The Windowless Skyscraper Conspiracy

From “Stewart Hicks”. ( YouTube / Nebula )

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Join me, an architecture professor from Chicago, as we uncover the secrets behind windowless skyscrapers. These structures, often overlooked and misunderstood, play a mysterious role in our urban landscape. In this video we explore the hidden purposes and intriguing stories of these architectural anomalies.

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__What’s Inside These Monoliths?__
We start our journey in Chicago, looking at a massive, windowless concrete structure that could withstand a nuclear blast. This building, along with others in major U.S. cities like Atlanta, Dallas, San Francisco, Seattle, and New York, is part of a network that’s shrouded in mystery and speculation.

__Surveillance and Secrecy__
These structures, implicated by figures like Edward Snowden and investigations by ‘The Intercept,’ are believed to be hubs in a vast surveillance infrastructure, connected to the NSA’s FAIRVIEW program. But what’s the truth behind these claims?

__Architectural Deep Dive__
We’ll examine buildings like 10 S Canal in Chicago and 33 Thomas St. in New York, both in their design and function. Discover why these buildings, with their dense structural grids and lack of windows, are architectural anomalies. We’ll explore their history, dating back to the Cold War era, and their evolution into today’s high-tech surveillance hubs.

__Uncovering the Unseen__
Through a blend of historical context, architectural analysis, and a touch of humor, we’ll unravel the stories these buildings tell about surveillance, privacy, and power in our society. From their origins as telecommunications hubs to their current role in the digital age, these structures challenge our understanding of architecture and its unseen impact on our daily lives.

__A Thought-Provoking Conclusion__
As we walk past these buildings in our daily lives, they stand as silent, yet powerful reminders of the complex interplay between technology, privacy, and architecture. Join me in uncovering the secrets of the architecture of the unseen, and ponder the implications of living in a world where the surveillance state never rests.

Video co-produced and edited by Evan Montgomery.
Stock video and imagery provided by Getty Images, Storyblocks, and Shutterstock.
Music provided by Epidemic Sound

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__About the Channel__
Architecture with Stewart is a YouTube journey exploring architecture’s deep and enduring stories in all their bewildering glory. Weekly videos and occasional live events breakdown a wide range of topics related to the built environment in order to increase their general understanding and advocate their importance in shaping the world we inhabit.

__About Me__
Stewart Hicks is an architectural design educator that leads studios and lecture courses as an Associate Professor in the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He also serves as an Associate Dean in the College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts and is the co-founder of the practice Design With Company. His work has earned awards such as the Architecture Record Design Vanguard Award or the Young Architect’s Forum Award and has been featured in exhibitions such as the Chicago Architecture Biennial and Design Miami, as well as at the V&A Museum and Tate Modern in London. His writings can be found in the co-authored book Misguided Tactics for Propriety Calibration, published with the Graham Foundation, as well as essays in MONU magazine, the AIA Journal Manifest, Log, bracket, and the guest-edited issue of MAS Context on the topic of character architecture.

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