It was designed as the Manufacturer's Trust Company's headquarters.
The Manufacturer's Hanover Trust Bank is a five-story glass and steel structure, which has a 100' glass curtain wall on Fifth Ave. and a 125' glass curtain wall on Fourty-third St. The main vault is on the ground floor. The thirty-ton steel door is 16' thick and 7' in diameter. The glass panels in the curtain wall are set in aluminum frames. The second-story panels are 22' x 10' x .5" and weigh 1500 lb. There are no opening windows. The three dark gray glass spandrel courses divide the upper floors. In order to diffuse an even yellow light, the original ceilings were covered with ribbed plastic panels that were illuminated by cold-cathode lamps. The neutral-color spun-glass curtains are the only screen against the sun.
steel frame, glass curtain wall
It was built for $3 million dollars in 1954.
Scaffolding is built into the facades to facilitate window washing.
Floors are canilevered from columns that support the whole building.
Even though the Manufacturer's Hanover Trust had more humble beginnings, the bank on Fifth Ave. catered to the upper class. Early photographs show only well-dressed caucasian women and men.
The glass panels on the second-story were the largest glass panels ever used in building construction at the time.
It is considered to be the first International Style bank in the United States.
SOM News 1953 No. 3, 1954 No. 8, 1955 No.11, 1955 No.15
New York Herald Tribune September 23, 1954
New York Times November 13, 1954