The “Long Lines Building” is a 29-floors tower located at 33 Thomas Street in Manhattan. It was designed in 1974 by architect John Carl Warneke. At first sight, the building strikes for the absence of windows and its subsequent fortress-like appearance accentuated by its brutalist attire (precast concrete panels clad with granite facade). Not secondarily, for the presence of sculptural towers, hosting ducts, shafts, staircases and elevators, on the corners and in the middle of its wider sides. The absence of features implying a human presence is due to the original destination of the skyscraper which was created to house AT&T’s carrier exchanges for their long distance telephone switches. Today the building stores also part of the company’s data center, making it a monument to the “material” side of information-age dematerialisation.
The plan is based on a rectangular grid and the section features extremely high ceilings of about 5.5 meters. On the 10th and 29th floors, the building presents large ventilation shafts which become expressionist features on the mute elevation. The “Long Lines Building” is conceived to be completely self-sufficient and to be able to operate for two weeks after a nuclear blast.
The Intercept reported that the building is a NSA base which also houses equipment for controversial government data collection named TITANPOINTE.