Surprising Secrets of Trump Tower New York You Need to Know About

The White House is an amazing place, but we all know President Donald Trump’s favorite place to live in is Trump Tower in New York. A 2018 fire brought attention to the building, but how much do you really know about the most famous of the elaborate homes of the Trump family? These are the surprising secrets of Trump Tower you need to know about.

We’ll reveal why fires at Trump Tower aren’t anything new (page 9), but first, we’ll tell you why it Starbucks is probably the most famous one in the United States (page 6).

Immigrants worked on the building

Trump Tower in NYC

Hundreds of immigrants worked on the building. | bluebeat76/iStock/Getty Images

He wants to stop immigrants from working now, but back in the day, he had no problem putting immigrants to work. A long-running lawsuit alleges 200 undocumented Polish immigrants performed demolition work at the building site but were never fully paid.

Next: Taxes, shoddy accounting, and how Donald Trump fits in.

Trump tried dodging taxes

security in front of Trump tower

He went to court over his tax bill. | Drew Angerer/Getty Images.

  • He cooked the books at other properties to lower the tax bill.

According to the New York Daily News, Trump went to court in 1985 to get out of an estimated $15 to $20 million tax bill. It’s one of the secrets of Trump Tower people either don’t know or don’t remember, but it’s not the only time Trump had trouble with taxes.

A report from Mother Jones indicates Trump had his accounting team at the Grand Hyatt cook the books so that a multi-million dollar tax bill came out to just $667,000.

Next: Why we’ll never call Trump an art-lover.

Some beloved artwork was lost during construction

Trump bonwit panels

The art was destroyed. | Cornell University/Preservation News

  • Reliefs worth $200,000 didn’t survive

What was the Bonwit Teller & Company building is now Trump Tower, and back in the day huge limestone reliefs were a prominent part of the building. Trump promised to cut out the reliefs and donate them to a museum. Instead, he demolished the artwork valued at $200,000 during construction.

Next: Hardly what you’d expect from the Trump brand.

The first apartments weren’t Trump-like

trump in tower elevator

The initial apartments weren’t worth the price. | Dominick Reuter/AFP/Getty Images

  • Early tenants got apartments with basic fixtures and flooring.

Trump bills himself as a master businessman who only accepts the finest things in life, but the first apartments at Trump Tower weren’t very Trump-like. According to AM New York, one of the big secrets of Trump Tower is that the first apartments came with only the most basic fixtures and furnishings. In fact, the apartments were more like what you might find in the outer boroughs instead of Midtown Manhattan.

Next: Why you need a flashlight to find your way.

The lights are dim for a reason

Trump Tower lighting

They like the intimate feeling. | Alistair McMillan/Wikimedia Commons

  • The rich residents like the privacy and exclusivity.

One of the lesser-known secrets of Trump Tower is that the folks who live there enter the building from 56th St. as opposed to 5th Ave. The private entrance is dimly lit and very quiet, and the rich people who live there like it that way. It offers privacy and exclusivity, which are part of the allure of living at a Trump property.

Next: Why its Starbucks is so famous.

It might house the most famous Starbucks of all

Trump tower atrium

She always goes to that Starbucks. | Fletcher6/Wikimedia Commons

  • Trump Tower has Ivanka Trump’s go-to ‘Bucks

She gets her normal Starbucks order in Washington, D.C., now, but her favorite ‘Bucks is at Trump Tower in New York. She says the workers there are amazing, and she loves getting her daily latte there.

Next: This is why they had to bring TV cameras in.

They had to film The Apprentice there

He didn’t have time to go anywhere else. | Peter Kramer/Getty Images

  • Trump didn’t have time to film the show otherwise

Donald Trump has been on 194 TV shows over the years, but The Apprentice is the one we know Donald Trump. One of the secrets of Trump Tower is they had to film it there because Trump’s schedule was so busy. He didn’t have time to leave the office, even to go to another spot in New York.

Next: Bring your swimsuit, but only if you know the right people.

One apartment has a swimming pool

Trump Tower NYC

There’s a pretty impressive pool in there. | Jorge Láscar/Wikimedia Commons

  • Johnny Carson’s neighbor put in the pool

In a 1984 GQ profile, Trump reveals one of the most poorly kept secrets of Trump Tower: One of the tenants, a neighbor of Johnny Carson, installed a swimming pool and sauna as part of a three-apartment spread in the building.

Next: This is not one of the devious secrets of Trump Tower.

Fires aren’t anything new at Trump Tower

Trump Tower fire

It wasn’t the first fire there. | Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images

  • The fatal fire in 2018 wasn’t the first blaze at the building.

At least three fires raged at the construction site, but this isn’t one of devious, dark secrets of Trump Tower. As it turns out, fires were quite common at New York construction sites in the 1980s as workers, builders, and unions looked to extend construction times. Unlike the 2018 blaze, no one died and the damage wasn’t severe.

Next: How the Second City tops the Big Apple.

It’s not the biggest Trump building

International Tower skyscraper in Chicago

The Chicago taller is the tallest. | AndresGarciaM/iStock/Getty Images

  • Trump Tower in Chicago is taller

Make no mistake, Trump Tower in New York is impressive, it’s just that Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago is bigger. Just look at the specs:

  • Trump Tower New York: 58 stories and 664 feet tall.
  • Trump International Hotel and Tower: 98 stories and 1,362 feet

If we’re judging only on how big the Trump Tower buildings are, then the Second City beats the Big Apple.

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