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Empire State Building

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Empire State Building


Structure in General

existing [completed]
rigid frame
curtain wall
light brown
art deco


commercial office
shop(s) service branch(es) restaurant


  • The tower was one of the first to employ the then new fast-track construction technique.
  • At least 32 people jumped to their deaths off the observation deck on the top during the deck's operation.
  • Construction took just over 18 months.
  • On a Saturday morning in July 1945, a US B-25 Bomber crashed into the 79th floor offices of the Catholic War Relief Services. Fourteen people died. Despite suffering some fire damage and a 20-foot gash, the Empire State building opened back up for business on Monday.
  • The lobby is a five-story Art Deco masterpiece crafted in rich granite and marble, and highlighted by brushed stainless steel.
  • Tallest building in the world from 1931 - 1972; surpassed by One World Trade Center.
  • The Empire State Building was constructed on the site of the former Astoria Hotel.
  • Excavation began on January 22, 1930.
  • Construction started on March 17, 1930.
  • The building incorporates 10 million bricks, 1,886 kilometres (1,172 miles) of elevator cables, 6,400 windows and weighs 331,000 tonnes.
  • Soon after opening it became a major tourist attraction, attracting many famous people, including the French Prime Minister, Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, Pope Pius XII, Fidel Castro and Queen Elisabeth II, to name a few. The only one known to have refused Alfred E. Smith's invitation was Walter P. Chrysler.
  • As a popular symbol of the city and its spirit, the building has been featured on countless artistic impressions of the city; for instance, the building has been featured on album covers of music of nearly every genre, from jazz of the thirties to hip hop of the '00s.
  • Constructed with 60,000 tons of structural steel.
  • There are 1,575 steps from the lobby to the 86th floor.
  • The building was completed about a month and half ahead of schedule and about $5 million under budget.
  • The Empire State Building is a member of the World Federation of Great Towers.
  • The masonry was completed on November 13, 1930.
  • Houses over 1,000 businesses with its own ZIP Code.
  • The Empire State Building is a legend. Built in the midst of the Depression, it was, and still remains a testament to American fortitude and ingenuity.
  • A broadcasting antenna was added to the building in 1951 putting the almost vacant metallic tower at the top to use as a storage area for broadcasting equipment.
  • President Herbert Hoover officially opened the building on May 1, 1931 by pressing a button from the White House that turned on the building's lights.
  • The metal-plated tower on top of the building was planned as a zeppelin port. Yet it was used for only one zeppelin landing because the winds were too strong at such heights making mooring dangerous and also because the golden age of zeppelins was quickly slipping into the past.
  • During planning stages the construction death toll was estimated to be one worker per floor, or over 100 workers overall. However, only a handful of workers lost their lives during construction.
  • Declared Landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission on May 18, 1981.
  • During construction of the steel frame, eating facilities were set up on appropriate floors to cater for the workers.
  • Listed on State & National Register of Historic Places on December 20, 1982.
  • Regained city's "tallest" title after September 11, 2001.
  • Declared a National Historic Landmark on October 23, 1986.
  • Cornerstone was laid on September 17, 1930 by former New York governor Alfred E. Smith.
  • An international icon, it has been visited by more than 117 million people, who come to marvel at the 80-mile view into New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Massachusetts.
  • Initially the building was intended to have a flat roof until a "hat" or metal-plated tower on top of the building was designed. It initially served double duty as a zeppelin mooring mast and an observatory.
  • Framework rose at the rate of 4 1/2 floors per week.
  • Built in 1930 to be the tallest structure on earth, the Empire State Building was then considered the largest commercial venture and investment ever.
  • Decorated with enormous bronze medallions celebrating the craftsmen responsible for the building, and a metal mosaic featuring the building as the center of the universe, the lobby is without peer.
  • The façade is composed of more than 200,000 cubic feet of Indiana limestone and granite, and utilizes several setbacks to offset the optical distortion of its 102-story height.

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More Information


338-350 5th Avenue
1-31 West 33rd Street, 2-20 West 34th Street
350 5th Avenue
Midtown South
New York City
New York

Technical Data

1,454.16 ft
1,250.02 ft
1,250.02 ft
1,224.01 ft
1,050.01 ft
1,224.01 ft
424.01 ft
187.00 ft

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Features & Amenities

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