Aby Rosen is bringing back the Chrysler Building’s observation deck

Landmarks Preservation Commission approved the plan after a Zoom presentation

TRD New York /
May.May 21, 2020 09:16 AM
Aby Rosen of RFR Realty and the Chrysler Building (Getty; iStock)

Aby Rosen of RFR Realty and the Chrysler Building (Getty; iStock)

The last observation deck at the Chrysler Building closed in 1945. Now, it’s getting a new one.

Aby Rosen’s RFR Realty and architecture firm Gensler received unanimous approval from the Landmarks Preservation Commission for the plans, which were presented in a Zoom meeting Tuesday.

The deck will be positioned on the terraces that frame the 61st floor of the 77-floor tower, according to the New York Post. They will feature eight-foot-tall protective glass walls, which Rosen reportedly told the commission would be virtually invisible from the ground.

RFR and partner Sigma Holding GmbH bought the ground lease for the building at 405 Lexington Avenue from Tishman Speyer and an Abu Dhabi fund last year for $151 million. Since then, Rosen has been discreet about his plans for the iconic structure, however, he told Bloomberg last year that he wanted to bring back the Cloud Club venue, and has reportedly expressed a desire to include retail and restaurants at the site.

The Real Deal previously reported that RFR gave existing retail tenants notice last June that their leases would not be renewed, because the owner wants to restore and renovate. At least six retailers, including a barbershop and a dry cleaner, have since vacated the site.

The previous observation deck, known as the Celestial, was on the 71st floor. It’s unclear when the new deck will be opened to the public, but it will face competition. SL Green Realty is planning an observation deck at the nearby One Vanderbilt, and last year Related Companies opened The Edge at 30 Hudson Yards, the tallest outdoor observation deck in the Western Hemisphere. [NYP] — Sylvia Varnham O’Regan


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