A symbol of New York City all over the world, the Empire State Building stood as the tallest building in the world until 1977 when the World Trade Center took the title. None-the-less, the Empire State Building remains one of the most beloved and recognized buildings in the world. Designed in the Art Deco motif, the building was completed in 1931. When the building was opened, they had such a hard time finding tenants to rent space within it that New Yorkers began calling it the "Empty State Building." Luckily, the popularity of the observatories prevented the building from going into bankruptcy. Everything about the building was designed to expedite its construction. Pre-fabricated material was used as much as possible. As a result, work progressed at a rate of about four stories each week. The entire framework took 23 weeks to complete. The original design called for 86 stories, but a 150 ft (46m) mooring mast for zeppelins was added. Today the mast is used for TV and radio broadcasts. High-speed elevators traveling at up to 1,200 ft (366 m) per minute carry passengers from floor to floor. One frightening incident occurred in 1945, when a bomber plane flying through fog over Manhattan crashed into the building just above the 78th floor. An elevator carrying an elevator operator fell to the bottom. The woman was saved by the elevator emergency brakes. A natural lightning rod, the Empire State Building is struck up to 500 times each year. The outdoor observation decks are closed during thunderstorms, but the inside viewing areas remain open. Inside the marble-lined lobby, visitors can view a series of relief images created by artists Roy Sparkia and his wife Renee Nemerov in 1963. One illuminated relief image depicts the Empire State Building as the eighth wonder of the world. The images of the other Seven Wonders of the World are displayed along the lobby walls in shimmering relief. Interesting facts:
Height from 102nd floor: 1,250 ft (381m) Visibility from the Observatory: up to 80 miles Building weight: 365,000 tons Bricks used: 10 million Number of windows: 6,500.
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The Empire State Building (New York)
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