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Sunday, September 02, 2007

Verizon

You won't find this in any tour books - in fact I doubt find this in any books at all. There is also virtually nothing online. There is very little reason for most visitors or NYC residents to be in this immediate area across from 1 Police Plaza, circumscribed by various thoroughfares and ramps for the Brooklyn Bridge and FDR drive. The streets around it are relatively unknown, even to residents - Pearl Street, Madison Street, Avenue of the Finest and St. James Place. Why would I want to blog this and bore you, the reader? For one, the hulking monolith at 375 Pearl Street built in 1976 by Rose, Beaton, & Rose, has always intrigued me. And it has achieved a few distinctions - I have seen it on lists of the ugliest buildings in Manhattan. The huge illuminated Verizon logo with its swoosh, visible for miles around from Brooklyn, parts of Manhattan and other eastern approaches, is a point of contention with many who liken it to an enormous billboard that ruins views. The sign was installed in 2002, replacing the old bell logo from Bell Atlantic. Verizon was formed in 2000, the product of various mergers and acquisitions with GTE, Bell and NYNEX. Efforts have been made to have the sign removed, but apparently it complies with the law. Frequently described as windowless, the building does appear to be so, however, closer examination reveals that the distinctive dark vertical striations along its facade are actually created by columns of glass windows. The building was designed to be a switching hub but there was difficulty in bringing the lines into the building, so it is used for administrative functions. For the wordsmiths among readers - Verizon is a portmanteau of the words veritas (the Roman goddess of truth) and horizon ...

6 comments:

Lucy said...

I was thinking it was some kind of windowless, mystery building that "they" didn't want anyone to notice even though it is so huge, and kind of works out that no one does...beause of the way it looks. I was
thinking it was some kind of communications hub but it seems it is not, from your info. Tho I wonder why there's so little info about it online and elsewhere. -- hmmm...

Steve said...

That's ironic that it's considered an ugly building, as another telephone company building - built in 1926 - sits nearby on Vesey Street across from Ground Zero, and that's a gorgeous building. Even more ironic is how the modern phone comapny building took prominence among the skyscrapers flnking the Twin Towers, especially in photos - including those taken on 9/11/01. :-(

annulla said...

You know that during the last blackout, that was one of the few structures that remained fully lit? True, the Verizon building has its own power supply. The building and its logo could be seen for miles.

edEx said...

what;s the deal wuth this building (i think it's the at&t building in Hell's Kitchen?

http://www.flickr.com/photos/edstern/89785366

Anonymous said...

edex

The AT&T building in hells kitchen is a massive data center and electronic hub for various equipment. It was built striclty for that. As with most data centers it needs to be kept at a certain cool temperature along with other technical design considerations I am not too familiar with. I just know if you drive through any suburb that houses a datacenter you will see a windowless building as well Its just that we are in NYC and instead of a 3 story windowless building they had to build a 30 story windowless building.

Frances said...

I worked in that beautiful building for many years and anyone familiar with the South Seaport and the gorgeous other buildings that adorn water Street all know it has windows and that Verizon and AT&T are no longer one and the same. Police Headquarters is directly across the street and Pace College and City Hall is a hop skip and a jump away as well.So how could this building be a mystery?