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William Le Messurier

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AD Classics: Citigroup Center / Hugh Stubbins + William Le Messurier

22:00 - 6 November, 2018
AD Classics: Citigroup Center / Hugh Stubbins + William Le Messurier, © Flickr user paulkhor
© Flickr user paulkhor

This article was originally published on November 5, 2014. To read the stories behind other celebrated architecture projects, visit our AD Classics section.

In a city of skyscrapers of nearly every shape and size, the Citigroup Center on Lexington Avenue is one of New York’s most unique. Resting on four stilts perfectly centered on each side, it cantilevers seventy-two feet over the sidewalk and features a trademark 45-degree sloping crown at its summit. The original structure responsible for these striking features also contained a grave oversight that nearly resulted in structural catastrophe, giving the tower the moniker of “the greatest disaster never told” when the story finally was told in 1995. The incredible tale—now legendary among structural engineers—adds a fascinating back-story to one of the most iconic fixtures of the Manhattan skyline.

© Flickr user Steven Severing-Haus © Flickr user paulkhor © Flickr user Jeff Stvan © Flickr user Axel Drainville + 10