Itching for an icon: Vornado channels Marilyn Monroe with 2 Penn Plaza design

Design for REIT's new office property inspired by actress' famous wardrobe malfunction

TRD New York /
May.May 04, 2016 02:30 PM

As Marilyn learned, no skirt is safe over a blustery subway grate. Not even, it turns out, when it’s on a building.

Vornado Realty Trust is giving Two Penn Plaza a new glassy facade, one that channels one of the most well-known scenes in movie history: Marilyn Monroe “trying” to tame her white dress over a subway grate in “The Seven Year Itch.” The 48-year-old building’s new skin, designed by Bjarke Ingels Group, will sport a floor-to-ceiling glass curtain wall, and the “massive undulating canopy” will rise 85 feet high and extend out 65 feet in some places, David Greenbaum, president of Vornado’s New York division, said during the company’s first-quarter earnings call Tuesday.

A representative for BIG on Wednesday declined to comment on the project.

Renderings of Two Penn Plaza’s new look leaked in March, and a majority of reports compared the design to waves. (The Real Deal eluded to Monroe in its description). Vornado and BIG have largely kept mum about the project, but Greenbaum said on Tuesday that the skirt will serve as a “grand entrance” to the office building, as well as Penn Station and Madison Square Garden. The hope, it seems, is that those passing through will have a similar reaction as Monroe’s, exclaiming “Isn’t it delicious?”


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