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American International, New York City

  • 10

    Votes: 111 16.9%
  • 9.5

    Votes: 48 7.3%
  • 9

    Votes: 92 14.0%
  • 8.5

    Votes: 69 10.5%
  • 8

    Votes: 113 17.2%
  • 7.5

    Votes: 40 6.1%
  • 7

    Votes: 60 9.1%
  • 6.5

    Votes: 22 3.3%
  • 6

    Votes: 30 4.6%
  • 5.5

    Votes: 7 1.1%
  • 5

    Votes: 14 2.1%
  • 4.5

    Votes: 11 1.7%
  • 4

    Votes: 4 0.6%
  • 3.5

    Votes: 7 1.1%
  • 3 or less

    Votes: 30 4.6%

  • Total voters
    658
1 - 20 of 376 Posts

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Old School
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144 Posts
American International
New York, USA


HEIGHT: 290m/952 feet
FLOORS: 66 floors
COMPLETION: 1932
ARCHITECT: Clinton and Russell

This 289.5-metre, Gothic-like, spire-topped skyscraper was the tallest building in the Downtown area until the completion of the World Trade Center. It also was to be the last skyscraper to be built in Financial District in the pre-WW II years. It took until 1961 that another tall skyscraper rose to the area, in the form of the Chase Manhattan Bank.

The Cities Service Company was a trust responsible for New York City's gas supply, as well as owning electric companies and street railways, and the building was designed to accordingly exude a sense of power. Limestone models (image) of the 67-storey building are carved on the central columns of both main entrances and the doors (image) are adorned with the agency's emblem, a triangle.

The limestone-clad tower sets back to a white-coloured top, like a snow cap on a mountain (image). The "mountain" had an open-air platform with an enclosed glass observatory above, offering undoubtedly the best views of Downtown before being closed from public -- it is nowadays used by executive personnel. As a curious feature, the elevator to the observatory rises through an opening in the middle of the floor.

At one time called the 60 Wall Tower due to a fifteenth-floor connecting bridge to a building at 60 Wall St., the name was discarded along with the 60 Wall wing and the bridge when the Cities Service Co. vacated the building.

Originally equipped with double-decker elevators -- ie. ones that serve two floors at the time -- in order to provide sufficient vertical service for the narrow tower, these were nevertheless removed due to their unpopularity. The Citicorp Center, however, adopted the idea in the 1970s, to maximize the core usage as well as an energy-conscious choice.

Today the 80,400 m² building is owned by the American International Group, an insurance company. The observatory at the top is still used, albeit only as an executive oasis during lunch hours...



















 

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Registered
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2,077 Posts
Another well designed Art Deco skyscraper. Like it's top, but it's size is a bit thin.

8/10
 

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Senior Button Pusher
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17,121 Posts
I very good building, but it seems to be lacking a little something. It just seems a bit plain considering all of the ornamentation that was so popular at the time. It makes the building seem a bit cheap. Its hieght is impressive, as is its fairly slender aspect ratio of the tower. It was also a very impressive building for its time, and I'm quite certain that it was in the top 5 for World's tallest at the time. All of that history is certainly worth something...

8.0/10
 

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Banned
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14,132 Posts
The most generous ornamentation seems to be at the top, where it's the least visible. Yet I like the place (shabbiness can be overcome :) ).

8.0
 
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Guest
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0 Posts
It looks dirty and ugly, but i'll be generous because of it's age.

7/10.
 
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Guest
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0 Posts
One of my favorite skyscrapers, but it could use a good cleaning. Would be a lot nicer if you could still see it unobstructed before they surrounded it by boxes. Nevertheless she is a classic......9/10 (I have a weakness for red-headed stepchildren :D)















It's had many names, this is an old logo;




Vintage view of the harbor


 

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Don't be that guy!
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1,097 Posts
I love that neo-gothic style architecture. 9/10
 

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Registered
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403 Posts
9/10 - A slim, graceful tower that really soars, and great use of smaller setbacks near the top, with really nice ornament. Maybe they could have put a bit more razz-a-ma-tazz nearer ground level, but still an Art Deco delight :eek:kay: Art Deco rules!
(and check out that picture of the elevator door!)
Yes, she could use a cleaning though - it's a shame how landlords can let their buildings slide downhill - I understand even the Empire State Building suffered from lack of maintenance for a while, back in the 80's and 90's...
 

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222 Posts
RATE OUR TALLS

Originally posted by adelaideglenelg
Another well designed Art Deco skyscraper. Like it's top, but it's size is a bit thin.

8/10
You pretty much said it for me right then. I give this building a 8.5/10
 

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Registered
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3,020 Posts
what can one say about old New York skyscrapers..??..especially with an Art Deco motif..I agree with everyone else that it needs to be cleaned up but this must have been a hell of a building back in the 30's...my favorite pic thanks to Enzo...




8.5/10
 

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Penang Skyscrapers Hunter
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10,128 Posts
8.5/10

wonderful!!!
 
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