Christian de Portzamparc’s One57 Gets Turn in Hurricane Sandy Spotlight

Ze crane! The flaccid crane at One57, slated to be the tallest residential property in Manhattan.

Sandy came, she saw, she conquered–and she made a global megastar out of a building project that already had garnered plenty of buzz among New York real estate mavens and architecture buffs: One57, Extell’s 1,000-foot mixed-use tower designed by Christian de Portzamparc. On Monday afternoon, as the storm winds strengthened, the crane at the construction site buckled with a boom that those in the vicinity at first mistook for a thunder clap. Cut to a frightening shot of the crane’s top portion dangling like a limp tree limb and poised to plummet 90 stories below to the Manhattan thoroughfare of West 57th Street.

On TV, the injured crane and the luxe tower-in-progress got almost as much airtime as drenched, windbreaker-clad correspondents and, as coverage wore on and darkness set in, provided rain-pelted reporters with a few moments of respite from the cameras. CNN’s Piers Morgan located a “crane expert” and then pressed him to concur that a total collapse was imminent. Donald Trump chimed in on Twitter. There were no mentions of Portzamparc (or of Tomas Juul-Hansen, who is masterminding One57’s interiors), only of the “several billionaires” that had already purchased condos in the 95-unit building. Meanwhile, the crane is hanging in there. “Our hope is that tomorrow they’ll be able to find a way to pull it in, and then cable it to the building so it’s not going to fall,” said Mayor Michael Bloomberg in a press conference today.