United Nations Headquarters , located on an 18-acre site on the East side of Manhattan in New York City ,is a complex that is serving as the headquarters of the United Nations since 1952.The UN has three additional subsidiary located in Geneva (Switzerland), Vienna (Austria), and Nairobi (Kenya). The Headquarters include four main buildings: the General Assembly building, the Conference Building, the 39-floor Secretariat building, and the Dag Hammarskjold Library .
Even though it is located in New York , the land of UN Headquarters is considered international territory, while also being subject to most local, state, and federal laws. It is an international zone belonging to all Member States. The United Nations has its own security force, fire department and postal administration. Visitors from all over the world often like to send postcards back home with original United Nations stamps .
The United Nations Headquarters complex was constructed in New York City in 1949 and 1950 when 17 acres (69,000 m2) of land was purchased and donated to the city by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. The lead architect for the building was the real estate firm of Wallace Harrison, the personal architectural adviser for the family.
The complex is also notable for its gardens and outdoor sculptures. Iconic sculptures include the “Knotted Gun,” a gift from the Luxembourg government and “Let Us Beat Swords Into Plowshares”, a gift from the Soviet Union. A piece of the Berlin Wall also stands in the U.N. garden.
While outside of the complex, the headquarters also includes two large office buildings that serve as offices for the specialized agencies of the organization, such as UNDP , these buildings are known as DC-1 and DC-2 .
The largest of the four buildings is the UN Secretariat building, home of the UN’s administration which is 39 story, 544 ft (166m) tall and has become a worldwide symbol of the United Nations. Per an agreement with the New York City government, the buildings met some but not all local fire safety and building codes. The Secretary-General’s office is on the 38th floor The 39-story Secretariat Building was controversial at the time it was built but became a modernist landmark. The United Nations Secretariat building is currently being renovated. The renovation would take approximately four years.
Guided tours of the United Nations operate daily from the General Assembly Public Lobby. An international staff explains the work of the United Nations and its related organizations, while escorting visitors to some of the main Council Chambers and the General Assembly Hall. The tour also features art and other objects of interest donated by Member States. Visitors can obtain additional information materials relating to the United Nations and its agencies at the Public Inquiries Unit.Visitors can also purchase UN stamps , books or gifts from The United Nations postal counter where a coffee shop is also located .