A few years ago the Empire State Building was the tallest skyscraper in New York City, and although there have since been buildings that surpass it in size, it remains a significant tourist destination. Every day thousands of people come up to the observation deck to take in views of Manhattan from all angles. The history of the city is closely related to this structure, so every resident is able to tell a lot of interesting information about the building with the spire.
Stages of construction
The project to create a new office building appeared in 1929. The main architectural idea belonged to William Lamb, although similar motives had been previously used in the construction of other structures. In particular, in North Carolina and Ohio can be found buildings, which were actually prototypes for the future extensive building of New York.
In the winter of 1930, workers began tilling the ground on the site of the future high-rise structure, and construction itself began on March 17. About 3.5 thousand people were employed, most of the builders being either immigrants or members of the indigenous population.
The project was being worked on while the city was being built out, so the site felt the pressure of the deadline. At the same time as the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building and the Wall Street skyscraper were being built, with each owner wanting their project to be the most advantageous over the competition.
As a result, the highest was the Empire State Building, which retained its status for another 39 years. This success was due to the well-coordinated work on the construction site. On an average weekly count was built about four floors. There was even a period when the workers managed to build fourteen stories in ten days.
In total, the construction of one of the world’s most famous skyscrapers took 410 days. The right to start the lighting of the new office center was given to the then president, who declared the Empire State Building open on May 1, 1931.
Together with the spire the building is 443.2 meters high and 140 meters wide. The main style as conceived by the architect was Art Deco, but the facade has classical elements in the design. In total, the Empire State Building has 103 floors, and the top 16 floors are superstructures with two observation decks. The area of the premises exceeds 208 thousand square meters. Many people wonder how many bricks it took to build such a structure, and although no one counted them by the piece, we know that it took about 10 million building units.
The roof was made in the form of a spire, it was supposed to be a stopping point for airships. When they built the tallest skyscraper at the time, they decided to test the possibility of using the top for its intended purpose, but because of the strong winds it failed to achieve the desired goal. As a result, in the mid-20th century the airship terminal was converted into a television tower.
Inside it is worth paying attention to the decoration of the main foyer. Its width is 30 meters and the height is commensurate with the three floors. Marble slabs add stateliness to the room, and pictures of the seven wonders of the world are bright decorative elements. The eighth image is a sketch of the Empire State Building itself, which is also identified with the world-famous buildings.
Of particular interest is the illumination of the tower, which is constantly changing. There is a special set of colors applied to different days of the week, as well as their combination for national holidays. Each event significant to the city, country, or world is colored in symbolic shades. For example, Frank Sinatra’s death day was marked in blue because of his popular nickname for the color of his eyes, and the British Queen’s anniversary birthday used a Windsor heraldry gamut.
Despite the significance of the office center, it didn’t become popular right away. From the moment the Empire State Building was built, the U.S. was in an unstable economic situation, so occupying all the office space was beyond the means of most companies in the country. For about a decade the building was considered unprofitable. Only with the change of ownership in 1951 did the office center begin to make a profit.
The history of the skyscraper includes mournful dates, in particular, when a bomber flew into the building during the war years. The year 1945, July 28 was devastating as the plane crashed between the 79th and 80th floors. The impact ripped through the building and one of the elevators fell from an enormous height, with Betty Lou Oliver, who was in it, surviving and being ranked among the world record holders for it. Fourteen people died in the accident, but the offices did not stop working.
Because of its fame and enormous height, the Empire State Building is quite popular with those who want to end their lives. It is for this reason that the observation decks were additionally reinforced with railings. Since the tower opened more than thirty suicides have occurred. It is true that sometimes misfortunes are prevented, and sometimes chance decides to do its part. So it happened with Elvita Adams, who jumped from the 86th floor, but thanks to a strong wind was thrown to the 85th floor, escaping only with a fracture.
The tower in culture and sports
People in the United States love the Empire State Building, so episodes of the skyscraper often appear in box office movies. The most famous scene to the world community is King Kong dangling from the spire and waving off airplanes hovering around it. The rest of the pictures can be found on the official website, which has a list of movies with unforgettable views of the New York tower.
The building is the setting for an unusual competition in which everyone is allowed to participate. It is necessary to overcome all the steps up to the 86th floor for time. The most successful winner coped with the task in 9 minutes 33 seconds, and to do this he had to climb 1576 steps. There are also tests for firemen and police officers, but they perform the conditions in full equipment.
Interesting facts about the name
Many people do not know why the tower got such an unusual name, which has “imperial” roots. In fact, the reason lies in the use of this epithet in reference to New York State. In fact, the name means “Imperial State Building,” which in translation sounds common to the inhabitants of the area.
There is an interesting play on words from the Great Depression. Back then, the word Empty was more commonly used instead of Empire, which was close in sound, but meant that the building was empty. In those years it was very difficult to rent office space, so the owners of the skyscraper incurred significant losses.
Useful information for tourists
Tourists in New York City are sure to wonder how to get to the Empire State Building. The address of the skyscraper is 350 Fifth Avenue, Manhattan. Visitors will have to stand in a long line, as many people want to go up to the observation decks.
Visitors are allowed to see views of the city from the 86th and 102nd floors. Elevators go up to both levels, but the price does not change much. In the lobby is prohibited videotaping, but on the observation deck you can make beautiful pictures with the panorama of Manhattan.
Also on the second floor is a video-tour where you can find out more about the surrounding area. If you are lucky, at the entrance to the observation deck you will be greeted by King Kong, who is rightfully considered a symbol of the place.