The headquarters of the United Nations is a distinctive complex in New York City, United States, that has served as the official headquarters of the United Nations since its completion in 1952. It is located in the Turtle Bay neighborhood of Manhattan, on spacious grounds overlooking the East River. Its borders are First Avenue on the west, East 42nd Street to the south, East 48th Street on the north and the East River to the east. Turtle Bay is used as a synonym for the U.N. headquarters or for the U.N. as a whole.
The United Nations has three additional, subsidiary, regional headquarters or headquarter districts. These are located in Geneva (Switzerland), Vienna (Austria), and Nairobi (Kenya). These adjunct offices help represent UN interests, facilitate diplomatic activities, and enjoy certain extraterritorial privileges, but only the main headquarters in New York contains the seats of the principal organs of the UN, including the General Assembly and Security Council. All 15 of the United Nation's specialized agencies are located outside New York at these other headquarters or in other cities.
Though it is in New York City, and part of the United States, the land used by the United Nations Headquarters is considered international territory, while also being subject to most local, state, and federal laws. For award purposes Amateur radio operators consider it a separate "entity", and for communications the UN has its own internationally recognized ITU prefix, 4U.
The FDR Drive passes underneath the Conference Building of the complex.
The United Nations Headquarters complex was constructed in New York City in 1949 and 1950 beside the East River, on 17 acres (69,000 m) of land purchased from the foremost New York real estate developer of the time, William Zeckendorf. Nelson Rockefeller arranged this purchase, after an initial offer to locate it on the Rockefeller family estate of Kykuit was rejected as being too isolated from Manhattan. The $8.5 million purchase was then funded by his father, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., who donated it to the City. The lead architect for the building was the real estate firm of Wallace Harrison, the personal architectural adviser for the family.