33 Thomas St.

Brutalist Manhattan tower may be secret N.S.A. listening post

Architecture East
Brutalist Manhattan tower may be secret N.S.A. listening post. (Courtesy Lars Plougmann/Flickr)
Brutalist Manhattan tower may be secret N.S.A. listening post. (Courtesy Lars Plougmann/Flickr)

Local news sources, including The New York Times, are reporting that a 550-foot-tall windowless tower in Tribeca is being used as a “listening post code-named Titanpointe by the National Security Agency.” The article was inspired by short film—dubbed Project X and first reported on by The Intercept_—that says Titanpointe was one of the facilities used to collect communications (with permission granted by judges) from international entities that have at least some operations in New York, such as the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, as well as 38 countries.

Construction began in 1969, and by 1974, the skyscraper was completed. Today, it can be found in the heart of lower Manhattan as 33 Thomas Street, a vast gray tower of concrete and granite. The brutalist structure, still used by AT&T and, according to the New York Department of Finance, owned by the company, is like no other in the vicinity.

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