OVER the last 70-years, just about every world leader and foreign minister has passed through the United Nations in New York. Notables from JFK, Castro, Thatcher, Reagan to Merkel, Nixon, De Gaulle, Khrushchev have all stood at the lectern in the main General Assembly Hall.
By the late 1950s, the United Nations building was described as the most ‘up-and-coming tourist attraction’ in New York outstripping the Statue of Liberty and the Rockefeller Centre as a magnet for sightseers from all over the world.
The complex has served as the UN headquarters since its completion in 1952. In 1958, almost a million tourists explored the home of the General Assembly. Nowadays, there is still a steady stream of visitors, but its heyday as a tourist magnet is long gone.
Many notable events have happened in the walls of this building. In 1951, Dwight D. Eisenhower proposed a scheme for providing food aid through the UN, leading to the World Food Program (WFP) and who can forget Nikita Khrushchev’s shoe-banging incident in 1960?
Now, you can take a close-up look on a daily tour which will take you to the General Assembly Hall, the Security Council Chamber, the Trusteeship Council Chamber, and the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Chamber and lobbies with an expert guide explaining its structure and work – as well as a description of the works of art and architectural features along the tour route.
WHERE: 405 E 42nd Street. Tours can be booked at https://visit.un.org/. Security screening is required for entrance, so arrive at least an hour before the start of your tour. Check-in at the Visitor Check-in Office at 45th Street and 1st Avenue. Daily (Mon-Sun): 9:00 a.m. – 4:45 p.m. Guided tours only Mon-Fri