The Rotterdam Tower is a super-tall Art Deco skyscraper on the island of Algonquin based on New York's Empire State Building in Grand Theft Auto IV. At 1472 feet (448.7 meters) from lobby to antenna and standing 102 stories high, it is the tallest building in the entire Grand Theft Auto series, similar to how it was the tallest in the entire world when it opened. Also, the Rotterdam Tower is the tallest building in Liberty City, realistically similar to the real Empire State Building. The tower's main entrance is located on Denver-Exeter Avenue (the lobby is only accessible, in TBoGT).
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 got its name from "New Rotterdam", Liberty City's former name during the 1700s. 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).
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. There are also new letters on the top floor reading "Rotterdam Tower" in bright red. The colored floodlights are pink now, as opposed to the blue, white, and red seen in GTA IV and the original downloadable version of The Lost and Damned.
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.
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 the Police, as Police Officers cannot utilize the building entrance. There are no other vectors of escape, 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.
Not all is known about stations broadcasted from the Rotterdam Tower but these stations can possibly be broadcasted from the Rotterdam tower:
- IF99 - International Funk
- Vladivostok FM
- K109 The Studio
- WKTT Radio
- The Beat 102.7
- L.C.H.C - Liberty City Hardcore
- The Classics 104.1
- Fusion FM
- JNR - Jazz Nation Radio 108.5
- The Journey
- Liberty Rock Radio 97.8
- Massive B Soundsystem 96.9
- Radio Broker
- San Juan Sounds
- Tuff Gong Radio
- The Vibe 98.8
- Integrity 2.0
- GTA IV
- The Ballad of Gay Tony
Due to its importance in the city and America, the tower is guarded by Police Officers with Carbine Rifles. These Police Officers can be found at the entrance of the building.
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.
A patched glitch (still not patched on Xbox 360) 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 or here. By flying under the map, the player can reach and access certain mission-only building interiors, as well as any building with a floor base, such as the hangers at the aiport. This can be done on both single player and multiplayer.
- Going by its real-life counterpart, the Rotterdam Tower is the tallest skyscraper in any GTA game.
- 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 for suicidal jumps, but the player will most likely hit just above the 82nd floor observatory.
- There is also an Empire State Building equivalent in the GTA III and GTA Liberty City Stories version of Manhattan, although it is a bit more similar to the Chrysler building (Looking more like a mix between both). It is unnamed in the game, but the Liberty Tree car park is at the base of this tower.
- Its similarity to the Empire State Building is noted on one of Brucie's heli rides, as he states "if I were that big chimp, I'd climb it too!", as a reference to King Kong, specifically the scene where King Kong climbs the Empire State Building.
- In GTA IV you cannot climb to the the top of the building but on TBoGT some ladders appear on the tower to climb which you use on the mission High Dive.
- In GTA IV, the night lights of the tower glow of red, white and blue. But however, in The Ballad of Gay Tony, the lights change to a bright purple, white and light blue, depicting the new style of game.
- The Rotterdam Tower is one of the Base Jump points in The Ballad of Gay Tony, resulting you to landing in City Hall.
- It is a reference to the city of Rotterdam in the Netherlands.
- The Rotterdam Tower is located nearby the West River when in real-life it's conterpart Empire State Building, is located in Midtown Manhattan, more than a mile from south Central Park and not nearby the Hudson River.
- When you have a high wanted level there will be police snipers will have a PSG-1 sniper rifle.