The Empire State Building is one of the more famous buildings in the city of New York. Located at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and West 34th Street, this striking building built in 1931 is one of New York City’s more popular landmarks. It once held the stature of being the world’s tallest building from its completion until 1971. It also regained the stature as New York City’s tallest building since the World Trade Center towers were destroyed on Sept. 11, 2001.
Empire State Building History
The site of the Empire State Building was first developed as the John Thompson Farm in the 18th Century which had a stream going across the site. In the 19th Century, it became the location of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, which was one of the frequent haunts of New York’s social elite.
Excavation for the site to make way for the Empire State Building began on January 21, 1930 with the actual construction beginning on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17. The construction took only 410 days to complete, as it took part in the intense competition for the title of “World’s Tallest Building” along with other buildings being constructed in the city during that time. Its construction involved around 3,400 workers. The Empire State Building was officially opened on May 1, 1931.
Empire State Building Features
The Empire State Building was designed by William F. Lamb of the architectural firm Shreve, Lamb and Harmon. It stands 1,250 feet or 381 meters tall from its roof height. When the building’s pinnacle is included, it stands 1,453 feet or 443 meters.
The building is composed of 102 floors with 85 floors used as commercial and office spaces. The observation deck is located at the 86th floor. The remaining 16 floors is part of the Art Deco tower which also has the 102nd-floor observatory. The Empire State Building follows an Art Deco architectural style for its design.
The Empire State Building was the first building in the world ever to have more than 100 floors. The building also has a total of 6,500 windows and 73 elevators. It stood as the world’s tallest building for 42 years, the longest holder of the title to date. By virtue of its historic accomplishments, the Empire State Building has been considered as a U.S. National Historic Landmark.