Overview of the building:
The Empire State Building is a building located in Midtown Manhattan in New York City specifically at the intersection between West 34th Street and Fifth Avenue. It is a 103 story skyscraper.
The building is huge, it has a total height of 1454 feet which is about 443 meters and a roof height of 1250 feet which is about 380 meters with the antenna spire included in that measure.
That building was considered as the tallest building in the world over a period of almost 40 years since its construction was completed in 1931 until the World Trade Center’s North Tower was constructed in late 1970. The Empire State Building returned back again to be the tallest building in New York after the attacks of September 11th, 2001, when the World Trade Center’s North Tower collapsed under the famous terrorist attacks.
However the building became no longer the tallest building in the world. The One World Trade Center (located in Lower Manhattan in New York City) became the tallest building in the United States in April 2012. The Empire State Building is now the fourth tallest building or skyscraper in the United States of America after the One World Trade Center, the Willis Tower and the Trump International Hotel and Tower (which are both located in Chicago). Nowadays, the world rank of the building is the 23rd where the tallest building in the world is Burj Khallifa which is located in Dubai.
This building is considered as an American cultural icon. It is considered as one of the seven wonders of modern world by the American Society of Civil Engineers. In 1986, the building was designated as a National Historic Landmark and in 2007 it was ranked as number one on the list of America’s Favorite Architecture.
Empire State Building Design :
The building was designed by William F. Lamb from an architectural firm which is called Shreve, Lamb and Harmon, that did the drawings of the building in two weeks only, where it used the designs that were made earlier for the Reynolds Building in Winston Salem in North Carolina and Carew Tower in Cincinnati in Ohio. The design of the building was done from the top down.
It was the first building having more than 100 floors. The building has 6,500 windows, 1860 steps from the street level to the floor 102 and has 73 elevators including service elevators and it takes only less than a single minute to reach the 80th by the elevat
or where there is a gift shop and an exhibit that shows the details of the building’s construction. The total floor area of the building is 2,768,591 sq ft which is about 257,211 m2 and the base of the building is nearly 8,094 m2.
The building has 1000 businesses and it has its own zip code. In 2007, there were about 21,000 employees working daily in the building, making it the second largest single office complex in the United States of America after the Pentagon.
Empire State Building Construction :
The excavation of the site started on January 22nd, 1930, and the construction on the building began symbolically on March 17th of the same year (St. Patrick’s Day). That was almost the time when the Great Depression started. The number of workers in the project was 3400 workers who were mainly immigrants from Europe that was in addition to hundreds of iron workers in which many of them were from Kahnawake reserve close to Montreal. During the construction process; five workers died.
The construction of the building took place as a part of a competition carried out in New York for the title of the “world’s tallest building”. There were two other projects competing to finalize two other buildings which are the 40 Wall Street and the Chrysler Building. These two projects were under construction when the work started on the Empire State Building. Each of the two competing buildings held the title of the “world’s tallest building” for less than one year because the Empire State Building grabbed that title from both of them upon its completion because it was taller than both buildings.
The initial plan for the duration of the construction of the building was 18 months; however, the construction process took less than 15 months.
The cost of building the Empire State Building was $40,948,900.
The official opening of the building was on May 1st, 1931 where the United States President at that time Herbert Hoover turned on the lights of the building with only a push of a button from Washington D.C. It was a dramatic event that many people watched. The construction of the building was completed in one year and 45 days.
Empire State Building Lights :
In 1964, floodlights were fixed to the building to illuminate the top of at night, in certain colors that were chosen to match certain seasonal events; such as St. Patrick’s Day for example, the Christmas, the Independence Day and the Bastille Day.
In addition to the standard lighting schedule of the building, the lights can take the colors of New York’s sports teams during the nights they have home games. In late August and early September, the lights of the building turn to tennis ball yellow color during the US Open tennis tournament.
In 2012, LED fixtures replaced the metal halide lamps and floodlights that existed in the building so as to increase the colors available for the lighting from 9 colors to more than 16 million colors. The computer controlled system permitted to illuminate the building in extremely new ways that could never be done with the lighting system used previously.
To sum up:
The Empire State Building represents the ambition of the peoples to build huge buildings and towers that can reach the skies, it represents the desire for competition and the insistence to be the best. This skyscraper building is one of New York’s best known building and can be seen on many postcards as symbol representing the city. The building is visited by more than 3 million people every year.