Skip to content

Empire State Building Highlights

Located on Fifth Avenue between 33rd and 34th streets in Manhattan.

It took just one year and 45 days to build, which is more than seven million hours of work.

There are observatories on the 86th and 102nd floors.

The building has been featured in several films such as ‘A Deal to Remember’, ‘Sleepless in Seattle’, ‘Elf’ and ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’.

From the observation decks, visitors can see up to 80 miles across New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts on a clear day. The distinctive binocular viewers around the building were made by the company Tower Optical.

The tower lights are turned off on foggy nights during the spring and fall bird migration seasons, so the lights will not confuse birds and cause them to fly into the building.

Every year on Valentine’s Day, couples who marry on the 80th floor become members of the Empire State Building Wedding Club. They enjoy free entry to the observatory each year on the following February 14.

More than thirty people jumped to their deaths from the Empire State Building.

The Empire State Building Run-Up is an annual stair race to the 86th floor (1,576 steps).

The building is secured 24/7. It is monitored using security technology, such as CCTV cameras, and visitor screening is similar to airport security procedures.

1928-1929 – The famous Fifth Avenue Waldorf Astoria hotel is sold to Bethlehem Engineering Corporation. Shortly thereafter, Empire State Inc. was formed by members of the Dupont family and a former General Motors executive. Former New York Governor Alfred E. Smith is appointed to lead the new company.

March 17, 1930 Construction begins with 3,000 workers building 4.5 floors per week.

April 1931 When completed, it becomes the tallest building in the world.

May 1, 1931 President Herbert Hoover turns on the building’s lights, officially opening it, by pressing a button in Washington, DC.

July 28, 1945 At the end of World War II, an Army Air Corps B-25 twin-engine bomber crashed on the 79th floor of the building, due to fog. Only two floors are damaged, but 14 people are killed.

1951 – The building is sold for 34 million dollars to a group led by Roger Stevens and Colonel Henry J. Crown. The group sells the title to Prudential Insurance Company of America. PICA accepts a long-term lease.

1954 Colonel Crown and his group from Chicago buy the building.

1961 An investment group led by Lawrence Wien buys the building for $65 million.

1973The construction of the World Trade Center in Manhattan ends the reign of the Empire State Building as the tallest building in the world.

May 18, 1981 The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission declares the building a historic monument.

2002 Peter L. Malkin buys the building while holding the 114-year lease; becomes owner and manager.

February 13, 2012 Malkin Holdings LLC, which controls the Empire State Building, is filing an initial public offering for a real estate investment trust for the building and two other properties it controls. The filing puts the estimated value of the Empire State Building at $2.5 billion.

August 22, 2018 – A new entrance for visitors to the Observatory at 20 West 34th Street is unveiled as part of the Empire State Reconstruction Project. The new entrance, which will be completed by the end of 2019, is the first renovation.

November 26, 2019 – The redevelopment of the 80th floor is complete. New elements in the final phase of the $165 million project are new art exhibits, panoramic views of many of the city’s famous landmarks, and several interactive experiences.

Cost: $40,948,900 (including land)

Build alone: $24,718,000 (less than half expected, due to depression)

Site area: 79,288 square feet (7,240 m) or approximately two acres. East to west, 424 feet (129 m), north to south, 187 feet (56.9 m).

Lobby: 47 feet (14.3 m) above sea level

Height: The base of the building rises five stories above the street. The entrance is four stories high. The lobby is three stories high. From the 60-foot setback on the fifth floor, the building rises continuously to the 86th floor.

Total height: 1,454 ft (1,453 ft, 8 9/16 in) or 443.2 m to top of lightning rod
To 86th floor observatory: 1,050 feet
To 102nd floor observatory: 1,250 feet
102nd floor to peak: 230 feet

Antenna height: 204 feet

Not: 1,860 from street level to 103rd floor

Access at street level: Five entrances on 33rd Street, Fifth Avenue and 34th Street

Elevators: 73, including six freight elevators

Escalators: There are eight high-speed escalators in the lobby and second floor.

™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia company. All rights reserved.