The Empire State Building is the quadri-faced
lighthouse of the city. It was designed at the end of the
so-called Art Deco period in the 1920s.
The Empire State Building is the third tallest
skyscraper in the United States, and the 15th tallest in
the world.
The Empire State Building was designed by William F.
Lamb from the architectural firm Shreve, Lamb and
Excavation of the site began on January 22, 1930, and
construction on the building itself started symbolically
on March 17—St. Patrick's Day—per Al Smith's
influence as Empire State, Inc. president. Governor
Smith's grandchild cut the ribbon on May 1, 1931.
William Lamb
Technical information
• ARCHITECTS: Shreve, Lambs,
• LOCATION: New York
• DATE: 1931
• BUILDING TYPE: commercial office
tower, skyscraper
• CONSTRUCTION: steel frame, stone
• STYLE: Art Deco
• NOTES: 102 floors, 381 meters high
(1252 feet) use of setbacks
View from the Empire State
Tower Lights
The Empire State Building celebrates many cultures
and causes in the world community with iconic
The ESB has a tradition of lightings for the religious
holidays of Easter, Hanukah and Christmas.
But the lights of the ESB are lit for many occasions.
For example in 1998, for Frank Sinastra's death
the light became blue in honour of his blue eyes,
and for Columbus day the lights become green,
white and red like the Italian flag.
The 102-story building was constructed in just 410 days, and employed over three thousand
workers in a time where jobs were scarce. The building's opening coincided with the Great
Depression in the United States, and as a result much of its office space went unrented. The
lack of renters led New Yorkers to deride the building as the "Empty State Building". The
building would not become profitable until 1950.
The Empire State Building has been named by the American Society of Civil Engineers as
one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World. It was designated as a National Historic
Landmark in 1986.
At 9:40 a.m. on Saturday July 28, 1945, a B-25 Mitchell bomber, piloted by Lieutenant
Colonel William F. Smith, Jr., who was flying in a thick fog, accidentally crashed into the
north side of the Empire State Building between the 79th and 80th floors. Fourteen people
were killed in the incident. Despite the damage and loss of life, the building was open for
business on many floors the following Monday.
The Empire State Building in the
What does ESB mean?
When the Empire State Building
opened on May 1, 1931, it was the
tallest building in the world - standing
at 381 meters tall. This building not
only became an icon of New York City,
but also a symbol of twentieth century
man's attempts to achieve the
impossible. It symbolizes innovative
architecture and American idealism.
Observatory Hours:
Open daily 365 days a year.
8:00AM to 2:00AM 7 days a week.
Last elevators go up at 1:15AM.
Admission Prices at the Building:
ESB Express Pass $41.52(+$3.48 Tx)
Adults (13-61) $18.45(+$1.55 Tx)
Child (6-12) $12.92(+$1.08 Tx)
Senior (62+) $16.61(+$1.39 Tx)
ESB Audio Tour $7.38(+$.62 Tx)
Military in Uniform Free
Toddlers (5 or younger) Free
Observatory Holiday Hours:
Thanksgiving Day/Weekend (25/1128/11)
8:00AM to 2:00AM.
Christmas Eve (24/12)
8:00AM to 10:00PM.
Christmas Day (25/12)
8:00AM to 2:00AM.
December (26th to 30th)
7:00AM to 1:00AM.
New Year's Eve (31/12)
7:00AM to 10:00PM.
New Year's Day (1/1)
8:00AM to 2:00AM.
Web references