Friday, April 6, 2012

The Empty State Building?! - Architecture of the Empire State Building

The Empire State Building has a rich history brimming with fascinating elements. In its infancy, the Empire State Building was visualized as a contender in a rivalry with the 40 Wall Street Building and the Chrysler Building. The driving force in this competition was the honor of being the innovator of the tallest and fastest built skyscraper in the world. The construction of the 40 Wall Street Building began in 1929, nearly a year after the groundbreaking of the Chrysler Building. Originally, it was proposed that the finished height would be 840 feet, two feet taller than the Chrysler Building. However, in an attempt to combat any last minute revisions on the part of the Chrysler team, the 40 Wall Street architects decided to add three additional storeys, bringing the finished project to 927 feet. Upon completion in April of 1930, the 40 Wall Street Building was successfully dubbed the tallest building.


This accomplishment was thwarted soon after, by the Chrysler Building's unveiling. In an underhanded scheme to win, tycoon Walter Chrysler had his claim to glory erected atop his massive structure; a 125-foot stainless steel spire, creating a total height of 1,048 feet. Feeling satisfied that his victory could not be surpassed; Walter Chrysler concluded construction calling it a complete success. Much to Chrysler's shock and dismay, the 1250-foot-high Empire State Building materialized in May 1930, a mere 14 months after the project's commencement. An exploit which not only shattered his building's height record, but also broke records for the time necessary to complete such a structure. The Empire State Building would retain its status as the world's tallest building until the completion of the World Trade Center's North Tower in 1971. However, the status was returned to the Empire State Building following the tragic events of September 11, 2001. A dark day in the Empire State Building's history and the history of the entire nation, September 11th devastated much of New York, including the World Trade Center.

Situated in the heart of New York's Garment District, this amazing landmark welcomes millions of visitors from all over the world each year, including many from its own neighborhood. With easy access by public transportation and a convenient location, merely ten blocks from Times Square, this destination is perfect for virtually anyone. This beautifully designed skyscraper is home many spectacular sights and exhibits. The sophisticated Empire Room can be found in what was once the postal substation on the ground floor. This 3500-square-foot art deco cocktail lounge radiates 1920s appeal and style reminiscent of a simpler time and place. On the next floor visitors may ride the one of a kind New York Sky Ride, a virtual tour above the entire city offering a unique perspective of nearly three dozen famous landmarks, all in climate-controlled comfort. Still some prefer a more authentic experience.

The Empire State Building features two magnificent observatories. On clear days, the breath-taking view extends up to 80 miles. From either of the glorious observatories, parts of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Connecticut, as well as most of New York itself, are visible. The 82nd floor observatory is an incredible 1,050 feet off the ground, while the 102nd floor observatory soars 1,250 feet above the city. Although each offers 360 degree, panoramic views from an outdoor deck, as well as indoor viewing galleries, the 102nd floor area offers a more intimate setting which features a view far beyond compare. Did you know that when the Empire State Building was finished being built people started calling it as The Empty State Building!? It was finished in 1931 right in the heart of the Great Depression. The owners could not find any tenants. Yet, the building still survived. This building was the world's tallest at the time and there was immense competition among builders to construct a building with that status.

The architecture of the Empire State Building, nicknamed as the Empty State Building, is what is called Art Deco. The location at 34th Street and 5th Avenue used to house the Waldorf Astoria hotel in the late 19th century. It house over 30 broadcasting stations for both television and radio. It is interesting to note that the Empire State Building has its own zip code, 10118! Although the Empire State Building was nicknamed, the Empty State Building in the 1930's, there is not empty about it today. Whether you know it by the Empty State Building or the Empire State building, it remains one of the biggest attractions in New York City.
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