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Man Explains Mysterious Windowless Buildings In US Cities

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Man Explains Mysterious Windowless Buildings In US Cities

If you've ever visited New York and noticed an enormous, windowless concrete building, you might have wondered what it is. Well, wonder no more because this TikToker has the answer:

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Eric Guidry, who goes by @e.guidry on the video-sharing platform, responded to a clip from someone who was asking that very question.

Helpfully providing her with an explanation, and listing a few similar examples, Eric says in the clip: "So that building in New York, this windowless building in San Francisco, this one in Chicago, this one in Austin and hundreds more buildings placed conspicuously across the country, in very populous locations, are all part of AT&T's long lines network."

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He goes on to provide a reminder of what telephone lines used to look like before digital telephony, adding: "The lines on your phone physically connected to the person on the other end's phone.

Eric showed people what telephone lines used to look like. Credit: TikTok/e.guidry
Eric showed people what telephone lines used to look like. Credit: TikTok/e.guidry

"That meant we need these massive switching hubs. Most of those buildings I showed were built in the '70s [or earlier] - that means they didn't require actual operators.

"And because this machinery didn't particularly care if there was light or not, they just decided, why add windows?"

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Giving more information on the specific AT&T building in New York on the original TikTok video, Eric said: "That building is 33 Thomas Street, which is known to be one of the most secure towers in the world.

"It has enough gas, water and electricity to be able to continue running independently for up to two weeks and is supposed to be able to actually withstand a nuclear blast... within reason.

"Although most of the equipment has been digitalised and you don't need it for phones, it's still critical for network and internet infrastructure.

"In fact, if you're watching this in the US, this video probably went through one of those buildings."

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It's not just us that have been after an explanation, either.

Back in 2017 Tom Hanks himself tweeted about it:

The actor wrote: "This is the scariest building I've ever seen! WTF goes on inside??"

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One person replied: "Anything & everything that goes out via technology is stored here. You can delete stuff but it's all stored digitally forever.

"You can run & hide but the past will eventually find you no matter what you did or where you go."

Another simply added: "Spies."

Fair enough.

Featured Image Credit: adactio (Creative Commons)

Topics: Interesting, Technology, Community, Weird, TikTok

Rebecca Shepherd
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