Drake Hotel aka 432 Park > NYC: A day in the life

Aerial Photography New York City

The Money Shot: A clear view of Central Park and beyond.

From a thousand feet AGL the steep angle of view over the General Motors (GM) building allows a full vista of Central Park and beyond. Critical to the unit appraisal process is show-me proof of which floors will have the clear & partial views over all of these neighboring buildings. At these altitudes all the boroughs of New York City are at your feet. The mind boggles at what the viewshed will be at the 70th floor.

There is no “secret sauce“.

The Macklowe Corp had originally purchased (2006) The Drake (built 1926) at Park Ave. & 56th Street for $418 million, before destroying it in 2007.  The high profile site sat empty until June 2012.

Ascending to 1000′ AGL

The guys in the Macklowe office in the General Motors building took this shot through their window. We are ascending from the 500 foot level. At about the 600 foot level we entered a micro wave communications beam of high frequency energy that essentially took over our electronics with loss of our video link, the camera panning uncontrollably and firing the shutter. Luckily the beam was only about 10’ thick and we safely pass through it and again on the decent. High frequency interference is common but it has no affect on the safety of our system.

The 432 Park project: A Viewshed to Die For

At 1000′AGL we are now 100 feet above the Citibank building and at the pinnacle of the Chrysler building. The viewshed will only get better at the penthouse levels @ 1300 feet .

Beyond and Below Helicopter Limits

Buried among towering skyscrapers all around is the snow covered Drake roof just visible. We have just launched and are about 50 feet off the roof.

A tight fit for launch space.

This shot was also supplied by Macklowe. Knowing our launch area is a necessary part of our pre flight due diligence research. It was the only open spot on the Drake roof and a tight fit. The tail of our 30 foot blimp (aka:Bertha) hung over the 200′ drop off edge of the building while swinging on the tether mast. Yes, the snow was still there on shoot day.

A Sense of Scale

Here is a blurb about the new Drake project from Curbed.com. It gives you an idea about the scale of the building in relation to the neighbors.  432 Park Place construction started in June 2012.  Units are to sell in the $8500 per sq foot.