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Empire State Building

Overview

The Empire State Building is a world-famous 102-story Art Deco skyscraper in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. It stood as the world’s tallest building for nearly 40 years, from its completion in early 1931 until the completion of the North Tower of the World Trade Center in late 1970. Today, it remains an iconic symbol of New York City, offering breathtaking views from its observation decks.

Location

The Empire State Building is located at 350 Fifth Avenue, between West 33rd and 34th Streets in Midtown Manhattan.

Website

For more information about the Empire State Building, including tickets, hours, and visitor resources, visit the official website: Empire State Building

Operating Hours

The Empire State Building’s Observatory is open seven days a week. The exact hours can vary but generally, it opens at 8:00 AM and closes at 2:00 AM, with the last elevator up at 1:15 AM. It’s advisable to check the official website for the most accurate and up-to-date information.

Experience

1. Observation Decks: The Empire State Building has two observation decks. The main deck is on the 86th floor and is the highest open-air observatory in New York. The top deck is on the 102nd floor and offers visitors a spectacular view of New York City and beyond.

2. Exhibits: The second floor of the Empire State Building houses an immersive and interactive exhibit that takes you through the building’s history and construction, its place in popular culture, and its ongoing role in the city’s life.

3. Sustainability Exhibit: The building has undergone a major energy efficiency retrofit, and there’s an interesting exhibit that explains this in detail.

4. The New York Skyride: Located on the second floor, this simulated aerial tour provides stunning views of the city’s landmarks.

Tips for Visiting

Consider purchasing tickets online to avoid potentially long ticket lines. Visiting early in the morning or late at night can help avoid crowds. The views from the observation decks are weather-dependent, so check the weather in advance. The night view of the city is also spectacular, so consider a late-night visit too. Lastly, remember to bring a jacket as it can be windy on the outdoor observation deck.

History of the Empire State Building

The Empire State Building was designed by William F. Lamb from the architectural firm Shreve, Lamb and Harmon. The construction began in March 1930 and was completed in just over a year, a record time for such a monumental project. This was largely due to the coordinated work of thousands of laborers, including many immigrants and Native American ironworkers. The building was officially opened on May 1, 1931, when President Herbert Hoover turned on the building’s lights with the push of a button from Washington, D.C.

Empire State Building in Popular Culture

The Empire State Building has been featured in over 250 films and television shows. Its most famous cinematic appearance is arguably in the 1933 film “King Kong,” in which the title character, a giant ape, climbs the building while holding the film’s heroine. The building has also been featured in movies like “An Affair to Remember,” “Sleepless in Seattle,” and “Elf,” among many others.

The Empire State Building Run-Up

Every year, the Empire State Building hosts a Run-Up event where participants race up the 1,576 steps from the lobby to the 86th-floor observation deck. The event is invite-only, and participants include some of the world’s top tower runners.

Lighting

The Empire State Building’s tower lights have maintained a tradition of changing color to recognize various occasions and organizations throughout the year. For instance, it is lit in red, white, and blue for Independence Day; green for St. Patrick’s Day; and in a dynamic “heartbeat” on Valentine’s Day. The lighting schedule is posted on the building’s official website.

Renovations and Modernization

In 2009, a major renovation and modernization project was undertaken to improve the Empire State Building’s energy efficiency. The upgrades, which included refurbishing all 6,514 windows, adding insulation, and upgrading the building systems, have resulted in significant energy savings and a reduction in the building’s carbon emissions.

Visiting Tips

When visiting the Empire State Building, keep in mind that it can be colder and windier at the top than at ground level, so dress appropriately. Also, consider bringing binoculars to get a closer look at the breathtaking views of New York City. If you’re planning to visit during peak times, such as holidays or summer weekends, consider purchasing an Express Pass to skip the lines.

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