A 17-Year-Old Climbed NYC's Tallest New Building and Took These Photos

By Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan on at

We've watched the future tallest residential building in America grow from a mere rendering into an almost-complete building over the past three years. 432 Park Avenue is now a prime target for the growing number of daredevils who climb forbidden or abandoned structures and bring back photos as proof—and now, a 17-year-old urban explorer has done just that.

432 Park is in the final stages of construction, with a completion date expected this winter. But the site of this structurally remarkable skyscraper—arguably the most interesting new building NYC has seen in years—is still very much an off-limits work site. That didn't stop a young Instagram user named Demidism, aka Demid Lebedev, who climbed to the top of the tower last week. After Untapped Cities and AnimalNY noticed the photos, we got in touch with Lebedev to write about them—he's since posted more from the top of the building.

When it tops out this fall, 432 will reach 1,379 feet, making it the tallest North American building you can actually live in. What's most exciting about it is the design: It is extraordinarily thin for a tall building. And its facade, which is made up of uniform square plate glass windows, actually acts as a primary structural system—the concrete frames around the windows are like an exoskeleton that supports the rest of the structure.

Since 432 will eventually be a super-exclusive place of repose for the incredibly wealthy, this is probably the only glimpse most of us will get from inside the building.

But none of that really matters in terms of Demidism, whose photos show both the construction site and Manhattan around it, shrouded in fog, in the early hours of the morning. They're tagged things like #OnTheClouds and #ChasingRooftops, and in one, his caption reads "I went to heaven and back."

If you scroll back through Demidism's feed you'll find a slew of obligatory trainers-hanging-off-of-skyscrapers photos, as well as things like a photo of an IRL ninja turtle getting a pizza delivered mid-sewer exploration. Those are great—who doesn't love urban exploration with a few jokes thrown in?—but seeing the city from above the cloud cover is even cooler.