Tom Hanks himself was disturbed by this construction, a windowless, atomic-explosion-proof skyscraper owned by the US National Security Agency.
Impressing is the art of surprising, for better or for worse. Today we show you a building that scared Tom Hanks himself, an actor hardened in Hollywood battles. So get ready to see the impressive Project X, a windowless New York skyscraper built in 1974 under the orders of architect John Carl Warnecke, with the help of Shmerykowsky Consulting Engineers.
The building is located at number 33 Thomas Street, in the Tribeca neighborhood, one of the most privileged areas of the Big Apple. It is only an 11-minute walk from One World Trade Center, being one of the few that is capable of outshining it. This is something really surprising, given that its height is 168 meters, compared to 542 meters for the One.
A skyscraper without windows or natural light
How does it outshine it? Well, in a resounding way: creating a light vacuum. And it is that Project X is the tallest building in the world without windows, it has a completely opaque envelope, which generates a truly amazing view from the outside, and the zero hope of seeing anything if you access the interior, since, according to what they say, there is no Natural light is appreciated inside the building. But… why would they build a windowless skyscraper from which you can’t see anything? What’s the point?
The initial name of the building was Project X, and the main intention of its design was to be able to withstand an atomic explosion. The construction is 29 stories high, with three basement floors, zero windows, and floor-to-ceiling heights of 5.5 meters. This far exceeds the usual height for this type of property.
The most mysterious skyscraper in New York
The construction was not intended to save users from nuclear war by keeping them safe from radiation; although they say that it has enough food for 1,500 people to stay locked up there without problems for two weeks. The skyscraper was intended as a telecommunications fortress and houses large computers, switchboards, and other material that has changed over the years.
In fact, in its early days it housed the world’s largest telecommunications center for processing long-distance telephone calls, owned by the New York Telephone Company. Although some time later this company was absorbed by the one that holds ownership of the property today: AT&T, American Telephone & Telegraph.
It is covered with concrete panels
In most of the articles that I have read about the building, its style is called Brutalism, a clear error caused by an incorrect interpretation of said style. For a building to be brutalist, it must have a sine qua non condition: that its structure be visible, which is not the case in this case. Indeed, we see that it is covered by a material, natural granite plates, but only that, covered.
These plates are part of precast concrete panels, a coating designed for enormous durability, since granite behaves very well against atmospheric elements. In fact, the repetition of the faceted patterns on the outside makes sense. Each vertical row hides a framework of hollow lightweight concrete blocks, through which the pipes go up.
Some think the windowless skyscraper hides something
The building has another nickname: Long Lines building, more in line with its theoretical functionality. And it is that for many Americans the construction is a mystery that has generated theories for decades. The aesthetics, its use, and a strange silence from the owners for decades have generated the impression that the building hides something, that its primary intention should not be known… Is it true?
According to The Intercept, the skyscraper is more than just a telecommunications tower. They call it Titanpointe, and they believe it is the headquarters of the NSA, the US National Security Agency. They report that it is possible that telephone calls and the Internet are monitored from the building, as well as that the communications of the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund and many countries, including allies, were spied on from it… Anyway, if you go to New York… Don’t forget to try to get in!