How To Land A Plane On A New York City Skyscraper

For over 40 years, a mysterious World War I fighter plane perched on the roof at 77 Water Street  has been fascinating Wall Street denizens and Google Map explorers alike.


Yet despite having been mentioned in numerous articles about unusual New York oddities, to my knowledge, not a single person has ever actually been on the roof to see the plane up close, or contacted the plane’s creator to see why he did it…

plane copy

Until now! Wall Street Journal: Lower Manhattan’s Mysterious Warplane

This is my first article for the Wall Street Journal, and should appear in the print edition tomorrow! Hope you enjoy!



PS – Wait – the Wall Street Journal?? Does that mean you’re giving up Scouting NY for good??! Nope – this site is still my primary focus, but I’m thrilled to be on board as an occasional contributor to the WSJ’s Metro section. There are a number of New York City locations I’ve been hoping to get into over the years – 77 Water Street’s biplane included – but haven’t because I’m not writing for a large publication. With the Wall Street Journal’s backing, I look forward to opening more hidden doors in NYC in the months to come!

If you enjoyed reading this post, would you consider making a donation to help me make my first movie? The goal is $50,000, and to date, 1,728 Scouting NY readers have donated $36,348! Just $5 or $10 can make a difference - AND you get this snazzy Scouting NY sticker/magnet as a Thank-You gift! Click here to donate today!


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  1. Do your stuff scout. Leverage it right.

  2. Who’s Rob Bennett, and why didn’t you take the photos?

  3. Wow! Congrat! with the WSJ backing, you should be able to have more access to more places… don’t forget to keep sharing!

  4. This is going to be great! Maybe its an idea to ask your readers for ideas regarding highly secluded things like this in NYC? Let’s open some doors 🙂

  5. I scouted that roof a few times during the 90’s. I think the last time I was up there was scouting for Blade. Sorta makes me wish I’d had a decent filing system for those gazillion negatives.

  6. Hey, congratulations, Scout–this is great news!

  7. WSJ and not NYT? Agh, the Times’ loss! Good for you Scout, congratulations.

  8. Oh! Good for you Scout, your star is rising!

  9. Right Wing Sellout!

  10. I work in the building and love it. Thanks!!!!!!!

  11. That’s great. I hope you use your WSJ cred to see some amazing things.

    Also, you should see if you can get on the WSJ’s pub quiz team at Dempsey’s. Those guys really clean up. I think they win first place every week.

  12. Congrats on the new gig with WSJ – well done.

  13. Why do you 10,000 and donations from readers to make a film? Cant you just use a high-def mini cam then edit on your comp?

  14. Good job Scout! You’ve come a long way since arriving in the Big Apple.
    Hope you keep the site up as it’s refreshing and fun!

  15. Scout, just wanted to say great job!

    So great in fact, that two of my daily sites linked to the WSJ article: Gizmodo and Jalopnik!

  16. Congratulations!! How exciting for you!!!

  17. Congratulations. Get them to take you to the two story subterranean vault at One Wall Street. I once had to go there with an old aunt to fetch some jewelry when it was Irving Trust.

  18. I used to live by that chess board and always wanted to know why it was there.


  19. Nick, congrats dude, the best way to do things is infiltrate and report from the belly of the beast. I hope you can hack working for an outpost of News Corp. Still if you can get access, and isn’t that what life is all about in this over corporatized world, I know you will use it to bring us interesting and oh so funky reportage of the world as you and your fans await with baited breath.

  20. This is why I follow your blog! You do great work! Thanks for sharing!