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United Nations

A Utopian vision, circa 1952, of what the world's postwar future might look like, the United Nations sits on an 18-acre plot of land, purchased for this express purpose by industrialist and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller, that is, legally speaking, not a part of American territory. Here, 185 member nations discuss and debate issues of global security, world health, and economic growth (each nation has a representative flag in the surprisingly moving outdoor plaza that fronts the complex)....

A Utopian vision, circa 1952, of what the world's postwar future might look like, the United Nations sits on an 18-acre plot of land, purchased for this express purpose by industrialist and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller, that is, legally speaking, not a part of American territory. Here, 185 member nations discuss and debate issues of global security, world health, and economic growth (each nation has a representative flag in the surprisingly moving outdoor plaza that fronts the complex). The United Nations was designed, naturally, by an international committee of the world's leading architects, led, naturally, by an American, Wallace K. Harrison (who happened to be one of the least accomplished members). Other notables included French architectural iconoclast Le Corbusier, lyrical Brazilian Oscar Niemeyer, and leading Swedish builder Sven Markelius. The complex is built in the Internationalist Style, and features the imposing Secretariat, a 39-story monolith that recalls the slate slab of Stanley Kubrick's 2001, as well as several smaller, less intriguing structures. The pastoral urbanism of the complex, which seeks to integrate elements of industrial futurism with a nostalgic, park sensibility, is one unique and worthwhile achievement of the Internationalist committee.

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Address:
United Nations Plaza
New York City, NY 10017
Directions:
Hours:
Monday – Friday: 9:30 AM – 4:45 PM, Saturday and Sunday: 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Admission:
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masmith
September 20, 2010
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