With a height of 167 meters, on the east side of Church Street, between Thomas and Worth streets of New York City, stands a brutalist style structure with a concrete slab facade. The building has 29 floors without windows, probably so that no one would know what was going on inside .
Actually, the building is one of the most important telecommunication hubs in the United States — the world’s largest center for processing long-distance phone calls, operated by the New York Telephone Company, a subsidiary of AT&T.
Officially known as the “Long Lines Building”, the probably saddest tower in New York was designed in 1974 by architect John Carl Warneke .
Although its most notable feature is its total lack of windows, the building is also famous for its unusually high ceilings, and for being designed to withstand a large amount of weight per square meter. This “strength” was originally created to hold powerful computers, cables, and switchboards of AT & T. In fact, today they continue with that purpose, while also storing part of the data center processing of the company.
It is not a trivial detail, this ephemeral element of the technological infrastructure has been considered so important that the building can survive the consequences of a nuclear explosion and can continue working without connection for a maximum of two weeks without problems.
Perhaps because of this, it is often described as one of the safest buildings in the United States, a completely self-sufficient tower that contains its own gas and water supplies.
By the way, last year it came to light that this sinister building is used as a center for the espionage of the NSA, a physical weapon of the surveillance state. According to The Intercept , the fortified skyscraper was not only made to safeguard essential telecommunications equipment, a kind of fortress for the information age, but also houses equipment for the controversial collection of government data and wiretapping whose code name is TITANPOINTE.
The AT & T building is now commonly known for its street, 33 Thomas St., like many of the major commercial buildings in New York City.