2. ​​33 Thomas Street

Looking up at the AT&T switching building at 33 Thomas Street, June 2022. A windowless building.
The AT&T switching building, which sits at 33 Thomas Street.

The 550-foot windowless skyscraper standing among the other towers in Tribeca is a telephone exchange building, or wire center, operated by AT&T. Much of New York City phone communications are run through this building, so it is built to withstand nuclear fallout and could stay operational for two weeks after the disaster. One of the city’s most striking brutalist pieces of architecture, the building splits public opinion.

The building was featured in national news coverage in 2016 when The Intercept published an article claiming that 33 Thomas Street served as an NSA surveillance site, code-named TITANPOINTE. Using documents obtained from the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, The Intercept claimed the building was a key part of the NSA surveillance program that has targeted the communications of the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and at least 38 countries. This information is not confirmed. The building was however a key location in season two and three of the television series Mr. Robot. This building is where all the paper documents of ECorp are being sent and which Elliot (aka Mr. Robot) wants to destroy in one swoop. Another windowless AT&T telephone exchange building is located at 811 10th Avenue between 53rd and 54th streets.