Steel Wonders of the World: The Empire State Building
Standing at a whopping 1,250 feet, the Empire State Building is the most iconic structure in New York City. Constructed during the Great Depression, the ESB surpassed the neighboring giant in the sky, the Chrysler Building, by over 200 feet.
Located in Midtown, Manhattan, the Empire State Building resides on Fifth Avenue between 33rd and 34th street. Until the original World Trade Center opened its doors in 1972, this steel giant held the title of “the tallest building in the world” for 41 years.
Developed by John Thompson Farm, the Empire State Building was completed in 1931 in the midst of economic turmoil. Drawing up the plan wasn’t easy: it took 16 rough drafts until the structure was finalized during the race between John J. Rasko and Walter Chrysler to complete the tallest tower. The ESB became the tallest building, surpassing the Chrysler Building, which was the highest establishment at the time.
The Empire State Building is 102 floors and soars at 1,250 feet in the sky. The steel columns and beams create a 3D grid within the construction. Standing on a foundation of 60,000 tons of steel, the building is also constructed of facing materials such as 200,000 cubic feet of limestone and granite, 10 million bricks and 730 tons of aluminum and stainless steel.
The primary engineer for the ESB was H.G Balcom. With the help of 30,000 workers, the iconic landmark was able to come to life in just a year and 45 days, record time for construction of its size. The building cost around $41 million dollars to complete.
It takes 3,194,547 light bulbs to light up the rooms and offices of the Empire State Building.
Because of its grand size and the number of offices that inhabit it, the steel giant owns its own zip code: 10118.
The lightning rod at the top of the tower gets struck about 100 times per year.
On a cloudless day, you can see four other states (Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Massachusetts) from the observatory decks.
A B-25 bomber crashed into the Empire State Building in 1945, resulting in only minimal damage to the infrastructure.
The building hosts Run-Up, an annual race up the stairs to the 86th floor.
The LED light system on the Empire State Building can create 16 million different color combinations.
Despite no longer holding the title of the world’s tallest structure, the Empire State Building forever remains a world-renowned landmark.