By Leanna Garfield

At 1,401 feet tall, One Vanderbilt tower will soon become the second tallest skyscraper in New York City.

To make room for the tower, which celebrated its groundbreaking on October 18, five buildings in midtown Manhattan needed to be knocked down. The site stretches from 42nd to 43rd Street on Vanderbilt Avenue, and the full demolition took 18 months, Joe Ross, the EVP of AECOM Tishman (which led the demolition), tells Business Insider.

The process happened in four phases and wrapped up in August, Ross says. During the first two, the construction crew stripped the interior drywall of the 23-story buildings and removed any asbestos from the walls.

“Demolitions are always a challenge, because you never know what’s in the walls,” Ross says. “These buildings have gone under repairs over the years, but you never know what might be in there from back in the ’20s or ’30s when they were built.”

The crew built scaffolding around the site’s perimeter for the third phase. The scaffolding featured netting as a safety precaution, so that nothing could fall onto the sidewalk below. On the ground, sheltered walkways allowed pedestrians to move along Vanderbilt Avenue.

The five buildings began to disappear during the fourth phase. Starting at the top, the crew used machines that chipped away at the concrete and burned through the steel frames. Cutting the steel into pieces, the team moved the large debris through elevator and stairway shafts to the ground floor. There, workers shoveled it into trucks, which carried the pieces away from the site. Then bulldozers removed any remaining debris.

Check out a video of the demolition below:

One Vanderbilt, which will be 375 feet shorter than the World Trade Center, is set to be complete by 2020. The tower’s developers, SL Green, first envisioned it 15 years ago, according to Curbed. When complete, it will dwarf the Empire State Building — the current third tallest Manhattan skyscraper.

Most of the 1.7 million-square-foot building, designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox, will hold luxe offices spread over 58 floors. As the anchor tenant, TD Bank has agreed to lease 200,000 square feet of the building. A 30,000-square-foot floor will also include a “world-class dining” facility.

one vanderbilt

SL Green

A rendering of a One Vanderbilt office building.

One Vanderbilt will connect to the subways and trains at Grand Central Terminal. Part of the zoning deal requires the developers to provide $220 million in renovations to Grand Central. The funds will create a new public transit hall and 14,000-square-foot pedestrian plaza, according to Gothamist.

The skyscraper will change the area around the terminal — both at the ground level and at 1,401 feet in the air.

NOW WATCH: China demolished a 27-story ‘ghost building’ in seconds

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Source:: Business By Insider

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