Empire State Building

Empire State Building

Powered by GetYourGuide

The Empire State Building is a world-famous skyscraper located in New York City, USA. It was completed in 1931 and was the tallest building in the world at that time, a title it held for nearly 40 years. Today, it remains an iconic symbol of New York City and one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.

The Empire State Building was built during the Great Depression, a time when the country was in economic turmoil. Despite the challenges, the construction of the building was completed on time and within budget, and it was seen as a symbol of hope and determination. The building was designed by the architects Shreve, Lamb & Harmon, and it features a distinctive Art Deco style that is unique to the period in which it was built.

The Empire State Building has been the setting for many famous films and TV shows, and it has been featured in numerous works of art and literature. Its observation deck, located on the 86th floor, offers stunning views of New York City and the surrounding area, and it is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city. The observation deck is open 365 days a year, and visitors can experience breathtaking views of the city at any time of day or night.

In addition to its observation deck, the Empire State Building is also home to a number of offices, shops, and restaurants. The building is a symbol of New York City’s thriving commercial and cultural life, and it continues to be an important part of the city’s skyline. It has been the backdrop for many famous events and has been the site of countless memorable moments, making it a true icon of New York City and a must-visit for anyone traveling to the city.

Empire State Building
Powered by GetYourGuide
Empire State Building

The building was designed by William F. Lamb, whose firm produced the blueprints for the building in less than 14 days, using a plethora of previous designs. Work officially began on the Empire State Building on March 17th, 1930. At the time, New York was chasing the title of having the world’s tallest building, and the Empire State Building would be a solution to that problem.

When the tower first opened on May 1, 1931, it instantly became one of the largest New York attractions, attracting those who were sightseeing New York. Still today, the Empire State Building is the centerpiece of many pictures of New York. The building lights up the night sky, with its renowned floodlights that are pointed toward the top of the building.

Today, nearly 70 years after the skyscraper was constructed, it stands for the liberty and grandeur of the United States. Although it is no longer the tallest building it the world, its relevance in pop culture is still evident through photos of New York City, as it stands above every building that surrounds it. The Empire State Building is an iconic American site.


The 1453-foot, 103-story Empire State Building came to be a project because General Motors executive John J. Raskob wanted to beat his arch-rival in creating the tallest building in the world.

Excavation for the building began in January 1930 and just two months later the construction of the building started. The schedule on this project was as adventurous as the design. The architects planned that the project would be completed in only eighteen months. The contractor employed for the project was general contractors Starrett Brothers and Eken, who put in a bold bid to win the job.

Not only did they promise that they could get the job done on time, but they announced that they would purchase custom-fitted equipment to fulfil the contract. Their opinion was that this would cost less than renting second hand equipment and would be more efficient. The investment group agreed with them.

The supplies for the building had to be made at the plants in as close to finished state as possible, to minimize preparatory work needed at the site. The companies they hired had to be dependable, able to provide quality work, and willing to adhere to the allotted timetable. Time had to be scheduled nearly to the minute.

The schedule dictated that each section of the building process overlapped – not a moment was to be wasted. Planning started immediately and a fast-track construction approach was adopted, which is common place in the United States today. This technique involves starting the construction process before the designs are fully completed in order to reduce delays and inflation costs.

Demolishing the existing building on the site and laying the foundations simultaneously helped to save time too. Time was also saved by making the process of moving materials more efficient. A railway was built at the construction site to move materials quickly: each cart held eight times more than a wheelbarrow.

While the outside of the building was being constructed, electricians and plumbers began installing the internal necessities of the building. The building was being erected at a rate of four and a half storeys a week! The project became a model of efficiency.

The Empire State Building took a total of one year and 45days to complete. It was completed under budget – by $18.3million – and ahead of schedule – by three months. American project management still uses the same principles as this project from the 1920s does. The emphasis was on speed as it still is in America.

Empire State Building

Opening hours & Address

The Empire State Building is open from 8 am to 2 ameveryday.

20 W 34th St, New York, NY 10001, United States

More things to do in New York


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 foot 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 an additional three stories, 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.

The Empire State Building’s history is filled with intrigue and wonder. It is undeniably one of the most significant man-made structures ever constructed. Since its opening, it has welcomed millions of spectators from all over the world. The magnitude of the Empire State Building could never be reproduced in the same way. It is a one of a kind structure and a symbol of American architecture.

Empire State Building
Empire State Building

Did you know that when the Empire State Building was finished being built people started calling it 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. Why? Because of tourism. 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, a.k.a., 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, i.e., 10118.

The Empire State Building was featured in several movies including King Kong in 1933. In more modern times, people may remember the building as the meeting place for Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks in Sleepless in Seattle (which is actually a remake called An Affair to Remember, which was a remake of a movie called A Love Affair).

Putting aside all of the statistics, some criticisms of the building are the long wait to get in and the cost of admission. When times are good, people aren’t as concerned with costs but they always are concerned with long lines. There are actually ways to circumvent the lines and keep the costs under control at the same time. Especially in today’s economy it helps to save a buck or three. And if you have only a short time to visit New York, the last thing you want to do is spend two hours waiting online.

The New York Pass is a great way to save money while visiting New York City. And it’s not just for entry into the Empire State Building either. It also gives you access to over 50 major attractions including the Statue of Liberty, Madame Tussaud’s, the Guggenheim Museum, plus many, many others. If you paid for all the attractions without the New York Pass, it would cost you over $650.

The New York Pass has fast track access meaning you don’t have to wait on lines. You just swipe your pass and they let you through (much to the dismay of others standing on line). This gives you the ability to see more when you visit New York.

These two benefits alone make the New York Pass worthwhile. And it’s not just for tourists either. If you live in the city and like to explore many of the attractions available to you, the New York Pass gives you even more savings with a multi-day pass. It’s like have a “key to the city”.

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. Why not visit the Empire State Building with your New York Pass? You’ll save money and you’ll be allowed quick access.

This is not the official site of the empire state building, this site contains affiliate links