Mid-century International Style tower designated. On February 10, 2009, Landmarks voted unanimously to designate One Chase Manhattan Plaza as an individual City landmark. Designed by Gordon Bunschaft and Jacques E. Guiton of Skidmore Owings & Merrill, the site consists of a 60-story tower, a six-story base, and a 2.5 acre plaza that incorporates an Isamu Noguchi-designed sunken garden.
The tower was planned after the merger between Chase National Bank and the Bank of Manhattan Company, and became the new home for all 8,700 bank employees. David Rockefeller, bank vice president, was instrumental in the tower’s construction, convincing Chase to remain downtown even though few buildings had been constructed there since the 1930s. At the June 24, 2008 hearing at Landmarks, Chase received support from the complex’s owner, JP Morgan Chase, and from Council Member Alan J. Gerson and U.S. Representative Jerrold Nadler. 5 CityLand 94 (July 15, 2008).
Commissioner comments on Chase’s significance were uniformly positive. Commissioner Pablo Vengoechea called it “everything we want in modern architecture.” Commissioner Margery Perlmutter praised it for its marriage of art and architecture, and Commissioner Fred Bland called it a critically important building and “the symbol of American corporate power in architectural terms.”
LPC: One Chase Manhattan Plaza, Manhattan (LP-2294) (Feb. 10, 2009).