Edificio Altino Arantes (in english Altino Arantes Building) also known as Edificio Banespa (Banespa Building), is a skyscraper located in downtown Sao Paulo, Brazil. It is 161 meters (529 ft) tall with 36 floors, making the 3rd tallest in the city of Sao Paulo.
The building’s design was inspired by the Empire State Building in New York and was constructed to be the headquarters of the bank known as Banco do Estado de Sao Paulo (Banespa). It was built between 1939 and 1947, and for over a decade it was the tallest building in the city until it was surpassed by Edificio Mirante do Vale & Edificio Italia in the 1960s.
In the 1960s the building was renamed from Edificio Banespa to Edificio Altino Arantes as a tribute to the first Brazilian president of the bank, Altino Arantes Marques. Today the building is owned by Banco Santander.
The building can be visited and the observation deck offers some of the best panoramic views over the city of Sao Paulo.
The observation deck is accessible from the 34th floor and offers views of up to 40 km, and you can see other important landmarks of the city, such as the Municipal Market, the Se Cathedral, Edificio Martinelli,Edificio Italia, Vale do Anhangabau, Viaduto do Cha, Teatro Municipal, Sao Bento, Avenida Paulista and several neighboorhoods of the city.
The observation deck is open to public visitation on weekdays from 10am to 5pm. To see the building, you will need identification. A copy of your passport if you are a foreigner.
Edificio Altino Arantes also houses a museum on the 3rd floor known as Museu Banespa (Banespa Museum), which exhibits the history of the building. The museum’s collection includes 993 objects & furniture, 1003 workmanships, photographs, oriental and national rugs, old newspaper articles and other items.
Interesting Triva on the Building
- The buildings design was inspired by the Empire State Building in New York.
- It was considered to be the tallest concrete structure in the world from 1947 until 1962, because the other buildings during this time (including the U.S. Empire State Building, the world’s largest at the time) were constructions of steel structure or mixed metal and concrete. It was later surpassed by Marina City I in Chicago.
- The building has 35 floors, is 161.22 meters tall and 17,951 square meters in area, and has 14 elevators, 900 steps and 1,119 windows.
- Tallest building in the city of Sao Paulo from 1947 to 1960, until Mirante do Vale was completed. It is now the 3rd tallest building in the city of Sao Paulo.
- Although the building is not the tallest in the city, it is located on the highest point in the downtown. This makes the observation deck one of the best spots in town for sightseeing.
- Its bank vault, which has circular doors of sixteen tons each, was made by York Safe & Lock Co. from New York. It offers 2,000 safety deposit boxes in several sizes.
- There are three water reservoirs in the tower – one in the basement, one in the 17th floor and one in the 31st floor.
- On top of building is the state flag of Sao Paulo measuring 7.20 meters wide by 5.40 tall and is changed monthly due to wear caused by strong winds at that height.
Where: Rua João Brícola, 24
When: Monday to Friday, from 10 am to 3 pm.
Getting There: Sé or Sao Bento metro station (Line 1 – Blue)
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Information from website: Brazil My Country