Floors Empire State Building

Floors Empire State Building

At various points throughout its lifespan so far, the Empire State Building has showered in the pride of being the “tallest” in a number of categories. As of its completion in 1931, it became the first ever building to exceed 100 stories. It went on to hold the title of world’s tallest manmade structure until 1954 (when it was bested by the Griffin Television Tower Oklahoma), world’s tallest freestanding manmade structure until 1967 (topped by the Ostankino Tower in Moscow, Russia), and world’s tallest building until 1970 (trumped by the North Tower of the World Trade Center, just 3.5 miles from the Empire). After the fall of the Twin Towers in 2001, the Empire State Building once again qualified as the tallest building in New York until 2012 (trounced, fittingly, by One World Trade Center). In 2011, the Empire State Building became as the tallest Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED)-certified building in the United States. As of 2015, the building is America’s fifth-tallest skyscraper, and the 30th-tallest in the world.
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Floors Empire State Building

The Empire State Building is a 102-story skyscraper located on Fifth Avenue between West 33rd and 34th Streets in Midtown, Manhattan, New York City. It has a roof height of 1,250 feet (381 m), and with its antenna included, it stands a total of 1,454 feet (443.2 m) tall. Its name is derived from the nickname for New York, the Empire State. It stood as the world’s tallest building for nearly 40 years, from its completion in early 1931 until the topping out of the original World Trade Center’s North Tower in late 1970. Following the September 11 attacks in 2001, the Empire State Building was again the tallest building in New York, until One World Trade Center reached a greater height in April 2012. The Empire State Building is currently the fifth-tallest completed skyscraper in the United States and the 34th-tallest in the world. It is also the fifth-tallest freestanding structure in the Americas. When measured by pinnacle height, it is the fourth-tallest building in the United States.
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Floors Empire State Building

The construction was part of an intense competition in New York for the title of “world’s tallest building”. Two other projects fighting for the title, 40 Wall Street and the Chrysler Building, were still under construction when work began on the Empire State Building. Each held the title for less than a year, as the Empire State Building surpassed them upon its completion, on April 11, 1931, 12 days ahead of schedule, just 410 days after construction commenced. The building was officially opened on May 1, 1931 in dramatic fashion, when United States President Herbert Hoover turned on the building’s lights with the push of a button from Washington, D.C. Ironically, the first use of tower lights atop the Empire State Building, the following year, was for the purpose of signaling the victory of Franklin D. Roosevelt over Hoover in the presidential election of November 1932.
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Floors Empire State Building

The floodlights bathed the building in red, white, and blue for several months after the destruction of the World Trade Center, then reverted to the standard schedule. On June 4, 2002, the Empire State Building donned purple and gold (the royal colors of Elizabeth II), in thanks for the United Kingdom playing the Star Spangled Banner during the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace on September 12, 2001 (a show of support after the September 11 attacks). This would also be shown after the Westminster Dog Show. Traditionally, in addition to the standard schedule, the building will be lit in the colors of New York’s sports teams on the nights they have home games (orange, blue and white for the New York Knicks, red, white and blue for the New York Rangers, and so on). The first weekend in June finds the building bathed in green light for the Belmont Stakes held in nearby Belmont Park. The building is illuminated in tennis-ball yellow during the US Open tennis tournament in late August and early September. It was twice lit in scarlet to support nearby Rutgers University: once for a football game against the University of Louisville on November 9, 2006, and again on April 3, 2007 when the women’s basketball team played in the national championship game. On January 13, 2012, the building was lit in red, orange, and yellow to honor the 60th anniversary of NBC’s The Today Show making it the first time the building was illuminated to honor a television program. From June 1 to 3, 2012, the building was lit in blue and white, the colors of the Israeli flag, in honor of the 49th annual Celebrate Israel Parade.
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Floors Empire State Building

The grand opening of the Empire State Building on May 1, 1931 kicked off with the traditional ribbon cutting by former Governor Smith’s grandchildren and a switching on of the skyscraper’s lights. The latter task was handled by sitting President Herbert Hoover, who lit up the building without even having to make the trip to New York. Approximately 200 miles away in Washington, D.C., Hoover pressed a button that signaled the instantaneous activation of the building’s electric illumination system. (The lights of the Empire State Building would later betray Hoover, glowing bright to signify the signify the victory over the incumbent president in the 1932 election.) 
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Floors Empire State Building

Though celebrated as a pinnacle achievement in 20th century architecture, the Empire State Building was not a complete original. In fact, Shreve, Lamb & Harmon architect William Frederick Lamb revived his old designs for the Reynolds Building, an industrial skyscraper erected in 1929 in Winston-Salem, N.C., as a blueprint for his new project. What’s more, the Empire State Building takes pride in sharing a proverbial bloodline with the Reynolds. Every June, the New York native ships a Father’s Day card down to the Tar Heel State as a payment of gratitude for its inherited attributes.
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Floors Empire State Building

The Empire State Building was primarily designed to house corporate offices, but it got off to a rocky start thanks to the 1929 stock market crash and the onset of the Great Depression. Less than 25 percent of the building’s retail space was occupied upon its opening in 1931, earning it the nickname the “Empty State Building.” The building’s owners were reduced to engineering publicity stunts to draw renters—including hosting a 1932 séance that tried to contact the ghost of Thomas Edison from the 82nd floor—but the skyscraper’s upper half remained almost entirely vacant for most of the 1930s. At times, workers were even told to turn on lights on the higher floors to create the illusion that they were occupied. It wasn’t until World War II that the building finally became profitable.
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Floors Empire State Building

On the morning of July 28, 1945, while flying an Army B-25 bomber toward New York’s La Guardia Airport, Army Lt. Col. William F. Smith became disoriented in heavy fog and drifted over Midtown Manhattan. The World War II combat veteran managed to dodge several skyscrapers, but he was unable to avoid plowing into the 78th and 79th floors of the Empire State at 200 miles an hour. The crash triggered a massive explosion and sent debris careering through the building’s interior. Smith and two crewmen were killed, as were 11 people inside the building. A four-alarm fire broke out on several floors—it was then the highest building fire in New York’s history—but firefighters managed to extinguish it in just 40 minutes. Amazingly, the undamaged sections of the building were reopened for business just two days later.
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Upon learning that the Empire State would be 1,000 feet tall, Chrysler changed his plans a final time and fixed a stainless steel spire to the top of his skyscraper. The addition saw the Chrysler Building soar to a record 1,048 feet, but unfortunately for Chrysler, Raskob and Smith simply went back to the drawing board and returned with an even taller design for the Empire State Building. When completed in 1931, the colossus loomed 1,250 feet over the streets of Midtown Manhattan. It would remain the world’s tallest building for nearly 40 years until the completion of the first World Trade Center tower in 1970.
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Few sights rival the splendor of an illuminated Empire State Building on a clear New York night. It may not be New York City’s tallest building, but it’s possibly its most celebrated. Here’s a quick look back at the Empire State Building’s lifespan of world records, oddball tourist attractions, and surprising affinity for strawberry jam. 
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The Empire State Building boasts a lengthy screen résumé, appearing as a visual signifier of the Big Apple in hundreds of feature films. The most iconic cinematic representation of the building dates back to the 1933 version of King Kong, which famously starred early Hollywood icon Fay Wray as Ann Darrow, the woman whom the titular ape brings to the top of the skyscraper. Two days after Wray’s death in 2004, the Empire State Building undertook a rare dimming of its lights for 15 minutes to honor the actress. 
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The Empire State Building’s April 1931 completion marked a rather swift turnaround for a building of its stature, with the entire structure going up in less than 14 months. (What’s more, the steel work wrapped 12 days ahead of schedule.) The 1931 construction team’s efficiency is especially impressive when compared to the 2008 renovation in which the Empire State Building’s lobby endured a complete makeover back to the original aesthetic that predated interim renovations. The foyer reboot, which finally opened to the public in September 2009, took more than four months longer to complete than the entirety of the skyscraper had eight decades prior. 

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