Architecture: Empire State Building

Photo courtesy of Flickr, posted by etep.

Photo courtesy of Flickr, posted by etep.

You can’t talk about the Empire State Building without being startled by the sheer scale of the thing. It’s almost a quarter of a mile straight up. It took 57,000 tons of steel just for the skeleton. Want to walk to the top? Be prepared to climb 1,860 steps. Hate washing windows? Imagine having to clean 6,500 of them. (I hope they’re the tilt-in double-hung style these days.)

Clearly, the new skyscraper immediately captured Hollywood’s imagination.  The building was completed in 1931, and by 1933 King Kong was already in production, with the giant ape clutching Fay Wray and swatting at planes from the tower’s upper reaches. The ESB reigned as the world’s tallest building for more than 40 years until the first World Trade Center tower was completed.

If you visit New York, going to one of the observation decks is one of those touristy things that you just have to do. (You were right, honey.) You can’t get such a unique perspective on Manhattan any other way. Oh, did you know all 102 floors of the Empire State Building were completed in only year and 45 days?

Today, you couldn’t even getting a building permit that quickly.


One response to “Architecture: Empire State Building

  1. Did you know the USS George H. W. Bush is nearly as long as the Empire State Building is tall? But it took a lot longer to build. The ship’s keel was laid Sept. 6, 2003, it was christened Oct. 7, 2006 and was commissioned Jan. 10, 2009.

    You’ll have to store that little tidbit away for another day :)

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