Attention Deficit Disorder Prosthetic Memory Program

33 Thomas Street

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33 Thomas Street - © Attention Deficit Disorder Prosthetic Memory Program

33 Thomas Street is a 550-foot-tall (170 m) skyscraper in Tribeca, Lower Manhattan, New York City. The exterior walls have no windows. It is a telephone exchange or wire center building which contained three major 4ESS switches used for interexchange (long distance) telephony, as well as a number of other switches used for competitive local exchange carrier services. The building has also been described as the likely location of a National Security Agency (NSA) mass surveillance hub codenamed TITANPOINTE.

The Long Lines Building was designed by architect John Carl Warnecke and completed in 1974. As it was built to house telephone switching equipment, the average floor height is 18 feet (5.5 m), considerably taller than in an average high-rise. The floors are also unusually strong, designed to carry 200-to-300-pound-force-per-square-foot (9.6 to 14.4 kPa) live loads.

The exterior walls have no windows (other than the entrance) and are made from precast concrete panels clad with flame-treated textured Swedish granite faces. There are six large protrusions from the rectangular base which house air ducts, stairs and elevators. There is a series of large, protruding ventilation openings on the 10th and 29th floors. William H. Whyte claimed that it features the tallest blank wall in the world.

It is often described as one of the most secure buildings in America, and was designed to be self-sufficient with its own gas and water supplies along with generation capabilities and protected from nuclear fallout for up to two weeks after a nuclear blast. Its style has been generally praised, with The New York Times saying it is a rare building of its type in Manhattan that “makes sense architecturally” and that it “blends into its surroundings more gracefully” than any other skyscraper nearby.

33 Thomas was described as the likely location of a NSA mass surveillance hub codenamed TITANPOINTE, in an investigation by The Intercept, and in a documentary short film by Henrik Moltke and Laura Poitras titled Project X, both drawing on the surveillance disclosures of Edward Snowden. The investigation ties the facility to a nearby FBI building, and its rooftop equipment to NSA’s SKIDROWE satellite intelligence system.

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