The mysterious Long Lines Building
The mysterious Long Lines Building
New York is known to be one of America’s great cities famous for its towering modern and contemporary architecture, as well as unique and architecturally interesting buildings in a variety of styles spanning different historical and cultural periods.
From the Empire State Building to One World Trade Center, passing through the missing Twin Towers, the list is extensive and they are part of the identity of this city.
Anyone who visits the Big Apple hopes to visit the top of these iconic buildings to enjoy the spectacular views of the city, its streets and the life of this place in the United States that is truly incomparable.
There is a skyscraper that is totally different from all the others, and it is the well-known Long Lines Building (LLB). Located at 33 Thomas Street, in the heart of Manhattan, is this undeniably impressive construction. This purpose-built concrete building in 1974 by San Francisco architect John Carl Warnecke is a sort of windowless bunker at 169 meters tall with 29 6-meter-tall floors. On the 10th and 29th floors there are a series of large ventilation openings that protrude from the structure.
The LLB does not have natural light, although it does have a powerful interior lighting system. In fact, at night, it is striking to see the huge concrete structure completely in the dark in contrast to a city teeming with life.
Also, what is unique about this building is that it has food storage and a potable water well that could sustain 1,500 people for at least two weeks. It would also have 950,000 liters of fuel so that the machinery could continue to function without problems. According to what was expressed in an interview by Roger Piqueras, a worker who spent five years in the building, the food is stored dehydrated, like space food, in one of the building’s vaults.
In the event of a catastrophe, if this were to happen, the skyscraper would have the capacity to be self-sufficient in energy, and would have the world’s largest center for processing long-distance calls. Not only does it look like a fortress, but it really is.
In the building there are large vents through which the air inside is renewed, and its lighting system has allowed catastrophes such as Hurricane Sandy, which cut off power to a large part of the city, not affect the building.
The design of this skyscraper corresponds to the brutalist current that was born in the European communist countries after the Second World War.
Warnacke, who was very close to the Kennedy administration, was also commissioned to design the late president’s mausoleum and numerous outstanding Modernism and Bauhaus monuments and structures.
At the time, this peculiar building was nicknamed “Project X” and it was spread that the main purpose was that it could withstand a nuclear attack and be one of the most important shelters for telecommunications of the time; the largest site for processing long distance calls, and operated by the New York Telephone Company, a subsidiary of AT&T. The idea was to create a kind of fortress where computers, cables and switches could be safeguarded.
This construction was always surrounded by mysteries and the versions about what happened inside there always caused a great unknown. In 1994, the New York Times newspaper hinted that it would be the base of the National Security Agency, which would form part of a Global Intelligence Network that oversaw directing the communications of the United Nations, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Such was the enigma that this construction generated that renowned personalities spoke about it, an example of this was the actor Tom Hanks, who through twitter mentioned: This is the scariest building I’ve ever seen! WTF goes on inside??
In 2013, The Intercept magazine made a controversial publication in which it denounced that, behind the doors of this building, activities related to espionage were carried out and that it would function as an international listening center called under the code name “Titanpointe “.
The magazine claimed that the LLB: “Appears to be one of the most important National Security Agency surveillance sites on US soil: a covert monitoring center used to access phone calls, faxes and Internet data.” Its location is one more argument to influence the thousands of theories that surround this mysterious building, since it coincidentally is located a few meters away from the New York headquarters of the FBI.
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El misterioso Long Lines Building
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