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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

NYC: The Trump Building

NYC: The Trump Building
Originally uploaded by wallyg
40 Wall Street, built in 1928-1930 for the Bank of the Manhattan Co., is best known for its race for the world's tallest building neck to neck with the Chrysler Building. Designed by H. Craig Servance, along with Yasuo Matsui and Shreve & Lamb, it was built simultaneously with the rivalling building. Both made design revisions as they were being built to add height, first with a raised spire in the Chrysler Building, countered by a heighened pyramid roof in the 40 Wall St. Finally, the 70-storey building was topped out with the raised pyramidal top and lantern, escalating the height to 927 feet, the builders being certain that they'd won. But when the Chrysler Building's secretly-raised needle-like vertex, raised three weeks earlier, was finally publicized, 40 Wall was left to hold the second place in skyscraper rankings. (Although according to the Real Estate Weekly, the 282.5 m tall building still holds the title of the "tallest mid-block building".)

The Bank of the Manhattan Company, which eventually became Chase Manhattan, opened its first office here in September 1799. It was founded by Aaron Burr against the opposition of Alexander Hamilton. The New York Stock & Exchange Board, as the NYSE was then called, had its first permanent office here in 1817. The United States Life Insurance Co. moved its operations here in 1852.

In 1946, 40 Wall Street was hit by a United States Coast Guard airplane in 1946 during fog. The crash killed five people, and the pyramidal tower was damaged. Though zoned for commercial use only, it has been said that Governor Thomas A. Dewey took residence below the observation deck for a time.

In 1995, Donald Trump bought the building for $8 million and renamed it the Trump Building. He intended to convert the upper half of it to residential space, leaving the bottom half as commercial space. However, today it remains 100% commercial space.

40 Wall Street was designated a landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1998.

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