In the late 1940s, John D. Rockefeller Jr. donated an 18-acre site in New York City that would become the United Nations Headquarters. The complex is located between First Avenue and the East River, at the end of East 42nd Street. A small room for quiet, interdenominational prayer was part of the building's original design, but UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld insisted on something more. The result was the Meditation Room, where people of all faiths could retreat for silent reflection. Hammarskjöld was supported in the endeavor by a group of Christians, Jews, and Muslims, known as the "Friends of the UN Meditation Room." The group raised enough money to build a room that Hammarskjöld considered worthy of a world organization dedicated to peace. Hammarskjöld personally oversaw the room's construction himself.
Swedish influence at the UN: