40 Wall Street
between Nassau Street and William Street
Number of Stories:
Also Known As:
Bank of Manhattan Trust building
40 Wall Street is a 70-story skyscraper originally known as The Bank of Manhattan Trust Building, but then became known by the numerical address when its founding tenant merged with the Chase National Bank to form the Chase Manhattan Bank.World’s Tallest Building from April 1930 to May 1930, soon surpassed by the Chrysler Building finished that same year.
40 Wall Street was planned to be 135 feet taller than the nearby Woolworth Building, which was completed in 1913. Most important, the plans were designed to be two feet taller than the Chrysler Building’s planned height of 925 feet.
However, the Chrysler Building developers secretly changed the projected height of their building after 40 Wall Street was completed. A 125-foot spire was secretly assembled in the Chrysler Building’s crown and hoisted into place, fulfilling tycoon Walter Chrysler’s dream of owning the tallest building on Earth. Such glory was short-lived, however, as the Empire State Building would be finished the next year, 1931.
In 1946, it was hit by a United States Coast Guard airplane during a thick fog. The crash killed five people and the pyramidal tower was damaged.
In 1982, Joseph J. and Ralph E. Bernstein purchased 40 Wall Street and later found to be acting on behalf of Ferdinand E. Marcos, the late President of the Philippines. 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 Donald Trump and later renamed The Trump Building. 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 expensive and it remains 100% commercial space.
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
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