Jacob K. Javits Federal Building

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Jacob K. Javits Federal Building
Jacob K. Javits Federal Building
Jacob K. Javits Federal Building
General information
Location 26 Federal Plaza
New York, NY, United States
Coordinates 40°42′54″N 74°0′13″W / 40.71500°N 74.00361°W / 40.71500; -74.00361Coordinates: 40°42′54″N 74°0′13″W / 40.71500°N 74.00361°W / 40.71500; -74.00361
Named for Jacob K. Javits
Groundbreaking 1963
Opened 1969
Renovated 1975-77
Client Dept. of Homeland Security (among others)
Owner General Services Administration
Height 179 m
Technical details
Floor count 41
Design and construction
Architecture firm Alfred Easton Poor
Kahn & Jacobs[1]

The Jacob K. Javits Federal Office Building at 26 Federal Plaza on Foley Square in the Civic Center district of Manhattan, New York City houses many Federal government agencies, and, at over 41 stories, is the tallest federal building in the United States. It was built in 1963-69 and was designed by Alfred Easton Poor and Kahn & Jacobs, with Eggers & Higgins as associate architects. A western addition was built in 1975-77 and was designed by Kahn & Jacobs, The Eggers Partnership and Poor & Swanke.[1] The building is named for Jacob K. Javits, who served as a United States Senator from New York for 24 years, from 1957 to 1981.

Agencies located in the building include the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation New York City field office, the Social Security Administration, the General Services Administration, and the New York City district field office of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The building falls under the jurisdiction of the United States Federal Protective Service for any and all law enforcement and protection issues.

To the east of the main building is the James L. Watson Court of International Trade Building.



A controversy developed over the artwork by Richard Serra commissioned for the plaza in front of the building, Tilted Arc. Commissioned in 1979 and built in 1981, it was criticized both for its aesthetic values and for security reasons.[3] It was removed in 1989, which resulted in a lawsuit and a trial. The piece remains in storage, as the artwork was site-specific, and the artist does not want it displayed in any other location. The removal and trial led to the creation of the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990.[3]

After the removal of Tilted Arc, landscape artist Martha Schwartz re-designed the plaza.[3] Other artworks connected with building include A Study in Five Planes/Peace (1965) by Alexander Calder and the Manhattan Sentinels (1996) by Beverly Pepper. In the James L. Watson Court of International Trade can be found Metropolis (1967) by Seymour Fogel and Eagle/Justice Above All Else (1970) by Theodore Roszak.[3]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ a b White, Norval; Willensky, Elliot & Leadon, Fran (2010), AIA Guide to New York City (5th ed.), New York: Oxford University Press, ISBN 9780195383867, p.79
  2. ^ "New York Field Office." Federal Bureau of Investigation. Retrieved on June 9, 2015. "26 Federal Plaza, 23rd Floor New York, NY 10278-0004"
  3. ^ a b c d "Jacob Javits Federal Building & James Watson Court of International Trade, New York, NY" on the General Services Administration website

External links[edit]