The empire state building
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THE EMPIRE STATE BUILDING. History. The Empire State Building is the quadri-faced lighthouse of the city. It was designed at the end of the so-called Art Deco period in the 1920s.

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  • The Empire State Building is the quadri-faced lighthouse of the city. It was designed at the end of the so-called Art Deco period in the 1920s.

  • The Empire State Building is the third tallest skyscraper in the United States, and the 15th tallest in the world.

  • The Empire State Building was designed by William F. Lamb from the architectural firm Shreve, Lamb and Harmon.

  • Excavation of the site began on January 22, 1930, and construction on the building itself started symbolically on March 17—St. Patrick's Day—per Al Smith's influence as Empire State, Inc. president. Governor Smith's grandchild cut the ribbon on May 1, 1931.

Technical information
Technical information

  • ARCHITECTS: Shreve, Lambs, Harmon

  • LOCATION: New York

  • DATE: 1931

  • BUILDING TYPE: commercial office tower, skyscraper

  • CONSTRUCTION: steel frame, stone cladding

  • STYLE: Art Deco

  • NOTES: 102 floors, 381 meters high (1252 feet)‏ use of setbacks

Tower lights
Tower Lights

  • The Empire State Building celebrates many cultures and causes in the world community with iconic lightings.

  • The ESB has a tradition of lightings for the religious holidays of Easter, Hanukah and Christmas.

  • But the lights of the ESB are lit for many occasions. For example in 1998, for Frank Sinastra's death the light became blue in honour of his blue eyes, and for Columbus day the lights become green, white and red like the Italian flag.


  • The 102-story building was constructed in just 410 days, and employed over three thousand workers in a time where jobs were scarce. The building's opening coincided with the Great Depression in the United States, and as a result much of its office space went unrented. The lack of renters led New Yorkers to deride the building as the "Empty State Building". The building would not become profitable until 1950.

  • The Empire State Building has been named by the American Society of Civil Engineers as one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World. It was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1986.

  • At 9:40 a.m. on Saturday July 28, 1945, a B-25 Mitchell bomber, piloted by Lieutenant Colonel William F. Smith, Jr., who was flying in a thick fog, accidentally crashed into the north side of the Empire State Building between the 79th and 80th floors. Fourteen people were killed in the incident. Despite the damage and loss of life, the building was open for business on many floors the following Monday.

What does esb mean
What does ESB mean?

  • When the Empire State Building opened on May 1, 1931, it was the tallest building in the world - standing at 381 meters tall. This building not only became an icon of New York City, but also a symbol of twentieth century man's attempts to achieve the impossible. It symbolizes innovative architecture and American idealism.

Turistic information

Observatory Holiday Hours:

Thanksgiving Day/Weekend (25/11-28/11)8:00AM to 2:00AM. Christmas Eve (24/12)8:00AM to 10:00PM. Christmas Day (25/12)8:00AM to 2:00AM. December (26th to 30th)7:00AM to 1:00AM. New Year's Eve (31/12)7:00AM to 10:00PM. New Year's Day (1/1)8:00AM to 2:00AM.


  • Observatory Hours:

    Open daily 365 days a year.

    8:00AM to 2:00AM 7 days a week.

    Last elevators go up at 1:15AM.

  • Admission Prices at the Building:

    ESB Express Pass $41.52(+$3.48 Tx)‏

    Adults (13-61) $18.45(+$1.55 Tx)‏

    Child (6-12) $12.92(+$1.08 Tx)‏

    Senior (62+) $16.61(+$1.39 Tx)‏

    ESB Audio Tour $7.38(+$.62 Tx)‏

    Military in Uniform Free

    Toddlers (5 or younger) Free

Web references
Web references