September 18, 2022

The Secretariat Arrives

The first girder of the Secretariat building is put into place.

A look back at the construction of the Secretariat building of the United Nations complex, directly opposite No. 45 on First Avenue. The day that its first girder was erected, the sign at its base read Fuller-Turner-Walsh-Slattery Inc., Building Construction.    

The rising Secretariat and a woman are the subjects of this photograph, taken as the building was starting to take shape. Meanwhile, the woman knits, looking away from the new building.

The four towers of Tudor City ‒ Nos. 5, 25, and 45 and The Woodstock ‒ opposite the Secretariat. 

Along First Avenue, we see the painted waves in the pond fronting the entrance for parking. Across the street is No. 45, turning its back on the whole thing; the only windows are in the hallways.

Road engineers were at work digging an underpass beneath First Avenue.

A woman stands and stares across the street. The United Nations will take almost four years to build.

This is the north side of No. 45. The man at right is only partially seen, but its a safe bet he works at the delicatessen given the white cap he's wearing. 

Finally, on a lighter note, an ad for Palisades Amusement Park contrasted with the Secretariat building.


  1. Wonderful selection of photos!

  2. Great photos! Who took them?

  3. About half of them were taken for Look magazine by John Vachon in 1952. The other half is anyone's guess.