The Empire State Building is one of the first and legendary New York skyscrapers to become its symbols. It was called the eighth wonder of the world, and until 1972 it proudly bore the title of the tallest building in the world. The history of construction is rich in interesting facts, both striking and sad.
The project, which took only 2 weeks, was developed by a group of architects from Shreve, Lam and Harmon. In the construction of the building, they successfully combined the mood of the public during the Great Depression and the new requirements for urban development.
The skyscraper has a stepped shape and tapers upwards. This is one of the requirements of the Urban Zoning Act (1916). The narrowing of the upper floors was supposed to provide good lighting for the streets.
The facades are devoid of any decor and are simplified as much as possible, but the object is undoubtedly attributed to the Art Deco style. An important role in this is played by a set of materials – chrome-plated steel, plastic and glass. A new and daring combination for that time period.
New York skyscraper construction
In January 1930, construction began on the Empire State Building in New York. At the preparatory stage, a foundation pit was dug, utilities were brought up and the foundation was erected. In March of the same year, the construction of the main part began.
All works were based on the conveyor principle. This is especially clearly demonstrated by the fact that the steel frame parts were assembled 8 hours after their manufacture at the factory.
Coal furnaces were installed directly at the construction site, in which rivets for the frame beams were heated. By the way, it was assembled up to the 86th floor in six months. In parallel with the assembly of the steel frame, plumbers and electricians worked inside the building, laying engineering communications.
Already on May 1, 1931, the Empire Building was inaugurated.
Empire State Building – numbers and facts
The famous New York skyscraper amazes not only with its scale, but also with some facts that not everyone knows about.
Empire State Building in numbers
Some figures given by statistics and historical chronicle make you look at the Empire State Building with different eyes:
- the construction involved 10,000,000 bricks, 60,000 tons of steel elements, 6,500 window structures, about 700 km of electrical cables;
- about 100 lightning strikes the spire per year;
- the height by the end of construction was 381 m, but after the installation of the television tower, it increased to 443 m;
- the total weight of the structure is 365,000 tons ;
- about 3,000 people were constantly working on the construction site;
- the construction of the skyscraper took a record 410 days;
- 103 floors in the building, communication between which is provided by 73 elevators;
- the observation decks of the Empire State Building were visited by 110 million people;
- the skyscraper employs about 30,000 people;
- the cost of the building at the time of completion of construction was $ 41 million, and in 2014 it was estimated at $ 629 million .
Not without sad statistics. According to official data, 5 people died during the construction.
Interesting facts about the skyscraper
The Empire State Building in New York is remembered not only for its height, architecture, but also for several interesting facts of its “biography”.
- One of the most famous skyscrapers in the United States received its name due to the unofficial name of New York – Empire State or “Imperial State”.
- It was possible to lease out all the offices of the tower only a decade after construction.
- At the highest point, it was planned to install a spire for mooring airships. In practice, this turned out to be impracticable due to strong vortex air currents at altitude.
- Every year on February 5, the skyscraper hosts a running competition. The winner is the one who overcomes 1,576 steps in a record short time.
- Since the building houses a huge number of offices, it has its own zip code – 10118.
- The main load is borne not by the foundation, but by the steel frame. This allows you to significantly reduce the weight of the structure.
- The Empire State Building has become the hero of several films. The most famous of these is King Kong (1933).
- A gorgeous panorama opens from the observation deck. You can view the surroundings at a distance of 128 km.
It is a well-known fact that for the construction of the skyscrapers, assemblers from the Mohawk tribe were attracted, who were not afraid of heights.
Illuminated New York Skyscraper
Several decades after its construction, the Empire State Building became the symbol of the American dream and won the special love of the citizens of the United States. He caused a new wave of interest and sympathy in 1964, when the upper part of the building was equipped with searchlights. They illuminated the TV tower and the top floors on holidays or any significant dates. The system works to this day.
Each holiday and event corresponds to a certain color scheme of illumination . So, after the death of F. Sinatra, these were blue lights, on the anniversary of the Queen of Great Britain – purple-gold. After the destruction of the World Trade Center, the tower was illuminated in red, white and blue for several months. During the US Open (tennis) tournament, yellow dominates.
On some memorable dates, the backlight is completely turned off for a short time.
Interesting fact! In 2012, 10 floodlights were replaced with 1200 LEDs. They provide a wide range of backlight colors and are fully computer controlled. Currently, about 16 million colors are available for lighting the top of the skyscraper.
On the official website of the Empire Building, you can always find out the current color of the backlight, as well as what it was like yesterday, what it will be on the next significant date.
Incidents at the Empire State Building
In July 1945, between the 79th and 80th floors, an American bomber crashed into the Empire State Building. The impact was so strong that its engine flew right through the building . The skyscraper itself was not particularly damaged. Most of the offices reopened without problems the next day. The collision claimed 14 lives.
Interestingly, Lou Oliver (elevator operator) who worked that day escaped death twice. The first time – after a bomber hit the building, the second time – after an elevator fell off the cables at an altitude of 300 meters, in which she was evacuated. This case is listed in the Guinness Book of Records.
The New York skyscraper is also notorious for cases of suicide (about 30) committed from the observation deck on the 86th floor.
The famous Empire State Building in New York is a skyscraper with history, which is why it invariably attracts tourists from all over the world. Sometimes they line up to purchase excursion tickets. Advance purchase on online platforms helps to avoid it.