At the southwest corner of Central Park lies one of Manhattan’s most trafficked intersections, and one of its greatest anomalies: Columbus Circle, the only roundabout in a city of right angles. Since its construction in the 1850’s, the circle has become one of the borough’s most iconic landmarks, immediately recognizable since 1982 by the grand, pillared monument to Christopher Columbus that dominates its center. But just as iconic is the building that mirrors it: a two-towered amalgam of glass, steel, and concrete, unveiled in 2003 as Time Warner Center.
Every building in New York has a story, but the story of this one is particularly complex. Throughout the twentieth century, the area around Columbus Circle was one of the most contested sites in the history of New York. In 1998, Related Companies, and Apollo Real Estate Advisors were formally tasked with building a new structure at the Circle—one that would encapsulate the city at the dawn of the twenty-first century—but it would take six long years of negotiation, design, and redesign to get there. Reinventing Columbus Circle is the first book to tell this story—a rich tapestry of politics, celebrity, finance and architecture. Featuring never-before-seen images, this book provides an illuminating look not only at the construction of one of New York’s most distinctive buildings, but also the incredible feats that surrounded its arrival.