60 Hudson Street
60 Hudson Street, formerly known as the Western Union Building, is a telecommunications building spanning the entire block between Hudson Street, Thomas Street, Worth Street, and West Broadway in the TriBeCa neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. It was built in 1928-30 and was designed by Ralph Walker of the firm of Voorhees, Gmelin and Walker as the headquarters of the Western Union Company, a purpose it served until 1973. The building contained offices, an auditorium, cafeteria and gymnasium, classrooms so messengers could continue their education, shops and equipment rooms, along with 70 million feet of cable.
The design of the building shows the influence of German Expressionism, while the detailing is Art Deco. The exterior brick moves from darker shades to lighter ones as the building rises, passing through 19 different colors as it does. Both the interior and exterior of the building, which is now one of the most important Internet hubs in the world were designated New York City landmarks in 1991.
On February 5, 2016, a 565 foot (172 m)-long boom crane fell from the building onto Worth Street, killing one person and injuring three others, while doing non-structural damage to some of the buildings around it. The crane had been being used to install air conditioning units and generators on the roof of 60 Hudson Steet.
During the heyday of the telegraph, the Western Union Building was a premier nexus of worldwide communications. Since Western Union moved its headquarters to New Jersey, the building has been converted into a colocation centre where over 100 telecommunications companies have offices and can interchange Internet traffic through a meet-me-room and individual fiber optic lines. It is once again a premier nexus of worldwide communications. The room is on the 9th floor in a 15,000 square foot area that is powered by a 10,000 Amp DC power plant. In 2012 equipment for algorithmic trading was installed in buildings close to this one in order to conduct trades microseconds more quickly than in Wall Street a mile away.
In 2006, a New York City panel approved the storage of nearly 2,000 gallons (7,500 liters) of diesel fuel on six floors of the building, part of some 80,000 gallons (300,000 liters) of fuel oil stored in the building. Community opposition had been raised regarding concerns that the presence of the fuel oil posed a fire hazard that could result in a catastrophic failure of the building, similar to what had happened to 7 World Trade Center, which collapsed after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
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- Rojas, Rick and Fitzsimmons, Emma G. (February 5, 2016) "Crane Collapse in Lower Manhattan Kills One Person" The New York Times
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- Slavin, Kevin (July 2011) "How Algorithms Shape Our World" TED Talk
- Cave, Damien. "Waiver Upheld on Location of Fuel Tanks in TriBeCa Building", The New York Times, October 18, 2006. Accessed October 13, 2007.
- Blum, Andrew. Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet, HarperCollins (2012)
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