The Empire State Building – immortalized in the movies: King Kong (1933), An Affair to Remember (1957) and Sleepless in Seattle (1993) to name a few, is a true NYC landmark.
As a child, going to the Empire State Building, I knew that this place was special, but it wasn’t until I grew older and studied Architecture, did I fully understand the majesty of this place, an architectural feat, with its Art Deco features, and designed to be a mooring mast and depot for dirigibles. A place that has seen so much history, where as you enter, you are immediately transported as if to The Twilight Zone. If only those walls could talk.
Here are 18 Fun Facts about the Empire State Building:
- The Empire State building was the 1st tallest skyscraper in New York City, its place taken by the Twin Towers. Following the September 11 attacks in 2001, the Empire State Building was again the tallest building in New York
- The Empire State building is famous for its colored light displays that mark the holidays or seasons. For several months after 9/11 the light displayed were red, white and blue as a tribute to those that died and to show that New York City and America were not defeated.
- At the time of construction, the Empire State Building was one of several buildings competing for the title of tallest building in New York City. The two other buildings, 40 Wall Street and the Chrysler Building, were surpassed upon completion of the Empire State Building in 1931, having held the title for less than a year.
- The building has 103 floors and at roof height is 1250 ft (381 m) tall. The height when including the antenna spire is 1454 ft (443.2 m).
- The Empire State Building designer was William Lamb of the architect firm Shreve, Lamb & Harmon Associates.
- Around 3,400 workers were involved in the construction of the Empire State Building, with official records showing five workers died.
- The Empire State Building was opened on May 1, 1931, in the midst of the Great Depression. It took just 410 days for the Empire State Building to be constructed, quicker than anticipated.
- The building was officially opened on May 1, 1931 when President Herbert Hoover turned the lights on with a push of a button from Washington, D.C.
- For 41 years between 1931 and 1972 the Empire State Building was the tallest building in the world.
- There are 6,514 windows in the Empire State Building.
- Every year on Valentine’s Day, couples can get married on the 80th floor Empire State Building observation deck. In order to qualify for a marriage, couples must submit a letter stating why they want to get married here. If chosen, they become part of the “Wedding Club” which will give them free admittance every Valentine’s Day.
- Static electricity gathers at high heights, and under the right atmospheric conditions, couples can experience a slight electric shock when they kiss.
- From street level to the 103rd floor there are 1,872 steps.
- For over 40 years, thousands of runners from around the globe are vying for a chance to race up its famed 86 flights—1,576 stairs. While visitors can reach the building’s Observatory via elevator in under a minute, the fastest runners cover the 86 floors in about 10 minutes.
- Because so many businesses are housed in the building the Empire State has its own zip code, 10118.
- The Empire State Building has a lightning rod near the top which is struck by lightning around 23 times every year.
- The Empire State Building became the tallest building in New York City again after the collapse of the World Trade Center in 2001. In April 2012 the new One World Trade Center surpassed the Empire State Building in height.
- On a clear day you can see five states from our Observatories: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Massachusetts.
For more information check:
Empire State Building Experience
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