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Pan Am Building

The Pan Am Building in New York City

The Pan Am Building, at 200 Park Avenue in New York City, was the largest commercial office building in the world when it opened on 7 March 1963. It is an important part of the Manhattan skyline and one of the fifty tallest buildings in the USA.

Designed by Emery Roth & Sons with the assistance of Walter Gropius and Pietro Belluschi, the Pan Am Building is an example of a Brutalist or International style skyscraper. It is purely commercial in design with large floors, simple massing, and an absence of luxurious detailing inside or out. Although disliked by architecture critics and many New Yorkers, it has been popular with tenants, not least because of its location next to Grand Central Station.

The building was also known for its helicopter service to JFK International Airport, a seven-minute flight that left from the rooftop helipad. This service was offered only between 1965 and 1968 and for a few months in 1977, but was ended after a spectacular crash that killed five.

Pan American World Airways was the building's owner for many years, and their logo was prominently visible at the top of four faces of the building. Since 1981 it has carried the logo of MetLife instead.


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