New York City, New York United Nations Secretariat Building


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The United Nations Secretariat Building is a 505ft tall skyscraper and the centerpiece of the headquarters of the United Nations, located in the Turtle Bay/East Midtown neighborhood of Manhattan, in New York City. The lot where the building stands is considered to be under United Nations jurisdiction, although it remains geopolitically located within the United States. It is the first skyscraper in New York City to use a curtain wall.


The groundbreaking ceremony for the Secretariat Building occurred on September 14, 1948. A consortium of four contracting companies from Manhattan and Queens were selected to construct the Secretariat Building as part of a $30 million contract.
The Secretariat Building has 39 stories and was completed in 1952. The building was designed by the Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer and the Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier. This building is connected to the Conference Building to the north that houses the General Assembly, the Security Council, among others, and a library building to the south. The building houses the administrative functions of the UN, including day-to-day duties such as finance and translation. As part of the UN complex, the building is subject to an agreement between the United Nations and its host country, the United States.
The UN Secretariat Building was renovated, starting in May 2010, and reopened via phased reoccupancy with the first occupants moving in July 2012.
On October 29, 2012, the basement of the UN complex was flooded due to Hurricane Sandy, leading to a three-day closure and the relocation of several offices.


The building style has inspired some notable copies, including the Headquarters of South Lanarkshire Council in Hamilton, Scotland, known locally as the "County Buildings". It also inspired the construction of other curtain wall buildings in Manhattan, such as the Lever House, Corning Glass Building, and Springs Mills Building.


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United Nations Secretariat Building