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AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL BUILDING


A Beautiful but Less Famous Skyscraper (1932)

AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL BUILDING is one of Manhattan's hidden treasures and less famous skyscrapers, at 70 Pine Street.  This 67-story building remained the tallest building in downtown Manhattan until the construction of the World Trade Center towers in the late 1970's.  It is located in historic New York among the old tiny streets of the City.  The original structure was built for Cities Service Company, a company responsible for the City’s gas supply, in 1930-1932.  Constructed of limestone and brown brick, the building was designed “to exude a sense of power.”  A glass observatory at its top was once open to the public and is still used today by company executives.  The Art Deco style used here is reminiscent of that of the Empire State Building.

The building dominates lower Manhattan's skyline at night (bottom) as seen from the Brooklyn Bridge and through the bridge's steel cables.  The building is currently home to the troubled American International Group (AIG) which has owned it since the 1970s. 

Some have suggested that the building be opened again for tours.

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