New York City’s Empire State Building is one of the most recognizable buildings in the world. This famous New York City Landmark is also recognized as a National Historic Landmark. The Empire State Building held the title of the World’s tallest building until 1972, when it was overtaken by the World Trade Towers. The Empire State Building held the title of world’s tallest building for over 40 years and was built in less than 2 years between 1930 and 1931. The construction of the Empire State Building was part of a competition for the world’s tallest building along with the Chrysler building. It has 102 floors and it has an art deco spire at the top. The building was designed by Gr. Johnson and more than 3500 workers work for 14 months. During its history, The Empire State Building has been visited by over 110 million people It has been named as one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers.
History of the Empire State Building
The Empire State Building was built in the 1930s by Frederick Lamb of the architectural firm Shreve, Lamb and Harmon. Built during the Great Depression, the building was the center of a competition between Walter Chrysler (Chrysler Corp.) and John Jakob Raskob (creator of General Motors) to see who could build the tallest building. At the time of its construction, it broke many world records, including the record of the world’s tallest building. Construction of the Empire State Building only took one year and forty-five days, earning it the title of the 8th wonder of the world. The Inauguration ceremony for the Empire State Building took place on May 1st 1931.
Activities at the Empire State Building
The Empire State Building offers various activities for its visitors. Along with its observatories that can be toured 365-days a year, there are two restaurants, a sushi bar, three coffee shops, a drug store, a Hallmark card shop, a post office and two banks, in addition to the plethora of restaurants and nightlife activities in the surrounding area. There is also the popular New York SKYRIDE, which provides a virtual tour of the city of New York. The Empire State Building also holds several special events year-round including the annual Empire State Building Run and Valentine’s Day Weddings.
Empire State Building Observatories
Climbing up to the observatory of Empire State Building is a must-do item for any tourist. The observatory provides splendid views of the New York City skyline. There are actually two observatories, one on the 86th floor and the other at the very top on the 102nd floor. The observatory on the 86th floor is 1,050 feet (320 meters) above street level. The 86th floor Observatory has a glass-enclosed area which is heated in the winter and cooled in the summer. It also has spacious outdoor promenades on all four sides of the building, which are equipped with high powered binoculars. Over 3.5 million people come to this observatory each year. The observatory on the 102nd floor costs extra to visit and requires taking a second elevator. Because of its perfect location in southern Manhattan, the observatory provides stunning 360 degree views of New York City. The views of the Empire State Building are only rivaled by the Rockefeller Center’s Top of The Rock observatory.
Views from the Empire State Building
The Empire State Building observatory offers panoramic views, 1,050 ft (320 meters) above the city. The enclosed pavilion with the open air promenade offer breathtaking views of NY skyline, bridges and other famous structures. Many of New York City’s top attractions can be seen from the Empire State Building. To the south of the Empire State Building, you will be able to see the Flatiron Building, Woolworth Building, the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and Downtown Manhattan. To the North, you will see the MetLife Building, the GE building and St Patrick’s Cathedral. To the East, you can observe the United Nations Headquarter, the CitiCorp building, the Triboro bridge, LaGuardia and JFK Airport. To the west, you can view Madison Square Garden sports entertainment complex.
Queues at the Empire State Building
When visiting the Empire State Building, be prepared to do a lot of waiting. You will need to wait in line to go through security, then wait to get tickets, then wait to get on not one but two elevators, to get to the 86th Floor Observatory. If you plan on going to the 102nd Floor, then you will have to wait some along with paying for the additional costs associated tto the 102nd floor. If you can afford it, you can purchase an “Express Pass,” which also allows you to cut in front of the elevator lines. Cost for the Express Pass is $49 for all ages, including taxes and “surcharge.”
Admiring the Empire State Building
Although the Empire State Building is not a free New York City Attraction, it is possible to enjoy this iconic New York City icon for free. But for this, you will have to skip the observatories. You can visit the lobby for free, similar to the Chrysler Building. You can also view this majestic building from various areas around New York City, with the best area being from the Brooklyn Bridge. Make sure you check out the building at night time too, as the floodlighting is very effective. The colors change from time to time, depending on the time of year, current events and holidays etc…
Visiting the Empire State Building
The Empire State Building is open 365 days a year, from 8AM to 2AM. Last elevator up is at 1:15 AM. Entrance to the building is on 5th Avenue, between 33rd and 34th Streets. The ticket office is on the 2nd floor of the building. once there, you get to chose between going up to the 102nd floor or to the 86th floor. If you want to go to the 102nd floor, you must pay extra. When visiting the Empire State Building, it’s important to know that everybody visiting must go through a security check when entering the building. No glass items are permitted to be taken to the Observatory. Cameras, camcorders are allowed but no tripods. Only carry-on size and style bags, suitcases, backpacks, duffle bags, luggage, etc.. are permitted.
The Empire State Building in Pop Culture
Over the years, the Empire State Building has become one of New York City’s most beloved landmarks. It is featured on various tourism pictures and postcards. The Empire State Building has also been featured in many popular films, including the iconic 1933 film, King Kong.
Images of the Empire State Building
New York City’s Empire State Building (stock photo)
New York City’s Empire State Building at Dusk (stock photo)
New York City’s Empire State Building at Night (stock photo)
New York City’s Empire State Building Obervatory (stock photo)
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