United Nations Headquarters

The United Nations is housed in a complex planned by a board of architects chaired by Wallace Harrison and erected by the architectural company Harrison & Abramovitz in New York City. Since its completion in 1951, the facility has functioned as the United Nations’ official headquarters. It sits on 17 to 18 acres (6.9 to 7.3 hectares) of land overlooking the East River in Manhattan’s Turtle Bay neighborhood. It is bordered on the west by First Avenue, on the south by East 42nd Street, on the north by East 48th Street, and east by the East River. The word Turtle Bay is sometimes used as a metonym for the United Nations headquarters or the Organization. Additional info.


The UN’s primary organizations, including the General Assembly and Security Council, are housed at the headquarters, except for the International Court of Justice, based in The Hague. In addition, the UN maintains three more subsidiary regional headquarters, often known as headquarters districts. Geneva (Switzerland) opened its doors in 1946, Vienna (Austria) in 1980, and Nairobi (Kenya) in 1996. These auxiliary offices assist the UN in representing its interests, facilitating diplomatic efforts, and enjoying some extraterritorial advantages. However, they do not house the seats of main organizations.


Despite its location in New York City, the United Nations Headquarters and the premises it leases are under the exclusive authority of the United Nations, not the United States government. They are theoretically extraterritorial due to a pact with the United States government. The United Nations, on the other hand, agrees to recognize the most municipal, state, and federal laws in return for local police, fire protection, and other services.


The General Assembly resolved at its first session in 1946 to accept the United States’ offer to host the newly created Organization’s headquarters. Thanks to a gift from John D. Rockefeller Jr., the land in Midtown Manhattan — a derelict neighborhood of slaughterhouses and light industries – was bought.


The United Nations Headquarters, a jewel of “International Style” filled with meaning and purpose, was designed by an international team of recognized architects (including Le Corbusier and Oscar Niemeyer) in a “Workshop for Peace.”


Construction started on United Nations Day (October 24, 1949) and ended in 1952. Since then, the iconic buildings have gracefully “hovered” over the East River, highlighting the brilliance of the Secretariat’s “glass curtain” wall (the first of its kind in Manhattan) like a beacon of light to the world, using the natural landscape to emphasize the brilliance of the “glass curtain” wall (the first of its kind in Manhattan). Call (212) 963-4475 for additional information.


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