Suits and Hard Hats Raise High the Roof Beam at 51 Astor

photo (68)Sasha von Oldershausen The last beam is raised.

As the Public Theater unveiled its renovations today, another conspicuous construction project was also celebrating, right down the block. A communion of suits and hard hats marked the addition of a final structural beam to the top of 51 Astor.

The office tower’s “topping out” ceremony was attended by some 170 construction workers who have been working at the site since July of 2011, as well as 75 guests that included financial partners, architects, engineers, and contractors of the site.

The building, designed by Japanese architect Fumihiko Maki, now stands at its proposed 12 stories with 400,000 square feet of space.

photo (69)Sasha von Oldershausen Carlos Olivieri

At ground level, caterers served chicken parmigiana, meatballs, shepherd’s pie, and an assortment of cookies to the guests of honor.

“It’s a ceremony where we honor the construction workers who have taken the building this far and we also invite our financial partners, our architects and engineers, the contractors who made this all possible,” said Carlos Olivieri, Senior Vice-President of construction and development at Edward J. Minskoff Equities, Inc. as he nibbled on a cookie with pink sprinkles.

The office tower got its first panels of glass this week, but has yet to announce a tenant. In July, The Local learned that the Hult International Business School was no longer pursuing space in the building, which is required to house at least one academic institution.