Saturday, 11 July 2009

Skyscrapers: American International Building

Few people know of the American International Building -one of New York's tallest skyscrapers. Yet as well as being one of the foremost Gothic skyscrapers in New York the American International Building (AIB, for short) underwent fierce competition in the early 1930s to gain the title of New York's tallest with the Chrysler Building (only for both to be outdone by the Empire State Building, which was completed in record time. The AIB was the last skyscraper in New York to be completed before the Second World War, and was the tallest in downtown Manhattan until the completion of the World Trade Center in the 1970s. Since 9/11, it has regained that title.

The AIB is 290 metres tall, or 952 feet, and contains 66 floors, with 36 elevators. It was one of the first buildings in the world that was built with double-decker elevators, but due to low popularity these were scraped by the building's owners. Although originally owned by the Cities Service Company, the building is now owned by AIG and is in the process of being sold again.

No comments: