Did you know that 40 Wall Street was once the tallest building in the world?
Located at the corner of Wall and Broad Streets, 40 Wall Street once dominated the New York City skyline as the world's tallest building. Commissioned by the Bank of Manhattan Company in 1929, the 71-story steel and limestone structure was designed by chief architect H. Craig Severance to tower 927 feet over Manhattan's financial district.
As part of "The Great Skyscraper Race" to build the tallest building in the world, Severance and his team completed the Bank of Manhattan Trust Building at 40 Wall Street in less than a year. By 1930, the structure stood as the tallest on earth -- supplanting the nearby Woolworth building, which had held the title since 1913. Its record-breaking height and elaborate pyramidal top and lantern soon earned it the name "Crown Jewel of Wall Street."
However, 40 Wall Street's time at the top didn't last very long. Severance was quickly outmaneuvered by former partner William Van Alen, who later the same year surreptitiously designed a 185-foot steel spire to add to his design for the Chrysler Building. After Van Alen's team installed the spire -- in a remarkable 90 minutes -- the Chrysler Building surpassed the Bank of Manhattan Trust Building. A needle was later attached to the spire, bringing the building to even greater heights -- approximately 1,046 feet. But in 1931, the Chrysler Building, too, was surpassed. The Empire State building was completed that year, and standing 1,252 feet high, it beat Van Alen's building by 206 feet.
In 1995, Donald Trump purchased 40 Wall Street for eight million dollars and the building underwent a much needed renovation. Today, 40 Wall Street -- also known as the Trump Building -- is the 39th tallest building in the world and houses a variety of commercial offices.