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Altino Arantes

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Altino Arantes
Banco do Estado de São Paulo, Banco do Estado de Sao Paulo, Torre do Banespa


Structure in General

existing [completed]
pile foundation
ceramic tile
art deco


commercial office museum


  • The building has 1119 windows and its staircase has 900 steps.
  • In the 1960´s the building was renamed from Edificio-Sede do Banespa to Altino Arantes in honor of the first Brazilian president of the bank.
  • Tallest building from 1947 to 1960, until Palácio W. Zarzur was completed.
  • The construction process was stopped during World War II and restarted after the war.
  • The observation deck is open to public visitation on weekdays from 10am to 5pm. Every month about 5600 people visit the observation deck.
  • Construction was halted during World War II.
  • In 1947 this building surpassed Prédio Martinelli as the tallest building in São Paulo.
  • 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.
  • The construction begun in September 13, 1939 and finished almost eight years later on June 27, 1947.
  • In 1988 the building hall received a 13 meter tall luster, weighing more than 1.5 tons. The piece has 150 lamps and 10 thousand crystal accessories.
  • There is a museum in the 3rd floor of the building, with photos of the 40´s, objects of the time of inauguration and newspaper articles about the building.
  • When completed, the building was the tallest high-rise building in the world outside the United States.
  • The main lobby floor-to-ceiling height is 16 meters.
  • 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.
  • The building facade is covered by porcelain pieces; inside the building some floors are decorated with Carrara marble and Ipê and Jacarandá parquet blocks.
  • The 16m tall walls of entrance lobby are coated with white marble.
  • There are three water reservoirs in the tower - one in the basement, one in the 17th floor and one in the 31st floor.
  • The "Banespa" luminous display atop the building was removed in July 2007.
  • The flag atop the structure is 7.2 meters long by 5.4 meters wide. It is the ensign of the State of São Paulo and is replaced every month.
  • The facade wasn´t changed since the building inauguration, except for the installation of a luminous display at the top of the building.
  • The foundation piles reach the maximum depth of 14 meters.
  • The facade that faces Praça Antônio Prado is clad in 20,000 sq meters of ceramic tiles.
  • The first foundation stone was placed by São Paulo former governor, Ademar de Barros.
  • The building's form was inspired by the Empire State Building.
  • Tallest concrete structure in the world from 1947 until 1962; surpassed by Marina City I in Chicago.
  • In 1951 the observation deck was opened to public.
  • The original project from Plínio Botelho do Amaral, was changed by Camargo & Mesquita construction company to resemble to the Empire State Building.

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More Information


Rua João Brícola, 24, Rua Boa Vista, 209-221
Rua João Brícola, 24
São Paulo
São Paulo

Technical Data

528.22 ft
528.22 ft
492.13 ft
492.13 ft

Involved Companies

Plínio Botelho do Amaral

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Features & Amenities

  • One of the city's famous buildings
  • City landmark
  • National landmark
  • Observation deck on roof
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