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Did you know that the "zip" in zip code is an acronym? It stands for zoning improvement plan, and the useful number — officially implemented in 1963 — started out as a two-digit code (the first digit identifying the city and the second identifying the state). As the needs of mail delivery expanded, so did zip codes. They eventually became the more complex string of numbers we know today. Some buildings within the United States are large enough to require their own zip code. That list includes these four buildings.
The White House
When someone is elected to become President of the United States, it's not just the highest office in the land that they have a claim to. They also get their very own zip code. It's 20500. The fenced-in property on which the White House stands encompasses about 18 acres in Washington, D.C. The building itself is 168 feet long and 152 feet wide (if the porticoes are included).
This important building must meet a range of demands from residential to professional. It also hosts visitors and guests, using an impressive 132 rooms to do so. That number includes a whopping 35 bathrooms. The total area of all the space in the building is 55,000 square feet.
Dodger Stadium is a monument to American pop culture. Its most obvious contribution to the cultural zeitgeist is its history of hosting more than 147 million baseball fans since its initial opening in 1962. Just three years later, the stadium would be the site of sports history when Sandy Koufax stood in front of a relatively small crowd of 29,139 fans and pitched a perfect game.
It's not only sports fans that have found themselves drawn to Dodger Stadium, however. The site has also hosted legendary musical performances from groups such as The Beatles. It was the home to Elton John's 1975 performance that wowed 100,000 fans in the packed stands over two adrenaline-filled days. The moment became so iconic that it was even featured in the critically-acclaimed biopic Rocketman.
Today, Dodger Stadium is an icon of the area. In fact, it has been dubbed "Dodgertown," and in 2009, it got its own zip code to solidify this status. Letters addressed to 90090 will go to this iconic monument to American entertainment.
Willis Tower (Formerly Known as the Sears Tower)
Once known as the Sears Tower, the 1,451-foot skyscraper was renamed the Willis Tower in 2009. Located in Chicago, Illinois, the building is a major part of the skyline and was once the headquarters for the formerly-famous Sears, Roebuck & Company business. As Sears struggled to maintain its place in the American economy, they tried to sell the building in 1988. When that attempt failed, they instead used it as collateral to borrow $850 million in an attempt to save their struggling business. Ultimately, the effort was unsuccessful, and the ownership of the tower switched hands in 1994 when Sears could not pay its debts. They vacated the building in 1995, but it continued to carry their name for another decade and a half.
Back in their heyday, however, Sears purchased not only the building site but Quincy Street. This street separated the two lots that were destined to one day become the foundation for this massive architectural feat. Originally inspired by the visual of a pack of cigarettes sticking out at different heights, the building is actually composed of nine different tubular structures. If the buildings were to be spread out over a single story, they would take up a staggering 16 city blocks.
It's this massive size that has given Willis Tower its own zip code. Anyone wanting to ensure their delivery gets routed up, up, up to the right office will need to address it to zip code 60606.
The Empire State Building
In 1931, President Herbert Hoover remained comfortably in Washington, D.C., and pressed a button to turn on the lights at New York City's Empire State Building. The theatrics were staged, of course, as someone in New York flipped the actual switches that symbolized the dedication of the new building.
Erected during the Great Depression and employing up to 3,400 workers a day, the building was a tremendous source of pride for New Yorkers. The completed 102-story building stands 1,454 feet tall — if you count the lighting rod. It was the then-tallest building in the world, a title that has since been claimed by other constructions.
The building has become an iconic part of American culture, famously featuring in the King Kong franchise and welcoming real-life visitors to stand upon its observation decks and look out over the city that never sleeps. The building has undergone many different changes to meet the needs of modern-day inhabitants and visitors. In 2008, renovations began on the lobby that took four months longer than the entire building's construction did eight decades earlier!
Located in midtown Manhattan at Fifth Avenue and 34th Street, the building stands within the geographical boundaries of the city's 10001 zip code. In 1980, however, the building received its own unique code of 10118 to help route deliveries to the many offices that fill the building's floors.