Helmut Jahn (1940 – ) is a German-born, Chicago-based architect of international renown, with five colorfully distinctive New York towers (and one mid-rise) under his belt. The proposed but not built Television City would have been a record-breaker on behalf of The Donald (Trump). A new Jahn-designed tower – 50 West Street – is now underway.
After emigrating to the U.S., Jahn studied at the Illinois Institute of Technology under famed Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. He joined the firm of C.F. Murphy Associates in 1967. The roof of Jahn’s first major project, Kemper Arena (1974), collapsed in 1979. But his practice hardly skipped a beat: Eight major projects filled the years 1980-1986. In 1987-1989 he exploded on the New York scene with six projects: Office towers 425 Lexington Avenue, City Spire, International Plaza, and Park Avenue Tower, plus America Apartments. A smaller project – the 12-story Metropolitan Transportation Authority Building located in Brooklyn – was completed in 1989.
Jahn also designed Donald Trump’s proposed 150-story Television City.
After nearly 30 years’ absence, Jahn design is again under construction in New York. The long-dormant 50 West Street project, a 63-story mixed-use tower, is slated for 2016 completion.
Helmut Jahn New York Buildings
- 425 Lexington Avenue (1987)
- City Spire (1987)
- International Plaza (1987)
- Park Avenue Tower (1987)
- America Apartments (1987)
- Metropolitan Transportation Authority Building (1989)
- 50 West Street (2016)
Helmut Jahn Suggested Reading
- Wikipedia entry
- ArchDaily blog
- GreatBuildings.com architects
- The New York Times ARCHITECT PUTS HIS MARK ON SKYLINE (September 8, 1986)
- The New York Times TRUMP ANNOUNCES PLAN TO CONSTRUCT WORLD’S TALLEST BUILDING (November 19, 1985)
- New York YIMBY blog Construction Update: 50 West Street (October 22, 2013)