Manhattan, New York City. The building is 583 feet (177.6 m) tall. It is owned by the General Electric Pension Trust and features hotel rooms and residential condominiums.
The building was originally the Gulf and Western Building, designed by Thomas E. Stanley and built in 1969. The tower was designed for office use, and was built in isolation, away from other high-rise buildings. Because of this, the building would slightly sway during strong winds, a minor inconvenience that did not exist for buildings built close to each other.
In 1994, Donald Trump became involved with the building and planned to convert it into a hotel that would include condominium units. Because of zoning laws, only approximately 200 units could be used as condominiums, while the lower portion of the tower – up to the 14th floor – would be used for hotel rooms.
Paramount Communications (previously Gulf and Western) was the tenant of the office building at the time, with its lease set to expire in April 1995, at which point Trump could begin renovations on the building. Trump planned to have trusses and columns installed throughout the building to make the tower rigid and stable, in order to remove the impact of strong winds. The reconstruction process was expected to take two years, at a cost of $230 million. Renovations began on June 21, 1995. In April 1996, Trump said that he would move into the building's penthouse. Trump also said the address of the building, located near Central Park, would be changed from 7 Columbus Circle to 1 Central Park West; Trump International was advertised as having "the most important new address in the world."
Between 1995 and 1997, the building was stripped to its skeleton. The building's new appearance was designed by Philip Johnson and Costas Kondylis. Although the building stands at 44 stories, Trump had referred to it as being 52 stories. Trump explained that newer apartment buildings commonly had lower ceilings compared to office buildings, and stated that the 583-foot building was approximately as tall as a 60-floor building; the New York Times wrote, "Seen this way, measuring the converted tower at 52 floors was an act of altitudinal restraint." A 30-foot-wide silver globe of the Earth was installed in front of the building during its conversion. The globe was to include the words "Trump International" in lettering that would measure three feet high, although city officials objected to the idea. The globe is a homage to the Unisphere, located in Trump's home borough of Queens.
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