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55 Water Street

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55 Water Street


Structure in General

existing [completed]
international style


commercial office


  • The biggest and tallest building on the East River downtown waterfront.
  • The development is built on a superblock created from four joint city blocks -- an arrangement made in co-operation with the Office of Lower Manhattan Development, which expected provision of public amenities in return.
  • The Whitney Museum of American Art established a branch museum in the building, space being rented for a token fee and operating costs paid by several Wall Street corporations.
  • The plaza was originally designed as a part of a series of high-level public spaces along East River, to be connected with walkways running above the street level.
  • To the north of the tower is a 15-storey wing with a sloping facade and terraces facing the river and, in front of it, an elevated plaza on top of a parking garage, reachable by a high escalator ride.
  • The 4,800 m² plaza by M. Paul Friedberg & Assocs. is clad in the same red brick tiles as his Jeannette Park to the south of the building.
  • The facade of the tower slab uses variably vertical and horizontal striping for decoration, the grid pattern of the lower facade changing to vertical striping for the upper three-fourths.
  • When it opened in 1972 55 Water was the largest office building in the world.
  • The building is of basic International Style, contrasting with the neighbouring Two New York Plaza of the same era.
  • Largest building in New York by floor area; the only building in the country with a larger floor area is the Sears Tower in Chicago.

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More Information


43-73 Water Street
23-43 Old Slip, 39 South Street
55 Water Street
Financial District
New York City
New York

Technical Data

687.01 ft
687.01 ft
687.01 ft

Involved Companies

Emery Roth & Sons

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