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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Empire State Building

The Empire State Building is a 102-story landmark Art Deco skyscraper in New York City at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and West 34th Street. Its name is derived from the nickname for the state of New York, The Empire State. It stood as the worlds tallest building for more than forty years, from its completion in 1931 until construction of the World Trade Centers North Tower was completed in 1972. Following the destruction of the World Trade Center in 2001, the Empire State Building once again became the tallest building in New York City and New York State.

Empire State BuildingThe Empire State Building has been named by the American Society of Civil Engineers as one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World. The building and its street floor interior are designated landmarks of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, and confirmed by the New York City Board of Estimate. It was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1986. In 2007, it was ranked number one on the List of America's Favorite Architecture according to the AIA. The building is owned and managed by W&H Properties.

The Empire State Building is the third tallest skyscraper in the Americas and the 15th tallest in the world. It is also the fourth tallest freestanding structure in the Americas. The Empire State building is currently undergoing a $120 million renovation in an effort to transform the building into a more energy efficient and eco-friendly structure. The site of the Empire State Building was first developed as the John Thomson Farm in the late 18th century. At the time, a stream ran across the site, emptying into Sunfish Pond, located a block away. Beginning in the late 19th century the block was occupied by Waldorf Astoria Hotel, frequented by The Four Hundred, the social elite of New York.

The Empire State Building was designed by William F. Lamb from the architectural firm Shreve, Lamb and Harmon, which produced the building drawings in just two weeks, using its earlier designs for the Reynolds Building in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and the Carew Tower in Cincinnati, Ohio as a basis. The general contractors were The Starrett Brothers and Eken, and the project was financed primarily by John J. Raskob and Pierre S. du Pont. The construction company was chaired by Alfred E. Smith, a former Governor of New York and James Farley's General Builders Supply Corporation supplied the building materials. John W. Bowser was project construction superintendent.

The Empire State Building rises to 1,250 ft or 381 m at the 102nd floor, and including the 203 ft or 62 m pinnacle, its full height reaches 1,453 ft 89⁄16 in or 443.09 m. The building has 85 stories of commercial and office space representing 2,158,000 sq ft or 200,500 m2. It has an indoor and outdoor observation deck on the 86th floor. The remaining 16 stories represent the Art Deco tower, which is capped by a 102nd-floor observatory. Atop the tower is the 203 ft or 62 m pinnacle, much of which is covered by broadcast antennas, with a lightning rod at the very top.

The Empire State Building was the first building to have more than 100 floors. It has 6,500 windows and 73 elevators, and there are 1,860 steps from street level to the 103rd floor. It has a total floor area of 2,768,591 sq ft or 257,211 m2. The base of the Empire State Building is about 2 acres or 8,094 m2. The building houses 1,000 businesses, and has its own zip code, 10118. More than 21,000 employees work in the building each day, making the Empire State Building the second largest single office complex in America, after the Pentagon. The building was completed in one year and 45 days.

The Empire State Building has 73 elevators in all, including service elevators. It takes less than one minute by elevator to get to the 86th floor, where an observation deck is located. The building has 70 mi or 113 km of pipe, 2,500,000 ft or 760,000 m of electrical wire, and about 9,000 faucets. It is heated by low pressure steam despite its height, the building only requires between 2 and 3 psi or 14 and 21 kPa of steam pressure for heating. It weighs approximately 370,000 short tons or 340,000 t. The exterior of the building was built using Indiana limestone panels. The Empire State Building cost $40,948,900 to build.

Empire State BuildingEmpire State Building
The Empire State Building features an art deco design in New York. The modernistic stainless steel canopies of the entrances on 33rd and 34th Streets lead to two story-high corridors around the elevator core, crossed by stainless steel and glass-enclosed bridges at the second-floor level. The elevator core contains 67 elevators. The lobby is three stories high and features an aluminum relief of the skyscraper without the antenna, which was not added to the spire until 1952. The north corridor contains eight illuminated panels, created by Roy Sparkia and Renee Nemorov in 1963, depicting the building as the Eighth Wonder of the World, alongside the traditional seven.

The Empire State Building has one of the most popular outdoor observatories in the world, having been visited by over 110 million people. The 86th floor observation deck offers impressive 360 degree views of the city. There is a second observation deck on the 102nd floor that is open to public. It is completely enclosed and much smaller than the first one, it may be closed on high-traffic days. Tourists may pay to visit the observation deck on the 86th floor and an additional amount for the 102nd floor. There are five lines to enter the observation decks the sidewalk line, the lobby elevator line, the ticket purchase line, the second elevator line, and the line to get off the elevator and onto the observation deck. For an extra fee tourists can skip to the front of the line.

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