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Bill Cotter

Looking towards the Heliport from La Spirale

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Remember when heliports were going to be a thing? lol

Sometimes, when I play GTA4, Liberty City, I'll land a copter on top of their version of the old Pan Am tower just for the hell of it.  Their tiny version of the fair doesn't have the 64 heliport building, but the NY Pavilion is represented and you can climb the towers!

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When I was sixteen I traveled from Syracuse to NYC with my best friend.  We stayed with his cousins somewhere on Long Island but the two of us went into the City by ourselves.  His uncle worked in the Pan Am Building and he took us to the rooftop heliport.  The unobstructed view of the City took my breath away.  It was spectacular.  While we were there, a helicopter landed and that was an incredible thing to see especially for two kids from the backwoods of Upstate New York.

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Great story!

I just mentioned the "Pan Am" bldg this morning and took pride in calling it that and not MetLife or whatsomever it is now!

I grew up twenty blocks north of there, a NY standard mile, and remember excitedly watching helos landing down wide Park Ave. I was also convinced roof heliports would be a thing. The crash was a huge and horrifying blow in my young life: a literal, "that could have been me," walking where the rotors fell.

The view from the similar height of Rock Center always appealed more to me than the view from the taller Empire State. You could SEE Empire State from 30 Rock. You were in a bldg not in a plane.


PS I mentioned the PanAm bldg this morning to a friend in reference to Calatrava's Oculus structure above the WTC PATH station. Rather than compare architecture or other artistic features, my pedestrian observation was, Jeesh that will be as hard to clean as the PanAm bldg. 

We know how grimy the Brass Rail white roofs got. And those were smooth round surfaces! Those concrete boxes on each window of the Pan Am facade were practically designed to optimally collect dirt and be difficult to clean.

They pressure cleaned that entire tower maybe ten years back and it looked like a different building.

...Then of course there's the icicles dropping from the tips and the unsightly barricades that will need to be set up around the building. The lawsuits...

I'm a glass half empty guy when it comes to city planning. 


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