In the city within a city rising west of Pennsylvania Station are many astonishing sights.
The most astonishing — for the moment, anyway — is a mammoth steel structure, as long as a city block, that seems to float 51½ feet over the ground at Ninth Avenue and 33rd Street.
With a volume of 1.2 million cubic feet, this structure alone would be more than enough of a building in most parts of New York City. But on the Far West Side of Manhattan, which is being redeveloped at a gargantuan scale, it is merely a pedestal for a skyscraper that will eventually soar 995 feet.
The $1 billion skyscraper, called 1 Manhattan West, will not simply sit on this pedestal. It will balance on it.
The pedestal extends 42 feet beyond the building’s core to the north and south. The south overhang will suspend the tower over three parallel Long Island Rail Road tracks. The north overhang will act as a counterbalance. […]