Unmatched in height for over forty years, the Empire State Building greets visitors to the city that never sleeps. It was
Walter B. Chrysler who's imagination brought us the
Chrysler Building and it was John Raskob, creator of General Motors who envisioned an even taller
structure. Raskob assembled a group of well known aristocrats, headed by Alfred E. Smith, New York's
governor. Their task was to develop a plan to construct a skyscraper that was taller than all others.
Financed by this group and designed by Shreve, Lamb & Harmon Associates, construction
of the Empire State Building began on March 17, 1930. The building soared at a rate of 4 ½ stories per
week. Built on the former site of the original
Waldorf Astoria Hotel , the 60,000 ton building took little more than
a year to complete at a total cost of $40,948,000. On May 1st, 1931, President Herbert Hoover pressed
the button that turned the building's exterior lights on.
Hollywood didn't miss its chance to use the Empire State Building in its films. In the 1934 classic, King Kong, the gorilla climbed to the top of the building
with Fay Ray in hand and, in 2005, he loved it so much, he did it again with Peter Jackson's 2005 remake
of the classic movie. Empire sparred no lack of romance in the 1957 film An Affair to Remember, and in 2010, the Empire State Building was again the center piece in the movie Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief.
The Empire State Building stands exactly 1,453 feet, 8 9/16th inches high, with 102 floors, including
an observatory on the 86th floor. it is one of the most striking art deco structures to be
built and, of course, one of the most popular New York attractions.
The building has dominated the New York City skyline for over sixty-five years and has
been and will remain a landmark of distinction for New York City and the world.
Interested in purchasing prints of these fabulous photos of New York? Visit our Visions of NY merchandise site! Here you can view and purchase photos, t-shirts, mugs, mousepads and an assortment of additional items. You will also find photos of old New York not shown in our current site.