The Rotterdam Tower is a super-tall Art Deco skyscraper on the island of Algonquin based on New York City's Empire State Building in Grand Theft Auto IV. At 1,472 feet from lobby to antenna and standing 102 stories high, it dominates the Liberty City skyline.
The Rotterdam Tower was built in 1930-1931. It stood as the tallest building in Liberty City just after another tall skyscraper, the Zirconium Building was built a few blocks away. The Rotterdam Tower was the tallest building in the world, but was overcome by another unnamed skyscraper in another city. The tower takes its bane from "New Rotterdam", Liberty City's former name during the 1700s (named after John Rotterdam); this is a reference to "New Amsterdam", New York's name during the same period.
The Rotterdam Tower is an Art Deco skyscraper located in Midtown Algonquin, in The Triangle district south of Star Junction. It covers its entire block, bounded by Garnet Street to the south, Frankfort Avenue to the west, Hematite Street to the north and Denver-Exeter Avenue to the east. The Tower consists of 102 floors (including its pinnacle), the 82nd exterior observatory deck being originally the only one accessible in GTA IV (via the building's main entrance on Denver-Exeter Avenue).
From dusk to dawn, the building is lit by floodlights in the colors blue, white and red, (an inversion of the red, white, and blue seen on the Empire State Building during some American holidays). Due to its great height, the Rotterdam Tower can be seen from nearly all parts of the city. It's an amazing clear view if seen from the city. Likewise, the entire expanse of Liberty City and Alderney (in other words the entire game "sandbox" region) can be seen from the top of the spire on a clear day.
In The Ballad of Gay Tony, more details are added to the Rotterdam Tower, changes that were prominently featured during "High Dive". The building features a ground lobby that the player can enter; the spire of the building may also be accessed by climbing up a series of ladders. The colored floodlights are pink now, as opposed to the blue, white, and red seen in GTA IV and The Lost and Damned (in the Episodes from Liberty City version of The Lost and Damned, the building acquires the properties added in The Ballad of Gay Tony).
Due to its importance in the city and America, the tower is guarded by police officers with Carbine Rifles stationed at the entrance of the building.
82nd floor observatory
Main Article: 82nd Floor Observatory
This observatory offers fantastic views of the city. There are multiple binoculars to view the city, and ladders on the east and western faces to descend to setbacks slightly below the observatory. The absence of railings on the observatory makes it a hot-spot for suicide jumpers; one helitour pilot mentions that his brother attempted to BASE jump from the 82nd floor, but was stopped by security guards who "were tubby, but they sure could move!" These security guards seem to be absent from the observatory, however.
In The Ballad Of Gay Tony, multiple changes have been made to the observatory. There are numerous signs directing the locations of exits. There is a large neon sign, facing north which displays "Rotterdam Tower: Top of the World", which is easily viewable from Star Junction. The addition of a stairwell on the south-western corner of the observatory allows for players to climb up to the base of the Rotterdam Tower's spire. The stairwell has been complemented by the removal of the four satellite dishes and water towers around the spire's base. Finally, the addition of two ladders on the spire allow players to climb up to the top of the 102nd floor interior observation deck, and the top of the antenna respectively, allowing for the highest Base Jump from a building in game. A parachute is located on the top of the first ladder. There has also been the removal of the two ladders on the eastern and western faces of the building, which in GTA IV allowed players to descend to the immediate setback below.
Despite the height of the building, the observatory is useless for sniping, as pedestrians and vehicles will not spawn on the ground while the player is at that height. The observatory is safe from police, as officers cannot utilize the building entrance and police helicopters usually won't fly that high; there are no other vectors of escape, however, so the Tower is an inadvisable destination if it lies within the Wanted search radius. However, in The Ballad of Gay Tony, one can use the observatory as an escape from the police (even to a six star wanted level), with the inclusion of a parachute on the mast which allows for a jump to safety.
The nearest subway stop is Suffolk LTA on the K/C Algonquin Inner Line, in on the border of The Triangle and in the neighboring district of Suffolk. The surface exits emerge outside the southern face of the Tower. Go north-east to the entrance and eastern face of the Tower. A dangerous alternative means of accessing the observation deck (or higher) is to take a helicopter and bail out at the top. To access the observation deck from ground level, players can use the entrance on the Denver-Exeter Avenue side of the building.
- There is also an Empire State Building equivalent in the GTA III and GTA Liberty City Stories version of Manhattan, although it is not named in-game.
- Going by its real-life counterpart, the Rotterdam Tower, at a height of 1,472 feet (approximately 449 meters), is the tallest skyscraper in any GTA game. The second tallest skyscraper, the tallest tower in Downtown, Vice City, is only 6 feet (2 meters) shorter.
- Seeing as The Lost and Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony are both on the same disc for Episodes from Liberty City, TBoGT's rendition of the building is present in TLAD, however the only use for it is death, but the player will most likely hit just above the 82nd floor observatory.
- A patched glitch allowed players to pilot helicopters through certain areas of the building, and from there to fly under the map (see Blue Hell). A video detailing how to use this glitch can be found here. By flying under the map, the player could reach and access certain mission-only building interiors.
- The Rotterdam Tower, especially its 82nd floor observatory, is an excellent place for the player to obtain the "One Man Army" Achievement. To do this, the player must first load up on guns, ammunition and obtain full armour. To do this, the player has to gain a six star wanted level on ground level by destroying vehicles and killing police officers and pedestrians. Once they gain the six star wanted level, go to the Rotterdam Tower's 82nd floor observatory. Alternatively, the player can go to the 82nd floor observatory and obtain a six star wanted level there by typing in the "Gain One Star Wanted Level" cheat six times. The police cannot access the player while they are up there, however, the Police Mavericks and the Annihilators can. If they come for you, just shoot them down, either with a Rocket Launcher or by sniping them down with the Sniper Rifle or Combat Sniper rifle. Keep this up for five minutes and the player should gain the achievement. (Note: in the PS3 version, the helicopters often will not fly as high as the observation level, making obtaining the achievement even easier.)
- GTA IV
Pre-release screenshot of the Rotterdam Tower at night, depicting an array of floodlight colors that differs from the final version.
The Rotterdam Tower's night lighting in its finalized form.
The 82nd floor observatory.
Eastern grand entrance of Rotterdam Tower, with a guarding LCPD officer at the entrance. Note also the "Empire State" relief on top of the grand entrance.
- The Ballad of Gay Tony
The modified pinnacle of the tower in The Ballad of Gay Tony, featuring different floodlight colors, a "Rotterdam Tower: Top of the World" sign, and a redesigned spire and antenna.
The spire and antenna at the top the tower, TBOGT. Both have been redesigned in the game to be scalable via a series of ladders. The spire and antenna are accessible from the 82nd floor observatory via a staircase on the south-western corner (pictured on the bottom right).
The Rotterdam Tower's ground level lobby, accessible from the eastern entrance, TBOGT.