40 Wall Street
is a 70-story skyscraper
located in New York City. Originally
known as the Bank of Manhattan Trust building
was later known by its street address when its founding tenant
merged to form the Chase Manhattan
and today is known as the The Trump
.The building, located between Nassau
Street and William
Street in Manhattan, New York City, was completed in 1930 after only 11
months of construction.
The building was designed by H.
, along with
(associate architect), and
Shreve & Lamb
architects). Der Scutt
of Der Scutt
Architect designed the lobby and entrance renovation. Its pinnacle reaches
927 feet (282.5 m) and was very briefly the tallest building in the world,
soon surpassed by the Chrysler Building finished that same year.
Race to be the world's tallest building
Construction of the Bank of Manhattan
Building at 40 Wall Street began in 1928, with a planned height of
840 feet, making it 135 feet (41 m) taller than the nearby Woolworth
Building, completed in 1913. More importantly, the
plans were designed to be two feet taller than the Chrysler
Building, which was
in an ostensible competition to be the world’s tallest
Lower portion of The Trump
Building at 40 Wall Street
In order to stay ahead of the race, the architects
of 40 Wall changed their originally announced height of 840 feet,
or 68 stories, to 927 feet, or 71 stories, making their building,
upon completion in May of 1930, the tallest in the world. However,
this triumph turned out to be exceptionally short-lived.
405 Lexington Avenue, the Chrysler Building developers were in the
works to not only top 40 Wall Street, but also the nearby Empire State
By October of 1929, tycoon Walter Chrysler
used his secret weapon to
win the race to the top; a 125-foot (38 m) stainless steel spire
was clandestinely assembled in the Chrysler Building's crown and
hoisted into place, bringing it to a height of 77 stories, or 1,048
feet. Once completed on May 28, 1930, the Chrysler Building
surpassed 40 Wall Street as the tallest building on the earth,
fulfilling tycoon Walter Chrysler's dream.
Upset by Chrysler’s victory, Shreve & Lamb, consulting
architects of 40 Wall Street, wrote a newspaper article claiming
that their building was actually the tallest, since it contained
the world's highest usable floor. They pointed out that the
observation deck in the Bank of Manhattan Building was nearly 100
feet above the top floor in the Chrysler Building, whose surpassing
spire was strictly ornamental and essentially inaccessible.
However, such trivialities became a moot point when the Empire
State Building was completed eleven months later in 1931, becoming
the world’s tallest building at 1,250 feet.
On the evening of May 20, 1946, a United States Army Air Forces
into the north side of the building. The twin-engined plane
was heading for Newark Airport on a flight originating at Lake Charles
Army Air Field in Louisiana.
It struck the 58th floor of the building at
approximately 8:10 PM, creating a 20 by 10 foot hole in the
masonry, and killing all five aboard the plane, including a
Fog and low visibility were identified as the main causes of the
the time of the accident, LaGuardia Field reported a heavy fog that reduced the ceiling to
500 feet, making the ground impossible to be seen by the pilot at
the building's 58th story level.
Upon impact, several parts
of the aircraft, along with pieces of brick and mortar from the
building, fell into the street below. However, there were no
reported injuries of any of the estimated 2,000 workers in the
building, nor anyone on the street.
at 40 Wall Street was only the second of its kind in New York
City's history, the first being when an Army B-25 bomber struck the 78th floor of
the Empire State
Building in July of the year before.
The cause of
that crash was also fog and poor visibility.
incident was the last time an airplane accidentally struck a
skyscraper in New York City until October 11, 2006, when a small
plane carrying New York Yankees
pitcher Cory Lidle slammed into a
50-story condo building on Manhattan's Upper East Side.
Decline and revival
In 1982, Joseph J. and Ralph E. Bernstein purchased 40 Wall Street
and were later found to be acting on behalf of Ferdinand E. Marcos, the late President of the
However, when Marcos was removed from power
and his assets in the United States were frozen, the building was
placed in limbo.
In 1995, after years of neglect, 40 Wall Street was bought by
and later renamed The
. He planned to convert the upper half of it to
residential space, leaving the bottom half as commercial space.
However, the cost of converting it to residential space proved to
be too high, and it remains 100% commercial space. He attempted to
sell the building in 2003, expecting offers in excess of $300
million. Such offers did not materialize, and Trump retains control
of the building. In the ninth episode of the fourth season of
, Trump claimed he only paid $1 million for the
building, but that it was actually worth $400 million. This episode
aired 17 November 2005. On CNBC's The Billionaire Inside
again claimed he paid $1 million for the building, but stated the
value as $600 million, a $200 million increase from two years
earlier. The episode aired 17 October 2007 on CNBC.It is also
stated that the building was bought for $1 million, in the book
"Donald Trump - Strategies For Real Estate" written by George H.
Ross (his legal advisor).
In 1998, the building was designated a landmark by the New York
City Landmarks Preservation Commission
. The tower is the
tallest mid-block building in New York City.
Current major tenants are CNA and Country-Wide Insurance
Notes and references