40 Wall Street – The Trump Building

40 Wall Street, corner of Wall and Broad Streets, Google Maps
Height: 927 ft (283 m), floors: 72
Architect H. Craig Severance and Yasuo Matsui
Developer: Bank of Manhattan Trust Company
Construction started: 1929, completed: 1930
Use: Office
Aliases: Trump building, Bank of Manhattan Trust building
Building Materials: steel structure, limestone

This tower was once a part of a celebrated three-way race to become the tallest building in the world. The building briefly held the world’s tallest title until it was eclipsed by the Chrysler Building‘s spire. The Trump Company acquired the building in 1995.

Like the Empire State Building, the 40 Wall has also been hit by an aircraft: in 1946 a US Coast Guard plane hit the building in fog, killing four people.

Originally the headquarters of the bank of Manhattan
Renovated in 1996 by Donald Trump
Tallest building in the world for a brief period in 1930
Also known as The Crown Jewel of Wall Street or as the Trump building
In the fog, the building was hit by a US Coast Guard plane in 1946, killing four people.
Originally named the Bank of Manhattan Trust Building, 40 Wall Street was remarkably completed in less than one year.

In a race to build the world’s tallest building with his former parter William Van Alen’s Chrysler Building, architect H. Craig Severance designed a 927-foot structure in 1929 to stand at the heart of New York’s financial district.

The building at 40 Wall Street was to tower 135 feet above Cass Gilbert’s gothic Woolworth Building, which was completed a decade earlier.

More importantly, Severance’s plans edged the projected 925-foot height of Van Alen’s Chrysler Building by a significant two feet.

When completed in 1930, 40 Wall Street briefly held the title of world’s tallest building. (Currently it ranks 33rd).

In a sly maneuver, Van Alen secretly changed the projected height of the Chrysler Building after 40 Wall Street had been completed. A 185-foot spire was secretly assembled in the building’s crown and hoisted into place, fulfilling tycoon Walter Chrysler’s dream of owning the tallest building on Earth.

Despite losing the status of world’s tallest building, 40 Wall Street, dubbed “The Crown Jewel of Wall Street,” would long dominate the skyline of lower Manhattan with its ornate pyramidal crown and gothic spire.

To gain respect for the newly opened Bank of Manhattan Trust Building, consulting architects Shreve & Lamb claimed the building contained the world’s highest usable floor (nearly 100 feet above Chrysler’s top floor) and observation deck.

Though the structure was strictly zoned for commercial use, it is alleged that Governor Thomas A. Dewey took residence below the observation deck for a time.

In 1996, Donald Trump renovated 40 Wall Street to its original grandeur with “3,500 new Wausau windows, two 1,300-ton York Chillers, state-of-the-art safety and communications systems, and an all new Italian marble and bronze lobby.”

Pictures of 40 Wall Street

40 Wall Street (The Trump Building)
The view on the 40 Wall Street building from the World Trade Center observation deck. To the left of it is the J. P. Morgan Bank Headquarters.

40 Wall Street (The Trump Building)
The 40 Wall Street building.

40 Wall Street (The Trump Building)
The facade of the 40 Wall Street building.

40 Wall Street (The Trump Building)
The Wall Street entrance to 40 Wall Street Building.

40 Wall Street (The Trump Building)
The Pine Street entrance to 40 Wall Street Building. The view from One Chase Plaza.

40 Wall Street (The Trump Building)
The Wall Street and the Trinity Church.

40 Wall Street (The Trump Building)
The view on 40 Wall Street building from the East River. To the left is 20 Exchange Place. The picture was taken before September 11th, so you can see the World Trade Center.