UN building in New York. Photo

After World War II, there were changes in the mood of the political leadership of different countries. One of these insights was the task of preserving the world from global military conflicts. The decision was seen in the creation of an organization, which would be part of the majority of states, and the impact on the world community with the aim of peaceful settlement of conflict issues.

As a result, the United Nations was formed. The main office of the UN is located in New York, and the complex of buildings was designed by a well-known team of architects.


Organization of the United Nations (the first name "Union powers") received its name from the American president of Franklin Roosevelt. It was formed in the second half of 1945. In April of that year, 850 representatives from 50 countries arrived at the Conference in San Francisco and on June 25 signed the Charter, including 111 articles.

Officially, it believes on October 24, 1945 by the Day of its foundation. Her goal is to resolve military conflicts in peaceful ways, the development of friendship between nations, respect self-determination of nations, their cultural heritage. The first meetings were in the capital of Great Britain London, since the organization did not have its own permanent office.

Among the states within its composition, the question arose about the location of the headquarters. Initially, the placement was planned at the exhibition pavilion in Queens in Flowing Medical Corona Park. In 1946, the UN temporarily rented premises in the village on Long Island Island.

The layout decision was taken within a year and a half. Different options were offered, among which it was an offer to place a building on the Island of Navy near Niagara Falls (near the US Canadian border).

There were also non-standard: the UN on the project should be built on the ship. Construction in the United States The least satisfied with the representatives of most countries.

Until now, the chapters of some states are in favor of the construction of the organization's headquarters elsewhere. Delhi and Beijing are offered to choose from, as the eastern hemisphere develops more dynamically in contrast to the old light.

Location and opening hours

The UN building in New York is a complex of buildings in the east of Manhattan Islands and takes 78,000 square meters. m. The territory is limited to 42 and 48 streets, the Strait of East River and the first Avenue. The land belongs to countries belonging to the organization

, but in fact it is under the jurisdiction of the United States of America.

In addition to the main headquarters, UN offices are located in Vienna (Austria), Geneva (Switzerland), Nairobi (Kenya). The main meetings are held in New York. The staff has more than 60,000 employees worldwide, about 1/3 of the staff focused in the United States.

To visit the organization, you must take the metro station to the Grand Central-42 ND ST station, then go through LEXINGTON AVE to 47 streets, and, turning right You can see the entrance to Visitor Center.

The complex can visit any. To do this, you need to buy a ticket on the official website and come for half an hour before the start of the excursion. Protection asks to make an identity card, discharges a passage and asks to go through a metal detector. It must be remembered that the dress code is valid: they will not miss inside shorts.

Guides are owned by English, Russian, Arab, Chinese, French, Spanish, and work only on weekdays. The tour lasts 1 hour.

It includes:

  • visits to guardianship halls, economic and social, security council.
  • ​​
  • Art Gallery. Here are tapestries, frescoes, mosaics, sculptures obtained as a gift from representatives of the UN countries.
  • Shop with souvenirs from most states. There are dishes, figurines, nesting, jewelry, clothes.
  • Mail, where you can buy stamps (they are printed in the same place) and send a postcard with a stamp of the organization.
  • On the territory of the complex there is a cafe for everyone.

Work time for visits from 9.00 to 16.45. Wishing to inspect the building from the inside can independently do it on weekends. Ticket price: Adults is 22 USD, students, children and pensioners pay 15. Children under 5 years old are not allowed.


In 1947, John D. Rockefeller made a proposal to a significant area of ​​land in the center of New York, an area of ​​almost 7 hectares, which he sacrificed the city as a gift. Previously, there was a slaughterhouse, a pencil factory, residential neighborhoods at this place.

owned by this place a major developer William Zekendorf. He wanted to build X-City here, that is, a multifunctional complex. Billionard Rockefeller bought this area and paid 8.5 million USD.

At the end of 1947, the United Nations leadership approved the project of architects, which reflected the design of the future complex. And the government of the United States was allocated a loan for several tens of millions. This became a decisive basis for many UN member countries.

The first stone was laid during the official ceremony in October 1949, and in the summer of 1950. The construction of a skyscraper building was completed. The opening of the complex occurred 10.01.1951. Construction work continued in the complex until 1952

, some countries contributed to the construction of buildings and its internal improvement. The United Kingdom helped limestone for facing, Italy - with marble, tables provided Switzerland, fabrics and chairs Czechoslovakia and Greece, carpets - Scotland, France. The interior decoration was carried out from the tree breeds transmitted by Belgium.


The UN Building in New York was to design Wallace Harrison, who was an architect X-City. In public, he presented a recycled sketch of the Zekenforef complex. The main towers with a conference room, reminiscent of airship storage hangar, were combined.

The United Nations rejected the international competition for headquarters design. Instead, a group of architects from the founding countries was collected.

It included 10 people: N. Basov (USSR), E. Kormye (Canada), S. Markelius (Sweden), J. A. Soyo (Australia), Bunfo (Belgium),. Siemeer (Brazil), H. Villamaho (Uruguay), L. Corbusier (France-Switzerland), H. Robinson (United Kingdom), L. S. Chen (China). The leader was Harrison with an assistant M. Abramovitz. Also, the team included consultants from Poland, Yugoslavia, Greece.

The meeting of the UN Security Council

for the year about 50 sketches of the building were developed.

The main role was assigned to the projects of the patriarch of the architecture of the modern world Le Corbusier, who was known after the construction of the League of Nations (Geneva), the Ministry of Education (Brazil), the Palace of Soviets and the Central Union Complex (USSR), Salvation Army (France), And the Young Oscar Nimeier, who became popular after the project of Brasilia.

The Frenchman offered a composition where the Secretariat and the General Assembly form in the middle of the site as if a single integer. And the scheme of Brazilian reflected the construction around the perimeter with an open area in the center. As a result, Harrison combined both options. The author of the first facility was the Nimeier, and the second design was the Corbusier.

Built in 1947-1952. XX century In an international style, the UN building in the form of a narrow parallelepiped looks unusually against the background of the biased skyscrapers of Manhattan. After the construction, it was rightfully taken by the leading place among the attractions of the city. His profile can be seen on postcards dedicated to the city.

Buildings of the complex

The United Nations Building in New York is now a complex of buildings, among which the Secretariat occupies a central position. Its height is 154 m, it contains 39 floors above ground and 3 underground. It is distinguished by its solid green glass paneling and solid white Vermont marble edges.

Unspoken name of the building: "matchbox" of Manhattan. On its territory there are offices of diplomats representing the interests of the countries that are members of the Organization, as well as its leadership.

The room is equipped with metal partitions that change the configuration of office space. Communications are located under floor coverings. They include electrical, telephone, signal wires. The delivery of mail and documents is carried out by the service personnel of freight elevators.

On the floors located underground, there is a fire brigade, workshops, a garage, a car service station, an air purification and cooling unit, and post offices.

The General Assembly is a structure covered with limestone from England and Vermont marble. It has a sloping roof and concave walls. Dimensions of the building: length 125 m, width 52 m. Devices are mounted in the dome to illuminate the hall.

UN General Assembly Hall

Almost the entire southern part of the building is occupied by a window inserted into a marble frame. Its height is 17.5 m. Through it you can see the square in front of the Secretariat.

The northern part faces the park area of ​​the complex. Entrance doors (7 in number) are decorated with bas-reliefs on metal plates. They depict justice, brotherhood, peace, truth. They were presented as a gift by a delegation from the Government of Canada.

The lobby of the Assembly is intended for the entrance of visitors. Above it is a room for prayer. Next to it, visitors can see a stained-glass window made by Marc Chagall.

Stained Glass Window of the World, Marc Chalagh, United Nations Building, New York

Further above the stairs, you can see the hanging Foucault pendulum, which was donated by the government of the Netherlands. It is named after the French physicist and looks like a gilded sphere. Demonstrates the rotation of the planet Earth around its axis. During the day, the direction of movement changes. The full cycle of the pendulum takes 36 hours and 45 minutes.

The Brazilian artist C. Portinari designed 2 huge panels in the building, which he called "Peace", "War". It is located in the delegates' lobby.

The most capacious room of the center is the hall (dimensions 54.5x37x24.5 m), which can accommodate more than 1800 people at the same time. It occupies space from the second to the fourth floors and decorated in golden and blue-green tones. Decorated with two frescoes with an abstract drawing of F. Leonder (France).

This is the only place of the complex, where the UN emblem is represented. Depicted in the form of a map of the world surrounded by olive branches. In the center of the hall there are tables for representatives of countries, podium and tribune. On the balcony there are places for media and visitors.

The UN Conference Hall building connects the Secretariat and the General Assembly. It extended 132 m along the East River Embankment in New York. On the fourth floor, numerous cafes, restaurants, individual rooms for making food.

Below are 3 halls of the Soviets: security, guardianship, economic and social. Each of them is individually decorated as a gift from UN member countries.

The first was created under the project of Norwegian A. Arneberg, and his fresco is decorated with P. Korn, who depicts a reborn bird Phoenix bird. It symbolizes Europe after World War II. Not far from the entrance hangs a plasma monitor, showing passages from past meetings.

The Hall of the Council, which is engaged in the colonies, is decorated commissioned by the architect F. Yulia. There are a lot of wooden elements from ash in Decora.

And the premises of the economic and social designed by the Sweden S. Markelius. Also made of wood (Swedish Osin) in the national style of Scandinavian countries. The "unfinished" ceiling design is made as a reminder of the constant UN activities to create peace on the planet.

In the southwest to the left of the secretariat, the Dag Hammarsceld library was located in 1961, which was built in 1961. She is the name of the Second Secretary General who died on the territory of Africa in a plane crash in the performance of official duties.

During construction, glass, white marble, aluminum, was used during construction. The building consists of three floors located above the surface of the Earth, and as much underground.

The library accommodates the UN collections, documents, cards, reference materials, the audience is almost two hundred visitors, periodicals, books.

Along Square a wide semicircle stand on flagpole flags of 193 countries. The secretariat is located a round pool equipped with a fountain. At his day, the stripes of black pebbles and pieces of white marble alternate.

Sculpture in front of the UN building in New York

The right side of the complex is occupied by the park. To create this zone, a huge amount of land for growing flowers and trees was brought. Roses, oaks, acacia and much more grow here. Most plants were donated by delegations or individuals.

On the territory of the garden and park complex there is a memorial dedicated to Eleanor Roosevelt and the memory of the fallen employees of the Organization. In its center is a rock crystal stele.

From 2008 to 2014, the complex underwent renovations that cost the treasury $2 billion. The building of the Secretariat was renovated: the cladding was replaced, major repairs were carried out inside the premises. Works of art at the UN headquarters

The UN building in New York is a repository of all kinds of works that are presented as gifts by representatives of participating countries. Some are placed in the halls of the complex, many sculptures are in the open air.

Here are the most famous of them:

Product Country -giver Creator and (or) origin
Colored stained-glass window “Window of the World”FranceChagall depicted the death of Dag Hammarskjöld on it.
The Titans paintingUSALumer Martin Winter commissioned the painting from the General Assembly.
Ark of ReturnDedicated to the 15 million people brought to America and sold into slavery.
Venetian mosaicDisplays all the nationalities of the world. Made by craftsmen from Venice.
Mosaic panelAuthor N. Rockwell. Presented in honor of the fortieth anniversary of the Organization.
"Non-violence"LuxembourgThis is a colt with a tied muzzle and a sawn-off target by the Swede K. Reutersvärd. It is located on the square in front of the UN building. Thus, the author honored the memory of John Lennon, who was killed in New York.
"Sfera Con Sfera"ItalyA. Pomadoro. Its copies are located in Washington, Tel Aviv, Vatican.
Statue of Saint AgnesJapanShe was found in a Catholic church near Nagasaki, which was damaged by a nuclear explosion.
Peace BellCast from coins collected by children. It bears the inscription: "Long live world peace in the world." He calls twice a year: during the spring equinox and in the autumn before the opening of the session of the General Assembly.
The first artificial Earth satelliteUSSRDonated in 1957
plowed"E. Vuchetich
“Good conquers evil”RussiaZ. Tsereteli. The monument is made from fragments of Soviet and American missiles (SS-20, Pershing-2).
"Chengdu-Kunming Railway"PRCCarved from the tusks of 8 elephants.
"Single Form"Great BritainB. Hepworth. Abstract figure in honor of Hammarskjöld.
"Humanity in the struggle for peace"SpainJ. Zanetti. The longest panel, its length is 20 m.
"Oasis"Saudi ArabiaMade of gold.

Among the exhibits you can see explosives brought from all over the world, and photographs taken in "hot spots". There are also fragments of the Berlin Wall and melted pottery from Hiroshima.

About a million people from all over the world visit the UN building every year. It is one of the main attractions in New York. It is worth visiting with a guided tour, as during it you will be told interesting facts from the history of the Organization, and you can see with your own eyes the gifts of many countries.

Video about the UN building

Video tour of the UN headquarters in New York: