20 Exchange is one of the lesser-known Art Deco-era skyscrapers in New York City’s Financial District but made a big splash when it first opened in 1931 as the fourth tallest building in the city. It also held the distinction of being the very tallest building in New York City with a stone facade. It was built on a plot of land that you can find on the earliest known map of New Amsterdam, the Castello plan.
Built as the headquarters for City Bank-Farmers Trust, 20 Exchange has interiors that are truly stunning and are still preserved today. Most of the building was converted into residential in the mid-2000s, allowing the public to see the opulent lobby again, but there are plenty of places still off-limits to the public. We recently took a tour with building management to get some of the secrets and fun facts about 20 Exchange. Here are ten of our favorites:
You know that skyscraper downtown that’s one of your favorites in the city, but you don’t actually know its name? That’s 70 Pine Street – formerly known as the Cities Service Building (who built it in 1932) and the AIG Building (who bought it in 1976 and were forced to sell it during the Great Recession).
The all-glass atrium on its 66th floor has been described as looking as if “sugar cubes had been lighted from the inside,” and has done duty as a public observation deck (admission: 40 cents in 1939), as a lounge for AIG Executives, and is slated to become a high-end restaurant.
Rose Associates is the exclusive leasing and managing agent for 70 Pine, and has undertaken the three-year renovation. Untapped Cities recently got a special preview of the building, including a trip to the atrium, and up to the 100 foot spire above it. Here are our top 10 secrets of 70 Pine Street: