New York City has an incredible skyline, and the best place to get a view of this is from some of the several skyscrapers in the city. But the hard part is getting to the rooftops of these skyscrapers. So, how do you sneak onto a rooftop in NYC?
Sneaking onto a rooftop in NYC may amount to trespass, but some people still do it. If you want to, it helps to research in advance, try to locate the best entrance, and be ready to fail a few times. Most people go to the rooftop for unbeatable views of the city and access to sunlight and fresh air.
However, some buildings don’t allow rooftop access because of the building codes and insurance fees. Here, we discuss whether it’s legal to sneak onto rooftops, tips for sneaking onto a rooftop in NYC, and whether it’s advisable to do so.
Is It Legal to Sneak on Rooftop?
Sneaking onto the rooftops in NYC is generally prohibited for safety reasons, and in most cases, you’ll be required to have an escort with you when going to the rooftop. For this reason, many skyscrapers, whether commercial or residential buildings, usually have their rooftop locked so that only approved personnel can have access to this part of the property.
If you want to have rooftop views, there are many places where you can get this view even if you have to pay. The Empire State Building is a good example. There are many other places in the city, such as rooftop bars and hotels, where you may have to buy something and even dress up to get in and get a view of the city. Several hotels in New York City have accessible rooftops, and if you’re lodging in the hotel, you can easily have access to the rooftop.
The best way to get to a rooftop is to ask for permission from someone who has access to the rooftop. Many people in New York City have access to rooftops. It could be someone who works in an office in a skyscraper. Most times, you’ll need permission and an escort to access rooftops in the city.
Tips for Sneaking onto a Rooftop in NYC
If you’re planning to sneak onto a rooftop in NYC, these tips could help you:
1. Research In Advance
Using the roof when it’s not allowed could cause damage to the roof because some roofs aren’t strong enough to sustain the weight of people on them. So, if you’re planning to sneak onto a roof, make sure you do your research ahead and confirm the roof’s safety, especially in terms of the weight it can carry. You don’t want to injure yourself in the process of exploring a rooftop or cause damage that could lead to you getting caught.
2. Try To Find the Entrance
The tricky thing is finding the entrance that leads to the roof. Getting inside the building itself requires getting past the security at worst, and you can do this by entering immediately after a tenant to give an impression you’re together. While you might easily get into the building, the entrance leading to the roof will usually be locked in most public buildings. This means the elevator will only get you so far. Your best bet is knowing someone who has the key to the roof and is willing to give you. Even without that, there are still several buildings with open access to their rooftops in NYC. Once you can locate the entrance, it’s only a matter of stealth.
3. Be Ready for Failure
If you’re planning to sneak into the roof of any building in New York, then you should be ready for a whole string of failures. Several tall buildings in New York have guards covering the building to prevent anyone without property authority from entering. But, even if you can bypass the security, you still have to deal with the locked rooftops. Many rooftops have their entrance under lock to prevent illegal access, which could lead to liability. So, it’ll take a combination of willpower and luck for you to sneak into a rooftop.
Why Go to Rooftops in New York City
There are lots of reasons to go to the rooftop in NYC. It could be due to a sense of adventure. But the primary reasons people go to the rooftop include:
1. Access To Fresh Air and Sunlight
NYC is like any other metropolitan area when it comes to apartments. Unless you’re ultrarich, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to afford an apartment with spacious balconies and backyards. This means one of the best places to get access to fresh air and sunshine in the city is on the rooftop. Going to the rooftop is something that almost everyone in New York has tried. In fact, many people look for rooftops when they’re trying to get an apartment.
2. Get A View of The City
Another reason to go to the rooftop is that you want to view the city. New York has some of the most skyscrapers in the world. From the roof, you can get an unbeatable view of the city. This is something that locals and visitors look forward to experiencing whenever they visit the city.
Why Some Buildings Prevent Rooftop Access
It’s not every apartment allows roof access to the roof. This is usually due to two reasons:
1. Insurance Fees
Having access to the roof might be fun for you, but it’s an extra liability for the landlord. Being on the roof usually means an increased risk of falling off, injury, and even death. There have been instances where people with access to the roof have committed suicide there. All these issues mean extra stress for the landlord, and some usually opt to lock the roof instead of paying higher insurance premiums.
2. Building Codes
Some buildings don’t allow access to the roof because they don’t meet the building code. A bulletin by the Department of Building in 2018 stipulates that for any building to allow roof access, it must meet the New York Fire Department and New York City Department of Buildings codes. The requirements usually include having the weight capacity and the number of exits. These structural inadequacies could prevent a building from allowing roof access.
Is it advisable to sneak to rooftops in NYC?
It’s not advisable to sneak on rooftops. There’s a reason they’re usually locked because of the risks. Anyone with vertigo could get nauseous, lose balance, or fall off. Even if you have all the inner strength, it’s still illegal and amounts to trespassing. The security might let you off easy if you’re caught. But they could also hand you over to the police, who may charge you to court. So, you risk personal safety and your freedom.
Sneaking onto a rooftop in NYC might be a bit difficult and could be illegal. But there are still lots of people that do it. If you’re concerned about the risks, you could get legal access to a rooftop at several hotels and rooftop bars.