Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
American International Building
The American International Building is a 66-story, 952 foot (290 m) tall building in Lower Manhattan, New York City. It was completed in 1932 during the New York skyscraper race, which accounts for its gothic-like spire-topped appearance, a popular style at that time. It was the tallest building in downtown Manhattan until the 1970s when the World Trade Centers were completed. Upon the September 11, 2001 attacks it regained the status of the tallest downtown building. It is currently the third tallest in New York City, after the Empire State Building and Chrysler Building, and the fourteenth tallest in the United States. The American International Building is seen in the cover of the video game Def Jam Fight For NY. Featured in Oliver & Company, Gangs of New York (Only seen in the end during the U2 music), NY Skyride , Armageddon, Aftershock: Earthquake in New York and Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. It's seen in the cover of Twin Towers. The building is also seen in the scene where the Twin Towers collapse (via footage) in Twin Towers. Also featured in Independence Day and Team America: World Police.
The building is usually referred to simply as American International. It was previously owned by Cities Service Company and called the Cities Service Building; Cities Service sold it to the American International Group (AIG) when moving company headquarters to Tulsa, Oklahoma. It is now owned by AIG and used for that company's world headquarters, although Cities Service still maintains some offices in the building.
One of the most famous themes of the limestone-clad tower is a mountain with a snow cap. The building features an open air platform with an enclosed glass observatory above it on the 66th Floor, offering the best view of downtown from any building. Unfortunately, this observatory which was once public is now accessible only to executives and employees of AIG. The tower was originally and famously built with double-decker elevators that served two floors at a time to provide sufficient vertical service for the narrow tower and its limited elevator shafts. Soon afterwards, these elevators were removed because of their low popularity; however, the Citigroup Center adopted this same idea in the 1970s.
The building is featured in the movie Spider-Man, although it was depicted as a midtown building for purposes of the plot.
The official address of American International is 70 Pine Street, New York, NY 10270.
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