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Workers flee 93-floor New York skyscraper as building starts shaking: ‘It is very scary’

A building spokesperson said the incident was caused by elevator repairs

Abe Asher
Tuesday 21 March 2023 22:31 GMT
New York skyscraper 200 Amsterdam

A number of workers fled the new One Vanderbilt skyscraper in Manhattan on Tuesday after they felt the building dramatically shake.

A spokesperson for the building, constructed at a cost of more than $3bn just north of the Grand Central terminal in Midtown, said the shaking was caused by elevator repairs and did not cause any injuries.

Workers didn’t know that, however, when they felt a tremor in the building and feared it was going to collapse. Bridgette Devine tweeted that she was working at the building when it “felt like the floor dropped 5 feet.”

“Working at #onevanderbilt today and it felt like the floor dropped 5 feet and continued to bounce,” Ms Devine wrote. “Evacuated to Madison Avenue and mutiple (sic) floors are reporting this. 13, 33, and 60. So far they say they are investigating and there is ‘no cause for concern’. It is very scary.”

Others in the building shared similar testimonies on Twitter.

“@one_vanderbilt huge ‘shake’ just ran through the building,” a user with the name Colin Ho wrote. “felt on the 14th, 51st, and 60th floors. what was it??? felt like a huge sine wave running through the building. anyone else feel it.”

The One Vanderbilt skyscraper was completed in 2020 and is perhaps best known for its observation platform called Summit One Vanderbilt that provides a view over the entire city. The building is New York’s fourth-tallest, trailing only One World Trade Center, the Central Park Tower, and 111 West 57th Street.

According to a spokesperson for the building, no one was using the observation deck on Tuesday when workers in the building felt shaking.

“Earlier today an exterior elevator at SUMMIT One Vanderbilt malfunctioned while mechanics were performing maintenance on it, causing a vibration to be felt in the building,’ the spokesperson told

“SUMMIT was closed to the public at the time, no one was injured and there is no danger to the building or its occupants.”

The building’s tenants include a number of banking, technology, and law firms.

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