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NYC: Empire State Building

The Empire State Building is a 102-story contemporary Art Deco style skyscraper, declared by the American Society of Civil Engineers to be one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World.


Rising to 1,250 (381 m) at the 102nd floor, and a full structural height (including broadcast antenna) of 1,472 feet (448 m), it was the first building to top 100 floors. It remained the tallest skyscraper in the world for a record 41 years until the construction of the World Trade Center, and shortly afterwards the Sears Tower. It weighs approximately 330,000 metric tonnes, has a total floor area of 2.2 million square feet, 6,500 windows, 73 elevators, and 1,860 steps to the top floor.


The building stands on a site first developed as the John Thomson Farm in the late 18th century and once occupied by the original Waldorf Hotel. Excavation began in January, 1930; and construction started that March. The project, involving 3400 workers, was hurried to completion in order to take the title of "world's tallest building" from the nearby Chrysler Building and was officially opened after 410 days on May 1, 1931, when President Herbert Hoover pressed a button in D.C. turning on the building's lights. From its opening until the 1940s much of its office space went unrented. This lack of inhabitants earned it the nickname "Empty State Building" in its early years.


Designed by Shreve, Lamb and Harmon, the Empire State Building's distinctive art deco spire was originally designed to be a mooring mast and depot for zeppelins. However, after a couple of test attempts with airships, the idea proved to be impractical and dangerous due to the powerful updrafts caused by the size of the building itself, though the T- shaped mooring devices remain in place. Although the lower floors occupy the entire block, there are various "setbacks" in the building's design, as required by the zoning law of 1916 . These setbacks give the building its unique tapered silhouette.


The Empire State Building was designated a landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1981. (Designation List 207)


Empire State Building National Register #82001192


For more of my pictures of the Empire State Building, click here.

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Uploaded on May 25, 2006