Thursday, September 23, 2004

Thursday September 23, 2004

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:00 PM

Aluminum, Your Shiny Friend


Citicorp Center

Vital Statistics:
Location: New York, NY
Completion Date: 1977
Cost: $175 million
Height: 915 feet
Stories: 59
Materials: Steel
Facing Materials: Aluminum,
reflective glass

Citicorp Center
Click photo
for larger image.

“From the very beginning, the Citicorp Center (today, the Citigroup Center) in New York City was an engineering challenge. When planning for the skyscraper began in the early 1970s, the northwest corner of the proposed building site was occupied by

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St. Peter’s
Lutheran Church

The church allowed Citicorp to build the skyscraper under one condition: a new church would have to be built on the same corner, with no connection to the Citicorp building and no columns passing through it.

Church and skyscraper

How did the engineers do it? They set the 59-story tower on four massive columns, positioned at the center of each side, rather than at the corners. This design allowed the northwest corner of the building to cantilever 72 feet over the new church.”

Source: PBS, Building BIG.

Citigroup (NYSE:C) is said to be the largest financial services conglomerate in the world. 

For more on the close relationship between churches and banks, see the works of T. S. Eliot and a description of the City of London,

The Square Mile.

For more on Eliot, architecture,  and another Harvard man, use links in the previous entry.


  1. How did the engineers do it? They messed up. Actually, it was the contractors. They bolted the building’s skeletal structure together, rather than welding it as per spec. This meant the building was susceptible to wind shear, and could collapse in a thunderstorm. The architects found out about it after the building was built, and they had to go back and weld patches over 200 of the bolted connection.

    Comment by HomerTheBrave — Thursday, September 23, 2004 @ 4:45 PM

  2. Re the City churches, they are wrong about the opening times of St Mary Abchurch – I had to go there many times before I finally found it open.  Worth the effort though.  Abchurch Lane features in Trollope’s “The Way We Live Now” – it is where Augustus Melmotte has his headquarters.

    Also re the City churches, they have missed out my favourite church – St Michael’s Cornhill, which has a wonderful atmosphere and its own ghost story.  Also it has a connection (can’t remember what) with Thomas Gray who wrote Elegy Written In A Country Churchyard – “the paths of glory lead but to the grave”. 

    Regards, Andrew (http://afroml.blogspot.com/)


    Comment by andrewfromlondon1 — Friday, September 24, 2004 @ 4:25 AM

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