Bank of Manhattan Trust Building

Bank of America Building
Bank of America Building at 49 Wall Street

The Bank of Manhattan Trust Building (now the Trump Building), resides at 40 Wall Street. Just blocks away from the New York Stock Exchange.

The structure is one of many that began to rise during the art deco period in New York City.

Bank of Manhattan Trust Status

The building has been an icon of the lower Manhattan skyline for decades, with its green triangular roof and its art deco design that made it stand out on Lower Manhattan’s Financial District, as people have been able to see it from miles away.

World’s Tallest

Construction started in 1929 an the developers were boasting that it will be the tallest building in the world; however, and from April 1930 to May 1930, it did achieve this claim, surpassing the 1913, 60 story Woolworth Building and was  xpecting to surpass the 77 story Chrysler Building, which was under also construction at that time.

But William Chrysler had other things in mind. So, the Bank of Manhattan Trust Building only held this status for about one month. The consulting architects, Shreve & Lamb contradicted the Chrysler Building’s claim by stating that the Bank of Manhattan building contained the world’s highest usable floor, which was about 100 feet taller than the Chrysler’s top floor and observation deck and there was litigation; however, the case became moot after the Empire State Building towered over all of them in 1931.

Airplane Accident

On May 20, 1946, due to fog and low visibility, a United States Army Air Forces Beechcraft C-45F Expediter airplane crashed into the north side of the building. It struck the 58th floor, creating a 20-by-10-foot hole in the facade and killing all five aboard the plane. However, there were no injuries to any of the people who were in the building at the time and even though some of the airplane’s components fell to the ground, there were no injuries as well, which is fortunate, as this was just at the start of the early morning rush hour.

Building Decline

More recently, the Bank of Manhattan Building was experiencing decline, after, in 1982, Joseph J. and Ralph E. Bernstein purchased the building, but they were working for the then Philippine President Ferdinand E. Marcos. Due to corruption and other factors, Marcos was removed from power and his assets in the United States were frozen. When this happened, the building was placed in inadvertence.

In 1996, real estate developer and billionaire Donald Trump purchased the deteriorating building and renovated it a manner that coincides with his class and style of buildings. In 1998, the Trump building was designated a landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission.

The Trump Building remains as a magnificent structure that represents the symbols of the Wall Street phenomena, but since the 1990s, it had become buried between larger structures that have surrounded it in lower Manhattan, (the Freedom Tower at One World Trade Center is one of these); however, it still stands today at 71 floors at 927 feet, on one of the most famous streets in the world.

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